The A-B-Cs Of Anagrams This week, Will Shortz's game involves anagrams, and every word contains the letters A, B and C. For example: To get a type of metal, use A-B-C along with the letters L, O and T. The answer is "cobalt."
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The A-B-Cs Of Anagrams

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The A-B-Cs Of Anagrams

The A-B-Cs Of Anagrams

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

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


CORNISH: Now, this is a great opportunity for me to make yet another plug to have my name added into a New York Times crossword puzzle, which my husband does every day.

SHORTZ: Yeah. You have a very crossword friendly name. You know, four vowels out of five letters. Right now, I think - for Audie we're limited to the Audie Murphy, the cowboy, who's also a decorated hero from World War II, and we need another Audie. The problem is you don't yet host your own NPR show. That's the key.

CORNISH: All right. Well, if you want to put in a word for that too, as well, I'll take it.


CORNISH: You know, get it where I can. Now, remind us of the challenge you gave last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said take the phrase receiving line, rearrange these 13 letters to name a common profession. What profession is it?

CORNISH: Okay. What's the answer?

SHORTZ: Answer is: civil engineer.

CORNISH: A-ha. Well, Will, this week we had close to 3,000 entries, and out of those entries our winner is Mike Gregory from Columbia, Missouri.


CORNISH: Hey. How are you?

Mr. GREGORY: I'm doing great. How are y'all doing?

CORNISH: Now, how long did it take you to solve this puzzle?

Mr. GREGORY: Well, unlike most of the puzzles, this one was relatively quick -in less than 30 seconds.

CORNISH: Whoah, all right. How long have you been playing our puzzle?

Mr. GREGORY: Well, over 10 years. Had the courage to send in answers within the last five years.

CORNISH: Well, you are rewarded with playing with us today. And I wonder if you can tell us what you do there in Columbia, Missouri.

Mr. GREGORY: I'm a pharmacist.

CORNISH: And any other pastimes outside of the puzzle?

Mr. GREGORY: I like to garden outside. My wife and I are avid RVers, campers, and like bluegrass music. Like to listen to it and play bluegrass music.

CORNISH: Are you ready to play our puzzle today?

Mr. GREGORY: I'm ready.

CORNISH: All right. Will, meet Mike. Mike, meet Will.

SHORTZ: All right, Mike and Audie. Today, we're going to do the ABCs of anagrams. Every answer is a word that contains A, B and C, plus some other letters. For example, if I said ABC plus lot L-O-T to make a metal, you would say cobalt.

All right? Number one is ABC plus one, O-N-E, and you're making a word that means lighthouse.

Mr. GREGORY: Bacone...

SHORTZ: It does start with B. You got the right first letter. What's another term for a lighthouse?

Mr. GREGORY: Well, that's where I'm having trouble.


Mr. GREGORY: Beacon.

SHORTZ: Beacon, good one. All right. Number two is ABC plus Tom, T-O-M, and the answer is a word that means fighting.

Mr. GREGORY: Combat.

SHORTZ: Combat, good. ABC plus fir, F-I-R, making material for clothing.

Mr. GREGORY: Fabric, making...

SHORTZ: That's it, fabric, good. ABC plus rode, R-O-D-E, making material for drapery.

Mr. GREGORY: ABC plus rode. Not embroider.

SHORTZ: Starts with a B. It's a heavy fabric for drapery, sometimes a wedding dress or upholstery.

Mr. GREGORY: I might need help with this one, Audie. I'm not into the sewing.

CORNISH: Well, I actually do happen to know this one. Is it brocade?

SHORTZ: Brocade, good one.

Mr. GREGORY: Oh, thank you.

SHORTZ: All right. How about ABC plus Lyon, L-Y-O-N, making a setting in "Romeo and Juliet."

Mr. GREGORY: Setting in "Romeo and Juliet" - balcony.

SHORTZ: Balcony is it, good. ABC plus tine, T-I-N-E, which is that little prong at the end of a fork, and you get a place to store things.

Mr. GREGORY: Cabinet.

SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. ABC plus proud, P-R-O-U-D, also to get a place to store things.

Mr. GREGORY: It's not coming to me.

SHORTZ: Do you know, Audie?

CORNISH: Well, it's not your cabinet and so maybe it's your cupboard?

SHORTZ: It's your cupboard, good.

CORNISH: I've never written my ABCs so many times on a piece of paper.

SHORTZ: How about ABC plus holer, H-O-L-E-R, making an unmarried man.

Mr. GREGORY: Bachelor.

SHORTZ: Bachelor is right. ABC plus foils, F-O-I-L-S, as in tin foils, and makes a word meaning some glasses.

Mr. GREGORY: Bifocals.

SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. ABC plus creak, C-R-E-A-K, making a seafood appetizer or entr´┐Że.

Mr. GREGORY: Crab cake.

SHORTZ: Crab cake. God, that's good. And here's your last one: ABC plus censure, C-E-N-S-U-R-E, naming an NFL team.

CORNISH: Hmm. I'm not going to be much help to you here, Mike.

Mr. GREGORY: Well, I follow the NFL but not in mixed up letters here. Let's see.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Think of a team in Florida.

Mr. GREGORY: Florida. Jacksonville. No.

SHORTZ: Think of Tampa Bay.

Mr. GREGORY: Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

SHORTZ: Buccaneers is it. Good job.

CORNISH: Great job, Mike.

Mr. GREGORY: Thank you. Thank you for your help, Audie.

CORNISH: Now, to tell you what you'll get for playing today's puzzle is none other than President Obama's drug czar, who actually made a point of asking to read the prizes when he came in for an interview a few weeks ago. Here's Gil Kerlikowske.

Mr. GIL KERLIKOWSKE (Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy): For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers, the book series "Will Shortz Presents KenKen," Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press, one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books, and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles.

CORNISH: All right. Before we let you go Mike, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. GREGORY: Actually, my wife and I are members of two local NPR stations, KBIA and KOPN.

CORNISH: Oh, thank you so much for supporting those stations.

Mr. GREGORY: Sure.

CORNISH: Mike Gregory from Columbia, Missouri, thank you for playing the puzzle with us.

Mr. GREGORY: Thank you very much.

CORNISH: And, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Brett Yost via the Internet. Think of two words that are opposites, beginning with the letters H and M, as in Mary. Change the H to an M also. Say the result out loud, you'll name something that's nice to eat. What is it? So, again, two words that are opposites, beginning with the letters H and M. Change the H to an M. Say the result out loud, and you'll name something that's tasty. What is it?

CORNISH: Okay, puzzle fans, when you have the answer go to our Web site, and click on the submit your answer link. Now, only one entry per person, please. Our deadline is Thursday, at 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'll get to play 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, Audie.

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