Starting with 'Pa' NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's winner is Rick Brenner from Boston, Mass., who listens to Weekend Edition on NPR station WBUR in Boston. He fields questions on words starting with "pa."
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Starting with 'Pa'

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Starting with 'Pa'

Starting with 'Pa'

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Do you love this time of year as much as I do? I love it when the days are very, very long and the nights are very, very short and the weather's warm.

SHORTZ: Absolutely. It's light almost till 9:00 now in New York.

HANSEN: Ah, I just love it. And, of course, it's Father's Day and I'm assuming you have a Father's Day puzzle for us today...


HANSEN: ...although I shouldn't assume it 'cause we didn't have one for Mother's Day, right?

SHORTZ: Yeah, somehow that slipped by. Sorry about that.

HANSEN: Well, in order to get to this week's puzzle, we have to go back to the one that everyone was working on all week to be eligible to play on the air. Would you repeat it, please?

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from an old friend, Mark Penchko(ph) of Warsaw, Poland, and he gave it to me at last year's World Puzzle Championship. And I said if the word finite--F-I-N-I-T-E--is represented by the number 5910, what six-letter word is represented by 0930?

HANSEN: And you also said there were only two common words that...

SHORTZ: I said there were only two common words in English, six-letter words, that have this unusual property. It turns out there are three which I'll explain in a second, but the answer to the puzzle is zenith--Z-E-N-I-T-H. That's because the first two letters of zero are Z-E. The first two letters of nine are N-I and the first two letters of thirty are T-H, just as finite was, you know, five, nine and 10. And there's a third word that's been brought to my attention. On site can be one, six, one, zero--the O-N of one, the S-I of six and the T-E of 10. It works the same way. So three words.

HANSEN: Well, we had over 2,200 entries--that's a lot--from people who solved the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner from the correct answers is Rick Brenner from Boston, Massachusetts.

Hi, Rick.

Mr. RICK BRENNER: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How long did it take you to get this puzzle?

Mr. BRENNER: Oh, less than a minute. I don't know what happened.

HANSEN: Wow. What do you do in Boston?

Mr. BRENNER: I'm a teamwork consultant.

HANSEN: So it sounds like you're going to be good for this puzzle segment because after all you know how to work on a team, so it'll be you and me.

Mr. BRENNER: Well, I hope we'll work well together.

HANSEN: I know we will.

Mr. BRENNER: Will, meet Rick. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right. Rick and Liane, in honor of Father's Day, every answer today is a word starting with the letters P-A. I'm going to give you two words. The first one can precede the answer to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. The second word I give you can follow the answer to do the same. For example, if I said wolf and rat, you would say pack as in wolf pack and pack rat. All right? Number one is grease--G-R-E-A-S-E--and brush. Grease blank and blank brush starting with P-A.

Mr. BRENNER: Oh, gosh.

SHORTZ: Think of blank brush and the outside of your house is peeling. What do you use?

Mr. BRENNER: Paint.

SHORTZ: There you go. Grease paint and paintbrush.

HANSEN: Oh, paint. OK.

SHORTZ: You're off and running. Number two is instrument and discussion.

Mr. BRENNER: Oh, gosh.

SHORTZ: Something you watch on TV, blank discussion.

Mr. BRENNER: Panel.

SHORTZ: There you go, instrument panel...

Mr. BRENNER: Panel. Great.

SHORTZ: ...and panel discussion. Birthday and line.

Mr. BRENNER: Party.

SHORTZ: Birthday party, party line. Foster, company.

Mr. BRENNER: Foster parent.

SHORTZ: There you go, and your parent company is right. Golden, jumper.

Mr. BRENNER: Parachute.

SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. Hit--H-I-T--and route--R-O-U-T-E.

Mr. BRENNER: Parade.

SHORTZ: Hit parade and parade route. Good. Ice cream and game.

HANSEN: Parlor.

SHORTZ: There you go, Liane. You're great.


SHORTZ: Foot--F-O-O-T--and finder.

Mr. BRENNER: Path.

SHORTZ: Path is right. How about no--N-O--and lot--L-O-T?

Mr. BRENNER: No and lot. Parking.

SHORTZ: No parking and parking lot is right.

Mr. BRENNER: I should know that one.

SHORTZ: And your last one is news clip--N-E-W-S C-L-I-P. News blank, blank clip.

Mr. BRENNER: Paper.


SHORTZ: Newspaper and paper clip.

HANSEN: Oh, Rick...

SHORTZ: Great job.

HANSEN: ...well done. And you'll get some of our gifts today for playing our puzzle. You'll get the WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, volume two, and "The New York Times Will Shortz's Favorite Sunday Crossword Puzzles" from St. Martin's Press.

What's your member station? What member station do you listen to?


HANSEN: WBUR in Boston. Rick Brenner from Boston, Massachusetts, thanks for being our guest today in playing the puzzle.

Mr. BRENNER: Thank you, Liane. Thank you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot.

HANSEN: Will, now the challenge that everyone is going to be working on.

SHORTZ: Well, take the made-up phrase garage bag. It consists of two words, six and three letters respectively. The first, fifth and ninth letters are the same, a G, and the second, fourth and eighth letters are the same, an A. Can you name a well-known geographical location that has the same pattern? That is two words, six and three letters respectively. The first, fifth and ninth letters are the same and the second, fourth and eighth letters are the same just as in garage bag. What geographical place is it?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, e-mail us at Only one entry per person, please, and our deadline is Thursday, 3 PM Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time and we'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster Will Shortz. There's also information on our Web site,

Enjoy summer, Will. I'll talk to you next week. Thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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