RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
In the UK, 20 teams are competing in the Rugby World Cup, vying for the chance to win the Webb Ellis Trophy. Players will be packing down in the scrum, kicking up and unders into the 22 and concentrating on their rolling mauls. Don't know your blind side flanker from an outside centre? No worries. We've got a game to rival the Rugby World Cup. We call it The Puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's the puzzle editor at The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: Ever played rugby?
SHORTZ: Not only have I not played rugby, I have no idea what your introduction meant.
MARTIN: You know what? That makes both of us. You learn new things every week.
SHORTZ: That's right.
MARTIN: So remind us - what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, I said, take the words foretold and fourfold. I said, they start with homophones - F-O-R-E and F-O-U-R. And they end with rhymes - told and fold. And the challenge was to find two common, nine-letter compound words that have the same property. What are they? Well, the answer was waistband and wasteland.
MARTIN: So more than 340 of you got the right answer. Our randomly selected winner this week is Allison Mishoe of Philadelphia, Pa. She joins us on the line now. Hey, Allison, congratulations.
ALLISON MISHOE: Thanks, Rachel.
MARTIN: How did you figure it out?
MISHOE: My husband and I sat down together, and usually I write the puzzles out, but this one I actually had to hear. So we went back and forth just saying homophones out loud. And we got to waste, which led me to waistband. And then I just went through the alphabet until I found a rhyming word. But it took quite a few words till we got to waist.
MARTIN: Nice, that's how couples bond - homonyms, saying them out loud. That breeds romance for sure. So how long have you been playing The Puzzle, Allison?
MISHOE: I've only been playing for about a year and a half, so I'm pretty new to the game.
MARTIN: Cool, beginner's luck.
MARTIN: Well, you ready to play The Puzzle?
MISHOE: I'm ready.
MARTIN: All right, let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, Allison and Rachel, today, you'll need to put on your thinking cap. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with C-A and the second word starts with P. For example, if I said, a sheet that a typist once used to make a copy of something, you would say carbon paper. Number one, a group of commuters in a single auto.
SHORTZ: That's it. Number two, a bird used to transmit messages.
MISHOE: Carrier pigeon.
SHORTZ: Product of Del Monte or Green Giant.
MISHOE: Canned peas - or peaches?
SHORTZ: Yeah, either way. I was going with peas, but - 1920s slang for something really cool.
SHORTZ: You'd say that's the (clicks tongue).
MISHOE: Cat's pajamas.
SHORTZ: Cat's pajamas is it. University in San Luis Obispo, informally.
MISHOE: Cal Poly?
SHORTZ: Cal Poly, yes. Baking utensil.
MISHOE: A cake pan.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Something sent overseas to help those in need.
MISHOE: A care package.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Social occasion to play bridge or canasta.
MISHOE: Social occasion - a card party?
SHORTZ: That's it, card party.
SHORTZ: Group of travelers written about by Chaucer.
MISHOE: Oh, I'm stuck on this one.
SHORTZ: The C-A-word is a name of a place in England. And the P-word names the people who landed at Plymouth Rock.
SHORTZ: That's it. There's the P. What pilgrims did Chaucer write about?
SHORTZ: There you go.
MARTIN: You got it.
SHORTZ: It's funny what's in the back of the brain.
MARTIN: Good job.
SHORTZ: Security for a university.
MISHOE: Campus police.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Secretary of education or attorney general - what each of those is.
MARTIN: Like in your kitchen, you've got some shelving...
SHORTZ: Where do you put your plates...
MARTIN: Yeah, where do you put your plates?
SHORTZ: ...And your glasses and your...
MISHOE: Oh, a cabinet.
MISHOE: A cabinet politician.
>>SHORTZ; Well, that's not the phrase. I'll give it you, though. It's cabinet position or cabinet post.
MARTIN: Oh, cabinet position. OK, all right.
SHORTZ: And here's your last one. Most straightforward and desirable contest awards - other than the NPR lapel pen. That is the best contest award.
MARTIN: Of course.
SHORTZ: But outside of that, what is the most desirable contest award?
MARTIN: Most desirable contest...
MISHOE: I started off so well.
MARTIN: I know. We're really...
SHORTZ: What would you like to get - what would you like to get more than anything else for winning a contest?
MISHOE: Oh, a case prize.
MARTIN: Yes, good.
SHORTZ: Cash prize, yes.
MARTIN: You did great. Yeah, we had couple stumbles...
MARTIN: ...But it was - that was good. You cruised through that. For playing The Puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pen and all kinds of puzzle books and games. You can check it out at npr.org/puzzle. And where do you hear us, Allison? What's your public radio station?
MISHOE: WHYY in Philadelphia.
MARTIN: Allison Mishoe of Philadelphia, Pa. Thanks so much for playing The Puzzle, Allison.
MISHOE: Thank you.
MARTIN: All right, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from Mike Reiss, who's been a writer and producer for "The Simpsons." Name a famous Greek from history. Rearrange its letters to get the title of a famous Italian from history. Who are these two people? So again, a famous Greek from history, rearrange letters to get the title of a famous Italian from history. Who are these two people?
MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle. Find the Submit Your Answer link, click on it, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for those entries is Thursday, October 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about time. And if you're the winner, then we'll give you a call. And then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Mr. Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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