Just Two Little Words Given a word, you give a word that can follow to make a familiar two word phrase. And the third and fourth letters of the word must be the first 2 letters of the listeners. For example, "fashion." The answer would be: "show." Because the third and fourth letters of "fashion" are "SH" and they're the first 2 letters of "Show." And "Fashion Show is a familiar phrase.
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Just Two Little Words

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Just Two Little Words

Just Two Little Words

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And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.


HANSEN: Do you watch the Oscars? I mean, will you be watching tonight?

SHORTZ: I almost always do, but honestly I'll be playing table tennis tonight. Maybe I'll catch the end of them. How about you?

HANSEN: You know what, well, I try but it being this Sunday, I've been up early and I usually never make it to the end. But I was going to ask you how your table tennis is going and whether or not you've been playing a lot since you...

SHORTZ: Oh yeah.


SHORTZ: I'm playing my best ever really. Some day I'm going to be really, really good.

HANSEN: Okay. Summer Olympics what year?


HANSEN: It sounds good. All right. Well, we have our own, even though the Olympics are over in Vancouver, every week is an Olympics on our puzzle segment. Remind us of the challenge you gave to our listeners last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Al Gorey of Oak Ridge, New Jersey. I said name an animal in two syllables, add an S at the end of the first syllable and you'll get the name of an old TV show. The second syllable, phonetically, is the name of a current TV show. What animal is this?

HANSEN: What's the answer?

SHORTZ: The answer is chipmunk, referring to "CHIPS" and "Monk." And "Monk," unfortunately, has been not renewed for another season but it's still a current show 'cause episodes can still be seen.

HANSEN: Right. It's still in syndication. Tony Shalhoub, a wonderful show. Well, we had more than 1,500 entries for this particular challenge. And from those entries we picked our winner, Timothy Dennen from Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Hi, Timothy. Do I call you Timothy or Tim?

TIMOTHY DENNEN: Tim is just fine.

HANSEN: Tim, how long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

DENNEN: This one wasn't tough. Some (unintelligible) it takes days.

HANSEN: And some days it comes to you right away.

DENNEN: Some days it comes like that.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing?

DENNEN: Longer than I care to admit.

HANSEN: I've been doing the show longer than I care to admit. So, we're there together. What do you do in Mount Laurel, New Jersey?

DENNEN: I sell mortgages and title insurance.

HANSEN: Good for you. Well, it sounds like you're reading to play.

DENNEN: Absolutely.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Tim. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Tim. I'm going to give you a word. You tell me a word that can follow mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase. And the third and fourth letters of my word must be the first two letters of yours. For example, if I said fashion, you would say show, because the third and fourth letters of fashion are S-H, they're the first two letters of show and fashion show is a familiar phrase.



SHORTZ: All right. Number one - and we're starting with three-letter answers for you - the first word is estate.

DENNEN: Estate tax.

SHORTZ: Estate tax is right. Number two is printers.

DENNEN: Printers ink.


SHORTZ: Printers ink is right. Now, we're going with four-letter answers. And your first one of these is liberty.

DENNEN: Liberty...oh, liberty bell.

SHORTZ: Liberty bell is right. Gefilte.

DENNEN: I'm sorry?

SHORTZ: Gefilte G-E-F-I-L-T-E.


SHORTZ: Gefilte fish is right. Intelligence.

DENNEN: Intelligence test.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Citrus.

DENNEN: Citrus fruit.

HANSEN: Unh-unh.

SHORTZ: It's got to start with T-R.

DENNEN: Citrus tray, citrus tree.


SHORTZ: Citrus tree is right. Now, five-letter answers. Short S-H-O-R-T.

DENNEN: S-H-O-R-T short order.

SHORTZ: Short order. Straight S-T-R-A-I-G-H-T.

DENNEN: Straight, straight...

HANSEN: Is this an implement?

SHORTZ: It's an implement. Tim, maybe you used this this morning.

DENNEN: Oh, razor.

SHORTZ: Straight razor is it. Postage.

DENNEN: Stamp.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. And now we're going with six-letter words. Vicious.

DENNEN: Vicious circle, cycle.

SHORTZ: Vicious circle is it. Second.

DENNEN: Second chance, second cousin.

SHORTZ: Second cousin, also second coming - either one works.


SHORTZ: And now seven-letter answers. Pythagorean.

DENNEN: Theorem.


SHORTZ: That's it. Federal.

DENNEN: Federal, federal...

SHORTZ: This is something that keeps getting bigger and bigger.

DENNEN: Federal department, federal...

SHORTZ: Federal department works, although it's not seven letters. I was going for deficit.

HANSEN: Deficit.

SHORTZ: Federal deficit. And here's your last one: emperor.

DENNEN: Emperor...

HANSEN: Not...

SHORTZ: This is something you...

HANSEN: Not concerto, not napoleon...

SHORTZ: ...something you might see in Antarctica.

DENNEN: Emperor.

HANSEN: Always dressed for a black tie affair.

SHORTZ: That's it.

DENNEN: Oh, penguin.

SHORTZ: Emperor penguin.


SHORTZ: Nice job.

HANSEN: Oh my goodness. Hey, Tim, you were great.

DENNEN: Oh, you guys are great.

HANSEN: Oh no, you're really quick on the ball with this one. Well, speaking of black tie, we have obviously that black tie ceremony tonight in Los Angeles for the Oscars. And for playing our puzzle today, Tim, we have someone to tell you what you're getting who's a regular guest on our program at Oscar time every year. He talks us through the music scores that are up for a nomination and this year is no different.


HANSEN: Here's Andy Trudeau.

ANDY TRUDEAU: 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: Hey, Tim, do you have any horses in this Academy Award race this year?

DENNEN: Not really.

HANSEN: Not really.

DENNEN: Not really.

HANSEN: Have you seen some of the films?

DENNEN: A couple, yeah.

HANSEN: Yeah, but you're not rooting for anyone?



DENNEN: It's not my bag.

HANSEN: How about you, Will? Are you rooting for anybody?

SHORTZ: Oh, yeah, "Avatar."

HANSEN: Oh, okay. There we go. In 3D.

SHORTZ: How about you?

DENNEN: Winner.

HANSEN: Well, you know, what? I loved "Avatar," but I'm kind of rooting for "The Hurt Locker"...

SHORTZ: Oh, yeah.

HANSEN: Anyway, Tim, before you go, we want you to tell us what member station you listen to.

DENNEN: WHYY in Philadelphia...

HANSEN: Good for you. Tim...

DENNEN: ...home of FRESH AIR and RADIO TIME, just to mention a couple.

HANSEN: Just to mention a couple of the fabulous programs that come out of WHYY in Philadelphia. Timothy Dennen from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us today.

DENNEN: Thank you.

HANSEN: All right, Will, we need a challenge for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It's a straightforward puzzle. Take the phrase receiving line, rearrange these 13 letters to name a common profession. What is it? So again, receiving line. Rearrange these 13 letters to name a common profession. What profession is it?

HANSEN: And you'll be playing with Audie Cornish next week because, Will, I'm going to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Festival. And I'll be making an appearance in the program next week but it will be from Austin, Texas. I can't wait. So thanks a lot for this week.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane. Have fun.

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