RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
It is countdown to turkey time. And along with all the food, maybe you're looking forward to watching a little football on Thanksgiving. But may I suggest making time at this very moment for WEEKEND EDITION's favorite full-contact sport, the puzzle?
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MARTIN: Joining me now, as always, is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Hey there, Will, good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK, I happen to know that you're not a big TV watcher. But I'm telling you, you might want to check out a certain show called "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." Have you heard of this?
SHORTZ: I've heard of it, haven't seen it yet, though.
MARTIN: All right. So it's this cop show. I think it's really funny. It stars Andy Samberg from "SNL." And let me just say, they must be fans of yours. So I'm going to play you a clip. And I should set this up. Andy Samberg plays a police officer named Jake. He gets put on this case with his girlfriend, who's also a cop. Their captain is concerned about the two of them working together. And they're telling him not to worry. Listen to the clip.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BROOKLYN NINE-NINE")
ANDY SAMBERG: (As Jake Peralta) There's no personal issues here. We've never even had a fight.
MELISSA FUMERO: (As Amy Santiago) It's true. Our only close call was when Jake didn't know who Will Shortz was.
ANDRE BRAUGHER: (As Captain Ray Holt) Really? Never heard of the puzzle master. This is who you want to be with?
MARTIN: Will, you got a shout out.
MARTIN: Very cool.
SHORTZ: That is so cool.
MARTIN: (Laughter). Any requests into you yet to be a guest on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"?
SHORTZ: Not yet. But I'll tell you, I am a - I am a member of the Screen Actors Guild. So...
MARTIN: So there you go. So remind us of last week's puzzle.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a word that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together, like canopy. That contains N-O-P. And it said change these three letters to one new letter to make a synonym of the first word. What words are these? Well, my answer was defeat to beat. Changing the D-E-F to a B. We had a couple of alternative answers. There was one I think I like even more than mine. It's a astutist to aptist, changing S-T-U to a P. That is just brilliant.
MARTIN: High praise from the puzzle master. So close to 400 of you sent in correct answers. Our randomly selected winner is Beth Pressler of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. She joins us on the line now. Hey, Beth, congratulations.
BETH PRESSLER: Thank you, Rachel.
MARTIN: How did you figure this one out?
PRESSLER: Well, I started out by putting the alphabet at the top of my page. And I just looked at all the letters that could possibly go together. And I came up with defeat and beat.
MARTIN: There you go, sounds completely rational. Well done.
PRESSLER: Thank you.
MARTIN: So you ready to do this?
PRESSLER: I am.
MARTIN: All right, a woman who sounds ready. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: Beth and Rachel, I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence contains two words that have homophones that are opposites. For example, if I said, actress Susan Dey dressed up as a knight on Halloween, you would say Dey and knight because those words have homophones of D-A-Y and N-I-G-H-T, which are opposites.
MARTIN: Oh, my gosh.
PRESSLER: Got it.
MARTIN: OK, look at you. You're like, yes, got it. OK.
PRESSLER: I hope.
MARTIN: I'll catch up. I'll catch up. Yeah, let's do it.
SHORTZ: Number one, singer Frankie Valley couldn't wait to peek at the song lyrics.
PRESSLER: Valley and peek?
SHORTZ: There you go. Number two, the worker pulled some branches of yews up to his waist.
PRESSLER: Braches of yew, waist...
SHORTZ: You've got the right two words there.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh, and?
PRESSLER: And waist?
SHORTZ: Uh-huh, yeah, as in U-S-E and W-A-S-T-E.
MARTIN: Oh, got it.
SHORTZ: You got it.
PRESSLER: OK, got it.
SHORTZ: Your next one, the band's music was so loud, I couldn't hear their lyrics.
PRESSLER: Rachel, I need a hand.
MARTIN: This is hard. I'm not... I'm not...
SHORTZ: Yeah, surprisingly hard. It's - it's - both words are near the end of the sentence.
MARTIN: Can you say it again, Will?
PRESSLER: Yeah, one more time.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. The band's music was so loud, I couldn't hear their lyrics.
PRESSLER: Loud and hear?
SHORTZ: Well, hear is one of them. What's the opposite of here, as in H-E-R-E?
MARTIN: I think I got it, if you couldn't tell with that big, audible sigh. (Laughter). Is it their? Hear and their?
SHORTZ: Yeah, hear and their, as in hear their lyrics.
PRESSLER: Oh, OK. OK, got it.
SHORTZ: And here's your last one. At many stores now, you can pay by cell phone.
MARTIN: It must be by.
SHORTZ: It's by. What's the opposite of buy?
SHORTZ: There you go, by cell phone. Nice job.
PRESSLER: There you go.
MARTIN: It took me a while to start thinking in the way that was helpful. That was hard.
PRESSLER: For sure.
MARTIN: (Laughter). For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and all kinds of other cool prizes. You can read about them at npr.org/puzzle. And where do you hear us, Beth? What's your public radio station?
PRESSLER: I listen to you on WUOM here in Ann Arbor and WDET in Detroit.
MARTIN: Great. Beth Pressler of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Beth.
PRESSLER: Thank you.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, this week's Thanksgiving challenge comes from listener Dan Pitt, of Palo Alto, Calif. And it's not very hard. The following three Thanksgiving dishes have something very unusual in common, spit-roast turkey, cornbread stuffing, boiled squash. What is it they have in common, and can you name one other thing that might be served at Thanksgiving dinner that has the same property? So again, spit-roast turkey, cornbread stuffing, boiled squash. What is it that these three foods have in common, and what other thing might be served at Thanksgiving that has the same property?
MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on that submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for these entries is Wednesday, November 25 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'll give you a call. And then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editors 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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