LIANE HANSEN, Host:
And joining us from Beijing, China, is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.
HANSEN: How are the Sudoku championships going?
SHORTZ: There are 19 countries represented here. This is my first time ever in China and really very interesting. I visited the Great Wall and Olympic stadium, so really having a blast.
HANSEN: Absolutely. All right. Let's get to our puzzle on the air. What was that challenge you gave us last week?
SHORTZ: Yes. I said: Make a four-by-four square crossword with four four-letter words reading across and four different four-letter words reading down. I said use nags, N-A-G-S at one across and newt, N-E-W-T at one down. All eight words, I said, had to be common uncapitalized words. And the tricky part was, I said do no repeat any letter in the square. All 16 letters must be different. Can you do it?
HANSEN: Well, some people did. What was the answer?
SHORTZ: Well, under nags, you would do ecru E-C-R-U, whim W-H-I-M, and typo T- Y-P-O. That makes newt, achy, grip and sumo reading down.
HANSEN: Wow. Well, we did have more than 2,000 listeners submitting answers this go-round.
(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE)
HANSEN: Yeah. And our winner is Irene Downing of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Hi, Irene.
IRENE DOWNING: Hi, Liane. It's very nice to hear your voice.
HANSEN: Thank you. It's nice to meet you. Tell me what you do in Hilton Head.
DOWNING: Well, I used to play a lot of golf. Now, I play the piano. I do a lot of reading. I love word puzzles.
HANSEN: Oh, wow. How long did it take you to solve this one?
DOWNING: I think probably an hour. I was doing other things in the house and then I would come back to it. And when it did come to me, it just came all at once.
HANSEN: That often happens, actually. So, it sounds like you're raring to play today.
DOWNING: I am. I have no idea what to expect.
HANSEN: Nobody does, nobody does. So, Irene, meet Will; Will, meet Irene. Let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, Irene and Liane, this is a good puzzle for two people. I'm going to name some things. Each one is in a category. Name something else in the same category that starts with the same first two letters as the thing I named, only reversed. For example: if I said orchid, you would say rose; because orchid is a flower, orchid starts O-R, you reverse that to get R-O, and R-O starts rose, which is another flower.
HANSEN: All right.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is Angola A-N-G-O-L-A.
HANSEN: So, we're...
SHORTZ: And so what category is that?
HANSEN: Countries in Africa, yeah?
SHORTZ: That's it. OK. Name another country in Africa starting N-A.
SHORTZ: Well, that would be a city.
HANSEN: I was going to say Namibia.
SHORTZ: Namibia is it. Good going. All right. As I said, a two-person puzzle. Here's number two is royals R-O-Y-A-L-S.
SHORTZ: So, what category do you think that is?
HANSEN: Baseball teams.
SHORTZ: That's correct. And what...
SHORTZ: Orioles is correct. Good. All right. Try this one: Zechariah Z-E-C-H-A- R-I-A-H.
DOWNING: Zechariah was in the bible.
SHORTZ: Yes. And specifically, it's a book of the Old Testament. There are actually two of them.
SHORTZ: Two books in the Old Testament starting E-Z.
DOWNING: Oh, Ezekiel.
SHORTZ: Ezekiel and also Ezra. Either one works.
DOWNING: Ezra, that's right.
SHORTZ: Here's your last one - it's a little tricky - Macbeth M-A-C-B-E-T-H.
SHORTZ: So, what do you think the category is?
SHORTZ: Yes. It's is Shakespeare...
SHORTZ: Right. And which one starts A-M.
HANSEN: Is the A separate from the rest of the play's title?
SHORTZ: Yes, it is. What's your answer?
HANSEN: A Midsummer Night's Dream.
SHORTZ: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Nice job, Liane.
HANSEN: Oh. You know what, Irene...
DOWNING: Good. Oh my goodness. And I've seen that too.
HANSEN: This was truly a team puzzle. Will was right. Well...
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
DOWNING: Well, it was much fun. I enjoyed it very much.
HANSEN: Before we let you go, Irene, what member station do you listen to?
DOWNING: WKWJ in Beaufort, South Carolina.
HANSEN: OK. Irene Downing in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. What fun it was to play with you today.
DOWNING: Thank you so much, Liane. It was a pleasure for me too.
HANSEN: And, Will, the fun doesn't stop. I've got one more puzzle to do for you so you have to give the challenge.
SHORTZ: So again, two five-letter words that are exact opposites of each other, in which the first two letters of each word are the same as the first two letters of the other, reversed. The fourth letter of each word is A. What two words are these?
HANSEN: Thanks a lot, Will. Have a great time and safe travel back home.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Liane.
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