LIANE HANSEN, host:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.
And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.
HANSEN: Oh, I've been traveling again this week. I just thought I'd throw in a mention here for the station at Wake Forest University, WFDD. Man, I've been doing a lot of traveling the last couple of weeks but it's been so much fun. And really thinking about the challenge that you gave us last week, I mean, I like math but this one was a doozy. Would you remind us?
SHORTZ: Yes. It's a geometrical puzzle, which came from the great Sam Loyd from about a century ago. It's called King Ptolemy's Seal. I said start by drawing a four-by-four square divided into 16 individual boxes. Then I said draw a diagonal line from the middle of each side of the square to the middle of the adjoining side. And finally, draw a long diagonal from each corner to the opposite corner forming an X. And the puzzle was: How many triangles can you find in the resulting figure?
HANSEN: Now, the answer is interesting.
SHORTZ: Well, the answer is 96. And I'll tell you there were 32 triangles of one unit, 24 of two units, 20 of four units, eight of eight units, eight of nine units and four of 16 units. The ones that most people miss are the one of nine units. They're kind of hard to find.
HANSEN: And Sam Loyd said that few people would get the right answer.
SHORTZ: Yeah, he said he didn't think most people would get it. And in fact, his answer was 72, and I cannot understand why. The correct answer as I solved it and as our winner today solved it is 96.
HANSEN: Well, our winner today was one of the few who got had the correct answer. We did receive nearly 1,000 entries. But he is still randomly chosen. He's Daniel Hyman of Queens, New York. Hi, Daniel.
Mr. DANIEL HYMAN: Hi, Liane.
HANSEN: So, I understand that you are a music teacher but you also are a big math person. Will said to me that this was a very elegant solution that you proposed to this puzzle.
Mr. HYMAN: Well, thank you. I tried counting the triangles and it wasn't clear when to stop or how to stop, so I stepped back from the problem and let it lay there for a day or another day and eventually I came up with going by the size of the hypotenuse.
HANSEN: Wow. How long have you been playing this radio puzzle with us?
Mr. HYMAN: A good 20 years I would say.
HANSEN: All right. You're ready to play, I can tell.
Mr. HYMAN: Yes, I am.
HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Daniel. Let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, Daniel. I'm going to give you some words and names. Each one is in a category. Name something else in the same category that can be spelled from the letters in my word. For example, if I said Dodge and if you were looking for a three-letter answer, you might say Geo because both Dodge and Geo are cars, and Geos can be formed from the letters of Dodge.
OK. Number one is grape G-R-A-P-E, and you're looking for a four-letter answer.
HANSEN: In the fruit category.
Mr. HYMAN: Oh, pear.
SHORTZ: A pear is correct. Number two is Stockholm, four letters.
HANSEN: And there are four letters in...
Mr. HYMAN: Oslo.
SHORTZ: Oslo is right. Your next one is Yom Kippur, five letters.
Mr. HYMAN: I'm sorry, you said five letters?
HANSEN: Another Jewish holiday.
Mr. HYMAN: Oh, Purim.
HANSEN: Purim, yes.
SHORTZ: Purim, good. Grackle, G-R-A-C-K-L-E, four letters.
Mr. HYMAN: Lark.
SHORTZ: Lark, good.
HANSEN: Very good.
SHORTZ: Try this: Cherokee C-H-E-R-O-K-E-E; the answer is five letters. Another Indian tribe.
Mr. HYMAN: Do I think tribe or vehicle?
SHORTZ: Oh, that's a good question. In this case, it's Indian tribe.
Mr. HYMAN: OK.
HANSEN: Give us a hint.
SHORTZ: Starts with a C.
Mr. HYMAN: Creek.
SHORTZ: Creek is it, good. All right. How about boa constrictor, five letters.
Mr. HYMAN: Cobra.
SHORTZ: Cobra is it. Cather, C-A-T-H-E-R, five letters.
HANSEN: Well, there's only...
Mr. HYMAN: Oh, she's an author.
HANSEN: Yeah, and it's only six in the word so.
Mr. HYMAN: OK. And five letters.
SHORTZ: All right. I'll give you a hint: drop the C, use the other five.
Mr. HYMAN: Right.
Mr. HYMAN: Oh, Harte.
Mr. HYMAN: Bret Harte.
SHORTZ: Bret Harte is right. And here's your last one. It has two answers. Your word is maple M-A-P-L-E, and you're looking for both a three-letter answer and a four-letter answer.
Mr. HYMAN: All right. Elm.
SHORTZ: Elm is your three. And what's the four?
Mr. HYMAN: And palm.
SHORTZ: Palm, good job.
HANSEN: Oh my.
Mr. HYMAN: Thank you (unintelligible).
HANSEN: Yeah. I mean, between music and math and here we get, you know, the word and letter puzzles, Daniel, and you did a great job.
Mr. HYMAN: Thank you so much.
HANSEN: Nice work. Well, we have an interesting person to tell you what you get for playing the puzzle today. He is a jazz and progressive rock drummer. He used to be with the bands Yes, King Crimson, and Earthworks. Here's Bill Bruford.
(Soundbite of drumming)
Mr. BILL BRUFORD (Musician): 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.
(Soundbite of drumming)
HANSEN: And my conversation with Bill Bruford about his new book is coming up in a few minutes.
But, Daniel, before you go, you have to tell us what member station you listen to.
Mr. HYMAN: There's two of them: WNYC and WQXR.
HANSEN: WQXR, classical music. Okay. Daniel Hyman of Queens, New York, thanks for playing the puzzle with us. It was a lot of fun.
Mr. HYMAN: Thank you so much.
HANSEN: Will, you have a holiday challenge for us yet?
Mr. SHORTZ: It's - not yet. No, I have to think about that. But I do have a challenge for you. And you know, two weeks ago, I gave a challenge involving the setting of an old TV show. And the answer, you remember, was Wayne Manor -as in the home for Batman.
Well, listener Ward Hartenstein of Rochester, New York, has come up with a new puzzle based on that answer.
Rearrange the letters of Wayne Manor to name two well-known American corporations, past or present. And your answer can be two five-letter names, a six and a four, seven and three - that's for you to figure.
So again, rearrange the letters of Wayne Manor to name two well-known American corporations, past or present. What corporations are they?
HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle. 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 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, Thanks a lot, Will.
Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.