RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Grudges have been set aside, hatchets buried and enemies are now friends on the campaign trail. Carly Fiorina backed Ted Cruz this past week. And on Friday, Ben Carson announced that he is with Donald Trump. So it is time for me to tell you, America, I am endorsing the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times, WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel. I can tell you I am not running for president.
MARTIN: You're not? 'Cause you were going to be my second choice after the puzzle.
SHORTZ: I am a problem solver, yeah (laughter).
MARTIN: (Laughter) OK, so what was last week's on-air challenge?
SHORTZ: It came from listener Donna Bass of Lake Forest, Ill. And I have the example bail, nail and mail, which are three four-letter words that differ only in their first letters. And they happen to be adjacent letters on a computer keyboard. I asked, can you think of five four-letter words that have the same property? My intended answer was dive, five, give, hive and jive. Turns out there are several others. There's even a series of six four-letter words - sunk, dunk, funk, gunk, hunk and junk. And if you think Jill, which is informal for a girl or a young woman, if you think that's a common word, there's a seven - series of seven four-letter words - sill, dill, fill, gill, hill, Jill and kill. We accepted any of those as correct.
MARTIN: All right, so we got over 2,100 right answers this week. Our randomly selected winner is Scott Peterson. He hails from Westminster, Colo., and he's on the line now. Hey, Scott. Congratulations.
SCOTT PETERSON: Thank you.
MARTIN: Where's Westminster?
PETERSON: It's suburban Denver.
MARTIN: OK, Denver. Basically Denver (laughter).
PETERSON: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
MARTIN: And have you been doing the puzzle a long time, Scott?
PETERSON: Probably five or six years.
MARTIN: All right, well, let's put your puzzling skills to the test. Are you ready to play the on-air challenge.
PETERSON: Let's find out.
MARTIN: Let's find out. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Scott and Rachel, since Daylight Saving Time starts today, I've brought a timely puzzle. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in D and the second word starts ST. For example, if I said a small red fruit on a vine in the woods, you'd say wild strawberry.
SHORTZ: Number one is our country.
PETERSON: United States.
SHORTZ: That's right. Number two, shock jock who calls himself the King of All Media.
PETERSON: Howard Stern?
SHORTZ: That's it. Shirley Temple, for example, when she was 7.
PETERSON: Child star?
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Place to buy LPs.
PETERSON: Record store.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. What luminol can reveal at a crime scene.
PETERSON: I don't know that reference.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh, but you can figure it out. It's a chemical.
PETERSON: Blood stain?
SHORTZ: Blood stain is correct. Informal name for the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
PETERSON: Food stamps?
SHORTZ: That's it. Monetary system that the U.S. abandoned in 1934.
PETERSON: Gold standard.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Singer of the number one hits, "Maggie May" and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"
PETERSON: Rod Stewart.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Slang for whiskey or rum but not beer or wine.
PETERSON: Hard, hard, hard, hard. I'm not getting the second part. Hard. Rachel?
MARTIN: I don't know. Hard. Wait, say the clue again, Will.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Slang for whiskey or run but not beer or wine.
MARTIN: Hard stuff.
SHORTZ: That's it, the hard stuff.
PETERSON: (Laughter) OK.
SHORTZ: Someone working on a master's degree.
PETERSON: Graduate - no, grad student.
MARTIN: Scott, that was excellent. I mean, really, you nailed that. It was very well done. And for doing such a great job, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, you get puzzle books, you get puzzle games. If you want to read about your prizes, you can do it at npr.org/puzzle. Where do you hear us, Scott? What's your public radio station?
PETERSON: KCFR in Denver.
MARTIN: Scott Peterson of Westminster, Colo., just outside Denver. Scott, thanks for playing the puzzle.
PETERSON: Thank you.
MARTIN: Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from listener Mike Reiss who is a writer and producer for "The Simpsons." Take the name of a well-known actress. Her first name starts with the three-letter abbreviation for a month. Replace this with the three-letter abbreviation for a different month and you'll get the name of a famous poet. Who are these two people? So again, famous actress, first name starts with a three-letter abbreviation for a month. Replace that with the three-letter abbreviation for a different month and you'll get the name of a famous poet. Who are these two people?
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. Those entries are due by Thursday, March 17 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, we call you 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, Will Shortz. And before we let you go, Will, we had talked last week about this controversy in the puzzle world. There was a puzzle editor who was accused of essentially plagiarizing fraud when it comes to how he was editing puzzles. His name is Timothy Parker. He worked for USA Today. And I understand there's an update on this story, right? What do you know?
SHORTZ: Yeah, last week USA Today and Universal Uclick syndicate suspended Timothy Parker and they have a new crossword editor.
MARTIN: So there were repercussions. Thanks so much for sharing that with us, Will, and we will see you next week. Same day, same time.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
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