LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a two-letter word and a five-letter word that are synonyms. The two-letter word and the last syllable of a five-letter word sound like new words that are antonyms. What words are these? And the answer is hi and hello. The last syllable of hello is low, which is the opposite of high.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received 425 responses. And the winner this week is Mark Nelson of Santa Barbara, Calif. Congratulations. And welcome to the program.
MARK NELSON: Well, thank you so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We've had a bunch of people from California in a row. I think California is representing. You have big shoes to fill, Mark. How did you figure out this week's challenge?
NELSON: Well, I made a list of two-letter words. And then I eliminated the ones that didn't have any obvious synonyms at all and then eliminated the ones that had no single-word synonyms and then took from there and, you know, that pretty short list - hi, hello.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Process of elimination.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm told you're a professor.
NELSON: I am. I teach philosophy at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Who's your favorite philosopher?
NELSON: Oh, God.
NELSON: That's a hard...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We like to - I like to ask the hard questions before you get to The Puzzle so that...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...I get some credit.
NELSON: I'm a big fan of Aristotle.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: There you go. That's always a good one. All right, Mark. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
NELSON: I'll do my best.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Mark. Every answer today is a familiar phrase in the form blank and blank, in which the first word starts with the letter C. I'll give you the last word of the phrase. You tell me the missing first word. For example, if I said paste, you might say cut, as in cut and paste. You could also say copy, is in copy and paste. They both work.
SHORTZ: Number one is mouse.
SHORTZ: Cat and mouse is right. No. 2 - robbers.
NELSON: Cops and robbers.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh - saucer.
NELSON: Cup and saucer.
SHORTZ: Right. Tie - T-I-E.
NELSON: Coat and tie.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Bull - B-U-L-L.
NELSON: Oh, golly - cock and bull.
SHORTZ: Cock and bull is right - carry.
NELSON: Cash and carry.
SHORTZ: Cash and carry is it. Ale - A-L-E.
NELSON: Cakes and ale or cake and ale.
SHORTZ: That's it - nice - punishment.
NELSON: Crime and punishment.
SHORTZ: That's it - dagger.
NELSON: Cloak and dagger.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh - unusual.
NELSON: Cruel and...
SHORTZ: That's it. Effect - E-F-F-E-C-T.
NELSON: Cause and effect.
SHORTZ: That's right. Whey - W-H-E-Y.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh - Western.
SHORTZ: That's it. Burn - B-U-R-N.
NELSON: B-U-R-N - I may need a hint on this one.
SHORTZ: It's something - well, it's the opposite of doing well. Like, you're doing great here...
NELSON: Oh, I...
SHORTZ: ...So this is the opposite of what you're doing.
NELSON: (Laughter) Crash and burn.
SHORTZ: Crash and burn is it. Gown - G-O-W-N.
SHORTZ: That's it - sugar.
NELSON: Cream and sugar.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh - release.
NELSON: Catch and release.
SHORTZ: That's right. Pollux - P-O-L-L-U-X.
NELSON: Castor and Pollux.
SHORTZ: That's it - driver.
NELSON: Car and driver.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one is get it.
NELSON: Come and get it.
SHORTZ: Come and get it - good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was great. You did such a great job.
NELSON: Oh, well, thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel?
NELSON: I didn't burst into tears. That was my main goal.
SHORTZ: That's setting the bar pretty low.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That is setting the bar pretty low, so I'm glad that didn't happen. We have yet to have that happen, I must say.
NELSON: Oh, good.
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 Mark, what member station do you listen to?
NELSON: We listen to KCLU FM in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Mark Nelson of Santa Barbara, Calif. Thank you for playing The Puzzle.
NELSON: Aw. Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. Tell us next week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Matt Pillai (ph) of Denver. And it involves a word curiosity. Think of a common five-letter word. If you insert an E after the second letter, you'll get a common six-letter word. If instead you insert an E after the fourth letter, you'll get another six-letter word. And if instead you insert an E at the end, you'll get still another six-letter word. What words are these? So again, a five-letter word - and you can add an E after the second letter, after the fourth letter or at the end in each case to complete a common six-letter word. What words are these?
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, August 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.
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.