RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The Winter Olympics are underway, but at this very moment it's time for the real sporting event of the season. It's time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it was an interesting one. It came from Sam Williamson of Charlevoix, Michigan. And it was two parts. I asked where in most homes will you find the words she S-H-E and his H-I-S. And what word would you see right after his? Well, the intended answer is you can see these two words upside-down on a digital clock, when the times are 3:45 and 5:14, respectively. And immediately after 5:14 is 5:15. If you turn that upside-down that on the clock, it spells sis S-I-S. We had an interesting alternative that you see these words in a liquor cabinet. S-H-E is inside sherry and his is inside whiskey - and right after his is key K-E-Y.
MARTIN: Points for creativity. But only the person with the intended answer gets to play our puzzle. We should say this was really hard. We only got 15 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner is Marcia Veach of Springfield, Oregon. She joins us on the line now. Marcia, good job.
MARCIA VEACH: I actually didn't get the answer myself. My husband did.
MARTIN: You're a generous soul for giving him credit.
VEACH: Well, he really did but he said he won't talk on the radio.
MARTIN: So, was it easy for him or do these things come quickly?
VEACH: Apparently, this was easy for him. I think he must hang upside-down to look at the digital clock because I just don't know how it ever occurred to him. But he said he kind of thinks in numbers, I guess, and...
MARTIN: OK. So, are you ready to play the puzzle?
SHORTZ: I guess.
MARTIN: You guess? Marcia, let's try that again. Are you ready to play the puzzle?
MARTIN: Hey, I like that answer. OK, Will, what do you have to puzzle us with this week?
SHORTZ: OK, Marcia and Rachel. Today's puzzle is called break loose. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word has a long A vowel sound, as in break, and the second answer has a long U vowel sound, as in loose. For example, if I gave you the clue: part of the car that brings the car to a stop, would you say brake shoe.
MARTIN: OK. You got it, Marcia?
MARTIN: Yeah? All right.
SHORTZ: (unintelligible) number one.
MARTIN: It's kind of how I feel. OK. Let's try it.
MARTIN: I like it.
SHORTZ: Number one: beverage from Welch's.
VEACH: Grape juice.
SHORTZ: Grape juice is it. Number two: education after kindergarten.
VEACH: Grade school.
SHORTZ: That's it. Part of a building in which you might play ping-pong or billiards.
VEACH: Game room.
SHORTZ: That's it. What an astronaut wears.
VEACH: Space suit.
SHORTZ: That's it. Durable top for a house.
VEACH: Some kind of roof.
SHORTZ: It's not shingles. It's more - roof. And what kind?
VEACH: Slate roof.
SHORTZ: Slate roof is it. Brand of vodka that shares its name with a dull-colored fowl.
VEACH: I don't know.
SHORTZ: OK. What's a dull color?
VEACH: Grey? Oh, Grey Goose.
SHORTZ: Grey Goose, there you go. You knew more than you thought. The third bimonthly issue in a calendar year.
VEACH: Third bimonthly - oh, OK, wait a minute. June...
SHORTZ: And what month is before that?
VEACH: Oh, May June.
SHORTZ: May June, there you go. All right. Try this: a narrow slide often next to an elevator in which postal letters are dropped.
VEACH: Mail chute.
SHORTZ: That's it. When people who agree on something are said to sing.
VEACH: Same tune.
SHORTZ: That's the same tune. Footwear for wet weather.
VEACH: Some kind of boots.
MARTIN: Oh, you wear them in the spring...
VEACH: Rain boots.
SHORTZ: Rain boots is it. Unvarnished facts.
VEACH: Plain truths.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one: number one Beatles song with the lyric don't make it bad; take a sad song and make it better.
VEACH: "Hey Jude."
SHORTZ: "Hey Jude" is it.
MARTIN: Marcia, that was excellent. You didn't even need your husband.
VEACH: Not for that part. I only need him for the hard ones.
MARTIN: And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle book and games.
MARTIN: Woo-hoo. I like that response. That lapel pin is a real pleaser. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Before we let you go, Marcia, where do you listen to us? What's your public radio station?
VEACH: KLCC, I've been a volunteer. We've been members but right now I work on Sundays so I listen to you on the podcast.
MARTIN: All right. KLCC in Eugene, Oregon and on the podcast.
VEACH: That's right.
MARTIN: Marcia Veach, of Springfield, Oregon, thanks so much for playing the puzzle. Marcia, we had a great time with you.
VEACH: Thank you, so did I.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, this week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. Name a title character from a classic work of fiction in eight letters. Change the third letter to an M, as in Mary. And the result will be two consecutive words naming parts of the human body. Who is the character, and what parts of the body are these?
So, again. Title character, classic work of fiction, eight letters. Change the third letter to an M and you'll get two consecutive names of parts of the body. What parts of the body are these?
MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to our website. It's npr.org/puzzle and click on that Submit Your Answer link. Limit yourself to one entry per person, please. And our deadline for those entries is Thursday, February 13th 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 then you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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