Anagram Magic In this week's on-air puzzle, every answer is a two-word phrase, in which both words start with the letter "P" and the two words are anagrams of each other. For example, for the clue "One hundred percent the land of Lima," the answer would be: Pure Peru.
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Anagram Magic

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Anagram Magic

Anagram Magic

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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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 doing this week?

SHORTZ: I'm doing great. How are you?

HANSEN: Very well, thank you. But working on this challenge that you left us with last week, I mean, it was deceptively easy but harder than people thought. Remind us of that challenge you left us with.

SHORTZ: Yeah, I think we may have set a record for number of entries this week. It came from listener Allen Hochbaum(ph) of Atlanta, Georgia. I said name a sport that has only one vowel in its name, change that vowel to a different vowel and read the result backward. You'll name a piece of equipment used in that sport. What sport is it?

HANSEN: What's your answer?

SHORTZ: The answer is golf. Read it backward, change the vowel, you get flag.

HANSEN: We did have a record number of entries. Forty-five hundred entries from people who solved the puzzle. And our randomly selected winner is Karen Phillips from Arlington, Texas. Hi, Karen.

Ms. KAREN PHILLIPS (Caller): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How long did it take it you to solve this puzzle?

Ms. PHILLIPS: Actually not very long. It was the only sport we could think of that only had one vowel in it.

HANSEN: And how long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. PHILLIPS: Goodness. About 20 years I want to say.

HANSEN: Oh wow. Well, since the beginning then, right?


HANSEN: And you're obviously a puzzle person so are you ready for this?

Ms. PHILLIPS: Yes, I am.

HANSEN: Oh, listen to her, Will. She's very confident. Please meet Karen. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Karen. Every answer today is a two-word phrase in which both words start with the letter P, as in Peter, and the two words are anagrams of each other. For example, if I said 100 percent the land of Lima, you would say Pure, Peru.


SHORTZ: All right. And we'll start with five-letter words. The first one is couples in the capital of France. Both words start with P, they're five letters. Well, first of all, what's the capital of France?

Ms. PHILLIPS: Paris.

SHORTZ: That's right. And rearrange those letters to make couples.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Oh, pairs. Paris, pairs.

SHORTZ: Paris, pairs is right. A little puzzle that's not inverse.

HANSEN: Not inverse. Not…

Ms. PHILLIPS: Believe it's a prose.

SHORTZ: Yes. A prose, what? What's a little puzzle starting with P, rearranging the letters of prose?

Ms. PHILLIPS: Liane?

HANSEN: I'm looking, I'm trying. I'm trying to rearrange my letters here but…

SHORTZ: The second letter is O.


SHORTZ: Well, there's only three more letters.

HANSEN: Poser?

SHORTZ: Yeah, there you go. A prose, poser.

HANSEN: Prose, poser.



SHORTZ: Okay. Good. All right, try this. Less colorful a gem from an oyster.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Something pearl.

SHORTZ: Right. And less colorful.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Paler.

SHORTZ: A paler pearl is right. That's right. Least colorful parts of a flower. And now we're going with six letters. Least colorful parts of a flower.

HANSEN: So that would be…

Ms. PHILLIPS: Petal.

SHORTZ: Petals plural, yes. And least colorful. Well, if less colorful is paler, what is least colorful?

Ms. PHILLIPS: Palest.

SHORTZ: Palest petals is right. An aviator's gun.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Pilot.

SHORTZ: A pilot's…

Ms. PHILLIPS: Pistol?

SHORTZ: A pilot's pistol. Good. One who sets down a package.

HANSEN: Parcel.

SHORTZ: There you go.

HANSEN: And who…

SHORTZ: One who sets down a parcel would be a parcel…

HANSEN: Placer. A parcel…

SHORTZ: That's it.

HANSEN: …placer?

SHORTZ: A parcel placer is it. Okay. Now we're at seven letters. Social gatherings for buccaneers.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Okay. Pirates.

SHORTZ: That's it and social gatherings.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Parties.


SHORTZ: That's it. Pirate's parties. Good. Tweezers for a king's son.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Okay. Princes…

SHORTZ: That's it.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Pincers.


SHORTZ: Prince's pincers. Good job. How about a sit-in staged by makers of clay wear.

Ms. PHILLIPS: That would be potter's…


Ms. PHILLIPS: …protest.

SHORTZ: Yes, excellent. Not so decorated a candy containing nuts.

HANSEN: Praline.



SHORTZ: And not so decorated.

HANSEN: Plainer.

SHORTZ: There you go. Plainer praline. Nice. And here's your last one. Fines in a biblical land. Oh, and this one's nine letters. Fines in a biblical land. Could you think of a land in the Mideast in nine letters starting with P?

HANSEN: I'm going to go with Palestine.

SHORTZ: That's it. And what would be fines in Palestine? Like if you go into traffic court in Palestine, they would…like, if you…

HANSEN: Something that begins with P in nine letters.

SHORTZ: Yeah, that's it.


SHORTZ: The next letter is E.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Penalties.

SHORTZ: That's it. Fines in a biblical land are Palestine penalties.

HANSEN: Oh Karen, I am so glad you were there today.

Ms. PHILLIPS: I appreciate your help.

HANSEN: And I appreciate yours. And you're also going to get some things for playing our puzzle today. You'll get that 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 St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books.

Karen, what's your member station?


HANSEN: KERA in Dallas, Texas.


HANSEN: Karen Phillips from Arlington, Texas. Great game today. Thanks for playing the puzzle with us.

Ms. PHILLIPS: Thank you.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, something for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes. Name a city in six letters that's a popular tourist destination. Divide this name in half, move the first three letters to the end. You'll name places where people like to relax. What are they? So, again, a city in six letters that's a popular tourist destination, divide this name in half, move the first half to the end, keeping everything else in order. You'll name some places where people like to relax. What are they?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, Once again that's And click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday and 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because we will 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.

Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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