LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Welcome back.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Thank you, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You just got back from Prague. How was it?
SHORTZ: It was great. Have you ever been there? Oh, it's such a...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I have.
SHORTZ: ...Such a beautiful city. And the World Puzzle Championship and the Sudoku Championship were fun. The U.S. finished 10th in the Sudoku Championship, which was not bad.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh. Who won the Sudoku Championship?
SHORTZ: It was Japan, and China finished second. I think Germany was third.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, there you go. All right. Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Dominic Talvacchio (ph) of Chicago. I said think of an article of apparel in eight letters, drop the last two, move what are now the last two letters to the front. And you'll get another article of apparel in six letters. What is it? Well, the eight-letter one is a monokini - M-O-N-O-K-I-N-I. Do those operations, and you get a kimono.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We had 458 responses. And the winner is Eileen Appel of New York City. Congratulations.
EILEEN APPEL: Thank you very much, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And this is your first time submitting an answer for The Puzzle.
APPEL: It is. I feel so terrible for people who've been doing it.
APPEL: Normally, I can't even get the answer right. I don't even understand the puzzle half the time.
APPEL: It sounds like get the square root of the letter Q and add it to - I don't know - the Fibonacci sequence.
APPEL: And then come up with a famous poet (laughter).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, you know, me and you are going to be friends because that's exactly how I feel. Luckily enough, it's you playing The Puzzle and not me, so are you ready?
APPEL: I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Eileen. I like the way your mind works. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. Add the letters T-Y to the end of the word that goes in the first blank. So phonetically, you'll get a new word that goes in the second blank to complete the sentence. For example, someone is liable to blank on the newly laid steps due to the blank workmanship. And you would say fall and faulty. Someone is liable to fall on the newly laid steps due to the faulty workmanship. So I hope I haven't...
APPEL: Oh, boy.
SHORTZ: ...Left you in the dust there.
APPEL: Sounds tricky.
SHORTZ: All right, here you go. Number one - when the beauty queen was crowned blank USA, her eyes got all blank.
APPEL: Miss and misty.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Number two...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You see, I knew you were good at this.
SHORTZ: I had a feeling. Number two - I spent most of last summer at the Jersey blank with my 5-foot friend, blank.
APPEL: Shore and shorty.
SHORTZ: That's it. The best blank to decide blank matters is to get many opinions and then consider them carefully. So here it is again. The best blank to decide blank matters is to get many opinions and then consider them carefully.
APPEL: Weigh and weighty.
SHORTZ: Nice job. As an accomplished...
APPEL: Oh, my gosh.
SHORTZ: You're doing great.
APPEL: So exciting (laughter) - I'm so excited.
SHORTZ: Here's your next one. As an accomplished actor, I'm always gratified when a film director offers blank a blank role that I can sink my teeth into.
SHORTZ: That's it.
APPEL: Me and meaty (laughter).
SHORTZ: A meaty role, right. The wildlife management company vowed to clear out the rabbit blank, but they refused to offer a blank for their work.
APPEL: Oh, warren and warranty.
SHORTZ: That's it. Here's your next one. To get an blank on the test, you'll have to score at least 10 points above blank.
SHORTZ: Oh, yeah.
APPEL: ...And eighty.
SHORTZ: Oh, yeah, to get an A...
APPEL: An A and an eighty.
SHORTZ: ...And get an eighty, nice. And your last one - the woodworker prefers boards without any imperfections. That is blank ones that are blank.
APPEL: Sandy - no.
SHORTZ: If a board has imperfections, what is it?
APPEL: Knotty - no and knotty.
SHORTZ: That's it, not ones that are knotty.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You are delightful. You did such a great job. And you seem so - yeah, just delightful, delightful.
APPEL: Oh, this is so exciting to me. You have no idea. I am such a big fan of both Will Shortz and of you, Lulu, and NPR and...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yay. Yay, you. I'm so glad you came on today. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You could read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And what member station do you listen to?
APPEL: WNYC AM.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you for playing The Puzzle.
APPEL: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Phil Motha (ph) of Torrance, Calif., and it's easy but elegant. Think of a familiar four-word phrase that means to be last. And together, the first two words are a synonym for the last word. What phrase is it? So again, a familiar four-word phrase that means to be last. Together, the first two words are a synonym for the last word. What phrase 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 deadlines for entries is Thursday, November 15 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.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.