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Rhyme Time

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Rhyme Time

Rhyme Time

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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: I heard this week you were mentioned not only on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" because of your sudoku, but there was a crossword puzzle that got you a mention on both "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report."

SHORTZ: Yeah. You know, John Stewart was passing off the show to Stephen Colbert, and a week ago, Saturday's crossword, one across was truthiness which is a word that Stephen Colbert coined. And he was pretending that he couldn't figure out the clue for it even though he had blank ruthiness. It was very funny.

HANSEN: It is. And particularly since John Stewart, as we know from the movie "Wordplay," is a huge crossword puzzle fan. So well done! Get yourself mentioned in the media, my dear. All right, we had a puzzle last weekend, and interestingly, the answer is a media personality. Repeat the challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Ed Pegg Jr. who runs the Web site I said rearrange the letters of ENGLISH TEA to name a famous person with a prominent mustache, first and last names. Who is it?

HANSEN: I think the mustache was the clue. What was the answer?

SHORTZ: Gene Shalit.

HANSEN: Gene Shalit, nice. We had over 1,200 correct entries, and our randomly selected winner is Chris Eames from Tucson, Arizona. Hey, Chris.

Mr. CHRIS EAMES (Caller): Hey, Liane. How are you?

HANSEN: Very well. What do you do in Tucson?

Mr. EAMES: Well, I have a very tiny little business that rents aircraft for pilot training.

HANSEN: Really? How's business with the fuel prices going up?

Mr. EAMES: Well, fuel is certainly an issue, but those that want to be pilots have to do what they have to do.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. EAMES: I've been playing the puzzle for years, but I've only been sending in answers for the last couple of years.

HANSEN: Building up your confidence, huh?

Mr. EAMES: Well, yeah.

HANSEN: All right. Well, you hit the jackpot. Are you ready to play?

Mr. EAMES: I am.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Chris, hi there. I'm going to give you two words. Change one letter in each of them to make two new words that rhyme. For example, if I said pulse, p-u-l-s-e, and verge, v-e-r-g-e, you would say purse and verse. All right?

Mr. EAMES: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number one is crown, c-r-o-w-n, and prude, p-r-u-d-e.

Mr. EAMES: Give me the two words again.

SHORTZ: Crown, c-r-o-w-n, and prude, p-r-u-d-e.

Mr. EAMES: Croon and prune?

SHORTZ: That's it.

HANSEN: Croon, prune. Good job.

SHORTZ: That's it, croon and prune. Good job. Number two is chance, c-h-a-n-c-e, and mango, m-a-n-g-o.

Mr. EAMES: Change, mange.

SHORTZ: That's it. Good. Suits, s-u-i-t-s, and green, g-r-e-e-n.

Mr. EAMES: Greece.


Mr. EAMES: Suite and greet.

SHORTZ: Suite and greet, good job. Heart, h-e-a-r-t, and worn, w-o-r-n.

HANSEN: Heard and word?

SHORTZ: Heard and word. Good

Mr. EAMES: Excellent. Excellent.

SHORTZ: Try this. Try this one. Theme, t-h-e-m-e, and flail, f-l-a-i-l.

Mr. EAMES: Theme to these.

SHORTZ: No, it's not an S.

HANSEN: To an R?

SHORTZ: There you go.

HANSEN: So it would be...

Mr. EAMES: There and flair.

SHORTZ: There and flair. Good. Here's your next one, boughs, b-o-u-g-h-s, and tact, t-a-c-t.

Mr. EAMES: Bought and taut?

HANSEN: Bought and taut.

SHORTZ: Bought and taut. Good. And here's your last one, tartan, t-a-r-t-a-n, and chapter, c-h-a-p-t-e-r.

Mr. EAMES: Tartar and charter?

SHORTZ: Good job.

HANSEN: Oh, Chris.

Mr. EAMES: Oh, gosh.

HANSEN: Yeah, really. You know what? I think this was a true example of a team effort.

Mr. EAMES: Thank you for being here.

HANSEN: Thank you for being there, my dear. And actually, to tell you what you're going to be taking home with you for playing our puzzle today, we have NPR's Danny Zwerdling who later on is going to tell us about his visit to the Afghanistan Embassy here in Washington, D.C. where he discovered that sometimes food is politics. Take it away, Danny.

DANNY ZWERDLING: And for playing our puzzle today, you will get a Weekend Edition lapel pin, the Eleventh Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, also "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, Volume Two, also Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku" and the "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and finally one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books.

HANSEN: Thank you, Danny Zwerdling. And so, Chris, tell us what member station you listen to?

Mr. EAMES: We listen to and are members of KUAZ, here in Tucson.

HANSEN: Oh, one of our favorite words, member, really nice. Chris Eames from Tucson, Arizona, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today. You were terrific.

Mr. EAMES: As always it was a pleasure on doing it in person.

HANSEN: OK, take care!

Mr. EAMES: You too.

HANSEN: All right, Will, a challenge for everyone for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Lisa Johnson of Earlysville, Virginia. Think of a famous TV personality whose last name has six letters. Drop the last letter. Reverse the order of the remaining five letters. And you'll get the name of another famous TV personality. Who are they? And here's a hint. The first personality is seen daily. The second one until recently was seen weekly. So again, a famous TV personality, last name has six letters. Drop the last letter. Reverse the order of the remaining five letters, and you'll name another famous TV personality. Who are these people?

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 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call 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. Hey, Will, great puzzle, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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