LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Today is National Cheesecake Day. But here is something just as cheesy and delicious with a cherry on top. It's The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us as always is our cherry, Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Will, good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. So it was a simple one. I asked, what common three-word expression, 14 letters in all, has only N and G as consonants, and otherwise is all vowels? Well, the answer was not engaging a genie or gagging on onion. The answer was going, going, gone.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, we got more than 2,900 correct responses. And our randomly selected winner is Bobbie Wilson of La Crosse, Wis. Congratulations, Bobbie.
BOBBIE WILSON: Well, thank you. At least I can compete on random drawing.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you figure it out?
WILSON: Oh, well, I started writing down words with the G and the N and nothing else but vowels. And pretty soon, I was a no go and gone. And then there it was - going, going, gone.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There it was. What do you do in La Crosse?
WILSON: Happily retired these years now.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is very nice. What do you do in your retirement? How do you spend your days?
WILSON: Oh, getting outdoors as much as possible, trying to keep up with my garden, so on.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That sounds lovely. I understand you and your husband race to see who can finish The Puzzle first?
WILSON: Yes. And I claim that I do (laughter).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That you do - that usually win. Fantastic. I like that. All right, let's see if your competitive spirit can be brought to the fore. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
WILSON: I'm ready.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Bobbie, every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase or name with a stress pattern da-DAH-da da-DAH-da. For example, if I said appearing naked in a public setting, you would say indecent exposure. Each has three syllables. And it's the middle syllable that's accented.
WILSON: Oh, boy.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. It sounds - I'm already titillated.
SHORTZ: Number one - state capital east of Indianapolis, Ind.
SHORTZ: Well, first of all, what state is east of Indiana?
WILSON: Ohio - Columbus, Ohio.
SHORTZ: And what's - Columbus, Ohio, is your answer.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Your next one - mountain range in the Far West.
WILSON: Sierra Nevada.
SHORTZ: There you go. Good.
SHORTZ: Song in the "Lion King" with a Swahili title.
WILSON: Hakuna Matata.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Treaty respecting the humane treatment of P.O.W.'s.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's a city in a neutral country in Europe, is the first part.
SHORTZ: Switzerland to be precise.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Switzerland to be precise.
WILSON: The Geneva Convention.
SHORTZ: Geneva Convention, good. Material for a pharaoh's scroll.
SHORTZ: What kind?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go.
SHORTZ: Egyptian papyrus is right.
SHORTZ: Longtime popular car from Japan.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All the Uber drivers have one.
WILSON: Toyota, Corolla?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Yeah.
SHORTZ: There you go, yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) That was a good hint.
SHORTZ: Person with a government post by ballot not appointment.
WILSON: Elected official.
SHORTZ: That's it. Medical term for chest pain.
WILSON: Angina pectoris.
SHORTZ: Oh, yeah. Good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Impressive. And your last one - White House daughter from 2009 to 2017.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There were two.
SHORTZ: It's not Sasha. It's her sister.
WILSON: Malia Obama.
SHORTZ: That is it. Nice job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. You did really well. There you go. And you got that - the heart one. That was really good. I had no idea what that was. So congratulations 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. Bobbie, what member station do you listen to?
WILSON: Well, we have two - WLSU 88.9 and WHLA 90.3. And we're sustaining members.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Lovely. Bobbie Wilson of La Crosse, Wis., thank you for playing The Puzzle.
WILSON: Thank you so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will, what's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Joe Krozel of Creve Coeur, Mo., and it might require a little research. There is a city somewhere in the United States with a population of about 24,000 people. Change the last letter in the name of its state. And if you now read the name of the city plus the altered name of the state together, the result is a palindrome - that is, it reads backward and forward the same. What city is it?
So again, a U.S. city, population about 24,000. Change the last letter in the name of the state. Now read this city name and the state - altered state name in order. And the result is a palindrome. What city is it?
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, August 3, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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.