RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. What's a six-letter word that starts with P? Yep, it's time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, what's going on in your world? Anything exciting happening in the world of Will Shortz?
SHORTZ: Well, something unusual. Well, I'm going to be on TV this week on the "Artie Lange Show." It's a sports comedy show. Tapes Wednesday night - I think it airs Thursday morning on the Audience Network, and it's also online. Besides talking about puzzles, I'm going to play table tennis on the air with Artie.
MARTIN: Wow. So, that's kind of pressure. Have you played table tennis on TV before?
MARTIN: I bet you're going to do great. OK. So, refresh our memory. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, New Jersey. And the challenge was to name a famous American man - first and last names. I said change the first letter of his first name from T to H and the result will sound like a term for an attractive person. And the answer was Ted Turner to head turner.
MARTIN: OK. And this week about 750 listeners got it right. Our randomly selected winner if Vernon Cole of Brownsboro, Alabama. He's on the line now. Hi, Vernon. Congratulations.
VERNON COLE: Hi. Thank you.
MARTIN: So, how'd you figure this one out?
COLE: My wife and I did it jointly actually. She got it in the end. But we went through common names that began with T, trying to think of what we could replace the T with the H and get a meaningful word. And when we got to Ted, it popped right out.
MARTIN: Great. So, what do you for a living in Brownsboro?
COLE: I'm an engineer at a contract research and development firm, a small business that does R&D in a number of areas. I focus mostly on models for how batteries and fuel cells work and how batteries age.
MARTIN: And what's Brownsboro like?
COLE: It's a small town adjacent to Huntsville, which is probably more likely you've heard of Huntsville with all the rocket development history.
COLE: So, yeah, very, very pleasant place to live, good amount of arts and outdoor activities with the climate. So, we really have enjoyed it here.
MARTIN: Well, that sounds like a lovely place. Vernon, are you ready to play the puzzle?
COLE: I hope so.
MARTIN: All right. Let's do it, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Vernon. For this week's puzzle, you'll have to put on your thinking cap, or more accurately your thinking hat. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with H-A and the second word starts with T. For example, if I said track and field event that involves a heavy weight, you would say hammer throw - hammer starting H-A and throw starting with T.
MARTIN: OK. Vernon, you have it?
MARTIN: All right. Let's do it.
SHORTZ: Number one: an informal woman's garment tied around the neck leaving the arms, shoulders and back bare.
COLE: A halter top.
SHORTZ: That's right. Number two: a small item on a rod in the bathroom.
COLE: Hanging - hand towel.
SHORTZ: Hand towel is it. To perform a tricky surfing maneuver.
COLE: To hang ten.
SHORTZ: Hang ten is it. International court situated in the Netherlands.
COLE: The Hague comes to mind, but what the second part would be...
SHORTZ: Hague is right, yeah. Now you need the T.
SHORTZ: Hague Tribunal, good. Liable to be set off by the slightest thing, as a temper. Someone who gets angry really fast and easy would be said to have a blank temper.
COLE: Hairpin trigger.
SHORTZ: Hair trigger is it, good. Statement that's only partly accurate.
COLE: A half-truth.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Theme song of the "Roy Rogers Show."
COLE: "Happy Trails."
SHORTZ: That's it. All right. How about this: woolen fabric used in traditional sports coats.
COLE: Harris tweed.
SHORTZ: Harris tweed, good.
MARTIN: Well done, Vernon.
SHORTZ: Words before the chief in a presidential salute.
COLE: Hail to.
SHORTZ: That's it. If you make things difficult for someone, you're giving them this.
COLE: A hard time.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Female abolitionist who helped run the underground railroad.
COLE: Harriet Tubman.
SHORTZ: Good. President before Dwight Eisenhower.
COLE: Harry Truman.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one: a symbol in many Twitter messages.
COLE: A hash tag.
SHORTZ: That's it.
MARTIN: Just nailing them, Vernon. That was so well done.
MARTIN: For playing the puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin. And, of course, you get puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.
And before we let you go, Vernon, what is your public radio station?
COLE: WLRH in Huntsville.
MARTIN: Great, Vernon Cole of Brownsboro, Alabama, thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Vernon.
COLE: You're welcome. Thank you for having me on.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Jeffrey Harris of Chappaqua, New York. Name a category of books in two words. Add one letter to each word and it's the same letter of the alphabet in each case. Rearrange the letters of the first word plus the added letter to make a new word. And for the second word, simply insert the new letter somewhere inside it. And the result will be the two-word title of a famous movie, which is based on a book, which is definitely not found in the category of books you originally named. Name the category of books and the movie.
So again: a category of books, two words. Add the same letter of the alphabet to each word. Anagramming the first one, just inserting a letter in the second one. And the result will name a famous movie, based on a book which not in the category of books you started with. What's the category of books and the movie?
MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, May 23rd at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner we'll give you a call, and you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will,
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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