LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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 puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge, please.
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Dan Ezekiel (ph) of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said, take the name of a famous film director. Drop the first letter of the person's first name, and you'll name a fish. And read the last name backward, and you'll name another fish. What film director is it? And the director is Spike Lee. Make those changes. You get pike and eel.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We got over 2,500 correct responses. And our randomly selected winner is Monica Jerminario of Hudson, N.Y. Congratulations.
MONICA JERMINARIO: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I understand you run a small business.
JERMINARIO: I do. Yeah, yeah. I have a gluten-free, vegan, organic bakery in Hudson.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you get started in that business?
JERMINARIO: Well, I - about 10 years ago, I got diagnosed with celiac disease. And it was just - kind of came out of that. I really wanted to make really good, healthy and colorful, beautiful treats for myself. And the business just came out of that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That sounds great. Do you have a question for Will?
JERMINARIO: I do have a question for Will. So two weeks ago, the answer was Mexico. And it was like, one animal was singular, and one was plural. My husband and I played a week later, so we knew the answer, but we came up with a secondary answer. And I just wanted to get confirmation that it's OK.
JERMINARIO: The singular animal was a pika or pee-ka (ph). And the plural animal was ants. Does that work?
SHORTZ: It does work. And I'll tell you the answers go to NPR in Washington. And sometimes, they tell me alternative answers, and I say yes or no. And if I had known about that one I would have mentioned it on the air.
JERMINARIO: Oh, well, that's good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go. Are you ready to play The Puzzle, Monica?
JERMINARIO: I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Monica. Every answer today is a made-up, two-word phrase. The first word has seven letters. Drop the first and last letters, and you'll get a five-letter word that completes the phrase. For example, if the clue were coffee drink with less zing, you would say flatter latte, dropping the F and R of flatter.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Let's try.
JERMINARIO: All right.
SHORTZ: Number one - investigating Batman's sidekick. So Batman's sidekick will be the five-letter.
JERMINARIO: OK. So that's Robin.
SHORTZ: Yeah. Now put a letter in front and behind that, and you get investigating.
JERMINARIO: Investigating. Lulu, do you have this?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I can give you a hint. It starts with a P.
JERMINARIO: So it would be a P. R-O-B-I-N. Probing.
SHORTZ: There you go. Probing Robin. Good. All right. We're off and running. Number two - scheduling a course on Caesar's language.
SHORTZ: So just put a letter in front and after Latin - meaning scheduling.
JERMINARIO: Scheduling. Oh, God. OK. So slating?
SHORTZ: Slating Latin is correct.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Here's your next one - opposed to profits. And that's profits - F-I-T-S. Opposed to profits.
JERMINARIO: Oh, my gosh. This is so hard.
SHORTZ: OK. First of all, what is opposed to? If you are opposed to something, you are what?
JERMINARIO: Anti, against...
SHORTZ: Against. Yeah, yeah. And there you got the word.
JERMINARIO: Oh, gain. Gain.
SHORTZ: There you go. Against gains. Here's your next one - supervise poetry.
JERMINARIO: Oh, I have no idea.
SHORTZ: OK. What's poetry in five letters?
SHORTZ: There's your five-letter word. Supervise.
JERMINARIO: So supervise with verse.
SHORTZ: With verse in the middle. Just need to put a letter in front and one at the end.
JERMINARIO: I know I'm doing so poorly.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is a really hard one.
SHORTZ: You're doing fine. You're doing fine.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is a really, really hard one. Let me...
JERMINARIO: Is it oversee?
SHORTZ: Yes. Oversee verse. Good.
JERMINARIO: Is this, like, exceptionally hard this week?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This feels exceptionally hard to me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Again, I will protest on your behalf.
JERMINARIO: Thank you.
SHORTZ: Monica, you're doing fine. Here's your last one - listened to too much "Aida," "La Traviata" and "Rigoletto."
JERMINARIO: OK. So is that opera?
SHORTZ: Yeah. You have to know who composed "Aida," "La Traviata" and "Rigoletto."
JERMINARIO: Who composed "Aida?" I have no clue.
SHORTZ: You'll get this. You'll get this. Starts with a V. A five-letter Italian opera composer starting with V.
JERMINARIO: I don't really know Italian composers (laughter).
SHORTZ: It's Verdi. OK. So put a letter in front of Verdi and one at the end.
SHORTZ: Overdid Verdi. Nice job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my gosh.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nice going.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You brought it...
JERMINARIO: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Home in the end. 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 Monica, what member station do you listen to?
JERMINARIO: WAMC in Albany.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Monica Jerminario of Hudson, N.Y., thank you for playing the puzzle.
JERMINARIO: Thank you for all the support.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right, Will. What's next week's challenge? And make it nice.
SHORTZ: Let's see about that. It came from listener Ray Hamel of Madison, Wis. And Ray writes the weekly news quiz for Slate magazine. Name a famous player in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Take a letter out of the last name and move it into the first name, and the result will name something you might see at a concert. What is it? So again, famous baseball player in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Take a letter out of the last name and move it into the first name, and the result will name something you might see at a concert. What is it?
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: More baseball. When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per please. Our deadline for entries is this Thursday, May 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.
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