Our Cup of 'T' Runneth Over NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. (This week's winner is Jonathan Black from Brockport, N.Y. He listens to Weekend Edition on member station WXXI in Rochester, N.Y.)
NPR logo

Our Cup of 'T' Runneth Over

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4970455/4970456" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Our Cup of 'T' Runneth Over

Our Cup of 'T' Runneth Over

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4970455/4970456" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

JOHN YDSTIE, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm John Ydstie.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, John. Welcome back to the show.

YDSTIE: Thank you very much. It's nice to be here. How's autumn in New York this year?

SHORTZ: Well, none of the tree--leaves really aren't turning--changing yet.

YDSTIE: They aren't, still?

SHORTZ: Yeah.

YDSTIE: It's not quite autumn yet?

SHORTZ: It's a late--has been a nice, warm fall.

YDSTIE: Mm-hmm. Remind us of the challenge that you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Mike Reiss, who's a writer and producer for "The Simpsons" TV show. I said take the phrase `Baby Barb.' It has the same cryptogram pattern as Alan Alda. And I said, the question is: The name of what famous TV personality has the same cryptogram pattern as Words Work?

YDSTIE: Mm-hmm. And the answer?

SHORTZ: The answer is Judge Judy.

YDSTIE: Judge Judy. And we actually had over 600 entries from people who solved the puzzle, and our winner, randomly selected from those who provided the correct answer, is Jonathan Black(ph) from Brockport, New York.

Hello, Jonathan. Welcome to the show.

Mr. JONATHAN BLACK (Listener): Hello, John.

YDSTIE: Where is Brockport?

Mr. BLACK: Brockport is a suburb of Rochester, New York.

YDSTIE: What do you do up in Brockport or Rochester?

Mr. BLACK: I work at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and I'm a facilities maintenance manager.

YDSTIE: Uh-huh. And you're a puzzle person.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

YDSTIE: Well, I'm not a real puzzle person. How did you solve this last challenge that Will gave us?

Mr. BLACK: I got a little help from the Internet, frankly. You know, there's some puzzle-solving tools out there and, you know, I had to use one of them, frankly.

YDSTIE: Uh-huh. And are you ready to match wits with Will?

Mr. BLACK: Oh, I don't think I'm much of a match for Will, but I'll give it my best shot.

YDSTIE: Well, Will, meet Jonathan. And let's play, but keep it clean. Nothing below the belt, OK, Will?

SHORTZ: OK, nothing below the belt.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Jonathan and John--yeah, I don't let you off the hook, either.

YDSTIE: All right.

SHORTZ: Every answer today is a familiar phrase in the form `blank of blank,' where the first word starts with the letter T, like `truth of the matter.' I'll tell you what follows the `of'; you tell me the first word. For example, if I said, `the matter,' you would say, `truth.' All right? Number one is: the shrew.

Mr. BLACK: Taming.

SHORTZ: Taming is right. Number two is: the screw.

Mr. BLACK: Turning.

SHORTZ: "Turn of the Screw."

Mr. BLACK: "Turn of the Screw."

SHORTZ: The morning.

Mr. BLACK: Top?

SHORTZ: Top of the morning is right. The iceberg.

Mr. BLACK: Tip?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. The Sierra Madre.

Mr. BLACK: Treasure?

SHORTZ: Excellent. The trade.

Mr. BLACK: Tools?

SHORTZ: Yes, or also tricks, either way. The Unknown Soldier.

Mr. BLACK: Tomb?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. The town.

Mr. BLACK: T--oh, `of the town.' Oh, my. Talk? Talk of the town?

SHORTZ: Talk of the town; also, toast of the town, either way. The D'Urbervilles.

Mr. BLACK: Tess?

SHORTZ: "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" is right. Contents.

Mr. BLACK: Table?

SHORTZ: Table of contents is right. Roses.

Mr. BLACK: Tournament?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. War.

Mr. BLACK: War. Something of war--oh, my. Wow. Can I buy a vowel?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: It's just--three-letter word.

Mr. BLACK: Oh...

SHORTZ: Blank of war.

Mr. BLACK: Oh. Wow.

SHORTZ: And it's a game. It's a game.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, tug-of-war.

SHORTZ: Tug-of-war is right. How about bricks?

Mr. BLACK: Ton of bricks?

SHORTZ: Ton of bricks. Fate, F-A-T-E.

Mr. BLACK: Twist?

SHORTZ: Twist of fate. Thought.

Mr. BLACK: Thought. Wow.

SHORTZ: Something you don't want interrupted.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, train of thought.

SHORTZ: Train of thought is right. Capricorn.

Mr. BLACK: Capricorn. Tropic.

SHORTZ: Tropic. An eye, E-Y-E. An eye.

Mr. BLACK: Of an eye?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, boy. Twinkle of--no, not twinkle...

SHORTZ: Yeah, I'll give you that. Twinkle, or twinkling of an eye.

Mr. BLACK: Twinkling of a eye? OK.

SHORTZ: Either way. And your last one is a special case because there are two words that precede the `of,' and they both start with the letter T.

Mr. BLACK: Oh. Mm-hmm.

SHORTZ: And your clue is Israel.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, boy, 10 tribes.

SHORTZ: Yeah, but two more...

Mr. BLACK: Twelve tribes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Twelve tribes of Israel is right.

YDSTIE: There you go.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, man!

SHORTZ: Nice work.

YDSTIE: Very good.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, thank you. Thank you.

YDSTIE: Jonathan, you were prime. That was great.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, thank you. I really enjoyed playing with you.

YDSTIE: Well, for playing our puzzle today, Jonathan, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and the 11th Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Bros., "The Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, Volume 2, and three "Sudoku Wordless Crossword Puzzle" books presented by Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press. Jonathan, what member station do you listen to up there in Brockport?

Mr. BLACK: Well, in Rochester it's WXXI and in Geneva it's WEOS. I had to plug them because my brother's the manager of that radio station.

YDSTIE: Well, excellent. Although, I don't know--maybe that disqualifies you now.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, no!

(Soundbite of laughter)

YDSTIE: Nah, we're not sticklers for that kind of thing here.

Mr. BLACK: I hope not.

YDSTIE: Well, thanks, Jonathan.

Mr. BLACK: Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

YDSTIE: Jonathan Black from Brockport, New York.

Now, Will, what's the mind-twisting challenge that you've got for us this week?

SHORTZ: Well, take the name Eli, E-L-I; put three letters in front of it and the same three letters in reverse order after it, to complete a familiar two-word phrase in nine letters. What is it? And here's a hint: The answer is something this puzzle has. So, again, Eli, E-L-I. Put three letters in front of it and the same three letters in reverse order after it to complete familiar two-word phrase in nine letters. What phrase is it?

YDSTIE: And when you have the answer, e-mail us at puzzle@npr.org. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3 PM Eastern time. And please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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 at npr.org. And while you're there, you can sign up for NPR's downloadable Sunday puzzle podcast. Simply visit our Web site, npr.org, and click on NPR Podcast to learn how. Subscribe and the puzzle will be delivered to your computer or MP3 player every week.

Well, thanks a lot, Will. That was fun.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, John.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.