A Stroll Down Main Street Every answer is the name of a state capital. You are given a word. The first letters in the word are the first letters in the name of the capital. The last letters in the word are the last letters in the name of that capital's state.
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A Stroll Down Main Street

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A Stroll Down Main Street

A Stroll Down Main Street

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, host: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. And joining us is the puzzle master, Will Shortz. Hi, Will.


WERTHEIMER: Now, before we start with this week's challenge, we have a small correction to make. Last week, when you gave the on-air challenge, you said that pine cones are found on fir trees and listeners took advantage of the opportunity to correct the puzzle master.

SHORTZ: That's right. While firs and pines are in the same family of trees, they're not actually the same.

WERTHEIMER: Now that we know our firs from our pines, let's get on with this week's puzzle. So, could you just reprise the challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. Last week, I said think of an adjective that might describe a child before a summer vacation. Change the second letter to the next letter of the alphabet and you'll name someone you might see in a hospital. Who is it?

WERTHEIMER: We're all going to feel dumb when we hear this answer.

SHORTZ: Well, before a vacation you might be impatient. Change the second letter to the next letter, you get an in-patient of what you might see in the hospital.

WERTHEIMER: We had more than 1,700 entries this week and the winner is Benjamin Collingsworth of Tucson, Arizona. Hi, Ben.


WERTHEIMER: So, what do you do in Tucson?

COLLINGSWORTH: I am the youth programs coordinator at the Tucson Botanical Garden and I am a student. I'm studying education at NAU.

WERTHEIMER: I've been to that botanical garden and it's gorgeous.


WERTHEIMER: Ben, how long did it take you to solve this puzzle?

COLLINGSWORTH: Oh, maybe only a few seconds. I've been a college student for about 10 years, so I know exactly how they feel.

WERTHEIMER: Waiting for summer vacation. How long have you been playing our puzzle?

COLLINGSWORTH: About seven years.

WERTHEIMER: So, only for a part of your college education.


WERTHEIMER: You ready to play now?


WERTHEIMER: Will, meet Ben. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Ben and Linda, every answer today is the name of a state capital. I'm going to give you a word. The start of word starts the name of the capital and the end of the word ends its state's name. For example, if I said main M-A-I-N, you would say Madison, Wisconsin, because main starts with M-A, which starts Madison, and it ends in I-N, which ends Wisconsin.

WERTHEIMER: Oh. I mean, this combines two things I don't do well - geography and puzzles. Ben, good luck.

SHORTZ: Good luck, Ben. Here we go. Your first one is Augustine A-U-G-U-S-T-I-N-E.

COLLINGSWORTH: Augusta, Maine.

SHORTZ: Augusta, Maine, that was fast. Number two is Columbo C-O-L-U-M-B-O.

WERTHEIMER: I got that one.

COLLINGSWORTH: Columbus, Ohio.

SHORTZ: Columbus, Ohio is good. How about Coming C-O-M-I-N-G?

Oh. Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Cheyenne, Wyoming, yeah. You have to divide between the...

WERTHEIMER: Fantastic.

SHORTZ: ...C and the O, good. OK. Your next one is salon S-A-L-O-N. For this one you want to go to the West Coast.

COLLINGSWORTH: OK. Well, here I am. Salem, Oregon.

SHORTZ: Salem, Oregon, good. Topes T-O-P-E-S, like a drink or topes. For this one you want a plains state.

WERTHEIMER: Oh god, yeah.

COLLINGSWORTH: Do you have it, Linda?



WERTHEIMER: Topeka, Kansas.

SHORTZ: Topeka, Kansas, good. Try this one: biota B-I-O-T-A.

COLLINGSWORTH: This starts with b as in boy?

SHORTZ: That's right.

WERTHEIMER: So, T-A, that's just leaves us with...

COLLINGSWORTH: Bismarck, North Dakota.

SHORTZ: Bismarck, North Dakota, excellent. How about prod P-R-O-D, like you would prod someone?


SHORTZ: It's on the East Coast.


WERTHEIMER: Beach, think beach.

COLLINGSWORTH: Providence, Rhode Island.

SHORTZ: Providence, Rhode Island, good. How about trey T-R-E-Y as in a three of cards? Also an East Coast state.

COLLINGSWORTH: Trenton, New Jersey.

SHORTZ: Excellent. And your last one is tada T-A-D-A. And here you want to go to the southeast.

COLLINGSWORTH: Tallahassee, Florida.

SHORTZ: You didn't need the hint. Tallahassee, Florida, good job.

WERTHEIMER: Very good job. For playing our puzzle today, Ben, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games that you can read at NPR.org/Puzzle. What member station do you listen to?

COLLINGSWORTH: I listen to KUAZ in sunny Tucson, Arizona.

WERTHEIMER: Ben Collingsworth of Tucson, Arizona, thank you very much for playing the puzzle this week.

COLLINGSWORTH: Absolutely. Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: And, Will, next week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Andrew Chaikan: Name the female of a certain animal, add the name of a bird, say these two words out loud and phonetically you'll name a country; what is it? So, again, name the female of a certain animal, add the name of a bird, say these two words out loud, one after the other and phonetically you'll name a country. What country is it?

WERTHEIMER: I have no idea, but when you have an idea, go to our website, NPR.org/Puzzle, click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a telephone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call if you're 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. Talk to you next week.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Linda.

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