A Trip to the ALPs In the on-air puzzle, we go to the ALPS. Every answer is a familiar two-word phase, with the consecutive letters "A-L-P." In particular, the first word ends in "A-L" and the second word starts with "P." If the clue is "I, you or we," the answer would be "personal pronoun."
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A Trip to the ALPs

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A Trip to the ALPs

A Trip to the ALPs

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


HANSEN: So did you have oodles of fun at the Puzzlers' League Convention?

SHORTZ: Oh, it was great. One of the cool games was called sound off, where we had short audio clips of familiar voices - past and present - and it was done by teams. If you thought you knew the answer before the end of the clip, you could say - you could shout sound off then everyone would then have to give the answer before the end. It was a great time.

HANSEN: I would bet that you have a takeaway bag of all kinds of puzzles you bring back with you for use at future times. Is that right?

SHORTZ: Well, it's just like an idea factory. You know, there's all sorts of stuff going on and you just come away with this great feeling, with good friends, of course, but lots of ideas for word play.

HANSEN: All right. Well, the challenge that you left us with last week was actually from a member of the National Puzzlers' League. So why don't you repeat it for us.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Dan Katz who was at the convention. I said take the two-word name of a well-known city in Michigan, it's not Ann Arbor. Add the letter E to the first word and rearrange the letters. You'll name something people try to avoid. Add the letter E to the second word and rearrange the letters, you'll name something else people try to avoid. And as a hint, I said both words start with the same letter and both words end with the same letter. What's the city and what are the words.

HANSEN: What's the city and what are the words?

SHORTZ: It's Grand Rapids, and you try to avoid danger and despair.

HANSEN: I think we actually have a listener who wrote in diapers as one of the answers. But it didn't conform to both words ending with the same letter.

SHORTZ: Exactly.

HANSEN: But I thought that was an interesting entry. We had over 2,100 entries from people who solved the puzzle. And our randomly selected winner is Steel Hinton(ph) and he joins us from Flemingsburg, Kentucky. Hi, Steel.

Mr. STEEL HINTON (Puzzle Winner; Resident, Flemingsburg, Kentucky): Hello.

HANSEN: Where is Flemingsburg?

Mr. HINTON: We're southeast of Cincinnati, northeast of Lexington, Kentucky.

HANSEN: Okay. What do you do there?

Mr. HINTON: I'm a custom furniture maker. I'm a member of the Craft Guild and I do furniture on commission.

HANSEN: Wow. Do you have your radio on all the time in your workshop?

Mr. HINTON: When I can hear it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Oh that's right, of course. You're using saws and things that make quite a bit of noise. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. HINTON: Well, we've had a computer since my daughter was in college a few years ago. I've been listening since it was on.


Mr. HINTON: Just answering since I've been able to e-mail.

HANSEN: And you've been e-mailing consistently.

Mr. HINTON: Fairly often.

HANSEN: Wow. Well, we finally picked it and you're ready to play, right?

Mr. HINTON: Yes.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, please meet Steel. Let's play.

SHORTZ: Today, we're going to the Alps. Every answer's a familiar two-word phrase with the consecutive letters A-L-P. And in particular, the first word will end in A-L and the second word will start with P. For example, if I said I, you or we, you would say personal pronoun. Number one is Yellowstone or Yosemite.

Mr. HINTON: National Park.

SHORTZ: That is correct. Number two, a board game of answering questions. It was a craze in the 1980s. You travel around the board, collecting wedges…

Mr. HINTON: Trivial Pursuit.

SHORTZ: That's right. Republicans or Democrats.

Mr. HINTON: Political party.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. The death penalty.

Mr. HINTON: Capital punishment.

SHORTZ: That's right. July 1 to June 30, for example, for accounting purposes.

Mr. HINTON: Fiscal.

SHORTZ: Fiscal is right. A term more general than year.

Mr. HINTON: Period.

SHORTZ: That's right. Tossing the ball sideways in football.

Mr. HINTON: Lateral pass.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. In a number, it comes between the one's and the tenth's place. It's the dot inside a number.

Mr. HINTON: Decimal point.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Group of sheets of eight-and-a-half by 14-inch paper.

Mr. HINTON: Legal pad.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Girl's calf-length pants.

Mr. HINTON: Pedal pushers.

SHORTZ: That's right. A dish of calves meat covered with tomato sauce and cheese.

Mr. HINTON: Veal Parmesan.

SHORTZ: That's right. Doctors collectively.

Mr. HINTON: Medical practice.

SHORTZ: Okay, medical profession, good. What a person may be curled up in as a baby.

Mr. HINTON: Fetal position.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Copyrights and patents.

Mr. HINTON: Legal…


HANSEN: Copyrights and patents.

SHORTZ: Copyrights and patents in terms of law.

HANSEN: But it's not legal?

SHORTZ: It's not legal.

Mr. HINTON: I'm drawing a blank.

SHORTZ: I have to tell you it's intellectual property.


SHORTZ: Try this. What QED may finish? Let's say you're working with numbers and you want to show something…

Mr. HINTON: Proof.

SHORTZ: That's right. And what kind of proof?

Mr. HINTON: Mathematical.

SHORTZ: That's it, a mathematical proof. An image in your head.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Generally speaking, any image in your head.

Mr. HINTON: I'm not getting one.

HANSEN: But - yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Mental picture?

SHORTZ: Mental picture's what I was going for. And here is your last one. The first one is in New Hampshire every four years.

Mr. HINTON: Presidential primary.

SHORTZ: Good job.

HANSEN: Steel, that was great.

Mr. HINTON: Thank you.

HANSEN: You can stop sweating now.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All right. Well, 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 Two, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku" and "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. Steel, what's your member station?


HANSEN: And where is that?

Mr. HINTON: Moorhead. Morehead State University.

HANSEN: Okay. Well, Steele Hinton from Flemingsburg, Kentucky, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Mr. HINTON: Thank you.

HANSEN: Now, Will, a challenge for everyone to work on.

SHORTZ: Yeah. It's an amusing challenge from listener Allan Hockbum(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia. Think of an adjective that would describe a fox. Remove all the letters in the even positions, second, fourth, sixth, et cetera. The remaining letters in order will answer the clue: fox's natural rival.

So again, an adjective that would describe a fox, remove all the letters in the even positions, the remaining letters in order will answer the clue: fox's natural rival. What is it?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org, and click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday puzzle page - 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'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. Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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