Alma Maters (Or, A Smart Male) Every answer is the name of a college or university. Given an anagram, the contestant names the school. For example, if the clue is "lay" plus "e," the answer is "Yale."
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Alma Maters (Or, A Smart Male)

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Alma Maters (Or, A Smart Male)


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.


HANSEN: How are you?

SHORTZ: I'm doing fine. What's new?

HANSEN: Not much, not much. Waiting for the Grammy Awards tonight. Always like to see what the show is going to be like. But the problem is I have to go home, take a quick power nap to make sure that I'm up for the entire broadcast. So, but your challenge wasn't record related, it was name related, right? Remind us of it.

SHORTZ: Yeah. I said think of a common first name for a boy, starting with the letter E and two syllables. I said rearrange all the letters to name a common first name for a girl also in two syllables. What names are these?

HANSEN: What's your answer?

SHORTZ: Well, the only answer involving both common names are Ernie to Irene. We also received Edwin to Wendi, W-E-N-D-I, and Evan to Neva, N-E-V-A, so we accepted those as well.

HANSEN: Excellent. I should've known this. My uncle's name is Ernie. It didn't come to me. My father's name is Edwin, so I stuck with that, that's why. Well, we had actually more than 1,500 entries this week. Our randomly selected winner from those entries is Eleanor Carlson of Corvallis, Oregon. Hi, Eleanor.

Ms. ELEANOR CARLSON: Hi, Liane. Hi, Will.


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

Ms. CARLSON: Well, that came to me pretty quickly, within about 10 minutes.


Ms. CARLSON: Because I don't know that many men's name that start with E.

HANSEN: Well, there you go. How long have you been playing our puzzle?

Ms. CARLSON: On and off for over 10 years.

HANSEN: So, are you ready to play?

Ms. CARLSON: I am.

HANSEN: All right, Will, you've met Eleanor. Now it's time to play.

SHORTZ: All right, Eleanor, every answer today is the name of a college or university. I'm going to give you an anagram, you name the school. For example, if I said lay, L-A-Y, plus E, you would say Yale.

Ms. CARLSON: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number one is worn, W-O-R-N, plus B, as in boy.

Ms. CARLSON: Brown.

SHORTZ: Brown is right. Number two is royal, R-O-Y-A-L, plus B, as in boy. I'll give you a hint - it starts with the letter B.

Ms. CARLSON: Liane, I'm stuck.

HANSEN: You're stuck, maybe you don't know this - Baylor?

SHORTZ: Baylor is it, good. All right, try this one: alloy, A-L-L-O-Y, plus O.

Ms. CARLSON: Loyola.

SHORTZ: Loyola, good. Prude, P-R-U-D-E, plus U.

Ms. CARLSON: Oh, my husband's alma mater.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. CARLSON: Purdue.

SHORTZ: Purdue, no delay on that one. Rhoda, R-H-O-D-A, plus W. Rhoda plus W.

Ms. CARLSON: Okay. It's Howard.

SHORTZ: Howard, nice job. Enroll, E-N-R-O-L-L, plus C, as in Charles.

Ms. CARLSON: I'm thinking. I'm still here.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: It's an Ivy League school.

Ms. CARLSON: Cornell, Cornell.

SHORTZ: Cornell, good. How about boiler, B-O-I-L-E-R, plus N, as in Nancy. Give you a hint - the first letter is O.

Ms. CARLSON: Oh, Oberlin.

SHORTZ: Oberlin is it.

Ms. CARLSON: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right, now we're getting with longer ones. Biventral, B-I-V-E-N-T-R-A-L, plus D, as in dog. Biventral plus D.

Ms. CARLSON: Okay.

SHORTZ: Give you a hint - the first letter is V as in Victor.

Ms. CARLSON: I'm not, no, I'm not getting it.

SHORTZ: I'll tell you that one, it's Vanderbilt.

HANSEN: Of course.

SHORTZ: All right, here's your last one: enamored, E-N-A-M-O-R-E-D, plus T as in Thomas. It's a two-word answer. Enamored plus T. And it's a powerhouse in football. Think of a school in the Midwest.

Ms. CARLSON: You have it, Liane?

HANSEN: I think so.

Ms. CARLSON: Oh, go ahead. I don't.

HANSEN: Notre Dame.

SHORTZ: Notre Dame, nice job.

HANSEN: Notre Dame. I kept thinking...

Ms. CARLSON: That's good.

HANSEN: It is good. I'm just glad Rensselaer did not show up or...

Ms. CARLSON: I would've gotten that.

HANSEN: Yeah, you did really well. You were on a roll there. Well, as I mentioned, the Grammy Awards will be handed out tonight and we have one of the Grammy presenters to tell you what you'll get for playing our puzzle today. Her music's been described as ridiculously catchy, and her debut album "Animal" is storming the charts. This is Ke$ha with today's prizes, but first, let's hear a bit of her massive hit song "Tik Tok."

(Soundbite of song, "Tik Tok")

KE$HA (Musician): (Singing) Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy.

P. DIDDY (Musician): Hey, what up, girl?

KE$HA: (Singing) Grab my glasses, I'm out the door, I'm gonna hit this city.

P. DIDDY: Let's go.

KE$HA: (Singing) Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack 'cause when I leave for the night I ain't coming back. I'm talking...

For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers, the book series "Will Shortz Presents KenKen" Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press, one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday puzzles.

HANSEN: Eleanor, what do you think? I'm not sure she's in your demographic there.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. CARLSON: Well, I think it's very exciting.

HANSEN: Yeah. Yeah. She's a very interesting woman. I mean, she has her public self and then she has her private self, so it's sort of interesting. Scott Simon did an interview with her, so we got to know her a little bit better. And to let you go, there's one piece of information missing. What member station do you listen to?

Ms. CARLSON: I listen to KLCC 89.7 FM. It's the Lane Community College station from Eugene, Oregon.

HANSEN: Give it a shout out, Eleanor. We really appreciate that. I know KLCC will. Eleanor Carlson from Corvallis, Oregon, thanks a lot for playing on the puzzle today and being on my team. I needed you.

Ms. CARLSON: Oh, it's been great fun.

HANSEN: Okay. Thanks again. Bye-bye.

Ms. CARLSON: Bye-bye.

HANSEN: And Will, what's our challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. Write down these four words: Croquet as in the game; Lunette, L-U-N-E-T-T-E; Renoir, as in the artist; and Turnstile. They're all two-syllable words, but besides that they all have something unusual in common: A property that virtually no other word has. What property is it? And here's a hint: Think phonetically. So again: Croquet, Lunette, Renoir and Turnstile. These words have something unusual in common that virtually no other word has. What property is it?

HANSEN: If you know the answer, go to our Web site and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline 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 are 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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