LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play 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 puzzle master.
Will, Good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How was Hollywood?
SHORTZ: It's a - I had an interesting event last week. It was a Television Critics Association gala for the Hallmark channels. And I'm advising on a crossword mystery for them. There were lots of famous people there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Really? Who is the best one?
SHORTZ: Best one - I don't know. I've met Jon Voight, shook his hand. Unfortunately, he doesn't do crosswords. So...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Did you ask him?
SHORTZ: I did. I did.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) That's a good icebreaker. All right. Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, I said name a world capital. I said it's an older way of spelling the name. Drop three letters, and the remaining letters in order will name another world capital. And I said both cities have more than a million residents. Well, the answer is Djakarta. That's spelled the old way starting with a silent D. D-J-A-K-A-R-T-A. And you drop three letters. You get Dakar, the capital of Senegal.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This one was pretty challenging. We only got about 300 correct responses, and our randomly selected winner is Dan Streit of Port St. Lucie, Fla. Congratulations.
DAN STREIT: Thank you very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Tell me a little bit about yourself. I heard that you were an elementary school teacher.
STREIT: I was for 38 years.
STREIT: And I retired a few years ago.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And how long have you been doing puzzles?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Forever.
SHORTZ: (Laughter) Good answer.
STREIT: Since I was a little kid and throughout my teaching career, the students were very puzzling. And I get involved in any puzzles I can find.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Dan, are you ready to play the puzzle?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Let's take it away.
SHORTZ: All right. Dan, I'm going to give you some four-letter words. For each one, add one letter in front and one letter in back to complete a familiar six-letter word.
SHORTZ: No proper names. Also, no just adding an S or D at the end of a five-letter word to get the six-letter one. For example, if I said lane - L-A-N-E - you would say planet, putting a P at the front and a T at the end.
STREIT: Got it.
SHORTZ: Number one is moot - M-O-O-T.
STREIT: That would be smooth.
SHORTZ: Smooth is right. Number two is hang - H-A-N-G.
STREIT: That would be change.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Went - W-E-N-T.
STREIT: Went would be twenty.
SHORTZ: That's it. Nigh - N-I-G-H.
STREIT: Nigh would be knight.
SHORTZ: Knight, yes. Starting with a silent K, right. Tree - T-R-E-E.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Refi - R-E-F-I.
STREIT: Let's see - prefix.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Brad - B-R-A-D.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Awes - A-W-E-S.
STREIT: A-W-E-S. Let's see.
SHORTZ: There's a common suffix involved on this one.
STREIT: Yeah, I'm thinking E-S-T.
SHORTZ: Rawest. Yeah, that's the...
STREIT: Oh, OK. That's a hard one to say.
SHORTZ: ...Rawest weather we've had. Yeah. Onto - O-N-T-O.
STREIT: O-N-T-O. Let's see.
SHORTZ: Ever eat at Chinese restaurants?
SHORTZ: There you go. Craw - C-R-A-W.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Isle - I-S-L-E.
STREIT: I-S-L-E. Let's see - misled.
SHORTZ: Misled. Good. Rest - R-E-S-T.
STREIT: Rest could be - let's see. P - can I put a Y on the end? Presty.
SHORTZ: It's not presty, no.
SHORTZ: You got the right first letter, though.
SHORTZ: Oh, no. Not a C.
STREIT: Oh, OK. That was what I was thinking.
SHORTZ: Sorry. I thought you had a different letter at the start.
STREIT: Oh, what did you think I had?
SHORTZ: I thought you said a P, actually.
STREIT: A P. Yeah, I think - that's what I really said. "Prest-O Change-O."
SHORTZ: Presto is it. Here's a tough one. Plan - P-L-A-N.
STREIT: Plan. Upland.
SHORTZ: Upland. Good. And here's your last one. Afar - A-F-A-R.
SHORTZ: Safari. Dan, you're a pro.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You are a pro. You were amazing. You have clearly been doing this for a long time.
STREIT: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel?
STREIT: I feel good. That was fun.
STREIT: I always love any subtle challenge you got. I'd love to try it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Well, you did great. 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. Dan, what member station do you listen to?
STREIT: I listen to WQCS - Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Fla.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's great. Dan Streit of Port St. Lucie, Fla., thanks for playing The Puzzle.
STREIT: Thank you, Lulu. Thank you, Will.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Will, what's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Tom Arnold (ph) of Eugene, Ore. Take the name of a conveyance in seven letters. Drop the middle letter. And the remaining letters can be rearranged to name the place where such a conveyance is often used. What is it? So, again, name of a conveyance in seven letters. Drop the middle letter. And the remaining letters can be rearranged to name the place where such a conveyance is often used. What 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 this Thursday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you 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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