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City Slickers

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City Slickers

City Slickers

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is Weekend Edition. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. How was your Thanksgiving?

HANSEN: Oh, groaning board, full of food. We went to our producer Davar's house, and it was a really nice gathering of colleagues and family and food as always. How about yours?

SHORTZ: Real nice. I went over to some friends. And normally I stop at seconds or thirds, but I had fourths last Thursday. It was great.

HANSEN: And do you do what you usually do? As after a meal or party, you get up and say, I've got a puzzle to play. Did you play games?

SHORTZ: You know, we did.

HANSEN: Why am I not surprised?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Oh, that sounds like a lot of fun. Well, I'm glad we have a game to play today. But to begin, we have to remember what the challenge was that you left last week.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Joshua Saks of Morristown, New Jersey. I said name a famous singer from the past, five letters in the first name, six letters in the last. Rearrange the letters of the last name plus the last letter of the first name, or seven letters in all, to name a place where this singer famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place?

HANSEN: What's the answer?

SHORTZ: Well, the singer is Maria Callas. And she made her official debut at La Scala.

HANSEN: That's marvelously elegant. We received more than 2,000 correct entries. And from those correct entries, we randomly selected Mary-Kaye Soderlind of Kent, Washington, to play on the air with us today. Hi, Mary-Kaye.

Ms. MARY-KAYE SODERLIND (Competition Winner): Hi, Liane. Hi, Will.

HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve this one?

Ms. SODERLIND: Actually, it didn't take me very long at all. And usually I either get them right away or I don't get them at all.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: And then you just put it aside and wait for the next one, right?

Ms. SODERLIND: Absolutely.

HANSEN: How was your Thanksgiving?

Ms. SODERLIND: My Thanksgiving was very nice, with family and friends and lots of cooking, but just a very nice, very traditional Thanksgiving.

HANSEN: How nice. Well, are you ready to play after all that food and fun?

Ms. SODERLIND: I hope so.

HANSEN: All right, Will, meet Mary-Kaye. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Mary-Kaye. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, add a letter at the start, at the end, or somewhere inside to name a well-known U.S. city. For example, if I said, flit, F-L-I-T, like a butterfly would flit, you would say Flint, as in Michigan. OK, here's number one. Caper, C-A-P-E-R.

Ms. SODERLIND: Casper, Wyoming?

SHORTZ: Casper, Wyoming, is good. Number two is dove, D-O-V-E.

Ms. SODERLIND: Hmm...

SHORTZ: It's a state capital.

Ms. SODERLIND: Dover.

SHORTZ: Dover is right. Delaware. Mimi, M-I-M-I.

Ms. SODERLIND: Miami.

SHORTZ: That's right. August, A-U-G-U-S-T.

Ms. SODERLIND: Augusta.

SHORTZ: Aha. Sale, S-A-L-E.

Ms. SODERLIND: I think I need a hint.

HANSEN: Well, there's one in...

SHORTZ: You know, Liane?

HANSEN: There's one in Massachusetts.

SHORTZ: Salem.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Salem is right.

HANSEN: Goodness. Is that good? That was a good one.

SHORTZ: It didn't take long, yeah.

HANSEN: No.

Ms. SODERLIND: Great. It's also the capital of Oregon.

HANSEN: There you go.

SHORTZ: There you go. Butt, B-U-T-T.

Ms. SODERLIND: Butte.

SHORTZ: That's right. Now, on your next set of answers, you add two consecutive letters to the word I give you to get the city name. And your first one of these is Poland, P-O-L-A-N-D.

Ms. SODERLIND: Hmm.

SHORTZ: Add two letters in a row.

HANSEN: Think Oregon again, Mary-Kaye.

SHORTZ: It is...

Ms. SODERLIND: Portland.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Portland is right.

Ms. SODERLIND: Or Maine.

HANSEN: Or Maine.

SHORTZ: That's right, or Maine. June, J-U-N-E.

Ms. SODERLIND: Juneau.

SHORTZ: That's right. Spoke, S-P-O-K-E.

Ms. SODERLIND: Spokane.

SHORTZ: Aha. Boon, B-O-O-N.

Ms. SODERLIND: B as in boy?

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: We're back in Massachusetts, Mary.

SHORTZ: That's right.

Ms. SODERLIND: Boston.

SHORTZ: Boston is it. Saul, S-A-U-L.

Ms. SODERLIND: St. Paul?

SHORTZ: St. Paul, good.

HANSEN: Nice.

SHORTZ: And your last one is province, P-R-O-V-I-N-C-E.

Ms. SODERLIND: Providence.

HANSEN: There we go.

SHORTZ: Providence. Nice job.

HANSEN: Oh, wow. So you want the hard puzzle...

Ms. SODERLIND: Thank you.

HANSEN: You want the hard puzzle now, Mary?

Ms. SODERLIND: No, thank you.

(Soundbite of laugher)

Ms. SODERLIND: That was hard enough, but thank you.

HANSEN: That was great. That was fun. It was fun playing with you. Well, you know because you're a longtime puzzle listener, we've started a mystery puzzle prize reader now. Today, the reader is a YouTube superstar. His 2004 lip-synching video became a worldwide hit. And according to a report by the BBC, it's been viewed over 700 million times. So don't be surprised if you don't know his name. He's Gary Brolsma, aka Numa Numa Guy.

(Soundbite of YouTube video featuring Gary Brolsma performing the "Numa Numa Dance" ("Dragostea Din Tei"))

O-ZONE (Singing) Ma-ia-hii Ma-ia-huu Ma-ia-hoo Ma-ia-haha Ma-ia-hii Ma-ia-huu Ma-ia-hoo Ma-ia-haha

Mr. GARY BROLSMA (The Numa Numa Guy): For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a Weekend Edition lapel pin, the Eleventh Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, volume two, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku" and the "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks" of riddles and challenges from Chronicle Books. And when I'm not going viral on the World Wide Web, I listen to Weekend Edition on WNYC.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Hey, Mary-Kaye. Do you know the Numa Numa Guy?

Ms. SODERLIND: I don't. I'll have to ask my children.

HANSEN: There you go. Well, you know, if you want to put a face to the voice, you can now go to Weekend Edition's new YouTube channel, if you believe it. We're launching it today. And the address is youtube.com/weekendedition. And you'll actually be able to watch all kinds of video blogs from me and Saturday host Scott Simon. So I think everyone is going to have a bit of fun with that, I hope.

Ms. SODERLIND: I'll do it.

HANSEN: Oh, good for you. Good for you. But before we say goodbye, Mary-Kaye, what member station do you listen to?

Ms. SODERLIND: KUOW, Seattle.

HANSEN: All right. Mary-Kaye Soderlind in Kent, Washington, you were great. Thanks a lot for playing with us today.

Ms. SODERLIND: Thank you, Liane. Thank you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot.

HANSEN: All right, Will. I assume you've got something for us to work on for the next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn. Think of a word starting with S, as in Sam, that names a certain lawbreaker. Remove the S and one other letter. The remaining letters, in order, will name another lawbreaker. What is it? So again, a word starting with S that names a certain lawbreaker. Remove the S and one other letter. The remaining letters, in order, will name another lawbreaker. What lawbreaker is it?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org/puzzle, 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 will call you if you're the winner, and you'll get to play a 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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