Who Killed This Puzzle? Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with the initials J.R. For example, if the clue is "going for a spin in a stolen car," the answer would be "joy ride."
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Who Killed This Puzzle?

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Who Killed This Puzzle?

Who Killed This Puzzle?

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.


HANSEN: Well, if it's near the end of January, then the crossword puzzle tournament can't be far behind, can it?

SHORTZ: That's right. It's the 33rd American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. It's coming up in four weeks, February 19 to 21 in Brooklyn. And a new feature this year is a puzzler's variety show Sunday morning just before the playoff round. And some of the officials and contestants will be performing music, comedy and other entertainment. So, I just want to mention that to listeners. You can also compete from home. And if you're interested in information, you can get it at CrosswordTournment.com.

HANSEN: So you're moving the variety show from Saturday night to Sunday morning?

SHORTZ: We have other stuff Saturday night this year.

HANSEN: It sounds like you're keeping it under wraps.

SHORTZ: Well, it's going to be trivia games and extra word games.

HANSEN: Wow. Well, I still remember the crew from Dinner Impossible last year. That was a lot of fun.

SHORTZ: That was great.

HANSEN: That was great. All right, well, let's get to our radio puzzle that we do every week and remind us of the challenge - a difficult one - that you gave us last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from Mike Reese, who produces "The Simpsons" and is co-creator of "The Critic." I said: I'm looking for the full name of a well-known TV actress and TV comedienne. The first four letters of the actress' first name are the last four letters of the comedienne's last name. And the first four letters of the comedienne's first name are the last four of the actress' last name. Who are these well known entertainers?

HANSEN: This was a toughie. Just give us the answer.

SHORTZ: The answer is Teri Hatcher and Cheri Oteri.

HANSEN: Oh goodness. I tell you, you stumped them this week. You stumped them. We only received only, oh, well, just over 350 entries. And from those correct entries we randomly selected our winner, Mike Dill from Dallas, Texas. Hi, Mike.

Mr. MIKE DILL: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: So, how long did it take you to solve this puzzle?

Mr. DILL: It took a couple of days, but seriously, when I was out for a run, maybe half an hour to 45 minutes into it it came to me.

HANSEN: Wow. Do you listen to the show when you're running?

Mr. DILL: No. I get the puzzle online and then I (unintelligible) puzzle is and work on it while I'm physically occupied.

HANSEN: Ah. How long have you been playing?

Mr. DILL: A couple of years.

HANSEN: Okay. What do you do in Dallas?

Mr. DILL: I'm retired. I used to be a lawyer.

HANSEN: Okay. Well then, and a word man, obviously. Are you ready to play?

Mr. DILL: I am.

HANSEN: I think so. Will, meet Mike. Mike, meet Will. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Mike. Today's puzzle is called J-R. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with the initials J-R. For example, if I said going for a spin in a stolen car, you would say joy ride. Number one is pastry with preserves inside.

Mr. DILL: Jelly roll.

SHORTZ: Jelly roll is right. Number two: what married taxpayers usually file with the IRS.

Mr. DILL: A joint return.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A pirate flag.

Mr. DILL: A jolly Roger.

SHORTZ: Right. What an appellate court exercises over a lower court.

Mr. DILL: Judicial review.

SHORTZ: Right. I thought you'd get that one. Item used in double dutch.

Mr. DILL: Jump rope.

SHORTZ: That's right. What's practiced by synagogue goers.

Mr. DILL: Jewish rituals.

SHORTZ: Okay. Or Jewish religion. Waterway forming part of Israel's border that goes to the Dead Sea.

Mr. DILL: Um, boy.

HANSEN: Jordan River?

Mr. DILL: Something river.

SHORTZ: Jordan...

Mr. DILL: Jordan River.

HANSEN: Jordan River.

SHORTZ: Jordan River is it. Elvis Presley film or number one song from it.

HANSEN: J-R, oh.

Mr. DILL: I'm lost.

HANSEN: Jailhouse...

SHORTZ: Liane?

HANSEN: "Jailhouse Rock?"

SHORTZ: "Jailhouse Rock," good. Nickname for a southern soldier in the Civil War.

Mr. DILL: A southern soldier. Something rebel?


Mr. DILL: Johnny Reb.

SHORTZ: Johnny Reb is it. Here's another one up your line: place for deliberations in a trial.

Mr. DILL: A jury room.

SHORTZ: Right. Place where sushi is served.

Mr. DILL: Japanese restaurant.

SHORTZ: Right. Dave Brubeck or Count Basie disc.

Mr. DILL: Jazz record.

SHORTZ: Yes. What a crime of passion is often committed in.

Mr. DILL: Um, something rage.

SHORTZ: Yes, what kind?

HANSEN: Jealous?

Mr. DILL: Jealous.

SHORTZ: Jealous rage, good. State license and two year's experience, for example.

Mr. DILL: Job requirement.

SHORTZ: That's it. Follower of the third U.S. president, a believer in agrarian democracy.

Mr. DILL: Follower of the third U.S. president. Um, boy.

HANSEN: Believer in agrarian democracy.

SHORTZ: Well, there was Washington and Adams and then who was third?

Mr. DILL: Jefferson.


Mr. DILL: Oh, Jeffersonian Republican?

SHORTZ: That's it. Good.

HANSEN: Nice. Very good.

SHORTZ: Distinctive alcohol from the Caribbean used to make a hurricane.

Mr. DILL: Jamaican rum?

SHORTZ: That's it. A very fast hare.

Mr. DILL: A very fast hare?


SHORTZ: Hare, H-A-R-E.

Mr. DILL: Oh, hare. Oh, jack rabbit.

SHORTZ: Jack rabbit. And your last one: When Goldilocks tried the beds of the three bears, one bed was too hard, one was too soft and the third one was...

Mr. DILL: Just right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Just right. Good job.

HANSEN: Oh, just right. Mike Dill, well done. Yeah, gee...

Mr. DILL: Thank you, Liane. You definitely filled in some for me.

HANSEN: Oh, only a few. You were on a jelly roll, as they say.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: We have some special guests to tell you about your prizes for playing our puzzle today. They are members of the a cappella vocal sextet Sonos.

Unidentified Man #1: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get...

Unidentified Woman #1: A WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin.

Unidentified Woman #2: The "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers.

Unidentified Woman #1: The book series; "Will Shortz Presents KenKen," Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press.

Unidentified Man #1: One of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Unidentified Man #2: And a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzle.

(Soundbite of singing)

HANSEN: Hey, Mike. What do you think?

Mr. DILL: Sounds great.

HANSEN: Dont they though? I mean, you know, weve got our own glee club at NPR on the show this week. Anyway, before we let you go, Mike, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. DILL: KERA in Dallas, Texas.

HANSEN: Mike Dill from Dallas, Texas, thanks a lot for playing our puzzle today.

Mr. DILL: Thank you both. I enjoyed it.

HANSEN: We did too. And, Will, we get to do it again. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. Think of a common first name for a boy starting with the letter E, two syllables. Rearrange all the letters to name a common first name for a girl, also in two syllables. What names are these? So, again, a common first name for a boy starting with the letter E in two syllables, rearrange all the letters to name a common first name for a girl, also in two syllables. What names 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 is Thursday, 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if youre the winner, and you can o play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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