LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
The Patriots and the Falcons are getting ready to clash tonight at the Super Bowl. But we know what the real test of will is. Of course, it's The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will Shortz is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.
Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu. I like that test of Will, yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Test of Will, did you like that?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We're pretty clever here on WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY.
It is the Super Bowl tonight. I have a question - is there a Super Bowl equivalent in the puzzle world? Do all the puzzlemasters get together or all the puzzle players get together and sort of bash it out?
SHORTZ: Well, I can think of two things. One is I direct the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which is coming up at the end of March. And then there's the National Puzzlers' League convention in July.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ah, so there is something similar.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I like it. Remind us of last week's puzzle.
SHORTZ: Yeah so I said take six different letters of the alphabet, repeat them in the same order. Then repeat them in the same order again, making 18 letters altogether. And finally, add T, E, B, A, S, K, E, T at the end. And if you have the right letters, and you spaced them appropriately, you'll get a sensible sentence.
What is it? Well, whether it was sensible or not is a matter of opinion. But my answer was her washer was her wastebasket. And I'm imagining a woman with a clothes washer with an open top that she drops trash in. And there we go.
We have another...
SHORTZ: We had another answer - o, new as one was one wastebasket. I don't know, not bad.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 300 correct responses. And the winner is Steve Marks of Princeton, NJ.
Hey Steve. Nice job.
STEVE MARKS: Thank you very much. It's such a pleasure to be here and to be on this program today.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, it's for us as well. So tell us how you solved the puzzle.
MARKS: Well, we have a consortium of my wife, myself and one of our sons, and we try and figure it out every week. And of course, the question was, obviously, what would go to work with the T-E-B basket (ph)? So we tried - I tried wastebasket, cute (ph) basket, hoop basket...
MARKS: ...all sorts of baskets. And finally, we hit upon the acceptable answer.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So tell me, what do you do in lovely Princeton?
MARKS: Oh, I'm kind of semi-retired. I work part-time with a local newspaper. It comes out once a week. It's called Town Topics. And I work with the layout and composition of the paper on a weekly basis.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So a fellow media person, I like it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And are you planning on watching the Super Bowl tonight?
MARKS: No, I'm afraid I'm going to miss it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Not a football fan but, Steve, clearly a puzzle fan - are you ready to play The Puzzle?
MARKS: I'm raring to go.
SHORTZ: Oh, I like that.
All right, Steve and Lulu, every answer today is a word containing the letters of super, S-U-P-E-R, plus one or two other letters. For example, if I said super plus C to make a tree with cones, you would say spruce. So here's number one.
SHORTZ: Super plus U to make follow, as the police would a criminal.
SHORTZ: That's right. Super plus H to make a drug dealer.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Super plus T, as in Thomas, to make explodes.
MARKS: Super plus T. Oh gosh, I'm blanking on this one. Lulu, can you help me with it?
SHORTZ: Explodes like a volcano.
MARKS: Oh - (laughter).
MARKS: It's on the tip of my...
SHORTZ: Erupts, there you got it.
SHORTZ: All right.
SHORTZ: Super plus E to make read, R - E - A - D.
MARKS: Read? Oh, read. OK, to peruse.
SHORTZ: Peruse is it. Super plus T, as in Thomas, to get some sleep before a big event. And it's a two-word phrase.
MARKS: Can you give me a hint?
SHORTZ: Yeah, you've got something big coming up, like a big athletic competition, and you get some sleep or you lie in bed. And what do you do in two words?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I guess, rest...
SHORTZ: You rest up. You rest up for the event. That's it.
MARKS: Oh, rest up. OK.
SHORTZ: All right. Super plus C and W to make a big mistake.
MARKS: Screw up.
SHORTZ: Screw up is it. And here's your last one, super plus M and T, M and Mary and T as in Thomas, to get a really hard puzzle.
MARKS: (Laughter) Oh boy, it's a really hard one.
SHORTZ: Yeah, it starts with an S.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, I'm stumped.
SHORTZ: It's a stumper.
MARKS: Stumper (laughter).
SHORTZ: There you go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.
Steve, what member station do you listen to?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Steve Marks of Princeton, NJ, thanks for playing The Puzzle.
MARKS: Thank you very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name a prominent figure in a fairy tale. Write this in all capital letters. Add a stroke to one letter, and rearrange the result, you'll name another prominent figure in a fairy tale. What two fairy tale figures are these?
So again, prominent figure in a fairy tale, write it in all caps, add a stroke to one letter, rearrange the result, and you'll name another prominent figure in a fairy tale. What fairy tale figures are these?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, Feb 9, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call, and you'll 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 a lot, Lulu.
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