Breaking It Down In this week's on-air puzzle, every answer is a six-letter word that can be broken into two consecutive three-letter words to answer the clues. For example, if the question is "What body part is a number plus a boy's name," the answer would be "tendon," which includes "ten" and "don."
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Breaking It Down

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Breaking It Down

Breaking It Down

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

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


HANSEN: How are you?

SHORTZ: I'm doing great.

HANSEN: I saw an article in Friday's edition of the Wall Street Journal and there was a list of people about how I squandered my summer vacation.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: I think I did in one respect that I wanted to learn Italian and I didn't. Do you have any things that you think you squandered over your summer?

SHORTZ: I never think of things that I don't do because anything I really want to do, I do.

HANSEN: You do. That's great.

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: So do you remind us of the challenge you left us with last week?

SHORTZ: Yes, I said rearrange the letters of charades to make two words that are synonyms.

HANSEN: And what are they?

SHORTZ: The answer is race plus dash.

HANSEN: Oh, nice. We had over 1,700 entries from people who solve the puzzle and our randomly selected winner is Bernadette Solano from Pacific City, Oregon. Hi, Bernadette.

Ms. BERNADETTE SOLANO (Winner; Resident, Pacific City, Oregon): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: What do you do there?

Ms. SOLANO: Well, for the last four and a half years, I've been working with some colleagues to develop a mathematics program for high school students who are at risk of failing graduation requirement. It finally was published a month ago so now I'm also training teachers how to use those materials and other materials are designed using the same principles.

HANSEN: Do you play puzzles? How long have you been this one?

Ms. SOLANO: Well, a long time - longer and I've been married so it's at least 12 years.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Are you ready to play?

Ms. SOLANO: With you at my side, I'm as ready - as ready I'll ever be, I think.

HANSEN: I feel the same way Bernadette. So let's face Will and play.

SHORTZ: All right, Bernadette, speaking of charades, every answer today is a six-letter word that can be broken into two consecutive three-letter words. Answer the clues. For example, if I said, what body part is a number plus a boy's name? You would say tendon. And you break tendon into ten and don. All right?

Ms. SOLANO: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number one is what bird consists of a golf score plus nonsense?

Ms. SOLANO: Okay. Let's say a bird.

SHORTZ: And think of a three letter…

Ms. SOLANO: How about parrot?

SHORTZ: Well, how about parrot? Good job. Number two, what kind of puzzle is a dance plus a carpenter's tool.

Ms. SOLANO: Dance.

SHORTZ: And think of a carpenter's tool in three letters.

Ms. SOLANO: So, I'm thinking of short, three letter carpenter tool. Oh, no. Spanner is an English one.


SHORTZ: A lumberjack might also use this tool.

HANSEN: A saw.


HANSEN: Oh, oh, jigsaw. A jigsaw.

Ms. SOLANO: A jigsaw.

SHORTZ: Jigsaw. Jigsaw. Jig plus a saw. Good.


Ms. SOLANO: And the jig part because I'm half Irish but…

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Try this one. What fabric is a place to sleep plus a heavy weight?

Ms. SOLANO: Bed.

SHORTZ: Something a hotel might give you if you have extra people in your room or what you might sleep on…

Ms. SOLANO: A cot.

SHORTZ: A cot. Yes.

Ms. SOLANO: So, cotton.

SHORTZ: A cotton is right. Good. What planet consists of the abbreviation for a weekday plus a container?

HANSEN: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. SOLANO: I think Liane's got it.

HANSEN: No, I'm just going down the list.

Ms. SOLANO: Yes, you do. (Unintelligible) my days of the week are too.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. SOLANO: Saturn.

HANSEN: Saturn. Very good.

SHORTZ: Saturn is right.

Ms. SOLANO: Sat plus urn.

SHORTZ: Good. Good. What animal consists of the abbreviation for a weekday plus an item on a chain?

Ms. SOLANO: Animal? Monkey.

SHORTZ: Monkey, good.

Ms. SOLANO: Mon plus key.

SHORTZ: Excellent. What northeast river consists of Paul Newman film…

Ms. SOLANO: Uh-oh.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: …plus a member of the family?

Ms. SOLANO: How about Hudson?

SHORTZ: Hudson, good.

SHORTZ: What item to take on vacation consists of a car engine part plus a period of time?

Ms. SOLANO: Mm-hmm. A…

SHORTZ: Think of a long period of time.

Ms. SOLANO: Well, an era.


Ms. SOLANO: And…


SHORTZ: What would you take…

Ms. SOLANO: Oh, camera.

HANSEN: Oh, yeah.

SHORTZ: A camera is - you go on vacation. What is zodiac symbol consists of a geometric line plus a pronoun. And think of a curved the line.

Ms. SOLANO: Okay, like an arc.

SHORTZ: Yes. A zodiac symbol - not a sign but a symbol.

Ms. SOLANO: Oh. And the pronoun - her.


HANSEN: Archer.

Ms. SOLANO: Archer, good.

SHORTZ: Archer good. And here's your last one: What form of writing consists of a famous writer plus an attempt?

Ms. SOLANO: And an attempt, which would be a try.


Ms. SOLANO: Poetry.

HANSEN: Poetry.

SHORTZ: Poetry. Edgar Allan Poe.

HANSEN: Nice work. Bernadette…

Ms. SOLANO: Okay.

HANSEN: …well done.

Ms. SOLANO: Thank you.

HANSEN: You're quite welcome.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: You did very well. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the "11th Edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus," the "Scrabble Deluxe Edition" from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House volume 2, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Sudoku" and "Black and White Book of Crosswords" from Saint Martin's Press and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Bernadette, what member station do you listen to?

Ms. SOLANO: I listen to KLCC from Eugene, which is rebroadcast as KLCO in Newport.

HANSEN: All right. Bernadette Solano from Pacific City Oregon. Thanks for playing with us today.

Ms. SOLANO: It's been my pleasure. Thank you.

HANSEN: Our pleasure as well.

All right, Will, a challenge please for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Scott Murphy, who's a professor at the University of Kansas in of Lawrence, Kansas.

Take the word near - N-E-A-R. If you shift each of its consonants to the next consonant of the alphabet, and each of its vowels to the next vowel in the alphabet, you get the word pies - P-I-E-S. Find a one-word title of a famous novel that was made into a film that, if you shift each of its consonants and vowels in the same manner, gives you another one-word title of a famous novel that was also made into a film.

So again, the example is near - N-E-A-R. Shift each of the consonants one consonant later and each of the vowels, one vowel later. You get pies - P-I-E-S. Find a one-word title of a famous novel made into a film. Shift each of its consonants and vowels later in the alphabet as in the example. This will give you another one-word title of a famous novel made into a film.

What novels and films are these?

HANSEN: Wow. Here we go. When you have the answer, go to our Web site,, and click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday Puzzle page. Only one entry per person, please. And our deadline this week is Thursday, 3 p.m., Eastern time. Please include a phone number were we can reach you at about that time and we'll call you if you're 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz.

Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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