Separated by A Clues are given for two short words. Combine the words and add the letter A in between them and you'll get the answer to a third clue.
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Separated by A

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Separated by A

Separated by A

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi Liane.

HANSEN: How are you? Did you have a good time at the crossword puzzle tournament?

SHORTZ: It was just great. Tyler Hinman, who's the kid shown in WordPlay who won the tournament a few years, I believe…

HANSEN: Mm-hmm.

SHORTZ: …now won four times in a row.

HANSEN: Good for him.

SHORTZ: So he's 23 years old and is the champion again.

HANSEN: Well, I spent the early week at Wisconsin Public Radio. I went from Madison to Stevens Point to Mosinee at the University of Wisconsin giving a lecture, so you are very well loved there. And I have a question for you. Okay.

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: I found a real fact, number 167 on a bottle cap. All right. Here's the question. How long do you have to play table tennis for to lose a pound?

SHORTZ: I have read that and that is bogus. I think it says 10 hours. I don't know. I'd…

HANSEN: No, it's 12, it's 12.

SHORTZ: Twelve hours? And I think that's if you're just - I don't know just popping the ball, lobbing the ball back and forth.

HANSEN: Okay.

SHORTZ: I don't know, the way I play the table tennis, I think I would work that off in 30 minutes.

HANSEN: Well, all right. We've had enough chit chat. Let's get to the challenge. First of all, the one you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Jed Martinez(ph) of Margate City, Florida. I said take the letters in the word marionettes, rearrange these 11 letters to spell the names of two animals that are related. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: They are ermine and stoat, both members of the weasel family.

HANSEN: All right. Well, we have over 1700 entries from people who solved the puzzle. Our randomly selected winner is Nancy Herrington(ph) from Syracuse, New York. Hi Nancy.

Ms. NANCY HERRINGTON (Caller): Hi there.

HANSEN: What do you do there in Syracuse?

Ms. HERRINGTON: Well, I'm a retired science librarian.

HANSEN: Oh, a perfect combination there. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. HERRINGTON: I've been playing the puzzle forever, back to the postcard days.

HANSEN: Wow, 20 years, huh?

Ms. HERRINGTON: Yeah, for sure.

HANSEN: Well, this is great because now - because we had - our player last week had only been playing for a month and been listening…

Ms. HERRINGTON: I know, and that made me so angry.

HANSEN: Well, it sounds like you are ready to play. Are you?

Ms. HERRINGTON: I hope so.

HANSEN: Okay. Well Will, meet Nancy. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Nancy. I'm going to give you a clue for a short word, plus the letter A, plus a clue for another short word which together will all add up to spell a word answering my last clue. For example, if I said a sudden wind, plus a British conservative equals pertaining to taste, you would say gustatory. A sudden wind is a gust, a British conservative is a Tory, and that goes together to make gustatory.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Good grief.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: It sounds harder than it is. Here's number one. Large, plus a light fog equals a man with two wives. What's a short word meaning large?

Ms. HERRINGTON: Big?

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: And then add the A.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Big-a…

SHORTZ: Uh-huh, and a man with two wives, or multiple wives.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Bigamist.

HANSEN: Bigamist.

SHORTZ: Bigamist is right. Good. Try this one, number two, an event for Cinderella, plus a buck or doe equals a singer of romantic songs.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Balladeer.

SHORTZ: Balladeer, that's fast. A friend plus a piece of furniture equals tasty. What's a basic work for a friend, short word?

Ms. HERRINGTON: Hmm.

HANSEN: Sometimes goes with pen.

SHORTZ: If you correspond with someone overseas it would be a pen-blank.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Pal?

SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Okay.

SHORTZ: A piece of furniture that you would pull a chair up to?

Ms. HERRINGTON: Table, desk.

HANSEN: Yes.

SHORTZ: There - oh, you just said the first one.

HANSEN: Yeah, it's a table, but you know what he's doing is he's messing with pronunciation here. So the word he's looking for is pal-a-table.

SHORTZ: That's right, palatable, which is tasty.

HANSEN: Ah, yeah, tricky.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Palatable?

HANSEN: Got it.

SHORTZ: All right. Go for this one. Another word for a friend, plus a bothersome person equals the capital of Hungary.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Oh, Budapest.

SHORTZ: Budapest, it's good.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Obvious, plus a monarch equals surpassing. Well, that's a little tough. I - first of all, what's a monarch?

Ms. HERRINGTON: Ching.

SHORTZ: Yeah, okay, so it's going to end in a-king. And the first part is obvious and it all goes together to make surpassing.

HANSEN: The obvious isn't so obvious.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Oh, the obvious isn't so obvious, okay.

HANSEN: Is it Nancy? I don't know.

SHORTZ: What if I tell you it starts with an O? If you're on the road and you're car catches up with another one and then is…

HANSEN: Overtake?

SHORTZ: Overtaking, Overt-a-king.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Overt-a-king, oh, are you…

SHORTZ: Good, good.

Ms. HERRINGTON: And last?

SHORTZ: All right. No, we're not there yet.

HANSEN: Good for you, Nancy.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Okay. Try this. A male turkey, plus a bird of prey equals an Indian weapon.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Tomahawk.

SHORTZ: Tomahawk, that's fast. Part of a boxing match plus a boxing match equals circuitous.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Hmm. Round-a…

SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. HERRINGTON: …bout.

SHORTZ: The roundabout is it. And now, your last one…

Ms. HERRINGTON: All right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: A sum of money set aside for a particular purpose, plus a mind reader equals a person who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Oh, uh…

SHORTZ: So here it is again.(Unintelligible).

Ms. HERRINGTON: Fundamentalist.

SHORTZ: Fundamentalist, nice job.

HANSEN: All right, Nancy. I know you're ready for me to get to those things that you're going to get for working so hard on this puzzle aren't you? All right. Let me tell you what you're going to get. 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 Brother, the Puzzle Master Presents from Random House, Volume 2, Will Shortz's Little Black Book of Sudoku and Black and White Book of Crosswords from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master decks of riddles and challenges from Chronicle Books. Nancy, tell me us what member station you listen to.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Oh, well, actually we belong to three different ones.

HANSEN: Oh.

Ms. HERRINGTON: We're public radio partners of WRVO.

HANSEN: And that's in Oswego, yeah.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Oswego, Syracuse.

HANSEN: Okay. And what are the other two?

Ms. HERRINGTON: WCNY and then the other is North Country Public Radio out of St. Lawrence University in Canton.

HANSEN: Nancy Herrington, from Syracuse, New York, thanks a lot for playing with us today.

Ms. HERRINGTON: Well, thank you so much.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, a challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it's an easy one I think and it's an extension of my on-air puzzle, name two vehicles, put the letter A between them and the result will be a word naming what the two vehicles might be in. What is it? So again, two vehicles, put the letter A between them, the result will name something the two vehicles might be in. What two vehicles are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org/puzzle and click on the-submit-your-answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3:00 PM 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, I'm going to be off for a week, family vacation, so I'll see you in two. Thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Have fun Liane. Thanks a lot.

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