Three Of A Kind Each clue is a list of three things. The answer is what they all have in common. For example, if the clues are: "a college graduate, a thermometer and longitude," the answer would be "degrees." Hint: Every answer, like "degrees," is a seven-letter plural.
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Three Of A Kind

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Three Of A Kind

Three Of A Kind

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Hi, Will.


HANSEN: I want you to know that non-voyage went over pretty well on Twitter last week, when I was asking people what you say to someone when they go on a staycation and...


HANSEN: ... some of the people hadn't of the word staycation either. But, of course, I got an e-mail from a travel agent who encouraged us, you know, that we should be traveling close by. But sometimes there is no place like home, right?

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: Right, can get a chance to do my laundry during my vacation. What fun is that?


HANSEN: Well, actually the fun I have when I'm vacation is I love to do crossword puzzles, and you know that. But you are going to remind us of the challenge that you gave on the air last week.

SHORTZ: Right. It came from listener Matt Jones of Portland, Oregon. And Matt produces the Jonesin' Crossword, which appears in alternative newspapers around the country. I said, take the word Indian wrestle. Rearrange the letters to get three shorter words that are all related. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: They are rain, sleet and wind.

HANSEN: Woo. Isn't it one more that keeps post people from their appointed rounds?


HANSEN: Hi, Katherine.


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

SCHNEIDER: It was quick, maybe because living in Wisconsin, we have all three of those often.


HANSEN: How long have you been playing our puzzle?

SCHNEIDER: Oh, years and years since you could send in e-mails.

HANSEN: I understand you have a special friend who will play with you today. You want to introduce us?

SCHNEIDER: In honor of the 80th anniversary of the Seeing Eye, my seeing eye dog sends her greeting to all those other guide dogs and service dogs who listen to the on-air puzzle, know the answers but don't tell their owners.


SHORTZ: That's so cute.

HANSEN: I love that, Katherine. You have been visually impaired for more than 35 years, right?

SCHNEIDER: Right. I've been blind since birth.

HANSEN: I understand you take puzzle notes on a Braille writer.



SCHNEIDER: And I have two books of Will's that have been produced in Braille.

HANSEN: You sound really, I mean I feel like I'm holding you back. Are you ready to play?

SCHNEIDER: Well, we'll see.

HANSEN: Okay. Will meet Katherine, let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Katherine, I'm going to name three things. You tell me what they all have in common. For example, if I said: a college graduate, a thermometer, and longitude, you would say degrees.


SHORTZ: Here's a hint: every answer, like degrees, is a seven-letter plural. Here's number one: a kite, a marionette, and an orchestra.

SCHNEIDER: They all have strings.

SHORTZ: That's right. Number two: a pool table, a kangaroo, and pants.


SHORTZ: That's it. A word, the post office, and a school's star athlete.


SHORTZ: Good. A disc jockey, a hospital, and an ex-con.



SHORTZ: Records, good. A credit card, an ion, and the cavalry.



SHORTZ: Charges, God, you're good. A jack-in-the-box, a mattress and a stream.


SHORTZ: They all have springs, yes. April, a bride-to-be, and a locker room.


HANSEN: I'm afraid.

SHORTZ: April, a bride-to-be...


HANSEN: Yeah, nice.

SHORTZ: Here's a harder one. A candy store, an octopus, and a line at a sideshow.

SCHNEIDER: Ooh, I think you got me.

HANSEN: Hmm. Octopus.

SHORTZ: This is the toughest one. Think about what's on an octopus's tentacles.


HANSEN: Oh, right.

SHORTZ: (unintelligible) Nice job. Try this one: a porch, a computer, and suntan lotion. And for the porch, think about what's between you and the outside.


SHORTZ: Yeah, they all have screens. Good. The Parthenon, a newspaper, and a spreadsheet.


SHORTZ: They all have columns. Good. A cigarette, a swimming pool, and a coffee maker. A cigarette, a swimming pool, and a coffee maker.


SHORTZ: They all have filters.


SHORTZ: Good. And your last one. Ping pong, a canoe, and a fraternity member.


SHORTZ: They all have paddles. Katherine, that was fantastic.

HANSEN: Man, you are hot, Katherine. Well done.

SCHNEIDER: I had to get the ping pong one, considering Will's interests.

HANSEN: Absolutely. Well, Katherine, we have some special guests to tell you what you'll take home for playing the puzzle today. It's a music group and the members have only their voices as instruments. This is Naturally 7 with your puzzle prizes.

DWIGHT STEWART: Congratulations, here's what you'll get for playing the puzzle today. A WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, 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 and 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press. And one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.


NATURALLY: (singing) Can you hear the sound?

HANSEN: Oh my...


HANSEN: ...that's the a cappella group Naturally 7. They had dropped by our studios recently to perform for Scott Simon. If you missed their conversation you can still hear it on Hey Katherine, what did you think of that serenade?

SCHNEIDER: I thought that was amazing, just like playing on air is amazing.


HANSEN: I agree with you my dear. Before we let you go tell us what member station you listen to.

SCHNEIDER: I'm a proud member of Wisconsin Public Radio and I listen on WUEC in Eau Claire.

HANSEN: You always have the right word to say Katherine member. Katherine Schneider of Eau Claire, Wisconsin and her seeing eye dog, Fran(ph). Thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

SCHNEIDER: Hey, that went okay.

HANSEN: It sure did - it sure did. Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Doug Heller of Flourtown, Pennsylvania. Think of a famous TV personality, five letters in the first name, four letters in the last. Change the first letter of the celebrity's first name to M as in Mary. Drop the first letter of the last name. Read the resultant order, and it will spell something this person is famously known for doing many times. Who is it? So again, a famous TV personality, five, four. Change the first letter of the first name to M and drop the first letter of the last name. The result will spell something this person is famously known for doing many times. Who is it and what is it?

HANSEN: Well, when you know and have that 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, thank you so much.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Liane.

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