RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The bad news - yes, we lost an hour of sleep last night, the good news - longer days. Even better news - it's time for the puzzle. 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: So remind us what was the challenge from last week?
SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a city whose name ends in a long A sound in which that sound is not spelled with an A. I said change that sound to a long O, and phonetically, you'll name a famous person whose name does not contain the letter O. What city and what famous person are these?
MARTIN: All right. So what was the answer?
SHORTZ: Well, the answer is Marseille, as in France, and change that last sound, you get Marceau, as in Marcel Marceau.
MARTIN: OK. So we must have a lot of Francophiles paying the puzzle because we got more than a thousand correct answers. And the winner this week is Regina Legard of Prunedale, California. She joins us on the line now. Hey, Regina, congratulations.
REGINA LEGARD: Thank you very much.
MARTIN: So this came pretty quickly to you? What was your process?
LEGARD: Well, I had talked to my son about all of the possibilities of big cities or famous cities. And we talked about, well, it might be a French sound. And this is going to sound really silly, but we were sitting at breakfast. And the tree across the street from me is a California native oak, and I always thought that it looked like the headdress of Louis XIV.
LEGARD: And I thought this has got to be a French answer. And it just came to me, just like that.
MARTIN: No way.
MARTIN: So have you been playing our puzzle for a long time?
LEGARD: Oh, for a very long time. My husband and I listen religiously every Sunday morning. But I wanted to tell you that you picked my husband as a winner about 14 months ago.
MARTIN: No way.
LEGARD: Yes. Can you believe it?
MARTIN: The puzzle stars are aligned over your household.
LEGARD: (Laughter) I think so.
MARTIN: So Will Shortz is on the line. Do you happen to have a question for him?
LEGARD: I do. If you look at crossword puzzles, and you look at the black squares, they always look to me like they're mirror-reversed symmetry.
SHORTZ: But not mirror - usually they do have symmetry, and normally that means if you turn the grid upside-down, the pattern of black squares will look the same as it did right-side-up. And the reason for that is visual appeal. It makes the puzzle more inviting.
LEGARD: Oh, that's what it is.
MARTIN: There you have it from the man who knows.
LEGARD: I think so.
MARTIN: And with that, you ready to do this, Regina?
LEGARD: I think I am.
MARTIN: Come on. I believe you are. Let's give it a go. OK, Will.
SHORTZ: OK, here we go, Regina and Rachel. Every answer today is the name of a well-known U.S. city and its state. I've taken one or more letters from the start of the city's name plus one or more letters from the start of the state's name and run them together to spell a word. I'll give you the word. You tell me the city and state. For example, if I said latex L, A, T, E, X, and I said you're going for a six-letter city name, you would say Laredo, Texas because Laredo starts L, A and Texas starts T, E, X.
MARTIN: You got it, Regina?
LEGARD: I think so.
MARTIN: All right. Let's give it a shot.
LEGARD: Here we go.
SHORTZ: Number one is provider, and you're looking for a 10-letter city name.
MARTIN: Yep. What state is it in?
SHORTZ: Yes, and where is it?
LEGARD: Oh, Rhode Island.
SHORTZ: Rhode Island is it. Here's your next one. Colombo - C, O, L, U, M, B, O, and you're looking for an eight-letter city name.
LEGARD: Columbus, Ohio?
SHORTZ: Yeah. That's it. Chillin' - C, H, I, L, L, I, N, and it's a seven-letter city name.
LEGARD: Chillin'. Hint, people.
MARTIN: Yeah, right? So the state could be - it could start anywhere in the word.
SHORTZ: Maybe start with the first I in chillin'.
LEGARD: Chicago, Ill.?
MARTIN: Yes. There you go.
LEGARD: OK. Good.
SHORTZ: There you go. Savage - S, A, V, A, G, E, and you're looking for an eight-letter city name.
LEGARD: Savannah, Ga.
SHORTZ: Oh, that's good. Here's your next one. Mover, M, O, V, E, R - 10 letters.
LEGARD: Oh, Vermont is the state.
SHORTZ: Yes. What's the capital?
MARTIN: Yes. Good job.
SHORTZ: There you go. How about deco - D, E, C, O - six-letter city name.
LEGARD: How about the state is Colorado. Denver - Denver, Colo.
SHORTZ: Denver is it. Nice. Poor - P, O, O, R - eight-letter city name.
LEGARD: Portland, Ore.
SHORTZ: That was fast. And your last one is a liar - L, I, A, R. It's a 10-letter city name with two words in it.
SHORTZ: And it's not Arizona. Try the other AR state.
LEGARD: Oh, Arkansas. Oh, Little Rock, Ark..
SHORTZ: Little Rock, Ark. - you did it.
MARTIN: Yeah. There you go. Good job, Regina. That was well done. We did it together. For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. Go to npr.org/puzzle, and you can read all about your prizes there. And before we let you go, where do you hear us, Regina?
LEGARD: KAZU from Seaside.
MARTIN: KAZU in Seaside, Calif. Regina Legard of Prunedale, Calif. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Regina.
LEGARD: Thank you.
MARTIN: OK. Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. Take a familiar phrase in the form blank and blank. Put the second word in front of the first one, and you'll name a common part of a large company. What is it? So again, a familiar phrase in the form blank and blank. Put the second word in front of the first one, and you'll name a common part of a large company. What is it?
MARTIN: OK. When you've got the answer, go to our website. It is an npr.org/puzzle. Click on that submit your answer link, and limit yourself to one entry per person, please. Get those entries in by Thursday, March 12 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because if you're the winner, then it goes like this. We give you a call, and you 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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