Sunday Puzzle: Words of a feather ENTER TEASER

Sunday Puzzle: Words of a feather

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AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

And it's time to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RASCOE: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION. Good to talk to you, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Ayesha.

RASCOE: And Will, please remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Melissa DePaola of Newnan, Ga. I said name two things that many houses are built with - blank and blank. Drop the first letter of the first thing. Change the last two letters of the second thing to a Y. And you'll name a popular TV show, blank and blank. What is it? And the things you build a house with are brick and mortar. Make those changes - you get "Rick And Morty."

RASCOE: Wow. This was a challenge that got a lot of answers. We received more than 4,300 correct answers. And the lucky winner is Kristofer Marks of Olympia, Wash.

Congratulations and welcome to the show.

KRISTOFER MARKS: Thanks so much. It's great to be here.

RASCOE: So how long have you been playing The Puzzle?

MARKS: Off and on for about 16 years.

RASCOE: But I understand this is your first submission.

MARKS: It is. It is.

RASCOE: Oh, wow. Did you also buy a lottery ticket?

SHORTZ: That's what I was going to suggest.

(LAUGHTER)

MARKS: Maybe I'll put that on my to-do list.

RASCOE: You need to go out and do it because that - your first submission, and you got it. There's some people out hear playing for years, and they ain't got it. They're going to be mad at you.

MARKS: Beginner's luck.

RASCOE: (Laughter). What do you do when you're not playing The Puzzle?

MARKS: I'm a delivery driver. I do gig work in and around Olympia.

RASCOE: Oh, OK. My husband does as well. So are you ready to play this Puzzle?

MARKS: I am ready as ever.

RASCOE: Take it away, Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Kristofer, I'm going to give you two words. Drop one letter from each of them to leave two words that are in the same category of things. For example, if I said drill - D-R-I-L-L - and stage - S-T-A-G-E, you would say dill and sage because you dropped one letter from each of them, and you get two herbs.

MARKS: OK.

SHORTZ: So here we go. Number one is feather - F-E-A-T-H-E-R - and taunt - T-A-U-N-T.

MARKS: Feather and taunt. I see father and aunt.

SHORTZ: A father and aunt. Both relatives. That's correct. Number two is Marks - M-A-R-K-S - and venues - V-E-N-U-E-S.

MARKS: Marks. That's my name. And venues.

SHORTZ: There you go.

MARKS: We're going to have to drop the consonant. Mars and Venus.

RASCOE: Yes, yes.

SHORTZ: You got it. Statue - S-T-A-T-U-E - and country.

MARKS: Statue and country. I've got state and county.

SHORTZ: You have it. Latke - L-A-T-K-E - and pound - P-O-U-N-D.

MARKS: Latke, you said? L-A-T-K-E.

SHORTZ: Right.

MARKS: And pound. I've got lake and pond.

SHORTZ: You have it. Scorn - S-C-O-R-N - and beret - B-E-R-E-T.

MARKS: Corn and beet.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Closest - C-L-O-S-E-S-T - and shall - S-H-A-L-L.

MARKS: Shall. I shall figure this out. It is...

SHORTZ: You will.

MARKS: It is hall and closet. Closet and hall.

SHORTZ: Two rooms is right. Blush - B-L-U-S-H - and charter - C-H-A-R-T-E-R.

MARKS: Plush and charger.

SHORTZ: It's blush with a B.

MARKS: I see blush. I see bush and...

RASCOE: He just celebrated a birthday.

SHORTZ: There you go.

MARKS: I am blanking on this.

RASCOE: A president, a president.

MARKS: Carter. Oh, Bush and Carter.

RASCOE: Yes.

SHORTZ: Carter is it. Good, good. Your last one is preach - P-R-E-A-C-H - and bandana - B-A-N-D-A-N-A.

MARKS: Peach and banana.

SHORTZ: You got it.

RASCOE: (Laughter) How do you feel?

MARKS: That was really fun. I feel good.

RASCOE: (Laughter). Well, you did an excellent job. 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, Kristofer, what member station do you listen to?

MARKS: I listen to KNKX out of Seattle-Tacoma and KUOW out of Olympia.

RASCOE: That's Kristofer Marks of Olympia, Wash. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.

MARKS: Thank you so much for having me. This is a great time.

RASCOE: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener David Edelheit of Oyster Bay, N.Y. Think of a pair of two-syllable words that are pronounced the same, except one is accented on the first syllable while the other is accented on the second. And the word that's accented on the first syllable is associated with confrontation, while the word that's accented on the second syllable is associated with cooperation. What words are these? So again, a pair of two-syllable words pronounced the same, except one's accented in the first syllable and the other on the second. And the first one is associated with confrontation. The second one is associated with the opposite, cooperation. What words are these?

RASCOE: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, October 20 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call. And if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Thank you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Ayesha.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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