LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Today is Easter Sunday, and I'm sure plenty of you are busy with your Easter egg hunts. But the yolks on you if you don't have the time to crack this week's Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining me, as always, is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Will, good morning.
WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Joe Young of St. Cloud, Minn. Name a well-known U.S. city in two words. Replace each of these words with a word that rhymes with it. And you'll name a large sea creature in two words. What is it? Well, the city is Santa Fe. And you do that, you get manta ray.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We got about 1,400 responses, and our winner is Bernie Cosell from Pearisburg, Va. Congratulations.
BERNIE COSELL: Thank you, very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how did you figure it out?
COSELL: My wife and I work on - work on the Sunday Puzzle together every week. And sometimes we just sit at the table and work it out. Other times, we have to spend days passing each other - you know, throwing ideas back and forth.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I take it you've been playing a long time?
COSELL: Yes, from the - from the Susan Stamberg days. We've been following the Puzzle right along.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I understand you have a question for Will.
COSELL: Well, yeah, I did. I was wondering how many crossword submissions you get each week. You only get to run seven crosswords a week...
COSELL: ...And I figure you must get an awful lot of submissions.
SHORTZ: Well, that's a good question - and this is for The New York Times. I get about 75 to a hundred submissions a week.
SHORTZ: Everyone get - everyone gets looked at, and everyone gets an answer. And I'll tell you something - while we're talking about The Times Crossword - I'll tell you something very cool. You know, we're running celebrity collaborations all year long because this is our 75th anniversary. And we have a puzzle by Bill Clinton coming up next month.
COSELL: Oh, cool...
SHORTZ: So that will be very cool.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We have our own celebrity on today. It's Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR's quiz show Ask Me Another. Good morning, Ophira.
OPHIRA EISENBERG: Good morning. Thanks so much, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So do you play the Puzzle?
EISENBERG: Do I play the Puzzle? I try to play the Puzzle, but you know what I love the best, are - listening to people play the Puzzles so well.
EISENBERG: It is always refreshing to hear smart people.
COSELL: That's funny, me too.
EISENBERG: (Laughter) Yeah, exactly.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Ophira, you'll be Bernie's lifeline. You're here to provide hints or words of encouragement when needed. Bernie, when you need - you don't know the answer, Ophira's here to chip in. But it is you. You are the one on the line here, OK?
COSELL: Lucky me. Let's go.
SHORTZ: All right, Bernie and Ophira. I'm going to name some categories. For each one, I'll name something in the category that closely follows the name of the category alphabetically. For example, if I said Shakespeare plays and "Tempest," you tell me the only other thing in the category that fits between these two things alphabetically. And, in the case of this example, you'd say "Taming Of The Shrew" - that fits between Shakespeare and "Tempest."
COSELL: Yeah, sure, I would. OK.
EISENBERG: Easy, yeah, great, sure.
SHORTZ: Good luck. Number one - days of the week, Monday.
EISENBERG: Bernie, you can do this.
SHORTZ: Friday fits between days and Monday. Good job. Number two - Beatles, John.
COSELL: Beatles, John - George.
SHORTZ: That is it. Nobel prize categories, physics.
SHORTZ: That's too early alphabetically.
COSELL: Oh, yeah, physics.
SHORTZ: It has to be between Nobel and physics.
EISENBERG: I would say, think about something that makes us all feel warm inside.
SHORTZ: Oh, nice clue.
EISENBERG: You know, just give it a chance. Bernie, give it a chance.
SHORTZ: (Laughter) That's a second clue. That's good...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Ophira, what is it?
EISENBERG: In this case, it's peace.
SHORTZ: Yeah, the Peace Prize.
COSELL: Oh, good heaven.
SHORTZ: Provinces of Canada, Saskatchewan.
COSELL: Ontario. Oh no, that's before...
SHORTZ: Nope, that's too early alphabetically.
COSELL: And it's not Prince Edward Island - working my way down.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Ophira, you got a hint?
EISENBERG: I do. Bonjour.
SHORTZ: Oh, good hint.
COSELL: Oh, Quebec.
SHORTZ: Quebec is it. Signs of the zodiac, Virgo.
SHORTZ: Good. And your last one is baseball positions, centerfield.
SHORTZ: Catcher. Oh, great job. And, Ophira, those are good hints, too...
EISENBERG: Wow. I mean, you - Bernie, your speed in those last ones was incredible.
COSELL: I just got lucky for a while.
EISENBERG: It was great.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, you did a great job. And 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. What member station do you listen to?
COSELL: WVTF in Roanoke.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Bernie, thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
COSELL: Thank you, very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ophira, thank you for playing the Puzzle. What was it like to be doing this version of a quiz show?
EISENBERG: It's nerve-racking. I feel like I just wanted to be there for Bernie. I felt very, you know, committed to the fact that I wanted to at least help him once. But, you know, when you have such great players, it's a joy - it's a joy.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's a joy. And you gave great clues, I have to say...
EISENBERG: Thank you - thank you (laughter).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right, Will, what is the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, spoonerism is when you change the initial consonant sounds of two words in a phrase to get a new phrase. For example, Tames Jaylor is a spoonerism of the singer James Taylor. And Spark Mitz is a spoonerism of the swimmer Mark Spitz. The name of what famous entertainer - first and last names - has a two-word spoonerism meaning a runny variety of cheese? So that's the question. The name of what famous entertainer - first and last names - has a two-word spoonerism meaning a runny variety of cheese?
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. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 13 at 3 p.m. Eastern. So 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, and our special guest of the week. Will, Ophira, thanks so much.
EISENBERG: Thank you, so much.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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