Five from Seven, Backwards Take a seven-letter word, drop the first and last letters, read the remainder backwards and it will spell a new five letter word that answers the second clue.
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Five from Seven, Backwards

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Five from Seven, Backwards

Five from Seven, Backwards

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

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

HANSEN: Have you been staying warm this week?

Mr. SHORTZ: It's a little cold this week, but it was fine.

HANSEN: Hasn't it been a little cold this week, yeah. Well, it was a good week to stay in and try to work your way through the challenge puzzle that you left us with last week. Would you repeat it?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. I said using the only letters in the phrase triple mocha and repeating them as often as you wish, you can spell the name of another cold treat, and the answer consists of four words, with a total of 21 letters. What is it?

HANSEN: What is it?

Mr. SHORTZ: It is chocolate chip ice cream.

HANSEN: Mmm. We had over 2,100 entries from people who tried to solve this puzzle and get the correct answer, and our randomly selected winner is Joy Bloomstein from Duanesburg, New York. Hi, Joy.

Ms. JOY BLOOMSTEIN (Puzzle Winner): Hi, Liane, how are you?

HANSEN: I am well. Duanesburg, where is it?

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Duanesburg is about 25 miles west of Albany.

HANSEN: Ah, so upstate New York. Did you have a lot of snow this past week?

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: No, not too bad. We only had about 24 inches.

HANSEN: Oh, two feet.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Two feet. That was before the wind got into it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: And then you had to kind of wade your through to...

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: And then we have our drifts.

HANSEN: There you go, there you go. What do you do in Duanesburg?

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: I actually work in Schenectady, where I'm an administrative assistant for a company that does communication consulting and staffing, as well as staging corporate events and webcasts.

HANSEN: My goodness. That's a pretty responsible job. Are you a puzzle person? Have you been playing the puzzle, this one, a long time?

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Only about a year.

HANSEN: All right. Joy, meet Will. Will, meet Joy. Let's play.

Mr. SHORTZ: Alright, Joy and Liane. I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word has seven letters. Drop the first and last letters, read the remainder backward, and it will spell a new five-letter word that answers the second clue. For example, if I said obvious and related to birth, you would say blatant and natal.

HANSEN: I see.


HANSEN: Yeah, really.

Mr. SHORTZ: Silence, okay. I hope you've got pencils and paper handy. Here's number one. Cheyenne's state, and your second clue is Leonard of the original "Star Trek."

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: That would be Wyoming and Nimoy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. Number two, a sleeping place hung between trees and a punctuation mark.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Hammock and comma.

Mr. SHORTZ: Nice job. Native of Tel Aviv and certain jets.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Israeli and Lears.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's correct. Capable of producing crops and a unit of petrol.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Fertile and litre?

Mr. SHORTZ: Fertile and litre, and litre's spelled the British way. One who's far from normal and innocent and unsophisticated. And if you don't know much about things, they might call you the second one.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Boy. I'm thinking naive.

Mr. SHORTZ: Naïve, yes, that's correct.

HANSEN: Very good.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: But one that's far from normal - deviant.

Mr. SHORTZ: Deviant, nice work.

HANSEN: Very good.

Mr. SHORTZ: To add water to, and your second clue is late.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Hydrate and tardy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good job. Try this one: a native dweller and an online publication, a generic term for an online publication.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: All I can think of is either blog or e-zine.

Mr. SHORTZ: E-zine, yes. E-zine is right.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Denizen.

Mr. SHORTZ: Denizen, good job, good job. A false notion or belief, and your second clue is a kind of lily. False notion or belief, and a kind of lily.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Fallacy and calla.

Mr. SHORTZ: Oh, good job, good job. And your last one. Elf-like, and one of the judges on "American Idol," the one who's most caustic.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Yeah, that - I kind of figured that out, and I'm working - trying to work that backwards.

HANSEN: Me too.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I don't think I'm spelling his last name right, though.

Mr. SHORTZ: Oh, you need his first name.

HANSEN: Oh, just his first name.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Okay. Oh, gnomish and Simon.

Mr. SHORTZ: Gnomish and Simon. Good job.

HANSEN: Gnomish, gnomish.

Mr. SHORTZ: That word doesn't come up much.


HANSEN: No, it doesn't. Joy, you're a pistol here.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Thank you.

HANSEN: Wow, nice work. You did very well. For playing our puzzle today, you'll 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.

Joy, tell us the member station you listen to.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: I listen to WAMC.

HANSEN: WAMC. Northeast Public Radio, I believe.


HANSEN: Out of Albany. Joy Bloomstein in Duanesburg, New York. Thanks a lot. You were terrific. Thanks for playing with us today.

Ms. BLOOMSTEIN: Thank you very much.

HANSEN: Okay. Well, Will, now that are brains are all warmed up, what do you have for our weekly challenge?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, this is a numerical puzzle I picked up last weekend at the New York Puzzle Party. It's by Robert Wainwright in New Rochelle, New York. The object of this challenge is to develop nine different mathematical expressions that equal eight. You must use the digits two, seven and one other, and that other digit must be a one in the first expression, two in the next expression, and so on up to nine. You can use a digit once and only once in each expression.

You may use the four arithmetic symbols - plus, minus, times and divided by - as well as exponents and decimal points. You may use parentheses as you need them. For example, using the digits two, seven and one, you can make the expressions two plus seven minus one. That's an easy one. Some of the others are harder.

So again, make nine different mathematical expressions equaling eight using the digits two, seven and one other, and that one other being one through nine, once each. Can you do it?


(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: But I can try. But I can try. When you have the answer, go to our Web site,, and 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 Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if you are the winner; 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.

I don't know. You lost me at exponent, I think, with this one. It sounded - it looks like great fun. I'll need the week to work on it. So thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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