Beginnings and Endings In the on-air puzzle, given a word, the response is a word that completes a common two-word phrase. The first two letters of a given word will be the last two letters of the player's word, reversed.
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Beginnings and Endings

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Beginnings and Endings

Beginnings and Endings

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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.

WILL SHORTZ: Hey, Liane.

HANSEN: I understand you had a great weekend at one of my favorite places in New York. In fact, it's a place where I spent a one-day honeymoon - Mohonk Mountain House.

SHORTZ: In New Paltz, New York, in upstate.

HANSEN: And tell us what you're doing there.

SHORTZ: Well, I have an annual event devoted to words, which I directed this year. And the special guests were Ira Glass of "This American Life" who talked about how to tell a story especially on the radio. Bob Mancoff, the cartoon editor of the New Yorker, talked about how to caption a cartoon. And we had a puzzle treasure hunt all around the Mountain House. It's just a great week, a great weekend.

HANSEN: That's one of the parts I used to love about that was the treasure hunt, because there's so many nooks and crannies in the structure with a different architecture. It's a lovely place on top of a mountain - sounds good.

Remind of the challenge you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said the opera title "Il Trovatore" by Verdi. Drop one letter. Rearrange the remaining 10 letters to spell two synonyms. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: Well, you drop the A and you get riot and revolt.

HANSEN: We had over 800 entries from people who solved this puzzle. And our randomly selected winner is Jeanette Joy from Jamestown, New York. Some great alliteration there, Jeanette.

Hi, welcome to the program.

Ms. JEANETTE JOY (Puzzle Challenge Winner): Thank you.

HANSEN: Oh, how long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. JOY: Well I've been playing about a year. Other parts of my families have been playing this for years. My daughter gets it on the computer because Jamestown does not carry DBFO.

HANSEN: Oh, I see. So you understand how it plays now that you're the lucky listener?

Ms. JOY: Yes.

HANSEN: All right. We'll work together, we'll be a team. So, Jeanette, meet Will, Will meet Jeanette. Let's play our game.

SHORTZ: All right, Jeanette. I'm going to give you some words for each one you give me a word that can follow mine to complete a common two-word phrase and the first two letters of my word are the last letters of your word reversed. For example, if I said tucker, T-U-C-K-E-R, you'd say out because tucker out is a phrase, my word started T-U, you're word ends U-T.

HANSEN: Woo, a lot of instructions there. Okay.

Ms. JOY: Wow.

SHORTZ: And these initial answers are all three letter long. You ready?

Ms. JOY: Yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: She said tentatively.

He's number one, Bar, B-A-R. And it's a three-letter word ending in A-B.

Ms. JOY: Bar tab?

SHORTZ: Bar tab is right.

Ms. JOY: Okay.

SHORTZ: Pace, P-A-C-E. Something you had seen at the Indianapolis 500.

Ms. JOY: Lap, pace lap.

SHORTZ: Pace lap, right. All the cars do a pace lap. Try this one: Teacher's, apostrophe S.

Ms. JOY: Teacher's pet.

SHORTZ: Teacher's pet is right.

Ms. JOY: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Tight, T-I-G-H-T.

Ms. JOY: Tight, tight fit.

SHORTZ: Tight fit. Excellent. Dowsing, D-O-W-S-I-N-G.

Ms. JOY: Dowsing rod?

SHORTZ: Dowsing rod. Excellent. Garbage.

Ms. JOY: Garbage bag.

SHORTZ: That's right. Aegean, A-E-G-E-A-N.

Ms. JOY: Aegean Sea.

SHORTZ: Aegean Sea is right. Now you're next answers all four letters long. And your first one of these is lemon, L-E-M-O-N.

Ms. JOY: Lemon. So the last two letters - peel.

SHORTZ: Lemon peel. Good. Motel.

Ms. JOY: Room.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Navy, N-A-V-Y.

Ms. JOY: Maybe something, something N-A.

SHORTZ: Right.

Ms. JOY: Navy bean.

SHORTZ: Navy bean. Good. Pink as in the color P-I-N-K.

Ms. JOY: Pink slip.

SHORTZ: Pink slip is right. End, E-N-D.

Ms. JOY: E-N-D.

HANSEN: Right. Ends in N-E.

Ms. JOY: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: Are you going for a football?


Ms. JOY: Oh, the end zone.

SHORTZ: End zone is right. Drug, D-R-U-G.

Ms. JOY: Drug and it has to end with R-D.

SHORTZ: Right.

Ms. JOY: Drug card? No.

SHORTZ: Drug card. I guess, they do have those now for senior citizen's drug cards.

Ms. JOY: And I'm a senior citizen and I have one.

SHORTZ: Okay. We got to count that right. And I was going for drug lord.


Ms. JOY: Oh, that I guess - I'm not that. I'm not in that.

SHORTZ: Okay, you're not a drug lord. No.

Ms. JOY: No.

SHORTZ: Try this one. Pork, P-O-R-K.

Ms. JOY: P-O-R-K chop.

SHORTZ: All right. Pork chop is right.

And your last one is dog, D-O-G.

Ms. JOY: Dog, D-O-G and it has to end with O-D.

SHORTZ: Right.

Ms. JOY: Dog food?

HANSEN: You got it.

SHORTZ: Dog food. Nice job, Jeanette.

HANSEN: Jeanette.

Ms. JOY: Yeah.

HANSEN: You're great.

Ms. JOY: Well, that's nice.


Ms. JOY: I'm glad I got those.

HANSEN: You did. Did you have fun?

Ms. JOY: Yes.

HANSEN: Excellent. That's the point. And you're also going to get some stuff for playing our puzzle today.

Ms. JOY: Oh, really?

HANSEN: Yeah. We're going to send you a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin to wear proudly. As well as the "11th Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus." The Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers.

Ms. JOY: Oh, wow.

HANSEN: "The Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, Volume II. Will Shortz' "Little Black Book of Soduku" and "Black (and White) Book of Crosswords" from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz' "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books. Something you can share with your family, Jeanette.

Ms. JOY: Oh, am I going to have fun. We - I have a family that loves puzzle.

HANSEN: Jeannette, you know, you give a lot of credence to your last name. Jeanette Joy from Jamestown, New York. Thanks a lot.

Ms. JOY: Oh, thank you.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, I don't think we're going to find a contestant like that maybe for at least another week. What do you say?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Yeah, you have a challenge that we're all going to work on over the holiday.

SHORTZ: Yes. This week's challenge comes from listener Adam Cohen of Brooklyn.

Think of the name of a current world leader. Take the letters in the first half of the first name and the letters in the first half of the last name. You can rearrange these to spell the language of this leader's country. Who is it?

So, again, the name of a current world leader - well-known. Take the letters in the first half of the first name and the letters in the first half of the last name. You can rearrange these to spell the language of this leader's country. Who's the leader and what's the language?

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 it should make the puzzle page easier to find -, once again. Only one entry per person, please. And our deadline this week, because of the holiday, is Wednesday 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 and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz.

Thanks a lot, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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