LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us 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: Before we get started this morning, you've got some very exciting news. A mystery movie you co-created is premiering tonight.
SHORTZ: That's right. It's on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel. And I was an adviser, and I'm listed as an executive producer. And the crossword editor for the fictional New York Sentinel is drawn into a murder case. There's crosswords involved. There's lots of twists. And if you watch very closely, you'll see me for a few seconds.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Yay. All right. We will keep our eyes peeled. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Alan Hochbaum, of Dunwoody, Ga. I said name a popular restaurant chain in two words. Its letters can be rearranged to spell some things to eat and some things to drink, and both these things are plural words. What are they? And what's the chain? Well, the chain is Little Caesars, and you can rearrange those letters to get eclairs and lattes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we received only 217 responses because Will's challenges are getting...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Harder and harder, and he's not throwing us any softballs. And our winner this week is Elliott Shevin of Oak Park, Mich. Congratulations.
ELLIOTT SHEVIN: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you solve it?
SHEVIN: Well, I just thought of restaurant changes - chains, rather - with two Ss at least. And that's the first thing that popped into my head. I was driving up the street, and it might've been subliminal. I passed Little Caesars on the way.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Fair enough.
SHEVIN: One thing it had nothing to do it, though, is the fact that Oak Park is a suburb of Detroit. And Detroit is the hometown of Little Caesars.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, that's a little bit of interesting trivia. I had no idea. And what do you do for a living?
SHEVIN: Computer programming.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Well, that sets you up very well for The Puzzle. Are you ready to play?
SHEVIN: I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Elliott. Today's puzzle is based on the names of famous writers of mysteries, crime stories and spy novels. Their last names have been anagrammed. You name the writers. For example, if I said oust, O-U-S-T, plus T with the first name Rex, you'd say Rex Stout.
SHORTZ: OK. Number one is itchier, I-T-C-H-I-E-R, plus S for Agatha.
SHORTZ: Agatha Christie is right. Ranched, R-A-N-C-H-E-D plus L, Raymond.
SHEVIN: Raymond Chandler.
SHORTZ: That's it. Essay, E-S-S-A-Y plus R, Dorothy.
SHORTZ: Dorothy Sayers is right. Weakest W-E-A-K-E-S-T plus L, Donald.
SHEVIN: Oh, harder.
SHORTZ: Starts with a W.
SHEVIN: OK. Boy, I'm coming up blank on this one.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I can't help you because I am - I don't like mysteries.
SHORTZ: Oh, really?
SHORTZ: Well, I will tell you. It's Donald Westlake, had lots of best-sellers. OK. Next one, lender, L-E-N-D-E-R plus L, first name Ruth.
SHEVIN: Ruth Rendell.
SHORTZ: Right. Ruth Rendell. Ordeal, O-R-D-E-A-L, plus N. And the first name is Elmore.
SHEVIN: Oh, Leonard.
SHORTZ: Elmore Leonard is right. Career, C-A-R-E-E-R, plus L, first name is John. And it's a two-word last name.
SHEVIN: Oh, Le Carre.
SHORTZ: Le Carre is right. Salons, S-A-L-O-N-S, plus R, first name is Stieg.
SHEVIN: Stieg Larsson.
SHORTZ: Stieg Larsson, good. Spaniel, S-P-A-N-I-E-L, plus L, first name Mickey.
SHEVIN: Mickey Spillane.
SHORTZ: That's it. Mingle, M-I-N-G-L-E, plus F, first name is Ian.
SHEVIN: Oh, Ian Fleming.
SHORTZ: Ian Fleming. Ranged, R-A-N-G-E-D, plus R. And the first and middle names are Erle Stanley.
SHEVIN: Erle Stanley Gardner.
SHORTZ: That's it. Blame, B-L-A-M-E, plus R, Eric.
SHEVIN: Ooh, Eric Ambler.
SHORTZ: That's it. Mesa, M-E-S-A, plus J. And the writer goes by the initials P. D.
SHEVIN: P. D. James.
SHORTZ: That's it. The mat, T-H-E M-A-T, plus M, first name Dashiell.
SHEVIN: Yes, got that one, too - Hammett.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one is colonnade, C-O-L-O-N-N-A-D-E, plus Y, first name is Arthur. And it's a two-word last name.
SHEVIN: Yes, Arthur Conan Doyle.
SHORTZ: That is it - 100 percent.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. Are you a big mystery reader?
SHEVIN: I'm not. My wife is, although she never reads any of these authors except for Agatha Christie.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go. Well, you did great. And 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, Elliott, which member station do you listen to?
SHEVIN: I listen to WBET, where I am a sustaining member. But I usually hear The Puzzle on WUOM.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Elliott Shevin of Oak Park, Mich., thank you for playing The Puzzle.
SHEVIN: Thank you. It's been a trip.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) I'm glad to hear it. All right, Will. Tell us next week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I think it may be not an easy one again. We'll see. It comes from listener Hugh Stoll of Harrisonburg, Va. Think of a four-letter word for something commonly seen in the winter. Write it in lowercase letters. Turn it upside down, and you'll name a device you use with this thing. What is it? So, again, a four-letter word for something commonly seen in the winter. Write it in lowercase letters. Turn it upside down, and you'll name a device you use with this thing. 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. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, March 14 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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