Time To Get Very Creative Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials V.C. For example, given "serving of calf's meat," the answer would be "veal chop."
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Time To Get Very Creative

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Time To Get Very Creative

Time To Get Very Creative

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

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. Great to be back.

HANSEN: Had a nice time on your vacation?

SHORTZ: I did. I went camping, played table tennis in Alameda, California, saw my brother and his family in Santa Barbara. So, had a great two weeks.

HANSEN: I wanted to asked you if you're familiar with a new program that's airing on AMC called "Rubicon." Are you?

SHORTZ: No, I don't know that.

HANSEN: It just began. And I was reading something about it. And apparently it's a procedural, you know, solving crimes and so forth, but they use crossword puzzles as part of their conceit and, you know - you know how you have police boards on the set and stuff? Well, they have crosswords. It debuted when you were away so.

SHORTZ: I'll check it out. Thanks.

HANSEN: Check it out. All right. Before you left, you gave us a creative challenge involving spoonerisms. Can you briefly just explain the spoonerism conceit? What is that?

SHORTZ: Yeah. I asked you to write a riddle starting with what's the different between in which the answer involves a spoonerism, where you interchange the initial consonant sounds of two words.


SHORTZ: And I said entries would be judged on originality, cleverness and naturalness of syntax.

HANSEN: I have to tell you, all of our puzzle-playing listeners liked this challenge a lot. We received more than 1,600 entries - and you had to go through all of them. You have clever picks, I believe, two runners-up. Why don't you share them?

SHORTZ: But my very favorite from Michael True of Falls Church, Virginia: what's the difference between a wedding chapel and a restaurant's daily specials? One is a marrying venue and the other is a varying menu. That's brilliant.

HANSEN: Yeah. So, Will, you called him himself and he joins us on the line with us. Michael True, how are you?

MICHAEL TRUE: I am wonderful, thank you.

HANSEN: Yeah. It must've been something to have Will Shortz's voice on your answering machine.

TRUE: It was. It was a treat.

HANSEN: Tell us what you do in Falls Church.

TRUE: I'm a project manager for a government contractor.

HANSEN: And how long have you been playing our puzzle?

TRUE: I've been playing about five years - submitting for about two, so...

HANSEN: Oh, okay. So, how long did it take you to come up with your very clever entry?

TRUE: Oh, about a day and a half. I'd originally started the night that I heard the show, just trying to come up with familiar two-word phrases to no avail. And the next day I just started throwing out random words and those just popped into my head so.

HANSEN: Good for you. Well, you sound like you're ready to play.

TRUE: I am absolutely ready, guys.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Michael. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Michael. Every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials V.C. For example, if the clue were serving of calf's meat, you would say veal chop.

TRUE: Got it.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one is piece of equipment for a housekeeper.

TRUE: Vacuum cleaner.

SHORTZ: That's it. Number two is what to give someone on February 14.

TRUE: Valentine's card?

SHORTZ: That's right, or Valentine candy, either way. A small handbag for women's cosmetics and toiletries. Sometimes it has a little mirror inside it.

TRUE: I don't carry many cosmetics. Can you help me out?

HANSEN: Yeah, I'm trying to.

SHORTZ: Second word would be case. Does that help?


TRUE: Valet?

HANSEN: Vanity case.

TRUE: No, it...

SHORTZ: Vanity case is it.

TRUE: Thank you.


SHORTZ: All right. Women use it to clean the skin and remove age spots.

HANSEN: Something cream.


TRUE: Wow. I need my wife out here for this.

HANSEN: All right. Something cream.

SHORTZ: What kind of cream?

TRUE: Vein cream?

HANSEN: Vein cream, vanity cream, viscous cream.

TRUE: Vanishing cream.

SHORTZ: Vanishing cream, good job.

HANSEN: Oh, very good, Michael.

SHORTZ: Okay. How about this: world's smallest country in size. And it's located inside Rome.

TRUE: Oh, Vatican City.

SHORTZ: That's it. Processed dairy product made by Kraft.

TRUE: Something cheese.


TRUE: Velveeta cheese.

SHORTZ: Velveeta cheese is it. Part of California between Santa Barbara and L.A.

TRUE: Oh my God, I've been out there so much lately, too.

HANSEN: Me too. V.C.?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Well, you can guess what the C is maybe.

HANSEN: Maybe. Valley something?

SHORTZ: No. All right. I'm just going to tell you this one. It's Ventura County.

HANSEN: Oh, okay.


SHORTZ: Ventura County.


SHORTZ: Okay, how about this: Investment money for a new business?

TRUE: Venture capital.

SHORTZ: That's it. Where to take sick dog or cat.

TRUE: Veterinarian clinic?

SHORTZ: That's it. Parts of the throat that allow you to speak.

TRUE: Vocal cords.

SHORTZ: That's it. It can film things for YouTube.

TRUE: Video camera.

SHORTZ: That's it. Solo work by Bach, Brahms or Vivaldi.

TRUE: Solo work...

SHORTZ: For the V, think of a stringed instrument.

TRUE: Viola concerto.

SHORTZ: I was going for...

TRUE: Violin concerto.

SHORTZ: ...violin concerto, good. And here's your last one: Sport venue divided by a net that is 7 feet, 11 and 5/8 inches high.

TRUE: Volleyball court?

SHORTZ: That's it, good job.

HANSEN: Michael, nice work.

TRUE: Thank you.

HANSEN: Boy, that one really ran the gamut - I mean from Vassar to Velveeta. You know, Will?


HANSEN: We have someone I think you're going to love reading your puzzle prizes today. He's a Grammy-winning musical guest. He's also a vineyard owner, an organic farm owner and all around mister nice guy. Here's Dave Matthews.

DAVE MATTHEWS: 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 Present 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.

HANSEN: What do you think, Dave Matthews there for you?

TRUE: I think that is awesome.

HANSEN: Yeah. Yeah, he was pretty awesome, too, when he was in NPR doing a performance chat and he was kind enough to read the puzzles for us. So, well, Michael, before we let you go, what member station do you listen to?


HANSEN: WAMU. Michael True of Falls Church, Virginia, thanks a lot for playing our puzzle. You're a great guest.

TRUE: Thank you very much. It was a lot of fun. Nice meeting you.

HANSEN: Okay, Will, we're back to the regular one-week puzzle challenge. What have you got?

SHORTZ: So again, take the letters of Yo Yo Ma, these can be rearranged to form the initial letters of a familiar six-word question. What question is it?

HANSEN: Will, nice to talk to you again. Thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Liane.

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