The Super Bowl Of Word Games Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which one word starts with S-T, as in Steelers, and the other starts with C-A, as in Cardinals. The words can be in either order. For example, given "people who work for a political candidate," the answer would be "campaign staff."
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The Super Bowl Of Word Games

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The Super Bowl Of Word Games


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 you doing?

HANSEN: I'm well. Isn't it getting to be close to crossword puzzle tournament time?

SHORTZ: It is, just four weeks from this weekend. And of course, you'll be there. Really looking forward to that, and I'll tell you two other cool things about the championship.

One is we're going to have a panel discussion on crossword blogging. There is now at least five daily blogs about The New York Times crossword in particular. And the people who run those are going to be there and talk about it.

And our special guest is Tetsuya Miyamoto from Yokohama, Japan. He's invented the new puzzle called KenKen which has just been released. And he's going to present the prizes on Sunday.

HANSEN: How cool, excellent. Well, let's get to our little corner of the puzzle world. What was the challenge you left us with last week?

SHORTZ: Yes, I said think of a word that starts and ends with a letter M as in Mary. Drop the first M, insert an O somewhere, and you'll get a new word that means the same thing. What words are these?

HANSEN: What words are these?

SHORTZ: They are maxim and axiom.

HANSEN: Hmm(ph). Our listeners did well on this one. We had more than 2300 correct entries, and from those entries, we randomly selected Jessie Rice of Dallas, Oregon to play today. Hi, Jessie.

Ms. JESSIE RICE: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: I didn't even know there was a Dallas, Oregon.

Ms. RICE: Yep, most people don't.

HANSEN: Really? I understand you're from Texas, though, right?

Ms. RICE: Dallas, Texas.

HANSEN: No kidding?

Ms. RICE: No.

HANSEN: Did you deliberately pick Dallas, Oregon to sort of make it feel like home?

Ms. RICE: Actually, I didn't.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: The luck of the draw, huh?

Ms. RICE: Yeah, it was an accident.

HANSEN: Ah(ph), how long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Ms. RICE: Not long at all, really about one or two minutes.

HANSEN: Wow, how long have you been playing?

Ms. RICE: Probably, I've been listening for about a year. Probably, only playing and entering for a month or two.

HANSEN: Ah-huh(ph). So last week, we had someone who'd been playing since the early postcard days. And today, we've get someone who just joined us. Well, we're glad to have you. And are you ready to play? Have some fun?

Ms. RICE: Yeah, I think so.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Jessie. As you know, tonight's Super Bowl features the Steelers versus the Cardinals. In today's puzzle, every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which one word starts with S-T as in Steelers and the other starts C-A as in Cardinals. And the words can be in either order.


SHORTZ: For example, if I said people who work for a political candidate. You would say, campaign staff, C-A and S-T. All right, here's number one, a racing vehicle.

Ms. RICE: Stock car.

SHORTZ: Stock car is right. Number two, book listing prices for philatelists.

Ms. RICE: Stamp catalogue.

SHORTZ: That's right. What Juneau is to Alaska?

Ms. RICE: State capital.

SHORTZ: That's right. Place to buy chocolates and peppermint sticks.

Ms. RICE: Candy store.

SHORTZ: Right. An antique elevator compartment. It's also a contraption that a shark hunter might dive in.

Ms. RICE: Hmm(ph), some sort of cage.

SHORTZ: Yeah, what kind? What's it made off?

Ms. RICE: Steel?

SHORTZ: Steel cage is it. What Bugs Bunny munches on?

Ms. RICE: Carrot sticks.

SHORTZ: That's it. Long-running adventure comic strip by Milton Caniff.

HANSEN: I have no idea.

SHORTZ: This went like from the 1930s to the '80s, but maybe it's before your time. It's Steve Canyon.



SHORTZ: All right, try this. 1960s, '70s singer now known as Yusuf Islam.

Ms. RICE: Cat Stevens.


SHORTZ: Cat Stevens, good one. Complete the title - the blank of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. (Soundbite of silence)

SHORTZ: So, maybe I stumped you both. Do you know, Liane?

HANSEN: I'm going to guess. The Strange Case?

SHORTZ: Strange case, good job.

HANSEN: Really? Oh, wow.

SHORTZ: Good one. Try this, a worker who makes beds and cleans rooms on a cruise ship?

HANSEN: Cabin something?

SHORTZ: Cabin something, yeah.

Ms. RICE: Steward?


SHORTZ: Cabin steward, good. There's two heads working together. Try this, a knitted piece of headwear that you pull over your head. And a bank robber might wear one to hide his identity.

Ms. RICE: Something cap?


HANSEN: Stocking Cap?

SHORTZ: Stocking cap, good, ah-ha(ph). An ownerless feline.

Ms. RICE: Stray cat.

SHORTZ: That's right. And your last one - what someone who can eat large quantities of spicy food without getting heartburn is said to have.

Ms. RICE: Something stomach?


SHORTZ: Yes. What kind?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Oh, you got there partly, Liane?

HANSEN: What, cast iron?

SHORTZ: Cast iron stomach. Good job.

HANSEN: Oh, my goodness. Oh, Jessie. We really made a team here.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: It's hard when there are cultural references, you know, and, you know, you're not quite there so sometimes guesses really help. You did well.

And to tell you what you're going to take away from playing our puzzle today, we actually have someone who, in many ways, is famous for being on a game show, and actually, he's a character in the movie, "Slumdog Millionaire."

He was a contestant, his character on the Indian version of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire," and his character is accused of cheating, so here is actor Dev Patel with a very honest reading of what you're going to take home.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. DEV PATEL (Actor, "Slumdog Millionaire"): Do I just (unintelligible) I don't know. OK, that's it. For playing our puzzle today, you'll 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 II, Will Shortz's latest book series, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen," which I have no idea what that is, volumes I, II, and III from St. Martin's Press and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books. Cheers. Have a great day. Bye.

HANSEN: Oh, that's good. He doesn't know what KenKen is. Someday, we'll have to ask you what KenKen is, Will, and I'll just tell our listeners that an interview that we did with Dev Patel is coming up. So, Jessie, what do you think?

Ms. RICE: Ah(ph), it's wonderful. I can't wait to see the movie. I haven't seen it yet.

HANSEN: Oh, I think you'll love it. I think you'll love it and listen in later for the interview that we do with him. And before we say goodbye, Jessie, tell us what member station you listen to.


HANSEN: Excellent. Jessie Rice of Dallas, Oregon, thanks a lot for playing our puzzle today. You were fabulous.

Ms. RICE: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Doug Heller(ph) of Flourtown, Pennsylvania. Think of a famous living woman whose first and last names are each accented on the second syllable. Say the second syllable of her last name followed by the second syllable of her first name and phonetically you'll get a word meaning very attractive woman. Who is it?

So again, a famous living woman, her first and last names are each accented on the second syllable. Say the second syllable of her last name followed by the second syllable of her first name and phonetically you get a word meaning very attractive woman. What famous woman 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 p.m. Eastern Time.

Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time, and 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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