This Puzzle Is A Blast! This week we're playing a game based on the word "blast." Given a category, name something in the category starting with each letter: B-L-A-S-T.
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This Puzzle Is A Blast!

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This Puzzle Is A Blast!

This Puzzle Is A Blast!

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And it's time to puzzle. Today, we have one of those rare puzzle moments because here in the studio is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. Good to see you.

MARTIN: It's so exciting. It's so much more fun when you're actually in the studio. But I have to admit, it's also a little bit more pressure.

SHORTZ: Intimidating, yeah.


MARTIN: 'Cause you don't know, usually you're remote and we're doing this through the magic of radio. And I don't cheat, but I - you know, I'm drawing little things, and maybe I'm distracted from time to time. I can't do that when you're here.

SHORTZ: Don't look over here. I'm not letting you look.

MARTIN: All right. I won't see the answers. What are you doing here in town?

SHORTZ: I am competing in the North American Teams Table Tennis Championship, which is taking place here in National Harbor. Things are going well so far.

MARTIN: Oh, what does that mean?

SHORTZ: That means I beat somebody whose rating was above mine.

MARTIN: Good for you.

SHORTZ: So I'm patting myself on the back.

MARTIN: Good for you. You deserve it. OK. So remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, I said the letters in the name of a major American city can be rearranged to spell a traveling cultural museum. What is it? I said both names are solid words. Well, the answer is Baltimore. Rearrange those letters, you get artmobile.

MARTIN: So we received around 240 correct answers. Our randomly chosen winner is Jay Paulukonis of North Abington Township in Pennsylvania. He joins us on the line now. Hi, Jay.

JAY PAULUKONIS: Good morning.

MARTIN: Congratulations.

PAULUKONIS: Well, thank you very much.

MARTIN: So you live in North Abington, as we said, but we're reaching you in Skytop, Pennsylvania. Why are you there? Are you there for the holidays?

PAULUKONIS: Only marginally related to that. My wife and I do stained glass. And we are exhibiting at Skytop Lodge. The Pocono Mountains Arts Council has an annual holiday art show. We are here.

MARTIN: Wow. Very cool. So does your wife puzzle with you?

PAULUKONIS: Yes, we do this together. Sometimes we go our separate ways. She'll take one route, I'll take a different route. Her route usually ends up being more correct than mine.


MARTIN: So cop to it. Did she solve this puzzle?

PAULUKONIS: Yes. So she has to get the full credit.

MARTIN: All right. Well, it sounds like you're ready to do this. Jay, you want to play the puzzle?

PAULUKONIS: I certainly want to play. I just hope I do as well as I would if I was sitting at home.

MARTIN: Well, we're both under pressure this week so will give it ago, OK?

PAULUKONIS: All right.

MARTIN: All right, Will, let's do it.

SHORTZ: All right, Jay and Rachel. This week, I brought a game of categories based on the word blast, as in let's have a blast. I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each letter B-L-A-S-T. For example, if the category were two-syllable girls' names, you might say Betty, Louise, Alice, Sarah and Tammy. Any answer that works is fine, and you can give answers in any order. Your first category is means of transportation.






SHORTZ: Sleigh, that was not on my list. I like it.


SHORTZ: Airplane, all you need is an L.


SHORTZ: What if you were a celebrity?

PAULUKONIS: A limousine.

SHORTZ: Limousine, locomotive, liner, landau and...

MARTIN: I was going to say luge.

SHORTZ: Luge, I'm adding that to my list too.

MARTIN: Wouldn't you feel daring?

SHORTZ: All right, your next category is terms used in football.

PAULUKONIS: Football, left end.

SHORTZ: Left end, OK. Linebacker would work. Lateral. Yes.


SHORTZ: Tackle, touchdown.


SHORTZ: Safety. Nice. B and A.

PAULUKONIS: Back close enough?

SHORTZ: Back will work.

MARTIN: Sure. Block.

SHORTZ: Blitz and block. Yes. And all you need is an A.


SHORTZ: How about if you're trying to make three points, what is that?

PAULUKONIS: A field goal.

SHORTZ: A field goal what?

MARTIN: I don't know. Three points.

SHORTZ: I was going for attempt, as in a field goal attempt.

MARTIN: Oh, attempt.

PAULUKONIS: Oh, attempt.

SHORTZ: All right. Here's your last category. Things seen in a kitchen other than food.

PAULUKONIS: Oh, not food. A timer.

SHORTZ: A timer, toaster, table, yes, towel.


SHORTZ: Ladle, also linoleum if you have an old-fashioned kitchen. B, A and S.

PAULUKONIS: A strainer.

SHORTZ: Strainer, spoon, spatula, yes and sink.


SHORTZ: Baster and a bowl. All you need's an A.

PAULUKONIS: And that would be...

SHORTZ: It's not something that I use when I'm in the kitchen. Who knows, it's something you might wear?

MARTIN: Me either.


SHORTZ: An apron. Nice job.

MARTIN: Hey, Jay, that was very well done.

PAULUKONIS: It was fun.

MARTIN: And for playing the puzzle, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can read about it at

PAULUKONIS: Wonderful.

MARTIN: And before we let you go, what's your public radio station?


MARTIN: WVIA in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Jay Paulukonis of North Abington Township, Pennsylvania. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Jay.

PAULUKONIS: Well, thank you for having me and good luck in the rest of the competition, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Jay.

PAULUKONIS: All right.

MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from Ed Pegg Jr., who runs the website Bertrand Tavernier is a French director of such movies as "Life And Nothing But" and "It All Starts Today." His first name, Bertrand, is spelled B-E-R-T-R-A-N-D. And his last name, Tavernier, is T-A-V-E-R-N-I-E-R. What amazing wordplay property does the name Bertrand Tavernier have? You'll know you have the answer when you get it. And it's something even a child will understand. So again, Bertrand Tavernier, what amazing wordplay property does this name have?

MARTIN: When you have the answer, go to our website, Click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person please. And send in those entries by Thursday, December 4 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, we give you a call. And then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times, WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Mr. Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will. Great to see you.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.

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