A Most Noteworthy Puzzle Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials M.N. For example: Be pleasant in order to appease someone? Answer: Make Nice.
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A Most Noteworthy Puzzle

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A Most Noteworthy Puzzle

A Most Noteworthy Puzzle

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And it's almost here. Wait for it. No, not yet. OK, now.


MARTIN: It's time for the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is, of course, the puzzle editor for the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: All right. Let's kick it off quick. Remind us, what was last week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a famous person in history - four letters in the first name, six letters in the last. I said move the first letter of all this to the end. The result will be a two-word phrase that might be defined as the opposite of a curve. Who's the famous person and what's the phrase? Well, the person is Marc Antony, M-A-R-C, and then Antony. Move the M to the end and you get arc antonym.

MARTIN: Very clever. So, this week we received about 450 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner is Emily Jackson of Hamilton, Alabama. She joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Emily.


SHORTZ: Emily, how did you get that answer?

JACKSON: Well, I used a puzzle blog online that had some oblique clues and then I looked it up in Wikipedia and Marc Antony came up and I got it from there.

MARTIN: Good for you.

SHORTZ: Nice good. I think you were probably referring to Blaine's puzzle blog, which I read...

JACKSON: Yes, I am.

SHORTZ: Yeah. And, you know, most of the hints they give there, even knowing the answer I don't understand the hint. That's how good those hints are.

JACKSON: Yeah, that's right.

MARTIN: So, it sounds like you do this a lot, Emily. You're into the world of puzzling, crosswords, stuff like that?

JACKSON: Yes. I like crossword puzzles and word search puzzles and mental puzzles, like this one.

MARTIN: Well, then you are well suited to play our puzzle today. Are you ready to do this?

JACKSON: I'm ready.

MARTIN: OK. Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Emily and Rachel, here's a puzzle I presented at a speaking engagement I did last Thursday in Indianapolis. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials M-N. For example, if I said be pleasant in order to appease someone, you would say make nice.

MARTIN: OK. Emily, you think you got it?


MARTIN: OK, Will. Let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one: Michelle Robinson for the current first lady.

JACKSON: Maiden...

SHORTZ: Yeah, maiden what?

JACKSON: ...oh, name, right.

SHORTZ: There you go. Maiden name - the initials M-N, good. Number two is something you put around a sleeping bag to prevent being bitten.

JACKSON: Mice net.

SHORTZ: Well, wow. What...

MARTIN: Maybe. That might exist.

SHORTZ: ...where do you camp that you're bitten by mice?

MARTIN: Or those other little bugs that bite you?

JACKSON: Mite net.

MARTIN: I'm thinking mosquito.

JACKSON: Oh, mosquito.

SHORTZ: Mosquito net.

JACKSON: Oh, I'm sorry.

MARTIN: No, that's OK.

SHORTZ: OK. Here's your next one: do, re, mi, fa, so, la or ti.

JACKSON: Musical note.

SHORTZ: That's it. All right. It's not nice to fool her, according to a saying.

JACKSON: Mother Nature.

SHORTZ: There you go. That's fast. A hard-shell snack item from Hawaii.

JACKSON: Macadamia nut.

SHORTZ: Oh, that was good. Where a compass needle points.

JACKSON: Magnetic north.

SHORTZ: Good. And since you do crosswords, you might know this - and non-crossword people don't know this. Your clue is oread. That's O-R-E-A-D. An oread in Greek myth.

JACKSON: Oh, I don't know.

SHORTZ: OK. You know this one, Rachel?

MARTIN: I do not.

SHORTZ: It's a mountain nymph. So, if you're solving a crossword and you see the clue mountain nymph, the answer is oread.

MARTIN: Oread, all right. Useful information for the future.

SHORTZ: Wimbledon women's singles champion nine times.

JACKSON: Martina Navratilova.

SHORTZ: Good. Former Panamanian dictator overthrown in a 1989 U.S. invasion.

JACKSON: Manuel Noriega.

SHORTZ: Good. One of the Monkees.

JACKSON: Michael Nesmith.

SHORTZ: Good job. Daily paper in San Jose.

JACKSON: Mercury News.

SHORTZ: I'm impressed. And here's your last one: when ESPN broadcasts NFL games.

JACKSON: Monday night.

SHORTZ: There you go.

MARTIN: Emily, that was fantastic.

JACKSON: Thank you.

MARTIN: For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/Puzzle. And before we let you go, Emily, what is your public radio station?

JACKSON: I listen to WLRH in Huntsville, Alabama over the Web.

MARTIN: Great. Happy to hear it. Emily Jackson of Hamilton, Alabama. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Emily.

JACKSON: Thank you.

MARTIN: All right, Will. What's up for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. This week's challenge comes from listener and crossword constructor Dave Hanson of Mounds View, Minnesota. Name a well-known person from the 20th century who held an important position. Take the first and last letters of this person's last name, change each of them to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get the last name of another famous person who held the same position sometime after the first one. Who is it?

So, again: A well-known person of the 20th century; had an important position. Move the first and last letters of the last name to the next letter of the alphabet, and you get the last name of another famous person who held the same position after the first one. Who are these people?

MARTIN: OK, you know what to do. When you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please, and our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 19th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.

Make sure to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because, if you're the winner, we'll give you a call. And you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is, of course, WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.


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