Find Your Calling Each clue is three words. For each set, think of a fourth word that can follow each clue to complete a compound word or familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "cat," "cattle" and "telephone," the answer would be "call," as in "catcall," "cattle call" and "telephone call." Hint: Each answer ends in two L's, like "call."
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Find Your Calling

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Find Your Calling

Find Your Calling

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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 puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.


HANSEN: So, you doing anything cool?

SHORTZ: Yeah, a cool thing in two weeks. I'm doing a mini Ivy League crossword tour on Saturday, April 4th. I'm doing a crossword contest and talking at Brown University in Rhode Island, on Sunday at Harvard and on Monday at Yale.

HANSEN: Wow, the Ivy League crossword puzzle tour. Huh, sounds like a good time. Well, remind us of the challenge you left us with.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Adam Cohen of Brooklyn. I said, name a female host of a popular TV program. The letters in her first name can be rearranged to name a god in mythology. And the letters in her last name can be rearranged to name a type of god that this god is not. Who's the TV host and what are the anagrams?

HANSEN: And what are your answers?

SHORTZ: The answer is Suze Orman. You can rearrange - anagram her first name to make Zeus and anagram her last name to make Roman. Of course, Zeus is Greek, not Roman.

HANSEN: And I just thought S-U-Z-E. That seems like a great crossword puzzle clue.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: I'm sure I've used that, and I think I've used Orman, too, in The Times crossword.

HANSEN: All right, well, about 1,000 people sent in correct entries this time. And from those entries we randomly selected John Bernardo of Boise, Idaho to play the puzzle on the air with us today. Hi, John.


HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Mr. BERNARDO: You know, I thought about it and then went and did some other things. And I'd say in about an hour's time it just hit me.

HANSEN: Ah. How long have you been playing?

Mr. BERNARDO: Oh, at least five years.

HANSEN: Really, I understand that we're, the puzzle segment's a regular part of some car trips you take?

Mr. BERNARDO: It is. Normally on Sundays in the wintertime, the family is driving to ski racing training, and we play the puzzle on the way up the mountain.

HANSEN: Oh, really? What fun. And then it's all downhill from there, right?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BERNARDO: It gives you something to think about while you're going downhill, that's right.

HANSEN: There you go. Well, you sound like you're ready. So, Will, meet John. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, John. I'm going to give you three words. For each set, think of a fourth word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said cat, cattle and telephone, you would say call, as in catcall, cattle call and telephone call. And as a hint I'll tell you, each of your answers will end in two L's, just like call.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one is sleeping, pain and chill.


SHORTZ: Sleeping pill, pain pill and chill pill is right. Number two is cow, bar, dumb.


SHORTZ: Dumbbell is right. Here's your next one: tennis, cannon, screw.

Mr. BERNARDO: How about ball?

SHORTZ: Ball is right. Bomb, egg, tortoise.

Mr. BERNARDO: Shell?

SHORTZ: That's right. Duck, play, buffalo.


SHORTZ: Bill is right. Baby, rag, China.


SHORTZ: That's right. Ant, which is A-N-T, boot and capitol.

Mr. BERNARDO: How about hill?

SHORTZ: Capitol Hill, that's right. Ink, stare, oil.


SHORTZ: That's right. Bank, drum, jelly.


SHORTZ: That's right. Good. Water, wind, free.


SHORTZ: Yes, waterfall, windfall and freefall. Good. Fire, dentist's, power.

Mr. BERNARDO: Dentist. That's got to be a drill.

SHORTZ: Dentist's drill is right. Fire, stone, white.


SHORTZ: That's it. Pepper, paper, tread.


SHORTZ: Mill is right. And here's your last one. Jail, fuel, brain.


SHORTZ: Cell. John, 100 percent.

HANSEN: Whoa. All those brain cells were firing right at the same time, when they're supposed to, John. Nice work.

Mr. BERNARDO: Thank you.

HANSEN: Well done. Well, since you have kids, we thought you might enjoy the guest we have today to read your puzzle prizes. Do you have kids on spring break?


HANSEN: Ah. Well, I'm not sure what their principal is like. But we hope that it's not like the character we're about to hear from. But on the bright side, he is going to tell you what you take home for playing the puzzle today.

Mr. HARRY SHEARER (Actor): (As Seymour Skinner) This is Principal Seymour Skinner telling you that for playing our puzzle today you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin - I have one of those in my desk drawer - the 11th edition of "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus," the very best, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, the "Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House volume 2, that's something that will keep your mind occupied during attention.

Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku" and "Black (and White) Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press - remember, you can't play the piano without both the black and white squares - and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books. You are dismissed.

HANSEN: Now, but before the final bell rings, let me tell you, that was Harry Shearer, the voice of Principal Skinner from the popular show "The Simpsons." And the multitalented Harry will soon be on a reunion tour with Spinal Tap, that parodic rock band. And when he's not touring and voicing characters for the Simpsons, he has his own radio show and it's actually on your local station, John, in Boise, you know Harry?

Mr. BERNARDO: I do. I'm a fan of "The Simpsons."

HANSEN: And he does a show called "Le Show." So we hope you enjoyed Harry.

Mr. BERNARDO: I did.

HANSEN: Yeah. It's pretty funny to hear Skinner reading your prizes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: And tell us the member station that you listen to.

Mr. BERNARDO: KDFX at Boise State University.

HANSEN: All right, John Bernardo of Boise, Idaho. Thanks for playing, man. You were a champion.

Mr. BERNARDO: Thank you very much. Good luck to you.

HANSEN: All right, Will, let's make another champion, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. Take the letters I, L, R, T, if I asked you to insert a trigram, or a three-letter group, twice into these letters to complete a familiar 10-letter word, you would add S, P, O to make spoilsport. Now, take these letters R, F, E, R, that's R, F as in Frederick, E, R, insert a trigram twice somewhere in these letters to complete a familiar two-word phrase. What is it? So, again, R, F, E, R, insert a trigram twice, somewhere in these letters to complete a familiar two-word phrase. What phrase is it?

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 PM 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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