Power Play Each answer is a two-word phrase in which the first word begins with P-O and the second word begins with P (and is not followed by an O). For example, given the clue "his or hers," the answer would be "possessive pronoun."
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Power Play

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Power Play

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

And joining us on the phone from Latvia is puzzle master Will Shortz.

Hey, Will.


HANSEN: So tell us what you're doing in Latvia.

SHORTZ: Well, I am on my way to the World Puzzle Championship, which starts tonight in Paprotnia, Poland, which is a little town just west of Warsaw. And leading up to that, I've been on a table tennis road trip through the Baltics, starting in Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania.

HANSEN: Oh, my goodness. You're set to conquer the world, right?

SHORTZ: Well, it's amazing how much of the world you can see through puzzles and table tennis.

HANSEN: I bet. I bet.

Well, you left us a challenge last week that our listeners seem to really love. Can you remind us what it was?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from Ed Pegg, Jr. And I said rearrange the 14 letters of opening credits to name two symbols you can type on a typewriter or a computer. What are they?

HANSEN: And what are they?

SHORTZ: The answer is period and cent sign.

HANSEN: Well, as I said, our listeners really liked this one. We had more than 1,300 entries this week. And out of those, our randomly chosen winner is Bruce Campbell of Kansas City, Missouri.

Hi there, Bruce.

Mr. BRUCH CAMPBELL: Hi. How are you?

HANSEN: I'm well. It's OK if I say Missouri?

Mr. CAMPBELL: It is for me.

HANSEN: All right. What do you do in Kansas City?

Mr. CAMPBELL: I'm an attorney here.

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

Mr. CAMPBELL: Actually, this one took a few days. It didn't immediately hit me until I figured out that S-I-G-N was one of the words.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Ah, good job. How long have you been playing?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Back into the early '90s. A long, long time.

HANSEN: Really? Do you always enter?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Just when I was not out of town or around, sure, yeah.

HANSEN: Yeah. I have a note here that says you pride yourself on never having won anything, from the lottery to radio station contests.

Mr. CAMPBELL: This is the very first sweepstakes-type event I've ever won in my life.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Yeah, but you've got to work for it. Are you ready to play?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Yeah, I know. That's the downside of this one.

HANSEN: I should say you have to play for it, not work. All right. But you seem ready. Will's ready. Will, meet Bruce. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Bruce. Today, I brought a pop quiz. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word starts with P-O and the second word starts with a P not followed by an O.

For example, if I gave you the clue his or hers, you would say possessive pronoun.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one is another term for a billiard hall.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Pool parlor.

SHORTZ: Pool parlor is right. Number two, judge who, by tradition, sentenced Jesus to crucifixion.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Pontius Pilate.

SHORTZ: That's right. What someone who's receiving death threats may request.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Police protection.

SHORTZ: Good. A person in a game of stud or Texas hold 'em.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Poker player.

SHORTZ: That's it. A kind of letter that's nasty. It's a letter that it's very mean.

HANSEN: Poison?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Oh, poison...

SHORTZ: It's a...


SHORTZ: Pen. Yeah. That's it a poison pen letter is it. What a stereotypical nerd has on his shirt.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I don't even know if they make these anymore. Any idea, Bruce?

Mr. CAMPBELL: No, I don't. Yeah.

HANSEN: Pocket protector.

SHORTZ: Pocket protector is it. Good. What a native of Warsaw needs to travel abroad.

Mr. CAMPBELL: A Polish passport.

SHORTZ: That's it. A baked entree made by Swanson, for example.

Mr. CAMPBELL: A pot pie.

SHORTZ: That's it. Why not, in French.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Por que. No. No. That's Spanish.

HANSEN: Pourquoi.

SHORTZ: Pourquoi. And then you just need the not part. Pourquoi would be why. And how do you say why not in French?


SHORTZ: There you go. Pourquoi pas.

HANSEN: Pourquoi pas.

SHORTZ: Pourquoi pas is correct.


SHORTZ: In ice hockey, a situation when one team has a numerical advantage on the ice over the other team.

HANSEN: I don't know hockey. Do you know hockey, Bruce?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Well, point...

SHORTZ: There's no point in it. No.


SHORTZ: Like one team has five men on the ice and the other has four. What do you call that situation?

Mr. CAMPBELL: We don't have a hockey team in Kansas City.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Do you know, Liane?

HANSEN: I don't.

SHORTZ: Oh, man. It's a power play.

HANSEN: Power play. Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: All right. How about this? A fine ball for applying cosmetics.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Something pen.

SHORTZ: You would sort of dab it across your face to apply cosmetics.

HANSEN: Powder...

Mr. CAMPBELL: A powder pad?


SHORTZ: Powder puff is it.


HANSEN: Powder puff.

SHORTZ: How about the outer part of a spud?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Potato...


Mr. SHORTZ: Potato what?



HANSEN: Peel. Peel, yeah. Good.

Mr. SHORTZ: Potato peel is it. Good. Republicans, Democrats or Greens?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Political party.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. Where to go to vote?

Mr. CAMPBELL: Polling place.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one: Cartoon character who says tha-tha-tha-that's all, folks.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Porky Pig.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. Good job.

HANSEN: Heh-heh-heh, that's all, Bruce.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Yeah, really.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Nice work. Nice work. Well, as you know, you do get some things for playing our puzzle today. And to tell you what you're going to get is someone my colleague Michel Martin interviewed for the NPR program TELL ME MORE. That conversation will air on the show this Thursday on the 28th of October.

Ms. SHERYL CROW (Singer-Songwriter, Musician): Hi, this is Sheryl Crow. 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 one, two and three 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: Ooh, Bruce. Sheryl Crow.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Oh, that - she's good. She's from Missouri, too.

HANSEN: Hey. Well, then, it's all serendipity. Before we let you go, Bruce, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. CAMPBELL: KCUR, and I'm a member.

HANSEN: Well, good for you. Bruce Campbell of Kansas City, Missouri, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Mr. CAMPBELL: Thanks very much. It was fun.

HANSEN: It was fun. It really was.

OK, Will. You have a puzzle challenge for the coming week?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, I do. Name the capital of a country, rearrange the letters to spell a word that sounds the same as the name of another country. Or if you want, you can solve the puzzle backward: Name a country that has a homophone that is an anagram of a different country's capital. What capital, and what is the country?

HANSEN: My goodness. When you have the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle, 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'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, who, this week, joined us from Riga, Latvia.

Will, thanks a lot. Have fun at the puzzle championships.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Liane.

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