RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
You've been stuffed and tryptophanned (ph). Now it's time to enjoy a turkey sandwich, kickback and play the Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: Joining me now as always as Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITIONS's puzzlemaster here in our D.C. studios. Hey, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Hey, Rachel. It's great to be here. We'll do the Puzzle face to face today.
MARTIN: I know. It always adds a new level of pressure. You can't - then you can see me, like, doodling and letting, you know, my mind wander when I can't figure out one of the answers, so a little more pressure on me. Why are you here, Will? What's going on?
SHORTZ: Well, it is the North American Teams Table Tennis Championships, which are taking place in National Harbor. There are something of 600 to 700 players from all over the world - China, Africa, Europe, all over the U.S. And my club has five teams. I'm competing on one of them.
MARTIN: Are you superstitious? Do you need to do something before a particular table tennis match?
MARTIN: You don't.
SHORTZ: My first term - and I can't tell you how nervous I was. My mouth was dry. I could hardly move my arm, but now I'm over that.
MARTIN: Now you're a pro, yeah, yeah, yeah. OK, so remind us of last week's Puzzle.
SHORTZ: Yes. I gave three Thanksgiving dishes and I said they have something very unusual in common - spit-roast turkey, cornbread stuffing and boiled squash. What is it? Well, the names all contain the five vowels - A, E, I, O and U - exactly once. We accepted any other food that contains all five vowels like that as a correct answer. I'll tell you the most common answer given to us was cauliflower. Do you ever have cauliflower on Thanksgiving?
MARTIN: Not usually, but we had it actually this Thanksgiving. It was delicious.
SHORTZ: There you go.
MARTIN: OK, so believe it or not, over a thousand of you sent in your answers and 600 of you got it right. Our randomly selected winner this week is Jani Lockwood of Lake Oswego, Ore. She joins us now on the line. Jani, congratulations.
JANI LOCKWOOD: Thank you so much. What a joy this is for me. Thank you.
MARTIN: We're so happy to have you. Did this take you a long time to figure out?
LOCKWOOD: About a day.
LOCKWOOD: So every Sunday I basically write out the puzzle, put it on my nightstand and I review it and this took into Monday...
LOCKWOOD: ...To get it solved.
MARTIN: So it sounds like you might have - that you may have played the Puzzle once or twice in your life.
LOCKWOOD: Oh, my dear husband and I would do it faithfully every Sunday morning. Getting ready for church, we would try to solve it before and think about it throughout the week. So this is a - just a dream come true for me to be selected. Thank you so much.
MARTIN: Oh, we're so happy to have you. OK, so, Jani, what do you think? Are you ready to play the Puzzle?
LOCKWOOD: I am, yes.
MARTIN: All right, Will, let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, Jani and Rachel, I'm going to name some categories. For each one, I'll name something in the category that closely follows the name of the category alphabetically. For example, Shakespeare plays and "Tempest." Shakespeare plays starts with S and "Tempest" is a play of Shakespeare's, which is soon after Shakespeare alphabetically. You tell me the only other thing in the category that fits between these two things alphabetically. And in the case of my example, you would say "Taming Of The Shrew" 'cause that's the only Shakespeare play that fits between Shakespeare play and "Tempest" alphabetically.
SHORTZ: Whoa is right.
LOCKWOOD: This is tough, OK.
MARTIN: All right, let's give it a shot.
SHORTZ: Number one - card suits - diamonds. What's the only card suit that fits between card and diamonds alphabetically?
LOCKWOOD: Alphabetically - my mind just went blank. OK, the only card suit that fits between card and diamond alphabetically.
SHORTZ: Yeah, I think I heard you say it.
SHORTZ: Clubs is it, good.
LOCKWOOD: OK, all right, I'm getting it. All righty.
SHORTZ: You're off and running.
MARTIN: That makes one of us. OK.
SHORTZ: Presidents - Roosevelt.
LOCKWOOD: Roosevelt, OK, so it's - it's got to come between.
MARTIN: P and R.
SHORTZ: It's got to be P, Q or R.
LOCKWOOD: P, Q or R. No, it can't be Polk. It's got to be...
SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint. It starts with R, starts with R.
LOCKWOOD: It starts with an R.
MARTIN: He's kind of a modernish kind of president.
SHORTZ: There we go, modernish, that's good.
SHORTZ: Good, bravo.
LOCKWOOD: Oh, my gosh. How could I forget that one? OK.
SHORTZ: Old Testament books.
LOCKWOOD: Old Testament books, oh I should do well on this one. OK.
LOCKWOOD: "Psalms," OK, "Proverbs."
SHORTZ: Yeah, "Proverbs" is it.
LOCKWOOD: All righty.
SHORTZ: Disney dwarfs.
LOCKWOOD: Disney dwarfs, OK.
LOCKWOOD: Dopey, that would be Doc.
SHORTZ: Doc, oh man. And here's your last one. This is my favorite, although some people are going to hate me for this. Kardashians - Kim.
LOCKWOOD: Kardashians, oh, I don't have a clue, but I'll try it, OK?
SHORTZ: Kardashians and Kim.
MARTIN: Yes, Jani.
SHORTZ: You go.
MARTIN: From the Old Testament to E! News Kardashians, you did fabulous. It was so fun to have you. For playing the puzzle today, Jani, you know that you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and all kinds of puzzle books and games. You can read about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Jani, where do you hear us?
LOCKWOOD: Oh, I listen to at 91.5 FM KOPB and I'm a proud sustaining member.
MARTIN: Oh, we're so happy to hear it. Jani Lockwood of Lake Oswego, Ore. Jani, what a pleasure. Thank you so much.
LOCKWOOD: Thank you both so much.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from listener Adam Cohen (ph) of Brooklyn. Take the name of a well-know actress, four letters in the first name, nine letters in the last. Insert a letter between the second and third letters of the first name, remove the last two letters of the last name and the result is a two word phrase that means freedom. Who is the actress and what is the phrase? So again, well-known actress, four, nine, insert a letter between the second and third letters of the first name and remove the last two letters of the last name and the result is a two-word phrase that means freedom. Who is the actress and what is the phrase?
MARTIN: OK, you know what to do. When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle, click on that submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please, and our deadline for those entries is Thursday December 3 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because it goes like this - if you're the winner, then we give you a call and you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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