Designated Hitters In the on-air puzzle, every answer is a familiar two-word phrase, or name, with the initials "DH."
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Designated Hitters

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Designated Hitters

Designated Hitters

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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: Maybe I should refer to you as the outstanding alumnus of the year at the Indiana University in Bloomington.

SHORTZ: Yeah, I got an award on Friday night.

HANSEN: Oh, he says that so nonchalantly. He got an award, the Arts and Science Alumni Association Award. Well done.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot.

HANSEN: Remind us of the challenge that you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes, I said, name something you might wear in the summer. Two words. Five letters in the first word, three letters in the last. Remove the next to the last letter and read the result backward, you'll get a word that meaning blocks.

What words are these?

HANSEN: Now you're not talking about children's blocks. It's one of these words that has quite a few meanings. What were the two words in your answer?

SHORTZ: The answer is straw hat and thwarts.

HANSEN: Nice. We had over 2,500 entries from people who solved the puzzle. And our randomly selected winner is David Ritterskamp from Evansville, Indiana.

Hi there, David.

Professor DAVID RITTERSKAMP (Mathematics, University of Southern Indiana): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: A fellow Hoosier. I've got two Hoosiers against one base data here in this contest. What do you do in Evansville?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: I'm instructor of mathematics at the University of Southern Indiana.

HANSEN: And yet you are a wordsmith - a word person.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Ah, yeah. I enjoy all puzzles.

HANSEN: Well, good for you. How long have you been playing this one?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: This was actually my first entry into the NPR puzzle.

HANSEN: We'll hear the gnashing of teeth from people who have been playing a long time and have never sent in an entry. Well, you know, now is your chance. And what happens is you get to play on the air. Are you ready?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet your fellow Hoosier, David. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, David. Today's puzzle is called Designated Hitters. Every answer is a familiar two word phrase or a name with the initials D-H.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Mm-hmm.

SHORTZ: Number one: unlikely candidate to win a race?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dark horse.

SHORTZ: Dark horse is right.

Number two: an absolute tie?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dead heat.

SHORTZ: Aha. Noted beach on Oahu?


SHORTZ: Right on - in Honolulu to be precise.

HANSEN: Big surfing location?


Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Don't think I can come up with that one.

HANSEN: Is that Diamond Head you're looking for?

SHORTZ: Diamond Head.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Diamond Head.


How about a Bruce Willis film with three sequels?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: "Die Hard."

SHORTZ: That's right.

Henrik Ibsen play with A preceded by A.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Yeah. A - mm-hmm, I don't think I can come with that one.

HANSEN: It's the one where Norah slams the door in the "Doll's House."

SHORTZ: That's it, a "Doll's House". Good.

How about a person who has guests over for a meal?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Guests over for a meal.

SHORTZ: Yeah, the person who would have guests over for a meal.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Oh. A dinner host.

SHORTZ: Dinner host is right.

Something you turn in order to enter a room?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: A door handle?

SHORTZ: That's right.

DNA's shape?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Double helix.


It breathes fire in a Chinese New Year parade?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dragon's head.

SHORTZ: Dragon's head is right.

A film character who said, go ahead make my day?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dirty Harry.

SHORTZ: That's right. A place to do a waltz or cha-cha?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: A dance hall.


A person working on a ship?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Deck hand.

SHORTZ: That's right.

It's important for maintaining healthy teeth?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dental hygiene.


An interstate, for example, with a median?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: A divided highway.


A Robert DeNiro film set in Vietnam with the article, the?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Robert DeNiro? "The Deer Hunter."

SHORTZ: "The Deer Hunter." Good.

French for 18?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Oh. French?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dix-huit.


SHORTZ: Dix-huit. Good.

Friend of Wyatt Earp?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Doc Holliday.

SHORTZ: That's right.

Wit that's unlikely to make you laugh?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Dry humor?

SHORTZ: That's right.

And your last one, it's a little tricky. Opening at a bakery?

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Opening at a bakery.

SHORTZ: Yeah. But put a question mark at the end of the clue.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Oh, okay.

HANSEN: I hate those in the crossword puzzles (unintelligible), David?


(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: All I can think of is Donuts Hut.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: a donut hole.

SHORTZ: Donut hole. Good job.

HANSEN: Donut hole.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Donut hole.


Prof. RITTERSKAMP: With a little help.

HANSEN: A little help from my friend. All right, David. Nice work.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Oh, thank you.

HANSEN: Yeah you were on a roll there. Well done.

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 Brother's, the "Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, Volume II, Will Shortz's "Little Black Book of Soduku" and "Black (and White) Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

You get lots of stuff to play with, David. Tell us what member station you listen to.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: I listen to WNIN.

HANSEN: WNIN in Evansville, Indiana. David Ritterskamp from Evansville, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us today.

Prof. RITTERSKAMP: Thank you very much.

HANSEN: All right. Will, hey, who just played the puzzle very well.

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: Yeah. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts.

Take a common three-letter word, move each letter three places later in the alphabet, the resulting letters can be re-arranged to spell a new word that is a synonym of the original. What are the two words? And here's a hint: All three letters in both words are in the first half of the alphabet.

So again, a common three-letter word, move each letter three places later in the alphabet, the resulting letters can be re-arranged to spell a new word that's a synonym of the original. What words are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site,, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. That's a new address and one which should make the puzzle page a lot easier to find - Only one entry for person, please.

Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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, WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz, and the Arts and Sciences Alumni Association Award winner as outstanding alumnus at Indiana University in Bloomington, Will Shortz.

Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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