Coming in Second and Third In the on-air puzzle this week: every answer is a familiar two-word phrase, with the letters "ro" in the second and third positions of each of the words. For example, given the clue "farmers with corn, wheat, etc.," the answer would be "crop growers."
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Coming in Second and Third

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Coming in Second and Third

Coming in Second and Third

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

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

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. Congratulations to you on your degree you got this past week.

HANSEN: Well, thanks. That's why I wasn't here last Sunday. I got my honorary doctorate of humane letters at the University of Hartford, as I said, for two years of study and 35 years of experience. It was - it was a lot of fun. Loved the clothes.

SHORTZ: Fantastic.

HANSEN: Got to say. But I didn't get to hear the puzzle, because in the - I was, in the parlance of commencement, being hooded, stringed and poofed(ph). When they award you the degree, they give you the hood, and there's a whole little ritual that goes along with it. And I hadn't been on campus for a long time, and it was fun to reconnect with the University of Hartford.

But I didn't hear the challenge that you gave everyone last week, so for the benefit of me and everyone, would you repeat it?

SHORTZ: Yes, it was called hi ho, and it has two answers. And I asked solvers to think of both of them. Each answer is a familiar, two-word phrase in which each word has four letters. The middle two letters of the first word are H-I, and the middle two letters of the second word are H-O. What phrases are these?

HANSEN: You know, I would have needed a week to solve this one. What answer -what is the answer?

SHORTZ: Well, the first phrase is chip shot as in golf, and the second is ship ahoy.

HANSEN: Oh, right. Well, you had over 1,500 entries from people who solved the puzzle. And our randomly selected winner is Kit Keller from Lincoln, Nebraska. Hi, Kit.

Ms. KIT KELLER (Puzzle Winner): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: I know Lincoln, Nebraska. I've been there several times. What do you do there?

Ms. KELLER: I am a librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission.

HANSEN: No kidding.

Ms. KELLER: Yeah.

HANSEN: You must have some fascinating stuff in your library.

Ms. KELLER: Oh, we do, and we work with libraries across the state, so we get in touch with people all over that work in libraries and love libraries.

HANSEN: Wow. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. KELLER: Oh, it seems like a million years.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Are you ready to play?

Ms. KELLER: I think I'm ready.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, meet Kit. She's been waiting for this a long time, and let's play.

SHORTZ: Kit, I have a feeling you're going to be good at this. Every answer today is a familiar, two-word phrase...

Ms. KELLER: Okay.

SHORTZ: ...with the letters R-O in the second and third positions of each of the words. That is, blank R-O something and then blank R-O something. For example, if I gave you the clue farmers with corn, wheat, et cetera, you would say, crop growers - R-O in the second and third positions of each of those words. All right?

Ms. KELLER: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number one is a big seller of fine men's suits.

Ms. KELLER: Brooks Brothers?

SHORTZ: Brooks Brothers is right. Number two is metal for a balcony railing, for example.

Ms. KELLER: Metal for a balcony railing. Wrought iron?

SHORTZ: Wrought iron. Excellent. An oath that's not followed.

Ms. KELLER: Broken promise.

SHORTZ: Broken promise is right. A place where extremely high-speed vehicles are tested, as at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Ms. KELLER: Some kind of a course.


Ms. KELLER: No, it's something with R-O.


Ms. KELLER: Liane, do you have any idea?

HANSEN: Mm-mmm.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: None. No.

SHORTZ: It's a proving ground.

HANSEN: Oh, proving ground. Okay.

Ms. KELLER: Ah. Proving ground.

SHORTZ: Okay, try this one - traveled here and there by car.

Ms. KELLER: Drove?

SHORTZ: Yes. You traveled here and there, you...

Ms. KELLER: Drove around.

SHORTZ: Drove around is right. Where two companies advertise each other's products - one advertises the other, and the other advertises the first one. That's called a...

HANSEN: Quid pro quo. No.


HANSEN: I'm - you know, trade-off, but...

SHORTZ: That's a little tough, too. I'll tell you what, it's a cross promotion.

HANSEN: Oh, cross promotion.

Ms. KELLER: Cross promotion.

SHORTZ: Okay, try this one - a fish from a babbling stream.

Ms. KELLER: Brown trout?

SHORTZ: I'll give you that. I was going for brook trout, but I think your answer works. How about a local unit of young girl scouts?

Ms. KELLER: Scout troop? No.

SHORTZ: Troop is right. Think of a young girl scout.

Ms. KELLER: Brownie troop.

SHORTZ: Brownie troop is right. Wearing away of soil, as from a stream's bank.

Ms. KELLER: It's erosion.

SHORTZ: Yes, and what kind of - a synonym for soil?

HANSEN: Ground?

SHORTZ: That's it, ground.

HANSEN: Ground?

Ms. KELLER: Ground erosion.

SHORTZ: Excellent.

Ms. KELLER: Thank you.

HANSEN: My pleasure.

SHORTZ: Try this one: money earned by a business before taxes.

Ms. KELLER: Gross profit.

SHORTZ: Good. That was fast. Yes. Refute, R-E-F-U-T-E.

Ms. KELLER: Prove wrong.

SHORTZ: Prove wrong. Excellent. How about this: an old-fashioned cable car in one of New York City's boroughs.

Ms. KELLER: Brooklyn?

SHORTZ: That's it.

Ms. KELLER: Brooklyn's one of the words?

SHORTZ: Brooklyn is the first, yes, and the cable car goes clang, clang?

HANSEN: Are you familiar with the Judy Garland song? Clang-clang-clang went the...

Ms. KELLER: Trolley.

SHORTZ: There you go.

Ms. KELLER: Went the trolley.

SHORTZ: Trolley is right. And here's your last one - a slangy order to remove ones pants.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. KELLER: Drop trow?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Drop trow is correct.

HANSEN: Oh, I can't believe this is a Sunday morning show, Will.

Ms. KELLER: Yes, it's a family show.

HANSEN: Family show. Anyway, oh, Kit, nice work. Nice work. These weren't...

Ms. KELLER: Thank you.

HANSEN: These were not as easy as he led us to believe, but they were fun.

Ms. KELLER: It was fun.

HANSEN: And you get some things 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 Two; 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. Wow.

Ms. KELLER: Wow.

HANSEN: All right, Kit, what member station do you listen to?

Ms. KELLER: Well, I listen online to

HANSEN: All right. Well, Kit Keller in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Ms. KELLER: Thank you. I had a good time.

HANSEN: So did I. Now, Will, what's the good time we're all going to have next week?

SHORTZ: Well, this week's challenge comes from listener Gary Lederman of New Haven, Connecticut. Name a European nationality, drop the first letter, insert a b, as in boy, somewhere later in this string of letters. The result will name a group of people found mainly in Asia. What is it?

So, again, a European nationality, drop the first letter, insert a b, somewhere later in this string of letters. The result will name a group of people found mainly in Asia. What groups of people are these?

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 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about 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. Hey, Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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