Two Words from One Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home.
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Two Words from One

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Two Words from One

Two Words from One

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Rebecca Roberts.

And joining us now is puzzle master Will Shortz. Will, it is delightful to meet you after a fashion.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzle Master): Rebecca, nice to meet you. What's your feeling about doing the puzzle today?

ROBERTS: Well, I'm looking forward to it. I'm a puzzle fan and I - you know, at the risk of gushing like a schoolgirl, I have to say I'm a big fan of yours.

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, that's very nice. Thank you.

ROBERTS: Well, I hope that means you'll forgive all the Sundays that I, you know, hurled the Times magazine across the room with language that no schoolgirl should use.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Okay, all is forgiven.

ROBERTS: Thank you. So remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. Last week's challenge came from listener Mark Leeper of Old Bridge, New Jersey. I said name a famous film director whose last name has two syllables. Phonetically, these two syllables sound like words that are opposites of each other. Who is the director?

ROBERTS: And what's the answer?

Mr. SHORTZ: Answer is Francois Truffaut, as in true and faux, F-A-U-X.

ROBERTS: Mmm. We had over 800 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle. Our randomly selected winner is Joslin DeVito(ph) from East Point, Michigan.

Joslin DeVito, welcome.

Mr. JOSLIN DEVITO (Caller): Thank you.

ROBERTS: What do you do in East Point, Michigan?

Mr. DEVITO: I'm a letter carrier, a mailman.

ROBERTS: And I understand you're currently on vacation?

Mr. DEVITO: Yes. It's been a good week to have off.

ROBERTS: Do you play the puzzle a lot?

Mr. DEVITO: I listen periodically when I can. But to be honest, this is the first time I ever submitted an answer.

ROBERTS: First time lucky.

Mr. DEVITO: Yes.

ROBERTS: Let's hope that holds. Are you ready to play?

Mr. DEVITO: Yes, ma'am.

ROBERTS: Excellent.

Will, meet Joslin.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Joslin and Rebecca, I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. The word that goes in the first blank starts with the letters B-E. Drop the B-E and the remaining letters will form another word that goes in the second blank to complete the sentence.

For example, the boxer who climbed into the ring blank in fancy trunks quickly blank his opponent. You would say bedecked. Climbed into the ring bedecked in fancy trunks, quickly decked his opponent.

All right, number one. If you don't start treating other members more politely, you won't blank to the club for blank. And that first one starts with B-E. You won't blank to the club for blank.

Mr. DEVITO: Hmm.

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, what do you do to a club that starts with B-E?

Mr. DEVITO: Belong.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. You won't belong to the club for long. That's right.

Mr. SHORTZ: Number two. The duel has not actually blank until a blank is fired.

Mr. DEVITO: Begun and gun.

Mr. SHORTZ: Not actually begun till the gun is fired, right.

The angry Hollywood director is blank the film board that gave his movie an R blank.

Mr. DEVITO: Berating.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Berating. Good job.

Arriving at the stadium early for his tennis match, the player asked his coach blank for help with his blank.

Mr. DEVITO: A tennis match?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah. What might a player want help on? Not his serve. What else might he want his help on?


Mr. DEVITO: His backhand?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah. And what's the opposite of that?

Mr. DEVITO: Beforehand.

ROBERTS: Oh, that took me a minute, too.

Mr. SHORTZ: Asked his coach beforehand. Good job.

Now, in the next sentences it works phonetically. The second part changes spelling, like if the first one was before, the second one would be four, F-O-U-R.

Mr. DEVITO: Right.

Mr. SHORTZ: And here's your first one. Residents along the coast blank the death of the blank, which had beached itself.

Mr. DEVITO: Bewailed?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah. Bewail the death is right.

Fortunately the tumor turned out to be blank, according to all blank doctors who examined it.

Mr. DEVITO: Benign.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it.

At a gala, a woman should always blank not to blank the same dress as another guest.

Mr. DEVITO: Beware.

Mr. SHORTZ: She should always beware is right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: A wife would naturally feel blank if her husband decided to blank her for a younger woman. She'd certainly feel angry, and what sort of anger?

Mr. DEVITO: I'm afraid I don't have this one.

ROBERTS: I don't have it either.

Mr. SHORTZ: Do you know, Rebecca?

ROBERTS: I don't.

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, she would feel betrayed if he decided to trade her for a younger woman.

ROBERTS: Oh, trade. I...

Mr. DEVITO: Betrayed.

ROBERTS: I missed the phonetic match there.

Mr. SHORTZ: Try this one. In the morning, the grass is blank on the blank ranch.

Mr. DEVITO: Bedewed on the dude ranch.

Mr. SHORTZ: It's bedewed on the dude ranch is right.

And here's your last one. I wish I could sit blank Brad Pitt, blank the star-struck fan.

Mr. DEVITO: Beside Brad Pitt, sighed the...

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Sighed the star-struck fan. Nice job.

ROBERTS: Joslin, you did really well.

Mr. DEVITO: I did all right.

ROBERTS: Well, for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin; the 11th Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus; the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers; "The Puzzle Master 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 Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books.

Joslin, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. DEVITO: WDET in Detroit.

ROBERTS: Joslin DeVito from East Point, Michigan. Thank you so much for playing with us and enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Mr. DEVITO: Thank you. It's my pleasure.

ROBERTS: Will, what's the challenge for next week?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, this challenge comes from listener Daniel Scher(ph) of New York City. Name a famous person, a living American, with a one syllable first name and a one syllable last name. Add a short E sound to the end of this person's first name. Add a long E sound to the end of this person's last name. Say the result out loud and it will sound like a common uncapitalized English word. Who is the person and what's the word?

So again, a famous person, a living American, one syllable first name and last name. Add a short E sound to the end of the first name, long E sound to the end of the last name. Say it out loud. The result will sound like a common uncapitalized English word. Who's the person and what is the word?

ROBERTS: When you have an answer, go to our Web site,, click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday Puzzle page. Only one entry per person please. Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at around that time and we'll call you 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.

Thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Rebecca.

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