The Hidden 'Arms' Hold the Answer The on-air puzzle for this week has hidden "arms." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase that uses the consecutive letters A,R,M. Specifically, the first word in the phrase will end in A,R, and the second word will start with M. For example, given the clue, Garage Worker, the answer would be, Car Mechanic.
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The Hidden 'Arms' Hold the Answer

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The Hidden 'Arms' Hold the Answer

The Hidden 'Arms' Hold the Answer

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Crossword Editor, New York Times): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you this week?

Mr. SHORTZ: I'm doing excellent. Cold but excellent. How are you?

HANSEN: I'm doing - I'm cold but excellent too, but you know, spring is not that far away, so we just have to be a little bit patient.

Mr. SHORTZ: You know, we change our clocks ahead today, and the old slogan is spring ahead but fall back, and we're not spring yet. So my idea is the new slogan has to be March ahead and fall back. What do you think?

HANSEN: Interesting. I like it. I like March ahead. Then we'd have, you know, a couple of commands: March forth, or as the Irish say - March the 17th, sleep the 18th is what they say about St. Patrick's Day.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All right. Well yeah, I know, having lost an hour of sleep, I'm not quite sure how my brain's going to work, but we'll see. Remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, I said name something good to eat in two words, seven letters in each word. All the letters in the first word are in the first half of the alphabet, A to M, and all the letters in the second word are in the second half of the alphabet, N to Z. And I said here's a hint: The initials of the two words are A.S. What food is it?

HANSEN: What food is it?

Mr. SHORTZ: Alfalfa sprouts.

HANSEN: Oh, they are good to eat. I like them on a sandwich. We had over 1,700 entries from people who solved the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner is Marcy Howard from Austin, Texas. Marcy, hi.

Ms. MARCY HOWARD (Puzzle Winner): Hi, how are y'all?

HANSEN: Very well. What do you do there in Austin, Texas?

Ms. HOWARD: I'm retired from the family nursery business.

HANSEN: Oh, you're a plant person.

Ms. HOWARD: Yes.

HANSEN: Are you a puzzle person, too?

Ms. HOWARD: Yes, I am.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing this one?

Ms. HOWARD: About a year or two.

HANSEN: No kidding.

Ms. HOWARD: No, my son got me into it, and I love it.

HANSEN: Oh well, yeah, so you know what happens now.

Ms. HOWARD: I know what happens.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All right. Well, Marcy, I'd like you to meet Will. Will, please meet Marcy, and let's all play.

Ms. HOWARD: It is a pleasure.

Mr. SHORTZ: Hi, Marcy, nice to meet you too. Well, today's puzzle has hidden arms. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with the consecutive letters A-R-M, and specifically the first word in the phrase will end in A-R, and the second word will start with M. For example, if I gave you the clue garage worker, you would say car mechanic.

Ms. HOWARD: Okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right. Number one is a rite of passage for a Jewish boy.

Ms. HOWARD: Bar Mitzvah.

Mr. SHORTZ: Bar Mitzvah, good job. Number two: sell-off on Wall Street.

Ms. HOWARD: Bear market?

Mr. SHORTZ: Bear market is right. Man's facial hair that curls up at the ends.

Ms. HOWARD: Handlebar moustache.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. Vehicle that lands on the moon.

Ms. HOWARD: Car...

Mr. SHORTZ: No. What's that thing that goes down from the orbiting rocket down to the surface?

Ms. HOWARD: I'm blank.

HANSEN: First word would be lunar.

Ms. HOWARD: Module.


Mr. SHORTZ: Lunar module is right.

Ms. HOWARD: What is the matter...

Mr. SHORTZ: You're doing great. Here's your next one: a close call.

Ms. HOWARD: Near miss.

Mr. SHORTZ: Near miss. Rhythm and blues, rock and roll or rap.

Ms. HOWARD: Some kind of music.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah, what kind? Not classical.

Ms. HOWARD: I don't know.

HANSEN: Could it be popular?

Ms. HOWARD: Popular.

Mr. SHORTZ: Popular music is it. Try this one: a tree whose sap is used to used to make pancake syrup.

Ms. HOWARD: Sugar maple.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Company that produces Havanas.

Ms. HOWARD: Cigar maker?

Mr. SHORTZ: A cigar-maker or manufacturer. Something you wear in the winter to keep the sides of your head warm.

Ms. HOWARD: Ear muffs.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. A monument that honors fallen soldiers.

Ms. HOWARD: War memorial.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. A big manufacturer of bologna.

Ms. HOWARD: Oscar Mayer.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A selection of dishes at a restaurant costing exactly 100 cents.

Ms. HOWARD: Dollar menu?

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Meter or rod, for example.

Ms. HOWARD: Area measure?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, measure is right.

Ms. HOWARD: Linear measure.

Mr. SHORTZ: Linear measure is it. A chart showing constellations.

Ms. HOWARD: Solar map?

Mr. SHORTZ: Map is right, and what are those little things in the sky that twinkle?

Ms. HOWARD: Star map.

Mr. SHORTZ: Star map is right. Radioactive stuff from a reactor.

Ms. HOWARD: Is it radar something?


Ms. HOWARD: I'm blanking now.

HANSEN: Nuclear.

Ms. HOWARD: Ah, nuclear - material?

Mr. SHORTZ: Nuclear material, nuclear matter, either one, and your last one: an exclamation meaning alas.

Ms. HOWARD: Dear me.

Mr. SHORTZ: Dear me is correct.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Dear me, Marcy, nice work.

Ms. HOWARD: Oh, thank you, Liane.

HANSEN: Oh, very quick. You sounded like you were having a good time.

Ms. HOWARD: I thoroughly enjoyed it.

HANSEN: Ah, how nice. Well, you get some other things for playing our puzzle today, other than just the enjoyment of playing. 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. You're going to have a lot of puzzles to do. You're going to have a great time.

Ms. HOWARD: I'm thrilled.

HANSEN: Marcy, tell us what member station you listen to.

Ms. HOWARD: It's KUT in Austin, 90.5.

HANSEN: Good for you for giving the frequency. Marcy Howard from Austin, Texas, one of my favorite cities, I have to say. And thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Ms. HOWARD: Thank you.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, what's the challenge everyone will work on during the next week?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it sounds a little more complicated than it is, but you do have to pay attention. It's from Henry Hook, who's one of the country's most brilliant crossword constructors. Take a six-letter word used in a certain sport. Add the letter I. Re-arrange the resulting seven letters to spell the first name of a famous actress. This actress's last name, in five letters, identifies the place where the sport is played. Who is the actress, and what is the sports term?

So again, a six-letter word used in a certain sport. Add an I, re-arrange the resulting seven letters to spell the first name of a famous actress. Her last name, in five letters, identifies the place where the sport is played. Who's the actress, and what's the sports term?

HANSEN: 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, 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'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. Will, as always, thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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