ALEX TREBEK: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Alex Trebek.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Yes, that Alex Trebek. Stay tuned. My interview with the esteemed "Jeopardy!" host is coming up in few moments after I do my weekly two-bit impersonation of a game show host. Let's play the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: I don't know what I was trying to do. I was trying to be Bob Barker but - and maybe Alex Trebek. I don't - I don't know what that was. Pat Sajak. Anyway, bad - bad impersonation. Do you watch a lot of TV game shows? You're going to say no because you don't watch TV. But come on, I feel like that might be your sweet spot.
SHORTZ: I used to. I used to. I grew up on "Jeopardy!". Loved it, way back in the Art Fleming days. You know, they actually had a contest in 1963, '64, I think, to submit your own "Jeopardy" board of questions, which I did. And I hoped I would be the young winner.
MARTIN: Yeah, you were not?
MARTIN: Alas. Things have turned out OK for you. My favorites - "$25,000 Pyramid," Dick Clark - that was awesome. Also, I can't remember the guy's name, but "Press Your Luck." That was the best. No whammies, no whammies. Anyone?
MARTIN: No whammies. I'm getting nothing from people. OK. All right, so let's play our own little game show. Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said name something in eight letters that's usually bought in pairs. Change the second letter to the letter two spaces later in the alphabet and you'll name something else that's usually bought in pairs. Both words are plurals. What are they? Well, the intended answer was sneakers and speakers. Amazingly - I say amazingly for a puzzle with this specific instructions - there was a good alternative, slippers and snippers. So we accepted both of those.
MARTIN: Cool. So we got more than 1,900 correct answers to this one. Our randomly selected winner is Gordie Sands of Sharon, Mass. He's on the line now. Gordie, congratulations.
GORDIE SANDS: Yes, hello. Thank you.
MARTIN: Did you figure it out pretty fast?
SANDS: Pretty quickly. Yeah, it just sort of came to me as I was picturing my closet starting with clothing. And it just came right into my head.
MARTIN: Cool. You've been playing for a long time, our weekly puzzle?
SANDS: Yes. I think from the very beginning, back in the old postcard days...
MARTIN: Good old postcards.
SANDS: ...Probably somewhere around 28, 29 years ago.
MARTIN: Did we keep any of those postcards? Like, we talk about these mythical postcard days, but I have yet to see any evidence that they existed. I wish we could find some in this building. I'll look around for them. So are you ready, Gordie, to do this?
SANDS: Yes, absolutely. Let's do it.
MARTIN: Will, let's play the puzzle.
SHORTZ: All right, Gordie and Rachel. I'm going to give you some words. Ignore the vowels. The consonants in each word are the same consonants in the same order as in the name of a well-known American city. You name the cities. For example, if I said dollies - D-O-L-L-I-E-S - six-letter answer, you would say Dallas 'cause the consonants in dollies are D, L, L and S, and those are the same consonants in Dallas.
SHORTZ: Number one, told, T-O-L-D. And you're looking for a six-letter city.
SHORTZ: Toledo is it. Lips, L-I-P-S. Six letters, two-word name.
SANDS: Los Pasos? No.
MARTIN: Los Pasos.
SHORTZ: That would - I don't know that.
MARTIN: Where the heck is that?
SHORTZ: That wouldn't be six letters anyway.
MARTIN: You're making things up, Gordie.
SANDS: Yes, I know. It's a terrible habit.
MARTIN: (Laughter) You just deliver it with confidence and then maybe you can get Will to accept...
SANDS: El Paso. How about El Paso?
MARTIN: El Paso.
SHORTZ: El Paso. We'll go with El Paso. Bloodier, B-L-O-O-D-I-E-R, seven letters.
SHORTZ: That's it. Baffle, B-A-F-F-L-E, seven.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Relined, R-E-L-I-N-E-D, seven letters.
SANDS: What would that be?
MARTIN: R, L, N, D.
SHORTZ: Yeah. All right, here's your hint. Florida.
SHORTZ: Orlando is it. Lotion, L-O-T-I-O-N, seven. And it's in Pennsylvania.
SANDS: Oh, yeah. Let's see. Altoona.
SHORTZ: Altoona, good.
MARTIN: Whoa, good job.
SHORTZ: Diet Rite, D-I-E-T-R-I-T-E, seven.
SANDS: Detroit, looks like.
SHORTZ: Detroit is it. And here's your last one. No charge, nine letters.
SANDS: N, C, H, G.
SHORTZ: R, G. Don't forget the R.
SANDS: Oh, there we go. OK.
SHORTZ: Big hint, Alaska.
SHORTZ: Anchorage is it.
MARTIN: That was fun.
SANDS: Yeah, that was great.
MARTIN: Yeah, you did great, Gordie. And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can check out your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before I let you go, where do you hear us?
SANDS: On WBUR. Great radio station.
MARTIN: Indeed it is. Gordie Sands of Sharon, Mass. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Gordie.
SANDS: Thanks. It's been such a pleasure.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's a tricky challenge from Sandy Weisz of Chicago. Take the name of a famous musical. Write it in upper- and lowercase letters as you usually would. Now turn one of the letters upside down and move it to another place in the title. And the result will be the last name of a well-known stage performer. What's the musical and who's the performer? So again, a famous musical, write it in upper- and lowercase, turn one of the characters upside down and move it to a different place in the title and you'll get the name of a well-known stage performer. What's the musical and who's the performer?
MARTIN: You know what to do. When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle. Click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person please. And our deadline for those entries is Thursday, April 21 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, then we call you and then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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