LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Valentine's Day is right around the corner. And we all know love hurts. But you can always stay true to The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will Shortz is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Will, Happy Valentine's Day.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Happy Valentine's Day, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: A little early. I hear you have a big anniversary coming up - speaking of true love. This Wednesday is the 75th anniversary of The New York Times crossword.
SHORTZ: That's right. The first one was on February 15, 1942. And we're doing something special on Wednesday. We're starting a series of crosswords co-constructed by famous people who solved the Times crossword along with regular Times contributors. And the first one is co-constructed by Jesse Eisenberg, the actor.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, wow.
SHORTZ: And we have a whole series through the year planned.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. That sounds great. I'll have to take a stab at it, although I'm not very good at The New York Times version of the crossword puzzle because, at WEEKEND EDITION, ours is so much better. And so remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said, name a prominent person 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 fairy-tale figures are these? Well, the answer is frog. And if you add a stroke to the F at the bottom, you get an E. Rearrange the letters, and you get ogre.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Hmm. We received about 300 correct responses. And the winner is Louise Haskett of Indianapolis, Ind. Congratulations, Louise.
LOUISE HASKETT: Thank you very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Will, you are actually from the Indianapolis area, aren't you?
SHORTZ: Well, I'm from a town called Crawfordsville, which is about 45 minutes from Indianapolis. So, like Louise, I'm a fellow Hoosier.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Indianapolis, home to the puzzle pros.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Louise, are you ready to play The Puzzle?
HASKETT: Well, yes, I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Here we go.
SHORTZ: All right. Louise and Lulu, S.V. are the initials of St. Valentine. And they're also the initials of some other familiar, two-word phrases and names. And see if you can get them from the clues. Here's your first one. The center of the tech industry in California.
HASKETT: Silicon Valley.
SHORTZ: That's right. Number two - an unofficial ballot conducted as a test of opinion.
HASKETT: Straw vote?
SHORTZ: That's it. Poison from a viper.
HASKETT: Serpent's venom.
SHORTZ: OK - or snake venom. Saigon was its capital.
HASKETT: South Vietnam.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. An Italian phrase meaning said quietly so as not to be overheard.
HASKETT: Sotto voce? I don't speak Italian very well.
SHORTZ: Oh, you said that perfectly.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did.
SHORTZ: Lettuce, carrots, radishes, et cetera.
HASKETT: They're vegetables. Salad vegetables?
SHORTZ: And where would you put them? Salad vegetables - good. Total amount of business for a manufacturing company.
HASKETT: Lulu, it's your turn.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh (laughter) - put on the spot there. You were doing such a good job. I was like, eh, I can just sit by and listen. I have no idea.
SHORTZ: OK. Total amount of business for a - so they - a company manufactures things. And then they try to get rid of them.
HASKETT: Sales volume?
SHORTZ: Sales volume is it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Twentieth-century jazz singer who is nicknamed The Divine One.
SHORTZ: And, as you probably guessed, it's a female singer.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sarah Vaughan?
SHORTZ: Sarah Vaughan. Good, Lulu.
HASKETT: Sarah Vaughan. Of course.
SHORTZ: How about member of the Sex Pistols?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sid Vicious.
SHORTZ: Sid Vicious. Good.
HASKETT: Oh (laughter).
SHORTZ: Lulu, you know both your high culture and your low culture. I love it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) There you go.
HASKETT: Right. There you go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I would argue that Sid Vicious is high culture - just saying.
SHORTZ: I'm with you.
SHORTZ: I'm a big Sex Pistols fan myself. How about arena for example?
HASKETT: Sports venue.
SHORTZ: That's it. Extremely valuable stringed instrument from Italy.
HASKETT: Stradivarius violin.
SHORTZ: That's it. B in a set of encyclopedias.
HASKETT: Something volume.
SHORTZ: It's not A. It's B.
SHORTZ: There you go.
SHORTZ: Second volume. Nice. How about a kind of mirror on a car?
HASKETT: Side-view mirror.
SHORTZ: That's it. Pulldown item that reduces glare for a driver.
HASKETT: Sun visor?
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one - necessary paperwork for a foreigner attending an American university.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Student visa.
SHORTZ: There you go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's in the news.
SHORTZ: Two heads are better than one. Yes, student visa.
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. Louise, what member station do you listen to?
HASKETT: We are longtime sustaining members of WFYI, 90.1 in Indianapolis.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Great. Louise Haskett of Indianapolis, Ind., thank you for playing The Puzzle so well.
HASKETT: Oh, thank you very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What is the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It's an easy one, but it's pretty. And it comes from listener Michael Shteyman of Odenton, Md. Think of a word for some things commonly seen on a kitchen table. Switch the positions of the fifth and sixth letters, and read the result backward. You'll name two things commonly seen in a kitchen. What are they? So again - a word for some things commonly seen on a kitchen table. Switch the positions of the fifth and sixth letters. Read the result backward, and you'll name two things commonly seen in a kitchen. What are they?
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, February 16 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And 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 - drum roll - WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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