Give Me an 'L,' Give Me a 'G' Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's winner is BobCat Ryffel from Fairfield, Conn. He listens to Weekend Edition on member station WNYC in New York.
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Give Me an 'L,' Give Me a 'G'

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Give Me an 'L,' Give Me a 'G'

Give Me an 'L,' Give Me a 'G'

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Andrea Seabrook, sitting in for Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzle Master): Hi, Andrea.

SEABROOK: You know, sitting in for Liane is exciting in itself. But what I was really excited about was getting to do the puzzle.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Oh, that's fantastic. And you did that great piece on Sudoku for the NPR Web site?

SEABROOK: That's right.

Mr. SHORTZ: A few months ago?

SEABROOK: Yes, that's right. I hope you'll just go easy on me, because you know, sometimes I'm pretty good, sometimes I'm just terrible. I guess it's like most people.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah.

SEABROOK: Except you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SEABROOK: Remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Louis Sergeant(ph) of Portland, Oregon. I said think of a nine-letter word for something that is unplanned. Change the middle letter from I to U, and you'll get a word for something that is always planned. What is it?

SEABROOK: This a great one. And the answer?

Mr. SHORTZ: Collision to collusion.

SEABROOK: A-ha. We had over 400 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner is BobCat Ryffel from Fairfield, Connecticut. Hello, there.

Mr. BOBCAT RYFFEL (Caller): Hi.

SEABROOK: How are you?

Mr. RYFFEL: Very good.

SEABROOK: And how'd you get the name BobCat?

Mr. RYFFEL: You know, when you're desperately looking for a user name on a computer and Bob is already taken, BobCat comes in very handy.

SEABROOK: I see. I imagine you are some kind of computer guy.

Mr. RYFFEL: Yes. I do computer support for lawyers.

SEABROOK: Oh, wonderful. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. RYFFEL: About four years. I've in answers a bunch of times, and today's my lucky day.

SEABROOK: How did you solve the puzzle this time?

Mr. RYFFEL: Well, a friend of mine, she wrote a Perl program to solve it, Bonny Scott(ph).


Mr. RYFFEL: So she posted that to a mailing list, that she had solved it - not the answer, just the program. But I didn't run the program. What I did was I Googled for a list of nine-letter words and then looked down it until I found it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Nice.

SEABROOK: Will, is this how people - is this really the spirit of the puzzle?

Mr. SHORTZ: Any way you solve it is fine.

SEABROOK: Okay, BobCat, are you ready to play?

Mr. RYFFEL: Sure am.

SEABROOK: Okay. Will Shortz, meet BobCat Ryffel.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, BobCat. Today's puzzle involves the letter L and G, as in Lee and Grant. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials L.G. For example, if I gave you the clue, things to wear on your hands when you do cleaning, you might say latex gloves.

Mr. RYFFEL: Ah, okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: Number one is a truck uses it when going up a hill,

Mr. RYFFEL: Low gear.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Number two: an important person on a beach.

Mr. RYFFEL: Lifeguard.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. New York City airport.

Mr. RYFFEL: LaGuardia.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Woman's makeup item.

Mr. RYFFEL: Lip gloss.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. California city whose name means "the cats."

Mr. RYFFEL: Los Gatos.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. Slang term for money.

Mr. RYFFEL: Ooh, slang term for money. Lotta green.

Mr. SHORTZ: Green is right, and it's not short.

Mr. RYFFEL: Long.

Mr. SHORTZ: Long green is right. In legend, she rode naked through Coventry.

Mr. RYFFEL: Lady Godiva.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Body of water on the west end of Switzerland.

Mr. RYFFEL: Lake Geneva.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right. It's deployed when a plane nears an airport.

Mr. RYFFEL: Landing gear.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right. Nitrous oxide.

Mr. RYFFEL: Laughing gas.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A mirror.

Mr. RYFFEL: Looking glass.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Someone responsible for a child in place of a parent.

SEABROOK: I know this one.

Mr. RYFFEL: Something guardian - legal guardian.

Mr. SHORTZ: Legal guardian is right.

SEABROOK: Good job.

Mr. SHORTZ: What a mayor or town supervisor is head of.

Mr. RYFFEL: Local government.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right. Second in command in a state.

Mr. RYFFEL: Lieutenant governor.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Tract in the west once given by Congress for a college or railroad.

Mr. RYFFEL: Land grant.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Another name for Parker Brothers' Monopoly.

Mr. RYFFEL: Game - landlord game.

Mr. SHORTZ: Landlord's game is right.

SEABROOK: Wow, BobCat.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Good job. What John Lennon played in The Beatles.

Mr. RYFFEL: What he played in The Beatles - guitar.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah, what kind?

Mr. RYFFEL: Lead guitar.

Mr. SHORTZ: Lead guitar is right. It used to be dispensed from pumps into cars.

Mr. RYFFEL: Leaded gasoline.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. And your last one - Eros or Cupid.

Mr. RYFFEL: Love...

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes.

SEABROOK: Yeah. Maybe a deity?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah.

Mr. RYFFEL: Love god.

Mr. SHORTZ: Love god is right. Nice job.

SEABROOK: Good job, BobCat. We don't need a host for this show. What am I doing here?

Mr. RYFFEL: You made it very easy for me.

SEABROOK: BobCat Ryffel, for playing our puzzle today you get a WEEKEND EDITION label 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 2; a set of Sudoku puzzle books presented by Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press; and one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. You've got some loot there.

Mr. RYFFEL: Wonderful. Thank you.

SEABROOK: Bobcat, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. RYFFEL: WNYC in New York.

SEABROOK: BobCat Ryffel from Fairfield, Connecticut. Thank you for playing the puzzle with us.

Mr. RYFFEL: Thank you, Will and Andrea.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thank you.

SEABROOK: Good. Now Will, you're going to offer a special challenge to listeners. They'll have two weeks to figure it out this time, huh?

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right, and it's a creative challenge called Chain Sentences. The object is to write a sentence or other bit of writing in which the last two letters of each word are the first two letters of the next. For example: Give veteran Angela Lansbury rye yeast, or the heroic iconoclast stops psychological allusions. So send us your best sentences. You can submit up to three entries. Entries will be judged on meaning, naturalness of syntax, originality and overall elegance. And the longer sentences are more elegant than the shorter ones, but only if they make sense and read smoothly. The person who sends what we judge the best chain sentence will play Puzzle on the Air in two weeks.

SEABROOK: This is a much more subjective challenge, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Completely subjective.

SEABROOK: When you have your answer, go to our Web site,, and click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday puzzle page. Our deadline for this special two week challenge is Thursday, October 12 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we could reach at about that time. We'll call 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thank you so much, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Andrea.

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