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I-O You a Clue

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I-O You a Clue

I-O You a Clue

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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 Ari Shapiro.

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

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Ari. Welcome back.

SHAPIRO: Thanks. You know, we're going to talk to the winner of our puzzle in just a second. But I understand you are a winner yourself this week.

SHORTZ: Well, last weekend I competed in a table tennis tournament in Rhode Island.

SHAPIRO: And you came in first.

SHORTZ: Well, I won my division. My rating in the USA Table Tennis Tournament Organization is 1747. And the ratings are based on how you have done in previous tournaments. And the ratings are sort of similar to the bridge world. Well, I won the Under 1800 division and I did very well in the Under 2000 division. Just lost one match.

SHAPIRO: Congratulations. I hope you're not going to go become a pro table tennis competitor and leave us without a puzzle master.

SHORTZ: Well, fortunately, you know, there's even less money in table tennis than there is in puzzles.

SHAPIRO: Well, that's a relief for us. Remind us of the puzzle that you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from our old pal Merle Regal. I said think if 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. And I said if you change the vowel and the last name to an A, the result will be a word that's defined by the first name. Who is this TV personality?

SHAPIRO: And who is it?

SHORTZ: The answer is the celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck. And if you change the U in Puck to an A you get pack, which is a good synonym for wolf gang.

SHAPIRO: Well, Will, I don't know if this was just an unusually difficult puzzle or if all of our listeners just went on strike with Liane's absence, but I'm told we had the fewest correct entries of any recent puzzle on this week's challenge. We only got 242 correct entries.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it was a tough one.

SHAPIRO: But we did manage to find our randomly selected winner. It's Diane Mordahl of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Hi, Diana.

Ms. DIANE MORDAHL (Winner, Puzzle): Hi.

SHAPIRO: And what do you do in Cheyenne?

Ms. MORDAHL: I work at the Laramie County Community College, our local community college, and I work in the business office there.

SHAPIRO: That's great. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. MORDAHL: Well, I've been playing for many years but my friend Betsy and I at the college, we confer each week and we've been very faithful in submitting answers for probably the past five years or so.

SHAPIRO: Congratulations on getting this week's. It was one of the most difficult ones. Are you...

Ms. MORDAHL: That's excellent. It was kind of hard to come up with.

SHAPIRO: Good. Well, you ready to play with Will?

Ms. MORDAHL: I am, thank you. Hi, Will.

SHORTZ: Hey, Diane. Well, Diane and Ari, today's puzzle is called I-O. Every answer is a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase in which the first part has a long I vowel sound and the second part has a long O sound. And both parts have just one syllable.

For example: if I gave you the clue a small pink flower growing in a field, you would say Wild Rose. All right?

Ms. MORDAHL: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number one is the fruit of an evergreen tree.

Ms. MORDAHL: A pine cone.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two is sign on a semi trailer carrying a house on the highway.


Ms. MORDAHL: See, I don't know I.

SHORTZ: You're driving along and there's one of those semi trailers and they're carrying...

Ms. MORDAHL: Wide load.

SHAPIRO: Wide load.

SHORTZ: Wide load, that's it. Sound you hear when picking up a telephone receiver.

Ms. MORDAHL: Dial tone.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. That's right. Set of safety specifications for a building.


SHORTZ: Especially in...

Ms. MORDAHL: Wire code.

SHORTZ: What kind?

Ms. MORDAHL: Wire code?

SHORTZ: No, but change that first letter. In case of - in place of conflagration or smoke.

Ms. MORDAHL: Fire code.

SHAPIRO: Fire code.

SHORTZ: Fire code is it. Half a round of golf.

Ms. MORDAHL: Nine holes.


SHORTZ: That's right. Something a circus performer walks on.

Ms. MORDAHL: Tight rope.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Browned bread that's not whole wheat, rye or pumpernickel.

Ms. MORDAHL: Browned bread. White toast?

SHORTZ: Excellent. A small emergency vessel at see.

Ms. MORDAHL: Some sort of boat.


SHAPIRO: Life boat?

SHORTZ: There you go, life boat, good.

Ms. MORDAHL: Thank you. Thanks, Ari.

SHAPIRO: You're getting all of these.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Try this one: a swimming style in which the legs do a scissors kick.

Ms. MORDAHL: Side...


Ms. MORDAHL: Side roll?

SHAPIRO: Stroke?

SHORTZ: Side stroke, good.

Ms. MORDAHL: Side stroke.

SHORTZ: Good, good. Like some of Nathaniel Hawthorne's tales.

Ms. MORDAHL: Twice told.

SHORTZ: Um-hum.


SHORTZ: What the - good one - what the pyramids of Egypt are made of.

Ms. MORDAHL: Limestone.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Area a pitcher aims for.

Ms. MORDAHL: The strike zone.

SHORTZ: That's right. And your last one: complete the line. Be it ever so humble, there is no place...

Ms. MORDAHL: Like home.

SHORTZ: Good job.

SHAPIRO: Diane, that was amazing. You nailed those.

Ms. MORDAHL: Thank you. That was a lot of fun.

SHAPIRO: You did fantastic.

Ms. MORDAHL: No need to be nervous.

SHAPIRO: None at all. Well, to tell you what you've won for playing the puzzle...

Ms. MORDAHL: Okay.

SHAPIRO: ...we have Radio Hall of Famer and - a little known fact - my cousin by marriage, Susan Stamberg.

SUSAN STAMBERG: 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 - wait, there's more - 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.

SHAPIRO: Diane, tell us what member station you listen to.

Ms. MORDAHL: I listen to KUWR in Laramie, Wyoming.

SHAPIRO: Dian Mordahl from Cheyenne, Wyoming, thanks for playing the puzzle with us.

Ms. MORDAHL: Thank you both very much. It's been a pleasure meeting with you and talking with you.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot.

Ms. MORDAHL: Bye, bye.

SHAPIRO: Now, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Well, take the phrases part time and time share - they're both familiar phrases with time in them - and the adjoining words - part and share - are synonyms. I'd like you to find phrases that work similarly with child. Blank child and child blank. The answer should be two familiar phrases and the words that precede and follow child should be synonyms. What are they?

So, again, blank child and child blank - the words that go in the blanks should be synonyms that complete familiar phrases. What phrases are these?

SHAPIRO: Well, 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 is Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you around 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. Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Ari.

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