RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Across the country, classes are back in session and that means homework. But save the assigned readings and unsolved equations for later. There are no grades in this thinking game. It's time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master.
Hey, there, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Ben Bass of Chicago. I said, name a well-known U.S. geographical place, two words, five letters in the first word, six letters in the last. It contains all five vowels - A, E, I, O and U - exactly once. And I said, it's a place that's been in the news. What is it? Well, the answer was Mount Denali. That's, of course, the Alaskan mountain that President Obama recently announced would be getting its official name change from Mount McKinley. Now, by the way, technically, its name is Denali, not Mount Denali, but I was going by popular usage.
MARTIN: OK. So more than 930 of you sent in the right answer. And our randomly selected winner this week is Jessica van der Valk of Northridge, Calif. She joins us on the line now.
Hey, Jessica, congratulations.
JESSICA VAN DER VALK: Hi. Thank you. This is the first time I've ever sent in an answer.
MARTIN: Oh, wow, beginner's luck.
VAN DER VALK: I'm - yeah.
MARTIN: And I understand you are a middle school teacher and you are in your class with your students right now? Is that right?
VAN DER VALK: I am, yes. Would you like to hear them say hello?
MARTIN: Do they want to say hi?
VAN DER VALK: Yes. Everybody say hello.
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: Hello.
MARTIN: Wow. They really love the puzzle. They all have to be quiet now and they can't help you cheat.
VAN DER VALK: I'm very nervous now 'cause I've got all eyes on me as well as ears.
MARTIN: I think you will do just fine. And with that, Will, let's play the puzzle.
SHORTZ: All right, Jessica and Rachel, every answer today is the first and last name of one of the major Republican candidates for president. Identify them from their anagrams.
VAN DER VALK: Oh, good God.
MARTIN: It's going to be OK. It's going to be OK. I promise.
SHORTZ: For example, if I said Portland mud, you would say Donald Trump.
MARTIN: OK, let's give it a go.
SHORTZ: OK, number one, lunar pad.
VAN DER VALK: Lunar pad.
SHORTZ: L-U-N-A-R-P-A-D, like where a rocket would take off from the moon.
VAN DER VALK: Yeah.
SHORTZ: It's a two-word name, four letters in each one.
VAN DER VALK: Right and the last one starts with a P, I think.
MARTIN: Kentucky. Do you want help?
VAN DER VALK: Yes.
MARTIN: OK. I think it's Rand Paul?
SHORTZ: Rand Paul it is, Sen. Rand Paul is correct.
VAN DER VALK: Oh, Rand Paul.
SHORTZ: Number two, truced, T-R-U-C-E-D, plus the letter Z.
VAN DER VALK: Cruz, so Cruz.
SHORTZ: Ted Cruz is it, yes.
MARTIN: Ted Cruz.
SHORTZ: Ted Cruz.
VAN DER VALK: OK, got it.
SHORTZ: Here's your next one. Comb our hair minus H, C-O-M-B-O-U-R-H-A-I-R, comb our hair minus H.
VAN DER VALK: Let me see. Something with a B.
SHORTZ: Five, five and the initials are M.R.
VAN DER VALK: M.R., M.R.
VAN DER VALK: Oh, then it's - not Jeb Bush.
SHORTZ: It's not Jeb Bush. It's the other one.
VAN DER VALK: Oh, Marco Rubio, Marco Rubio, Marco Rubio.
MARTIN: Yes, Marco Rubio.
SHORTZ: Marco Rubio, yes.
MARTIN: There you go.
SHORTZ: California plus R-Y.
VAN DER VALK: C-A-L-I-F-O-R-I-A-R-Y?
MARTIN: You have this one. You can do it.
SHORTZ: California plus R-Y. And this candidate actually is from California.
VAN DER VALK: Oh, it's that woman who...
MARTIN: Yes, she is a woman.
VAN DER VALK: The woman who's - Carly Fiorina?
SHORTZ: Carly Fiorina. Now how cool is that? She's from California. The R stands for Republican. I just can't figure out what to do with that Y.
MARTIN: It was beautiful. I want to appreciate that anagram, Will. That was lovely.
SHORTZ: OK, I've got one more. This one is my favorite because it's two vegetables, corn plus beans.
VAN DER VALK: Well, there's a guy called Ben. That would be B-E-N.
SHORTZ: Yes, that's the one.
VAN DER VALK: Ben Carson?
SHORTZ: Ben Carson.
SHORTZ: For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pen and puzzle books and games. You can go to npr.org/puzzle and read about your prizes. And, Jessica, where do you hear us? What's your public radio station?
VAN DER VALK: KPCC in Pasadena.
MARTIN: Jessica van der Valk of Northridge, Calif. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Jessica.
VAN DER VALK: It was an experience.
VAN DER VALK: Thank you.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. It's a well-known curiosity that the longest, common unhyphenated word that can be typed on the top row of a typewriter or a computer keyword is typewriter. Can you think of a common hyphenated word, in 12 letters, that can be typed using only the keys on the top row of a typewriter or computer keyboard? So again, think of a common hyphenated word - 12 letters - that can be typed using only the keys in the top row of a typewriter or a computer keyboard. What is it?
MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 17 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 he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Rachel.
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