LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
I'm Lulu Garcia-Navarro. With daylight saving ending this morning, we all theoretically got an extra hour of sleep. So there are no excuses today. Let's see what our well-rested brains can do. It's time for The 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 very own puzzle master. Will, good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will, I hear you're in Indiana this week.
SHORTZ: Yeah. My sister lives here. And my brother is visiting from Los Angeles. And I came from New York. It's the first time we've been together in about seven years. So it's a nostalgic visit.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right - good to hear it. Will, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. Apparently, it was one of the trickiest puzzles I've ever done on this program. I said name a well-known nationality with millions of people. I said drop a letter. And the remaining letters in order will name a metal, one of the elements on the periodic table. What is it? Well, the nationality is Tibetan. If you remove the Greek letter beta, you're left with tin.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is really hard. And the reason we know that is because we only got 52 correct responses, which I think is a record low. Our randomly selected winner is Janice Hoffmann of Claremont, Calif. Congrats.
JANICE HOFFMANN: Thank you very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you come up with the answer to this very, very tough puzzle?
HOFFMANN: Well, I have to give credit to my husband as well because I'm right brain. He's left brain. We always solve the puzzle together. And we went to a list of nationalities that also had that language. And then we decided it probably wasn't an English letter. And we came up with Tibetan.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long did that take?
HOFFMANN: Almost all week. We sent it in Wednesday night. And as often happens, my husband wakes up in the morning with, eureka.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Janice, are you ready to play the puzzle?
HOFFMANN: I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Will. Take it away.
SHORTZ: Yes, Janice. Today I brought a game of categories based on the word style.
SHORTZ: For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters S-T-Y-L-E. For example, if the category were girls' names, you might say Sarah, Teresa, Yvette, Lisa and Elizabeth. Any answer that works is OK. And you can give the answers in any order.
SHORTZ: OK. Number one is animals in a zoo.
HOFFMANN: Animals in a zoo - tiger...
HOFFMANN: ...Y - a yak?
SHORTZ: Yak is speaking of Tibet, right?
HOFFMANN: OK, yak. And then I'll go back to S...
SHORTZ: There's one that hangs from - hangs in trees.
HOFFMANN: Hangs in trees - a spider monkey?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Common in Brazil.
HOFFMANN: Common in Brazil, hangs from the trees - a sloth.
SHORTZ: A sloth is good, also a seal or a sea lion also would work.
HOFFMANN: (Laughter) All right.
SHORTZ: All right. Next category - foreign rivers.
HOFFMANN: Foreign rivers - Tiber...
HOFFMANN: The Elbe.
SHORTZ: Elbe - E-L-B-E is correct.
HOFFMANN: The Thames - oh, I already said T. The Seine...
SHORTZ: The Seine - good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, of course.
HOFFMANN: And I've got Y and L yet.
SHORTZ: There's a big one in France starting with L.
SHORTZ: The Loire - and all you need's a Y.
HOFFMANN: A Y - the Yangtze.
SHORTZ: The Yangtze - good. Excellent. I have one more category - football terms.
HOFFMANN: Oh my gosh, football terms...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're on your own.
HOFFMANN: ...Holy crow. OK, football terms - touchdown.
HOFFMANN: (Laughter) A lateral.
SHORTZ: A lateral - good.
HOFFMANN: S, Y and E - football terms - yellow flag.
SHORTZ: Yellow flag or yardage, yes.
HOFFMANN: OK, yellow flag or yardage. S and E...
SHORTZ: Go ahead - S and E.
HOFFMANN: End play?
SHORTZ: End play, end or end zone...
HOFFMANN: End zone rather.
SHORTZ: ...All works. And for S, think of a two-point play in football.
HOFFMANN: Two-point play - the safety.
SHORTZ: Safety is good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You were amazing. Thank you so much. Was it fun?
HOFFMANN: Yes, it was very fun. It's likened to an E-ticket ride where you have a few minutes of sheer terror. And as soon as you get off, you want to get again.
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. And Janice, what member station do you listen to?
HOFFMANN: Well, the license plate on my car reads KPCC 89.3, a great station in Pasadena, Calif.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Janice Hoffmann of Claremont, Calif, thanks for playing the puzzle.
HOFFMANN: Thanks everybody.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Think of the last name of a famous film director. The first two letters and the last two letters in order spell a word. And the remaining letters rearranged spell a synonym of that word. What film director is it? So again, last name - famous film director, the first two letters and the last two letters in order spell a word. And the remaining letters rearranged spell a synonym of that word. What film director 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, November 9 at 3 p.m. ET. 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 puzzle master Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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