5 Letters With Which To Play, Here's A Puzzle To Blow You Away This week's puzzle lets you create categories based on the word "winds" in honor of March's fierce winds.
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5 Letters With Which To Play, Here's A Puzzle To Blow You Away

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5 Letters With Which To Play, Here's A Puzzle To Blow You Away

5 Letters With Which To Play, Here's A Puzzle To Blow You Away

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Whoa, sorry, that's not right. You caught us binging on the new season of "House Of Cards." And besides the GOP presidential debate, there is just one thing that can tear me away from Frank Underwood. Let's play the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: I understand you've got something going on in the world of puzzling you'd like to share, another tournament?

SHORTZ: Well, it's just month away from the 39th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. It's in Stamford, Conn., April 1 through 3. And a special event this year is a giant puzzle escape room.

MARTIN: This is where you're trapped in a room with your friends and you've got to get out, and it's crazy.

SHORTZ: Right. And in this case, it'll be several hundred people trying to escape.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: Not how I want to spend my free time, but no judgment to everyone who does. All right, remind me - what was last week's on-air challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, I asked for two eight-letter terms in math that are anagrams of each other. I said one is from geometry, the other is from calculus. And the answer was triangle and integral.

MARTIN: We got 1,965 correct answers this week. Our randomly-selected winner is Makena Dyer of Honolulu, Hawaii. He joins me now on the line. Makena, congratulations.

MAKENA DYER: Thank you.

MARTIN: Do you do a lot of puzzling in your life? Do you like puzzles?

DYER: Oh, I love puzzles. I love doing The New York Times crossword puzzle. I love playing bar trivia. I love doing all sorts of wordplay.

MARTIN: Cool. Let's put it to the test. Are you ready to play the puzzle, Makena?

DYER: Absolutely.

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

SHORTZ: All right, Makena and Rachel. Today, I brought a game of categories based on the word winds because the month of March is known for having fiercest winds. I'm going to give you a series of categories. For each one, name something in it starting with each of the letters W, I, N, D and S. For example, if the category were two-syllable girls' names, you might say Wilma, Ingrid, Nancy, Donna and Suzanne. Any answer that works is fine, and you can give the answers in any order. Your first category is U.S. states.

DYER: Wyoming, Indiana, Nebraska, Delaware, South Dakota.

SHORTZ: Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. All right, category two is things set on a table at a restaurant.

DYER: Water.

SHORTZ: Yes.

DYER: I can't think of an I one, let me come back to it. Napkin.

SHORTZ: Good.

DYER: Dish, spoon.

SHORTZ: Good.

DYER: So let me think of an I one.

SHORTZ: The I is the toughest one, and sometimes it's set at the side of the table rather than on the table.

MARTIN: It might be in your water.

DYER: Oh, ice. I mean, it's not right on the table, but yeah - I mean, it would be found there, yeah.

MARTIN: Is that what you were looking for?

SHORTZ: I was going for an ice bucket.

MARTIN: Oh, ice bucket. That's more specific.

DYER: Oh, ice bucket, right. OK, yeah.

SHORTZ: All right, here's your next one - birds.

DYER: Wren - I'll come back to the I - Nene goose. That's the state bird of Hawaii.

SHORTZ: That's the state bird of Hawaii, congratulations.

DYER: Yeah. D - let me think about that. S would be swallow. So the I - oh, an ibis.

SHORTZ: Ibis is good. All you need is a D.

DYER: And then duck.

SHORTZ: Duck.

MARTIN: Great.

SHORTZ: Duck and dodo. Boom, boom, boom. All right, your next one - one-word movie titles.

DYER: Let me come back to the W. I - let's see, I - "Ishtar."

SHORTZ: "Ishtar."

DYER: N would be - yeah, good classic movie.

MARTIN: Yeah.

DYER: N would be - I'm stuck. This is a tough one.

MARTIN: This is hard.

DYER: I'll come back to that one. D - "Drive."

SHORTZ: "Drive" is good, yeah.

DYER: S would be "Spotlight."

SHORTZ: "Spotlight" is it, good. All you need's a W and an N.

DYER: W - "Wings."

SHORTZ: "Wings" is good.

MARTIN: Great.

SHORTZ: And an N. How about Hitchcock?

DYER: '"Notorious."

SHORTZ: There you go.

MARTIN: Wow.

SHORTZ: All right, your last category is words containing the letter Z.

DYER: Wizard. I'll come back to the I, and I'll come back to the N. D would be doze, and then S would be size. So I need I and N, right? OK.

SHORTZ: Right, right.

DYER: Influenza.

SHORTZ: Influenza, yes. And an N?

DYER: Nozzle.

MARTIN: Great.

SHORTZ: Nozzle. Boom, boom, boom. Nice job.

MARTIN: Man, Makena, that was awesome. Well done.

DYER: Oh, thank you, thank you.

MARTIN: That was very impressive, I have to say. For playing the puzzle, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin. You also get puzzle books and games. You can check out your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And where do you hear us, Makena? What's your public radio station?

DYER: KHPR Hawaii Public Radio.

MARTIN: Makena Dyer of Honolulu, Hawaii. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Makena.

DYER: Thank you.

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

SHORTZ: Yes. The challenge comes from listener Donna Bass of Lake Forest, Ill. Bail, nail and mail - that's B-A-I-L, N-A-I-L, and M-A-I-L - are three four-letter words that differ only by their first letters. And those first letters - B, N, and M - happen to be adjacent on a computer keyboard. Can you think of five four-letter words that have the same property? That is, they're identical except for their first letters with those first letters being adjacent on the keyboard. All five words must be ones that everyone knows. Capitalized words and plurals are not allowed. What words are they?

MARTIN: When you've figured it out, go to npr.org/puzzle and click on the submit-your-answer link. Just one entry per person, please, and get those entries in by Thursday, March 10 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And it goes like this. If you're the winner, then we give you a call and then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.

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