Two B's Or Not Two B's Every answer is a familiar word with two B's in a row somewhere inside it. You are given an anagram of the other letters in the word. For example, given "oat," the answer would be "abbot."

Two B's Or Not Two B's

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

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


HANSEN: You know what I love about today? You can say it's easy as 1-2-3.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh, uh-huh. You know, I was just noticing recently the date was, of course, 1-11-11, and in November it's going to be even better. It'll be 11-11-11.

HANSEN: I bet people are planning weddings right now, as we speak.

Well, I don't know how easy the challenge was last week but why don't you repeat it for us.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Mike Shteyman of Reisterstown, Maryland. I said: Take the first seven letters of the alphabet - A through G - change one of these letters to another that's also either A-B-C-D-E-F or G, rearrange the result to spell a familiar seven-letter word. What word is it?

HANSEN: And your answer?

SHORTZ: Answer is feedbag.

HANSEN: Well, it wasn't too hard, I guess, because we received more than 1,200 entries, and that's a little more than we've been receiving in a while. And out of those entries, our winner is Barbara Larcom from Baltimore, Maryland. Hi there, Barbara.


HANSEN: What do you do in Baltimore?

Ms. LARCOM: Well, I am very active with the sister city project called Casa Baltimore Limay, connected with Nicaragua. And I play the piano for a Catholic church and I'm doing some contractual work with Alliance for Global Justice.

HANSEN: Wow. All that fun and work in Charm City, huh?

Ms. LARCOM: That's right.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. LARCOM: Well, this is my first entry in fact, although I've been listening for about two years.

HANSEN: And how long did it take you to solve this one?

Ms. LARCOM: Less than 15 minutes. I thought this one was easier than some.

HANSEN: All right. And you were courageous enough to send in an entry and we picked you. And are you ready to play?

Ms. LARCOM: I hope so.

HANSEN: Me, too. All right, Will, meet Barbara. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Barbara, today's puzzle is called To B or Not Two B. Every answer is a familiar word with a doubled B - that is two Bs in a row somewhere inside it. I'll give you an anagram in the other letters in the word. You tell me the word. For example, if I said oat O-A-T, you would say abbot.


SHORTZ: All right. Number one is air A-I-R.

Ms. LARCOM: Oh dear.

HANSEN: And the Bs have to be together so...

SHORTZ: The Bs will be together in that word.

Ms. LARCOM: Rabbi.

SHORTZ: Rabbi - you didn't need a hint. Number two is loge L-O-G-E.

Ms. LARCOM: Gobble.

SHORTZ: Gobble, good. Hays H-A-Y-S.

Ms. LARCOM: Shabby.


SHORTZ: Shabby, good job. Line L-I-N-E.

Ms. LARCOM: Nibble.

SHORTZ: Nibble, good. Lead L-E-A-D.

Ms. LARCOM: Dabble.

SHORTZ: Oh, that's fast. Inge I-N-G-E.

Ms. LARCOM: Ebbing.

SHORTZ: Ebbing, good one. Noir N-O-I-R.

Ms. LARCOM: Ribbon.

SHORTZ: Ribbon, good. OK. Rita R-I-T-A.

Ms. LARCOM: Rabbit.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Hasta H-A-S-T-A.

Ms. LARCOM: Oh gosh, getting harder. Shabbat.

SHORTZ: Shabbat or Sabbath, either way. Lutes L-U-T-E-S.

Ms. LARCOM: Stubble.

SHORTZ: Stubble, good.

HANSEN: You're so fast.

SHORTZ: Cagier C-A-G-I-E-R.

Ms. LARCOM: Cribbage.

SHORTZ: I can give you a hint - cribbage.


SHORTZ: No hint needed. Good one. Slicer S-L-I-C-E-R. And this is a verb that describes what you probably do, what you're doing on the paper right now. What you do for...

Ms. LARCOM: Oh, scribble.

SHORTZ: Scribble is right. And your last one is mulled M-U-L-L-E-D. And your hint is: the answer is something that you are not.

Ms. LARCOM: Oh dear.

SHORTZ: Something you...

Ms. LARCOM: Oh, dumbbell.

SHORTZ: Dumbbell, good job.

HANSEN: Dumbbell. Barbara, leaving me in the dust when it comes to the puzzle. Man, you are good, man. Nice work. Well, you know you get some things for playing the puzzle today and we have someone special to tell you about them. He is a former British Army captain turned musician, James Blunt.

Mr. JAMES BLUNT (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 Presents KenKen" Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martins Press, one of Will Shortzs "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books, and a CD compilation of NPRs Sunday Puzzles.

HANSEN: What do you think, Barbara?

Ms. LARCOM: Oh, it's been a pleasure. Thank you so much.

HANSEN: Ah, it's been our pleasure. You know, I could listen to someone with an English accent read the phone book and I would be mesmerized.

So before we let you go, Barbara, what member station do you listen to?


HANSEN: All right, Barbara Larcom from Baltimore, Maryland. You were fabulous. Thanks a lot for playing with us today.

Ms. LARCOM: Thank you.

HANSEN: All right, Will. We got to do this again for next week. What have you got?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, name a nationality. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth and 10th letters in order name a country. Also the fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth and 12th letters in order name a country. And neither country is related to the nationality. What nationality is it?

So again, nationality, letters three, four, five, six and 10 name a country. And letters four, five, seven, nine and 12 name a country. Neither country is related to the nationality. What nationality is it?

HANSEN: Oh, boy. Get your pencil sharpened. When you have the answer, go to our website, puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline is 3 P.M. Thursday, Eastern Time that is. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call 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 puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Will, thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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