With Perspicacity, We Perform Word Play Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's winner is Janice Wilson from Hummelstown, Pa.
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With Perspicacity, We Perform Word Play

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With Perspicacity, We Perform Word Play

With Perspicacity, We Perform Word Play

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

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: So how was the red carpet for the New York opening of Word Play this past week?

Mr. SHORTZ: It was very cool. The theater was packed, the audience was laughing at the movie because it's very funny. They shout out answers at the screen, and there's also interactive parts in the movie where crossword clues and answers appear on the screen. It was a real good time.

HANSEN: Nice. Well, it opens in New York this weekend and nationwide next week.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: So give them a heads up. All right, we had a challenge last week. Remind us what it was.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge came from listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, New Jersey. I said think of a phrase of the form blank and blank. The initials of the two words in the blanks are R and F. Change the first letter of the second word from an F to a V, and the two new words will be synonyms. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, the phrase is rank and file, which becomes Rank and Vile.

HANSEN: We had over 1,800 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle and our winner, randomly selected from the correct answers is Janice Wilson, and she's from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. Hi, Janice.

Ms. JANICE WILSON (Caller): Hi.

HANSEN: Where's Hummelstown?

Ms. WILSON: Well, it's just next door to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

HANSEN: Oh, okay. What do you do there?

Ms. WILSON: Well, I started out as a reference librarian, but after my second son came along, I decided to become a stay-at-home mom.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. WILSON: Oh, gosh, I couldn't say exactly. It's been a long time, at least ten years.

HANSEN: All right. Well, are you ready play? You know how this works.

Ms. WILSON: Yes.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, meet Janice let's play.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Janice, every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase with the initials WP, as in Word Play. For example, if the clue were something that comes up on the Internet, you would say Web page.

Ms. WILSON: Okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: Number one is home of the U.S. Military Academy.

Ms. WILSON: West Point.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Number two, a summer toy that squirts.

Ms. WILSON: A summer toy...

Mr. SHORTZ: That squirts.

Ms. WILSON: Oh, water pistol.

Mr. SHORTZ: Water pistol is right. It might offer a reward for someone dead or alive.

Ms. WILSON: Wanted poster.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. Former group of countries opposing NATO.

Ms. WILSON: Would that be the Warsaw Pact?

Mr. SHORTZ: That would be it. Point formed in the hairline in the middle of the forehead.

Ms. WILSON: Oh, widow's peak.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. Sign on a bench you shouldn't sit on.

Ms. WILSON: Wet paint.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good. Wrapping material that's not good to write on.

Ms. WILSON: Would that be waxed paper?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, good. Electrical outlet on the side of a room.

Ms. WILSON: Wall point.

Mr. SHORTZ: Wall is right.

Ms. WILSON: Wall plug.

Mr. SHORTZ: Wall plug. A group of wild canines.

Ms. WILSON: Wolf pack.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. The jumble or double-crostic or what we're doing on the air.

Ms. WILSON: Word play.

Mr. SHORTZ: Word what?

Ms. WILSON: Word puzzle.

Mr. SHORTZ: Word Puzzle is right. Professional who helps couples with their nuptials.

Ms. WILSON: A wedding planner.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. The Tsar's home in Old Saint Petersburg.

Ms. WILSON: Would that be something palace?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. WILSON: The Winter Palace?

Mr. SHORTZ: The Winter Palace, excellent. Possible requirement before buying a gun. You can't get the gun immediately, you have a...

Ms. WILSON: A wait period.

Mr. SHORTZ: Waiting period is right. Spot for a public flogging.

Ms. WILSON: Something post?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, and what's the synonym of flogging?

Ms. WILSON: Whipping, whipping post.

Mr. SHORTZ: Whipping post is right. Energy derived from whirling propellers.

Ms. WILSON: Wind power.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right, and your last one, the first appearance of a movie or other entertainment.

Ms. WILSON: The world premiere.

Mr. SHORTZ: World premiere. Nice job, Janice.

HANSEN: Janice, well done, all of them.

Ms. WILSON: Thank you.

HANSEN: Well done. 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 Puzzlemaster Presents from Random House, Volume Two, Word Play; the official companion book to the movie featuring Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press; and one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. Quite a haul there, Janice.

Ms. WILSON: Fantastic.

HANSEN: Yeah, you'll have a lot of fun.

Ms. WILSON: Yeah.

HANSEN: Lot's of stuff to do on rainy days and sunny days too. What member station do you listen to?

Ms. WILSON: It's WITF in Harrisburg.

HANSEN: Well, Janice Wilson from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, a fabulous player today, thanks a lot for being our guest.

Ms. WILSON: Thank you very much.

HANSEN: All right, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

Mr. SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Yeah, it comes from listener Magdalen Braden, of Philadelphia and Harford, Pennsylvania. Think of a certain country in the world. Change its first letter to name a well-known 20th century world leader. Or change its third letter to name another well-known 20th century world leader. What country is it? So again a certain country in the world, you can change its first letter to name a well-known 20th century world leader or its third letter to name a different well-known 20th century world leader. What is the country and who are the leaders?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, 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, 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because we'll call you 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 Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, who joined us from New York. Thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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