LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's very own puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's puzzle.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Jim Levering (ph) of San Antonio. I said think of an affliction in five letters. Shift each letter three spaces later in the alphabet, so A would become D, B would become E, et cetera. And the result will be a prominent name in the Bible. Who is it? Well, the affliction is Ebola, E-B-O-L-A. If you shift each of those letters three spaces later, you get Herod, H-E-R-O-D.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We had 1,100 responses. And the winner is Lisa Mure (ph) of Holderness, N.H. Congratulations and welcome to the program.
LISA MURE: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So I heard you solved this puzzle while enjoying the outdoors.
MURE: Yes, we were hiking Stinson Mountain near our house. And there were five people in the group, and we were passing the time by trying to solve it without pen and paper, which was hard for that puzzle.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Fantastic. All right. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
MURE: No, but I'll try.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. Take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Lisa. I'm going to give you some words and phrases. Each one conceals the name of a five-letter country in left to right order but not in consecutive letters. You name the country. For example, if I said conceptual, C-O-N-C-E-P-T-U-A-L, you would say Nepal because the letters of Nepal, N-E-P-A-L, are found in left to right order inside conceptual.
MURE: Wow, this is going to be hard (laughter).
SHORTZ: You have pencil and paper handy, right?
MURE: Yes, I do.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I like the geography ones the best. They're the only ones that I know how to do.
MURE: Good, you can be my helper.
SHORTZ: Number one - children, C-H-I-L-D-R-E-N.
SHORTZ: Chile. That was fast. Yes. Number two is vitality, V-I-T-A-L-I-T-Y.
SHORTZ: Italy is right.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You see? You're great.
SHORTZ: Aspiration, A-S-P-I-R-A-T-I-O-N.
MURE: Can you give me the first letter?
SHORTZ: I'll tell you it's in Europe.
MURE: It's in Europe.
MURE: Aspiration - oh, Spain.
SHORTZ: Spain is it. Good.
MURE: Oh, Spain. Oh, good. OK.
SHORTZ: Oh, you're doing just fine. Samovar, S-A-M-O-V-A-R.
SHORTZ: Yes. Chainsaw, C-H-A-I-N-S-A-W.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Who knew there were this many countries with only five letters in them?
SHORTZ: I know. It's amazing.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is actually one of these things that I'm like, wow. Who knew?
MURE: I know. Can I get a hint?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's the most populous country in the world.
MURE: Oh, India. No, China, sorry. China.
SHORTZ: China is it, yeah.
SHORTZ: Sundance, S-U-N-D-A-N-C-E.
MURE: These are getting harder.
SHORTZ: Starts with S.
SHORTZ: Sudan, good. Symmetrical, S-Y-M-M-E-T-R-I-C-A-L.
SHORTZ: Syria, good. Right-hand man. R-I-G-H-T...
MURE: Oh, my gosh.
SHORTZ: I know. Right-hand man. I'm going to give you a hint right off here. It starts with a G.
MURE: A G. Ghana.
SHORTZ: Ghana, nice. And your last one is play it by ear.
MURE: Oh, my goodness.
SHORTZ: P-L-A-Y I-T B-Y E-A-R.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I spent a lot of time in this country.
SHORTZ: Whoa. I want to hear a story sometime.
SHORTZ: And I'll tell you it starts with an L.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's in North Africa.
SHORTZ: There you go, North Africa.
SHORTZ: No, it's got to be only five letters.
MURE: No. Oh, yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Former leader was Gaddafi.
SHORTZ: There you go.
SHORTZ: Libya is it. Good job.
MURE: I was sitting there going through each letter, crossing them off. That was hard.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great, though. You really did.
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 Lisa, what member station do you listen to?
MURE: We support New Hampshire Public Radio, 97.3.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thanks for playing The Puzzle.
MURE: Yeah, thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Tell us next week's challenge, Will.
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Henrik Stranskoff (ph) of Luck, Wis. Name a major professional sports team. The first and last letters of the team's name specify something that is an anagram of its interior letters. What team is it? So again, a major professional sports team - (inaudible) letters of the team's name specify something that is an anagram of its interior letters. What team is it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at 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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