RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
So what do you think? Is it possible to revise a classic? This past week, Converse introduced a new version of the famous Chuck Taylor sneaker, foam cushioning arch support, blah, blah, blah. But at the risk of editorializing here, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Here at WEEKEND EDITION, we know better than to mess with tradition. And thus we bring you the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from Rodolfo Kurchan, who is a puzzle maker from Buenos Aires. I said write down these six numbers, 19, 28, 38, 81, 83, 85. What are the next three numbers in the series? And the answer is 89, 97 and 102. The series consists of the numbers that, when written in English, start and end with the same letter of the alphabet.
MARTIN: OK. So over 260 of you got the correct answer. This week's winner is Ken Roberts of Philadelphia, Pa. He's on the line now. Hey, Ken, congratulations.
KEN ROBERTS: Hello.
MARTIN: So how did you figure this puzzle out?
ROBERTS: I figured pretty soon that it was not arithmetic because of the differences between the numbers, got to about Wednesday evening. And then I looked up on Blaine's Puzzle Blog. They do give some hints, but they don't give the answer until after Thursday.
MARTIN: Oh, OK, all right. So it's not really cheating - kind of.
ROBERTS: No, they moderate the site to make sure that the answer is not there.
SHORTZ: Half the time, I don't even understand the hints.
MARTIN: Oh, really?
SHORTZ: So if I can't understand them, and I know the answer, you know...
MARTIN: You don't consider it cheating.
SHORTZ: They're not giving anything away.
MARTIN: OK, so what's life like in Philly for you, Ken? What do you do there?
ROBERTS: I work in a hardware store.
MARTIN: Oh, yeah?
ROBERTS: It's an old-fashioned hardware store, creaky floors, stuff from floor to ceiling. And I love working there.
MARTIN: Very cool. Well, we're just going to do it, Ken. We're just going to dive in. Are you ready to play the puzzle?
ROBERTS: I'm ready to play the puzzle.
MARTIN: I like it, OK. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Ken and Rachel. Every answer today is a made-up three-word phrase in which all three words rhyme. And every word has two syllables. For example, if I said - gave you the initials, V, H, F, with the clue Extremely Hirsute Sprite, you would say, very hairy fairy.
MARTIN: Whoa, all right (laughter).
ROBERTS: You ready to help me, Rachel?
MARTIN: Sure, I don't know how much help I'm going to be. But we'll try. Let's do it together.
SHORTZ: Number one, your initials are T, S, H. And your clue is a little rear end that glistens.
MARTIN: A little rear end that glistens?
ROBERTS: Could you repeat it again?
SHORTZ: The initials are T, S, H - a little rear end that glistens.
MARTIN: I'm embarrassed to say I totally have this one (laughter).
ROBERTS: I have no clue. Go ahead, Rachel.
SHORTZ: Go ahead, Rachel.
MARTIN: Tiny shiny heiny.
SHORTZ: It's a tiny shiny heiny. That's right.
ROBERTS: Oh, OK.
SHORTZ: Number two, J, R, D as in dog - a laughing plaything for a girl in North Carolina's capital.
ROBERTS: Jolly would be the first. Raleigh - Raleigh the last.
SHORTZ: And what's the D?
MARTIN: Yes, that's it.
SHORTZ: There you go. It's - jolly Raleigh dolly is it. Number three, B as in boy, D as in dog, L. Superior missive to a person who owes money.
SHORTZ: No. Superior missive to a person who owes money.
ROBERTS: Better debtor letter.
SHORTZ: Yeah, better debtor letter, good.
SHORTZ: F as in Frank, N as in Nancy, D as in dog - mindless drawing of a bit of pasta during the Middle Ages.
ROBERTS: Mindless drawing of a bit of pasta.
SHORTZ: It's like a drawing you might do in the margin of a book.
ROBERTS: Doodle, noodle.
ROBERTS: Foodle (ph)?
MARTIN: This is kind of fudging it.
ROBERTS: Feudal. Feudal noodle doodle.
SHORTZ: There you go. Feudal noodle doodle. OK, we're getting to the end. N as in Nancy, S as in Sam, V as in Victor - more recent observer of a pipe carrying waste.
ROBERTS: Newer sewer viewer.
SHORTZ: There you go. And your last one, P as in Peter, W, T as in Thomas - appropriate thing to put on a Burger King hamburger.
MARTIN: Whoa, OK.
SHORTZ: Appropriate thing to put on a Burger King hamburger.
ROBERTS: Whopper - Whopper would be the middle one.
MARTIN: Proper Whopper topper.
SHORTZ: There you go. You've got it.
MARTIN: That one was crazy. But Ken, you did a great job. For playing the puzzle today you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. You can read all about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Ken, where do you hear us?
ROBERTS: My public radio station is WHYY in Philadelphia. And we also have WRTI and WXPN.
MARTIN: Ken Roberts of Philadelphia, Pa. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Ken.
ROBERTS: Thanks for inviting me.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from listener Daniel Grossman (ph). Name something in three syllables that an auto mechanic might have. Move the second and third syllables to the front. The result, with some re-spacing, will name a group of auto mechanics. What is it? So again, three syllables, something an auto mechanic might have. Move the second and third syllables to the front. The result, with some re-spacing, will name a group of auto mechanics. What is it?
MARTIN: OK, re-spacing, this one's challenging. When you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle. Click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for those entries is Thursday, July 30 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, then we'll give you a call and you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Mr. Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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