On the Tip of Your Tongue? Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's winner is Derek Teare from Grantham, N.H. He listens to Weekend Edition on five different public radio stations.
NPR logo

On the Tip of Your Tongue?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5389295/5389296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
On the Tip of Your Tongue?

On the Tip of Your Tongue?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5389295/5389296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzle Master): Hi, Liane. Welcome back from the White House Correspondents Dinner.

HANSEN: Thank you.

Mr. SHORTZ: How was it?

HANSEN: It was great. One of the things I did on my vacation, I wanted to also mention that I visited KQED out in San Francisco. But the White House Correspondence Dinner is like going to the prom in Washington. You know, it's the senior class, everybody's there: generals, politicians and all of this. But it was a fun dinner. And it's very interesting, also, to meet all of the journalists who cover the White House, and their guests. It was fun. It was the prom. What can I tell you? I got my prom picture.

Mr. SHORTZ: And you were dressed to the nines, I bet.

HANSEN: To the nines, as it were. For someone in radio, that's really hard. But it was great fun. It was great fun. Now, you had fun last week with Don Gonia(ph)...

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: ...playing the puzzle. It was an all dog all the time puzzle. But you gave an interesting challenge from out old pay Merl Reagal for everyone to work on this past week. Repeat that for us.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, I said take the word formaldehyde, rearrange its 12 letters to spell two shorter words that are un-capitalized and very common. And I said each of them has just one syllable. I said not counting a slight variation, we think the answer is unique. What is it?

HANSEN: What is it?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, one of the words is rhymed, R-H-Y-M-E-D. The other word can be either loafed or foaled.

HANSEN: Ah. Wow. Well, a lot of people knew what you were talking about. We had over 1,400 entries from people that tried to solve the puzzle and our winner, randomly selected from the correct answers, is Derek Teare from Grantham, New Hampshire. Hi, Derek.

Mr. DEREK TEARE (Winner of Sunday Puzzle): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: And what do you do in New Hampshire?

Mr. TEARE: Oh, I'm long retired. I was a research engineer in the Boston area for 38 years.

HANSEN: Wow. How long have you been playing The Puzzle?

Mr. TEARE: Certainly, since about '98.

HANSEN: Have you been sending in entries?

Mr. TEARE: Oh, lot's of times.


Mr. TEARE: Yes, but lightening only strikes once.

HANSEN: Yeah, I know. Well it struck this week, didn't it? And you're ready to play, I can tell?

Mr. TEARE: I hope so.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, please meet Derek. Let's play.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Derek. Every answer today is a familiar phrase or title in the form, blank on the blank. I'm going to give you the end of the phrase, you tell me the start. For example, if I said cake, you would say icing, as in icing on the cake.

Mr. TEARE: Yes.

Mr. SHORTZ: And as a hint, I'll tell you the answer is always a noun. Number one is cob, C-O-B.

Mr. TEARE: Corn.

Mr. SHORTZ: Corn-on-the-cob. Number two is wall.

Mr. TEARE: Fly on the wall.

Mr. SHORTZ: Fly on the wall, handwriting on the wall, either way. Range.

Mr. TEARE: Home on the range.

Mr. SHORTZ: Home on the range, excellent. Floss.

Mr. TEARE: Oh, mill. Mill on the...

Mr. SHORTZ: Mill on...

Mr. TEARE: Floss.

Mr. SHORTZ: Mill on the floss, good. Wrist.

Mr. TEARE: As part of the body? Wrist?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: Something you might get if you...

Mr. TEARE: Oh, a slap.


Mr. SHORTZ: A slap on the wrist, good.

Mr. TEARE: Yeah. Okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: Nile. N-I-L-E. You're looking for a title.

Mr. TEARE: Death on the Nile.

Mr. SHORTZ: Death on the Nile, yes. Bounty.

Mr. TEARE: Mutiny on the Bounty?

Mr. SHORTZ: Mutiny on the Bounty, yes. Spot.

Mr. TEARE: Thought?

Mr. SHORTZ: Thought on the spot, no.


Mr. SHORTZ: We're looking for...

Mr. TEARE: Oh.

Mr. SHORTZ: We're looking for, we're looking for -- oh, the word is spot.

Mr. TEARE: Johnny on the spot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Johnny on the spot, that's it. Mount.

Mr. TEARE: Sermon.

Mr. SHORTZ: Sermon on the mount. Roof.

Mr. TEARE: Chimney?

Mr. SHORTZ: Chimney on the roof, no.

HANSEN: You can't add...

Mr. TEARE: Fiddler, fiddler, fiddler.

HANSEN: Oh, fiddler.

Mr. SHORTZ: Fiddler on the Roof is it. Hearth. H-E-A-R-T-H.

Mr. TEARE: That one's not coming...

Mr. SHORTZ: I think this is an old British title.

Mr. TEARE: Yes.

Mr. SHORTZ: Think of a small insect.

Mr. TEARE: Oh, cricket on the...

Mr. SHORTZ: Cricket on the hearth is right.

Mr. TEARE: Right.

Mr. SHORTZ: Rhine. R-H-I-N-E. Looking for another title here.

Mr. TEARE: That one's getting away.


Mr. SHORTZ: Do you know, Liane?

HANSEN: Is that watch?

Mr. SHORTZ: Watch on the Rhine, yes.

Mr. TEARE: Okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: How about wild side?

Mr. TEARE: Walk on the wild side.

Mr. SHORTZ: Walk on the wild side. River Kwai.

Mr. TEARE: Bridge.

Mr. SHORTZ: Bridge, yes. Orient Express.

Mr. TEARE: Murder.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Half shell.

Mr. TEARE: Oyster, I guess.

Mr. SHORTZ: Oysters or clams, either way.

Mr. TEARE: Yeah.

Mr. SHORTZ: Now, on your last two answers, you have to tell me two words. And your first one is block. B-L-O-C-K. Blank on the block. Blank, blank on the block.

Mr. TEARE: No, I don't know what you're looking for there.

HANSEN: And I'm completely stumped.

Mr. SHORTZ: Okay, I got you on that. It's either new kid on the block...

Mr. TEARE: Oh.


Mr. SHORTZ: ...or the musical group New Kids on the Block.

HANSEN: Right.

Mr. SHORTZ: Either way. And your last one is prairie. An old TV show.

HANSEN: And books.

Mr. SHORTZ: And books.

Mr. TEARE: Little house.

Mr. SHORTZ: Little House on the Prairie, that's right.

HANSEN: Derek, well done. Well done.

Mr. TEARE: Thank you.

HANSEN: Thank you for not making me whistle the theme to Bridge on the River Kwai. For playing our puzzle today you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, the Puzzle Master Presents from Random House Volume Two, a set of Sudoku puzzle books presented by Will Shortz form St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. Derek, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. TEARE: Well that's a long story. From where we live, we can get five states and six different programs. It's wonderful. I keep a membership with GBH, from -- in memory of Robert J. Luxemburg and Julia Child, and WAMC, (unintelligible) listening is WVPR, Vermont Public Radio, and WEVO, New Hampshire Public Radio.

HANSEN: My goodness. A multi-public radio family there. Well, Derek Teare in Grantham, New Hampshire, thanks a lot for doing everything you do for public radio, as well as for playing The Puzzle with us.

Mr. TEARE: Thank you both.

HANSEN: All right, a challenge for next week, please.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Mike Rice of Los Angeles. Take two words that go together to make a familiar phrase in the form blank and blank. Both words are plurals, like bells and whistles. Move the first letter of the second word to the start of the first word. You'll get two new words that name forms of transportation. What are they?

So again, two words that go together to make a familiar phrase in the form blank and blank. Both are plurals. Move the first letter of the second word to the start of the first. You'll get two new words, both naming forms of transportation. What forms of transportation are these?

HANSEN: When you know the answer, go to our website, npr.org, and click on the submit your answer link on the Sunday Puzzle page. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach at about that time. We'll call 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 Puzzle Master Will Shortz, who joins us from New York. Good to be back, Will. Thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

Copyright © 2006 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.