A Tough Act To Follow Each clue is a pair of words. For each pair, find a word that can follow the first word and precede the second one so that, in each case, it will complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "hand" and "talk," the answer would be "jive," as in "hand jive" and "jive talk."
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A Tough Act To Follow

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A Tough Act To Follow

A Tough Act To Follow

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hi, Will.


HANSEN: I want to ask you a little riddle or a little puzzle question, I guess. And I found a small kind of a blurt in Real Simple magazine. What do you say to someone who's taking a staycation?

SHORTZ: What do you say to someone who's taking a staycation? Don't know.

HANSEN: Non-voyage.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: That's cute. That word is catching on. I see it - I saw it on a billboard the other day.

HANSEN: I just thought that was brilliant. So - and by the way, your challenge last week was brilliant. A lot of people were scratching their heads over that one. Would you remind us what it was?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a famous person whose first and last names each have seven letters. Only two different consonants appear in the full name, each used more than once. And what's really odd, out of the 14 letters in the full name, 13 of them appear in the first half of the alphabet, A to M. Who is this person?

HANSEN: Who is it?

SHORTZ: Well, it's the astronomer, Galileo Galilei.

HANSEN: Ah, lovely. Well, we only received about 300 correct entries this week. And from those entries we randomly selected Ted Lichtmann of Denver, Colorado to play on the air. Hi, Ted.


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

Mr. LICHTMANN: Well, actually, it took me a long time because I didn't follow the instructions exactly.

(Soundbite of laughter)


Mr. LICHTMANN: But once I really paid attention, it took me about 30 seconds. It was 5 o'clock in the morning in bed.

HANSEN: Oh my. Well done. What do you do in Denver?

Mr. LICHTMANN: I'm a pianist. I just retired from the University of Denver. I was the chairman of the piano department.

HANSEN: Mm-hmm. I have been told by my producer that you just had hand surgery?

Mr. LICHTMANN: Yes, actually, on both hands because of an arthritic condition. So the left hand is fixed and it's working pretty well. Now I'm waiting for the right hand.

HANSEN: Mm. I don't know, Will, if he's going to have to write down something. Can you write with your left hand?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LICHTMANN: Not very well, but I'm going to try to do it on the computer if I need to.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All right. Will, what do you think? Are we going to give Ted something easy today or not?

SHORTZ: Well, I think it's pretty easy. And no writing is required, in fact.

HANSEN: Oh, well.

SHORTZ: I wish I had a music puzzle for you, but...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Ted, I think you'll do fine on this.


SHORTZ: So here you go. I'm going to give you two words. You give me a third word that can follow my first one and precede my second one, in each case, to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said hand and talk, you would say jive, as in hand jive and jive talk.


SHORTZ: As a hint, I'll tell you every answer starts with the letter J. Number one is disc and shorts.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Jockey?

SHORTZ: Disc jockey and jockey shorts is right. Number two, jumbo, black.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Jumbo, black. Jet.

SHORTZ: Jumbo jet, jet black is right. Tire, frost, F-R-O-S-T.

Mr. LICHTMANN: With J. Oh, Jack.

SHORTZ: Tire jack and Jack Frost is it. Clip, C-L-I-P, and custody.


SHORTZ: Clip joint, joint custody. Tomato, bar, B-A-R.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Jam? No. Juice.

SHORTZ: Tomato juice and juice bar, right. Grape and beans.

HANSEN: Oh, jelly.


SHORTZ: Yeah, grape jelly, jelly beans. Good.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LICHTMANN: Thank you.

HANSEN: Oh, yeah. It's just - well, it was your hint earlier when you said jam, right. I think I had it in my head.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: And hold that thought, by the way. Here's your next one. Crown and case, C-A-S-E.


SHORTZ: Jewel, that was fast. Puddle and cables.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Jumper.

SHORTZ: That's fast. Space, food. Space blank, blank food.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Not junk.


SHORTZ: Yes, it is: space junk. That's all that debris flying around in orbit.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Oh. Yeah.

SHORTZ: Okay. Your next one is paper and session.



(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: There's your jam. Book, lapel.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Jacket.

SHORTZ: That's right. Poetic, department.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Justice.

SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one is nose, N-O-S-E and interview.


SHORTZ: Nose job and job interview. Nice work.

HANSEN: Ted, well done.


(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I'm hearing a big sigh of relief from there.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Exactly.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You did very well.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Well, thank you.

HANSEN: Very, very well. Well, I know you've been playing the puzzle since our postcard days.


HANSEN: So, as far as puzzle goes, you got your day in the sun - and that's actually happening to the guest who's going to tell you the prizes you get for playing our puzzle today. He's part of a heavy metal band from Canada. The band was never famous outside of their home country. And after 30 years of rocking out, they've gone worldwide as the stars of a new documentary called "Anvil" -"The Story of Anvil." And here's lead singer Steve Kudlow, better known to fans as this stage name.

Mr. STEVE KUDLOW (Lead Singer, Anvil): Hello there, this is Lips from the band Anvil. For playing the puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, just like the one on my leather jacket. The 11th Edition of "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus," which I don't know what I would do without for my lyrics. The Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers. The "Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, Volume 2. Will Shortz's latest book series, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen," Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press. And one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

HANSEN: Rock on. Ted, what do you think?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I don't know if you're into heavy metal or not as a piano...

Mr. LICHTMANN: Not really, but this is wonderful. It's great. It's hilarious.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: It is. He is. It's very funny. And, you know, it's the real Spinal Tap, this group. Before we let you go, Ted, tell us the member station you listen to.

Mr. LICHTMANN: That's KCFR in Denver.

HANSEN: Well done. Ted Lichtmann of Denver, Colorado. Thank you so much for playing with us today. You were great.

Mr. LICHTMANN: Thank you. It was a great pleasure.

HANSEN: Great. All right, Will, as you know, the beat goes on. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Matt Jones of Portland, Oregon. And Matt, by the way, produces the Jonesin' Crossword, which appears in more than 50 alternative weekly newspapers around the country. Take the word Indian wrestle, rearrange the 13 letters to get three shorter words that are all related. What are they? And here's a hint - their word lengths are five, four and four letters respectively. So, again, take Indian wrestle, rearrange these 13 letters to get three shorter words that are all related. What are they?

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. And 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 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. Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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