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Fill in the Blanks: Going Up, Anyone?

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Fill in the Blanks: Going Up, Anyone?

Fill in the Blanks: Going Up, Anyone?

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.


HANSEN: How are you this week?

SHORTZ: I'm doing great. How are you?

HANSEN: All right. Except for that crossword puzzle you had on Tuesday with the 15-year-old and it's kind of hard, not to...

SHORTZ: Yeah, how'd you do on that?

HANSEN: Not very well, thank you very much. The kid knew a lot for a 15. So, I don't know. I just, I guess I'll just keep plugging away, right?

SHORTZ: That's it.

HANSEN: All right. Well, we had a puzzle challenge last week. Was it a listener that sent us that challenge, Will?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from Leonette Morrison of Marin County, California. And I said think of a seven-letter word meaning entrance, switch the second and fourth letters and you'll get another seven-letter word meaning exit. What words are these?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: They are gateway and getaway.

HANSEN: So simple yet so hard. We had over 1,300 correct answers from our listeners, and our randomly selected winner is Erin Gray from Eugene, Oregon. Hi, Erin.

Ms. ERIN GRAY (Caller): Hi.

HANSEN: How are you?

Ms. GRAY: Fine, thanks. How are you?

HANSEN: Good. I understand when we called you on Thursday it ended up being a little bit of a birthday present for you.

Ms. GRAY: Yes. It was my 21st birthday.

HANSEN: Oh, congratulations. Well done. So, what do you do there in Eugene, Oregon?

Ms. GRAY: Well, actually Eugene's my hometown but I just finished my junior year the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

HANSEN: Oh, congratulations. One more to go.

Ms. GRAY: Thank you. Yep.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. GRAY: Oh, ever since I was a little baby listening to the puzzle on Sunday mornings.

HANSEN: Really? Since you were a little baby? I mean, how have you done over the years?

Ms. GRAY: Well, really only over the past few years have I actually been able to answer the questions.

HANSEN: That's great.

Ms. GRAY: Yes.

HANSEN: Yeah. Are you ready to play? You sound like it.

Ms. GRAY: Yes, I am.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Erin. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Erin. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. A word starting with up goes in the first blank. Move the up to the end and you'll get a familiar two-word phrase that goes in the second blank to complete the sentence.

For example: these are important principles to blank, so don't blank the march of progress. You'd say these are important principles to uphold so don't hold up the march of progress.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one: the daily blank of the castle is expensive, and it's hard even for a nobleman to blank with the bills.

Ms. GRAY: Upkeep and keep up.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Number two: the embattled executive managed to remain blank, despite being pretty blank by the press.

Ms. GRAY: Upbeat and beat up.

SHORTZ: Good job. If the dull-witted employee is slow on the blank, this is an issue you should blank with his boss.

Ms. GRAY: Uptake and take up.

SHORTZ: Good. The rubber band slipped off the end of the balloon with the blank being the balloon up into the air. Do you know this one, Liane?

HANSEN: I don't know. How you doing, Erin?

Ms. GRAY: I'm not sure. I can't really...

HANSEN: Can't find it. I'm guessing - is it upshot and shot up?

SHORTZ: That's right. The upshot being...

Ms. GRAY: Oh.

SHORTZ: shot up into the air. Here's your next one: the short-tempered hostess was blank when she saw that the caterer couldn't blank properly for the banquet.

Ms. GRAY: Upset and set up.

HANSEN: There you go.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. GRAY: There it is.

SHORTZ: And here's your last one: the prospective groom admired his girlfriend's blank nose until pre-rhinoplasty pictures of her blank in a family album.

Ms. GRAY: Up...

HANSEN: I'm thinking...

Ms. GRAY: ...turn?


SHORTZ: There you go.

HANSEN: Upturn...

Ms. GRAY: Oh, okay. Upturn and...

HANSEN: Turned up. How...

SHORTZ: Nice job. Two heads...

HANSEN: Two heads...

SHORTZ: work there.

HANSEN: How long did you work on this puzzle, Will.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Finding...

SHORTZ: A while.

HANSEN: A while. You had to to find all these words that began with up. Erin, nice work. And given that the Cannes Film Festival that is upon us, we asked the popular French TV host of "The Talk of Paris" to tell you what you'll take home for playing the Puzzle.

Mr. ULYSSE GOSSET (TV Host, "The Talk of Paris"): Hello. I am Ulysse Gosset at the Cannes Film Festival. For playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe edition from Parker Brothers, the Puzzle Master Presents from Random House, Volume 2, Will Shortz's Little Black Book of Sudoku and Black and White Book of Crosswords from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books.

HANSEN: Voila. That was French TV personality Ulysse Gosset, and he's going to be giving us an update on this year's Cannes Film Festival. So, that was a treat, sort of a late birthday gift for you, Erin.

Ms. GRAY: Yes.


Ms. GRAY: Thank you.

HANSEN: I just love...

Ms. GRAY: I'm so excited. My mom is going to be receiving that lapel pin. She's been wanting it for years.

HANSEN: Oh, how nice. Just after Mother's Day to give it to her too. How nice. Well, Erin, tell us what member station you give us to.

Ms. GRAY: In Fayetteville, I listen to KUAS 91.3 FM.

HANSEN: Great. Well, Erin Gray who's visiting her parents in Eugene, Oregon, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Ms. GRAY: Well, thank you.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, a challenge for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. I must say those prizes sound so classy when someone French read them.

HANSEN: Doesn't it though?

SHORTZ: But...

HANSEN: I like St. Martin's Press.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Now, this week's challenge comes from our old pal Merrill Regal, whose crosswords, by the way, now appear in the Sunday Washington Post and more than 60 other newspapers around the country.

Think of a well-known person on TV - eight letters in the first name; four letters in the last - the last name consists of consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant. If you change the vowel in the last name to an A, the result will be a word that's defined by the first name. Who is this TV personality? So, again, a well-known person on TV. Eight-four - the last name consists of consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant. Change the vowel in the last name to an A and the result will be a word that's defined by the first name. What TV personality is this?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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