RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And it's time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
RACHEL MARTIN: And I'm joined by Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel.
RACHEL MARTIN: I hear, Will, that you've got some special guests with you today.
WILL SHORTZ: Yeah. There are two camerapeople here from ESPN doing a story about me and Kai Zhang, the 18-year-old table tennis phenomenon from Beijing I'm the guardian for now. And it will air on Sports Center sometime next month.
RACHEL MARTIN: Very cool. OK, something we should look out for. With that, remind us of last week's challenge.
WILL SHORTZ: Yes, I said name a common household item in six letters. I said change the middle two letters to a P and you'll get the five-letter last name of a famous person who professionally used that item. What's the item and who's the person? Well, the item is a camera. And you change the M-E to a P and you get Frank Capra, the famous filmmaker.
I'll tell you we had over 100 people submit the answer Pectin - P-E-C-T-I-N - the chef Jacques Pepin. I was tough. I decided not to count that. First of all, I don't think pectin is that common a household item. And out of all the things the chef would use, you know, pectin is pretty small. So did not count that. Only camera to Capra.
RACHEL MARTIN: We got just over 350 correct answers. Our randomly selected winner this week is Daniel Rosenblum of Teaneck, N.J. He's on the line now. Congratulations, Daniel.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Thank you.
RACHEL MARTIN: You are the randomly selected winner. It is very exciting. How'd you figure this one out, Daniel?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: I was just going through household objects with six letters for a couple of days on and off. Obviously, not continuously. And I guess it was early Wednesday morning when I woke up that camera popped into my head. And once I had camera, of course, I had Capra. And there it was.
RACHEL MARTIN: I will cop to already knowing this. You have won the puzzle before, correct?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Yes, 16 years ago, just about to the day. It was the last Sunday of May 2000.
RACHEL MARTIN: (Laughter) Not that anyone's keeping track.
WILL SHORTZ: (Laughter).
RACHEL MARTIN: That is so cool. Do you remember the puzzle that you had to do on the air, Daniel?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: I actually do.
RACHEL MARTIN: Yeah?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: I actually had to fill in two blanks in a sentence. And the first blank had a word that did not include a letter O. And in the second blank, you had to put an O into the same word to make a new word.
RACHEL MARTIN: Yeah. Wow, OK. So, Will, we are ready to play this week's puzzle. Is it anything similar to what Daniel just described?
WILL SHORTZ: It is completely different.
RACHEL MARTIN: OK, all right. So we will exercise different parts of your brain this time, Daniel. You ready to do it?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Yes, indeed.
RACHEL MARTIN: OK, let's give it a go.
WILL SHORTZ: All right, Daniel and Rachel, take the word swill. It's found in consecutive letters of Venus Williams, bridging her first and last names. I'm going to give you some other words. For each one, you name a famous person, past or present, whose name contains it. And in each case, the word will bridge the first and last names. The dividing point is for you to discover. Number one is egret - E-G-R-E-T.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Egret. OK.
WILL SHORTZ: And what if I told you it was a famous hockey player?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: (Laughter).
RACHEL MARTIN: Oh.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: You're hitting a weak area for me.
RACHEL MARTIN: He's, like, maybe the most famous one.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Oh, Wayne - Wayne Gretzky.
RACHEL MARTIN: Yes.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Wayne Gretzky.
WILL SHORTZ: Wayne Gretzy. It comes. Good.
RACHEL MARTIN: Only hockey player I actually know. So good job. All right.
WILL SHORTZ: Number two, exhale - E-X-H-A-L-E.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: OK.
WILL SHORTZ: Where do you think this one divides?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Between the X and the H would be the obvious place.
WILL SHORTZ: That's correct. Yep, yep, yep. It's an author.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Oh, Alex Haley.
RACHEL MARTIN: Yeah, there you go.
WILL SHORTZ: Alex Haley, there you go. Lined - L-I-N-E-D. The dividing point is the E and the D.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Oh, OK. I was thinking about between the N and the E. So it's six, four - blank, blank, L-I-N-E. And then D. Oh, Celine Dion.
RACHEL MARTIN: There you go.
WILL SHORTZ: Celine Dion is it. Ragers - R-A-G-E-R-S.
: Well, it could be Ira something.
WILL SHORTZ: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
RACHEL MARTIN: Oh, it is.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Oh, it's Ira something.
RACHEL MARTIN: Yeah.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: OK, ragers. G-E-R-S. Ira - I keep thinking of Ira Glass in public radio so (laughter). Oh, Gershwin. Of course.
WILL SHORTZ: Ira Gershwin. That's right.
RACHEL MARTIN: Good.
WILL SHORTZ: All right, here you go. Drums - D-R-U-M-S.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Donald Rumsfeld.
WILL SHORTZ: Oh, that's fast.
RACHEL MARTIN: Oh, good.
WILL SHORTZ: Livers - L-I-V-E-R-S - six, five.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Oliver Stone.
WILL SHORTZ: That's it. OK, and your last one is Indies - I-N-D-I-E-S - three, six.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: I'm going to guess that that's between the N and the D.
WILL SHORTZ: Right.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: And let's see. Blank I-N, D-I-E-S, blank, blank.
RACHEL MARTIN: Oh, got it.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: So...
WILL SHORTZ: (Laughter).
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: (Laughter).
WILL SHORTZ: Action star.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: And obviously I'm not up on my action stars.
WILL SHORTZ: Maybe you just don't know him. Go ahead, Rachel.
RACHEL MARTIN: Vin Diesel.
WILL SHORTZ: Vin Diesel is it.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: OK.
RACHEL MARTIN: That one was hard. I'm going to just say it. That was hard. Daniel, you perservered. You did an excellent job. And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin - maybe you already have one - and puzzle books and games. You can read all about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And, Daniel, tell us where you hear us. What's your public radio station?
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: Public radio station - New York Public Radio, both WNYC and its classical sister station, WQXR. And I am a member and encourage other listeners to join.
RACHEL MARTIN: Go Daniel. Daniel Rosenblum of Teaneck, N.J. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Daniel. It's been great to have you.
DANIEL ROSENBLUM: My pleasure.
RACHEL MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
WILL SHORTZ: Yes, it's an unusual challenge from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. What is the most consecutive points a tennis player can lose and still win a best-of-five-sets match? There's no trick. It's a straightforward question. And the modern tennis tiebreaker rule does not come into play. So again, what is the most consecutive points a tennis player can lose and still win a best-of-five-sets match?
RACHEL MARTIN: All right. When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle and click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for those entries is Thursday, June 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number so we can reach out to you at about that time. And if you're the winner, then we call you and you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Mr. Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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