What Does It All Mean? This week's on-air puzzle is an extension of last week's challenge in which a group of letters and symbols represent a familiar word or phrase.
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What Does It All Mean?

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What Does It All Mean?

What Does It All Mean?

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

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

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. Happy Mother's Day.

HANSEN: Thank you very much. Before I chat to you about something really important, I just want to thank the folks at WFCR and WNNZ in Amherst for having me to visit them this past week. It was a lot of fun.

But that is not as exciting as what you're going to tell us about where we can all see you tomorrow night. Let us in.

SHORTZ: Well, tomorrow night, yeah, I'm going to be on the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." I'm playing myself. And the idea is there's three special guests: Arianna Huffington, Peter Bogdanovich, the film director, and I are at a snooty New York City party which the cast of the show sort of crashes.

HANSEN: That should be a lot of fun. All right. Well, we want to play. And we start with the challenge you gave us last week. What was it?

SHORTZ: I said write down the number 100. Underneath this, write 100-slash-500. And I asked the name of what U.S. city does this represent?

HANSEN: And your answer?

SHORTZ: Well, let me tell you, first of all it involves Roman numerals. One hundred equals C in Roman numerals, 500 equals D, and a slash mark can represent or, in some situations. Put it all together, that's C on C or D equals Concord, as in the capital of New Hampshire.

HANSEN: Well, it was a little harder than expected. We received only about 460 entries this week, and out of those entries our winner is Joan Suits of Houghton, Michigan. And actually, she happens to be in Washington this weekend, so she's in the studio. Welcome to the program.

Ms. JOAN SUITS: Thanks.

HANSEN: What are you doing in Washington this weekend?

Ms. SUITS: Well, this is a vacation and I'm here with my husband and we are seeing our son Jim and then we're catching up with some old friends.

HANSEN: All right. Well, are you ready to play?

Ms. SUITS: I am.

HANSEN: Okay. Well, Will, say hi to Joan. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right. Joan and Liane, today's on-air puzzle is an extension of last week's challenge in which a group of letters and symbols represent a familiar word or phrase, just like Concord. And here's your first one. Write down the letters C-O and under the letter S, as in Sam. And your clue is things that shoppers clip from newspapers.

Ms. SUITS: Co-upon-S, coupons.

SHORTZ: Coupons, yes. C-O-upon-S, nice. Number two is write down the letters A-S, S as in Sam, and where the first modern Olympics were held.

Ms. SUITS: Athens.

SHORTZ: Athens, and that represents A then S.

Ms. SUITS: Then S.

SHORTZ: Okay. Here's your next one: S as in Sam, and then R, and your clue is beams that support a roof. Think of where the R is in relationship with to the S.

Ms. SUITS: R after - rafters.

HANSEN: Rafters.

SHORTZ: Rafters, R after S, good.

HANSEN: Good job.

SHORTZ: All right. Your next one: write down M as in Mary, an equals sign, then a G, and underneath that write the letter N as in Nancy. And your clue is to rule in a bad way.

Ms. SUITS: I'm really stuck...


Ms. SUITS: ...coming up with anything here.

HANSEN: M equals G - you're not using the roman numeral M to mean a thousand?

SHORTZ: Nope. No more roman numerals here.

HANSEN: No more roman numerals.

Ms. SUITS: I'm looking at massive gravity and it's not coming up with anything.

SHORTZ: And equals - what two-letter word could mean the same as equals?

Ms. SUITS: I'm still not coming up with...

HANSEN: Miss...

SHORTZ: M is G over N is misgovern.

Ms. SUITS: Oh.

HANSEN: Misgovern.

Ms. SUITS: Okay.

HANSEN: All right. Are we having fun yet?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Try this one: Write the letter D as in dog. Inside it do a K over a W. And your clue is a brilliant young person.

Ms. SUITS: Wunderkind.

HANSEN: Wunderkind, yeah. Very nice.

SHORTZ: Wunderkind - W under K in D. Good. Write down the letters W-Y. And your clue is what a driver and an intersection may yield. It's a three-word phrase -5-2-3.

Ms. SUITS: Right...

SHORTZ: Um-hum.

Ms. SUITS: Right of way.


SHORTZ: That's right of W a Y. Write down the desk D-E-S-K, and your clue is left in a hurry. It's a 10-letter word meaning left in a hurry.

Ms. SUITS: Skedaddled.

SHORTZ: That's it, skedaddled. That's sked-addled. Good. Okay. Here's your next one. Write down these three letters: H-Y-Y, and your clue is a person who's good at fixing things. It's a two-word phrase, 5-4.


SHORTZ: No, it's not phonetic because...

Ms. SUITS: Two wise guys.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: This goes only by spelling.

HANSEN: It's not hand...


HANSEN: Handy something?

HANSEN: It's not hand...


HANSEN: Handy something?

SHORTZ: Handy. Yes.

Ms. SUITS: Handy-wise love. Handy-wise and...

SHORTZ: Ah, I'm just going to have to tell you.

Ms. SUITS: Yeah.

SHORTZ: It's a Handy Andy.

Ms. SUITS: Oh, okay.

SHORTZ: A Handy Andy. And that's H-N-Y-N-Y.

Ms. SUITS: Sure.

SHORTZ: Heres your last one. Write down the letters C. Underneath it write E-N-T-S, and underneath that write G. And your clue is spies. It's a two-word phrase, 10 letters in the first word, six letters in the last - 10-6. Spies.

Ms. SUITS: G under, under...

SHORTZ: Yeah, not...

Ms. SUITS: Covert.


Ms. SUITS: Oh.

SHORTZ: There is an over involved but it's not covert.


SHORTZ: What two-word word phrase would mean spies which has cover in it?

Ms. SUITS: Cover agents.

SHORTZ: Yeah, agents is right. There's your six letter word. Something cover agents.

Ms. SUITS: Undercover agents.

HANSEN: Undercover agents.

SHORTZ: There you go. Under C over a G, E-N-T-S. Undercover agents. Nice job.

HANSEN: Joan...

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Can I tell you how happy I am that youre here today?

Ms. SUITS: I'm just happy there's air conditioning in here.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You were fabulous. I was lost in the weeds so badly with this one. Oh, my. But great job. Great job, Joan. Great job. So, to tell you what youll get for playing the puzzle today are some of Will's brand new best friends. It's the cast of "How I Met Your Mother."

Unidentified Woman #1: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin.

Unidentified Man: The "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers.

Unidentified Man #2: the book series, "Will Shortz Present KenKen" Volumes 1 and 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press.

Unidentified Man #3: one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Unidentified Woman #2: And a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles.

HANSEN: Before we let you go, tell us what member station you listen to.

Ms. SUITS: I actually belong to three stations.


Ms. SUITS: I am a member of WGGO, which is a Minnesota Public Radio affiliate, WNMU out of Marquette, Michigan, and WCMU in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

HANSEN: All right. Hat trick member. Nice work. Joan Suits from Houghton, Michigan, thanks for coming in and playing the puzzle with us today.

Ms. SUITS: My pleasure. Thank you, Liane. Thanks, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks.

HANSEN: All right, Will. What do you have for us to work on for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. This week's challenge comes from listener Oren Stern of Santa Clara, California. Think of a big name in the oil business, drop the first and last letters to get another big name in the oil business. What are these two names? So again, big name in the oil business, drop the first and last letters and you get another big name in the oil business. What names are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our website, Npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. And our deadline this week, it's different, it'll be Wednesday, 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 puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.

And, Will, next week I'll be visiting the fine folks at WUOM in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So Ill be away. You'll be joined by Rebecca Roberts. And boy, thanks for getting our brains working this morning.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Liane.

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