Hopelessly Devoted To A Challenge You are given a five-letter word and a seven-letter word. Rearrange the letters of one of the words to get a synonym of the other word. For example, given "alloy" and "devoted," the answer would be "loyal."
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Hopelessly Devoted To A Challenge

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Hopelessly Devoted To A Challenge

Hopelessly Devoted To A Challenge

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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: So, is your life today more puzzles than ping-pong or vice versa?

SHORTZ: Oh, it might be veering toward ping-pong. I have just bought 50 percent of a building in my hometown to open a table tennis club. We're going to have about 11,000 square feet of playing space, which is enough for 18 tables. I think it'll be the largest table tennis club in the Northeast. We hope to be open by November.

HANSEN: Wow. You wouldn't do anything unless it had an ST at the end. You know, the best, the best, the best. You had a challenge that had absolutely nothing to do with table tennis last week. Would you repeat it, please?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said take the word bookman, B-O-O-K-M-A-N, change one letter in it, and rearrange the result to name a famous person who wrote books. Who is it?

HANSEN: Who is it?

SHORTZ: Answer is Nabokov, as in Vladimir Nabokov.

HANSEN: Author of the book "Lolita" and more. We received more than a thousand entries this week. Our randomly chosen winner is Kevin Callahan from Eugene, Oregon. Hi, Kevin.


HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Mr. CALLAHAN: That one came pretty fast.

HANSEN: Good for you. What do you do in Eugene?

Mr. CALLAHAN: I'm a math teacher at Madison Middle School.

HANSEN: You must be very, very busy this time of year.

Mr. CALLAHAN: I am, yes, I am.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Kevin, meet Will; Will, meet Kevin. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Kevin. I'm going to give you a five-letter word and a seven-letter word. Rearrange the letters of one of these words to get a synonym of the other. For example, if I said alloy, A-L-L-O-Y, and devoted, you would say loyal, because loyal is an anagram of alloy and it's a synonym of devoted.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one is thing T-H-I-N-G and evening. And here's a hint to get you off to - rearrange the letters of thing to get a synonym for...

Mr. CALLAHAN: Night.

SHORTZ: Night, right. And the anagram could be either word. That's for you to figure out.

HANSEN: That's what I was afraid of, is that it could be either one.

SHORTZ: Number one is state, S-T-A-T-E, and cleared, C-L-E-A-R-E-D.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Declared.

SHORTZ: Declare, good. March M-A-R-C-H; delight.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Delight?

SHORTZ: Um-hum.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Charm.

SHORTZ: Charm, good job. Timer T-I-M-E-R and deserve.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Timer and deserve.

HANSEN: How are you doing there?

Mr. CALLAHAN: I'm still working.


SHORTZ: Which word did you anagram, Liane?

HANSEN: Timer.

SHORTZ: That's correct.

Mr. CALLAHAN: I still don't have it.

SHORTZ: You want to go for it, Liane?

HANSEN: Sure. Merit.

SHORTZ: Merit, good.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Merit, yeah.

HANSEN: It's those...

Mr. CALLAHAN: Thanks, Liane.

HANSEN: It's the definitions because they can have more than one and that's what...


HANSEN: confabulate everything.

SHORTZ: That's right. Try this: irate, I-R-A-T-E, and grenade, G-R-E-N-A-D-E. This is interesting. There's actually two answers here but you only need to give one.

HANSEN: I think I've got one.

SHORTZ: Yeah? Which word did you anagram.

HANSEN: Grenade.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Grenade.

HANSEN: That's right. Meaning irate.

Mr. CALLAHAN: I'm not getting it.

HANSEN: Enraged.

SHORTZ: Enraged.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Enraged.

SHORTZ: Enraged. Also angered works, either way.



HANSEN: That would've been easier.

SHORTZ: Try this one: nadir, N-A-D-I-R, and deplete, D-E-P-L-E-T-E.

HANSEN: Will gave me a hint when doing anagrams, if you actually put the words in, like, bowling pin formations, so the first word is the...


HANSEN: ...one pin and then two, then three. It helps your head get out of the linear way of thinking.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Linear mode, yeah.


SHORTZ: All right, Liane. Jump in - what's your answer.

HANSEN: Drain and deplete.

SHORTZ: Drain is right.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Drain. Awesome.

SHORTZ: All right. Try this: onset, O-N-S-E-T, and boulder, B-O-U-L-D-E-R.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Stone.


SHORTZ: Stone. That was fast. Awful, A-W-F-U-L and in-house, I-N-H-O-U-S-E.

HANSEN: It's usually used to describe a villain sometimes.

Mr. CALLAHAN: I'm blanking.

SHORTZ: All right. Liane, go ahead.

HANSEN: Heinous.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Heinous.

SHORTZ: Heinous is it.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Oh, good one.

SHORTZ: All right. Here's your next one: girth, G-I-R-T-H...


SHORTZ: ...and correct, C-O-R-R-E-C-T.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Right.


SHORTZ: That is right. And here's your last one: agree, A-G-R-E-E...


SHORTZ: ...and itching, I-T-C-H-I-N-G. As in you are itching to do something. You are...

Mr. CALLAHAN: Im blanking on this.

HANSEN: Im blanking on it, too. Let's see...

Mr. SHORTZ: How about if I tell you it starts with an...

Mr. CALLAHAN: Eager.

Mr. SHORTZ: Eager.

HANSEN: Eager.

Mr. SHORTZ: You're eager to do it.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Oh, my goodness.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Kevin, your eager response.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Oh, but wow. Thats harder when you're doing it live like this.

HANSEN: And thats why we give you something to remember this experience by.


HANSEN: We have someone to tell you what you'll get for playing today's puzzle. He's an award-winning musician and frontman for one of Las Vegas' finest creations. Here's Brandon Flowers of The Killers.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. BRANDON FLOWERS (Musician): 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 and Riddle and Challenges" from Chronicle Books, and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles.

HANSEN: What do you think, Kevin?

Mr. CALLAHAN: Thats very cool.

HANSEN: It is cool, isnt it?

Mr. CALLAHAN: Yes. Yes, it is.

HANSEN: And if you can be by your radio next weekend, you'll hear my interview with Brandon Flowers about his new solo album, "Flamingo."

Mr. CALLAHAN: All right.

HANSEN: Yeah, something to look forward to. And before we let you go, Kevin, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. CALLAHAN: I listen to and am a member of KLCC.



HANSEN: And, Kevin Callahan in Eugene, Oregon, good luck this school year with your middle school math students, and thanks for playing the puzzle.

Mr. CALLAHAN: Thanks, Liane. Thanks, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks.

HANSEN: All right. Will, what are we going to gift our listeners with in terms of a puzzle for next week?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, this week's challenge comes from listener Eric Iverson of Eagan, Minnesota. And it's a simple question: What is the longest common word in which all the letters rhyme with E?

I have my answer. Well compare notes next week. So again, what is the longest common word in which all the letters rhyme with E?

HANSEN: Okay. You can't have like weeeee - like 15 letters.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I know antidisestablishmentarianism doesnt work, so we'll leave it to the listeners.

(Soundbite of laughter)

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. Our deadline is next Thursday, 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time, because we're going to 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.

Thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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