LYNN NEARY, HOST:
This past week, Pokemon fans have been wandering around catching wayward Charmanders and errant Pikachus, strengthening their battle skills. But even the very best have yet to face the ultimate challenge, The Puzzle.
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NEARY: And I'm joined by the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn. Nice to talk to you again.
SHORTZ: It's great to be here. So are you a Pokemon fan? And have you ever played this game?
SHORTZ: I haven't tried Pokemon Go yet, but I'm fascinated by it because it's like a mystery hunt. So everyone loves a mystery.
NEARY: Now remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Martin Eiger. I said think of a phrase that denotes a particular major league sports team in 12 letters. The first six letters are the same as the second six letters rearranged. What team is it? The answer is The Miami Heat, those three words. If you divide between the A and the M of Miami, the first six letters are the same as the second six letters, pretty amazing.
NEARY: Well, this had to be a tough one because just over 100 people got the right answer. One of them is our randomly selected winner this week, Amy Suarez of Albuquerque, N.M. Congratulations, Amy.
AMY SUAREZ: Thank you.
NEARY: How did you go about getting that answer?
SUAREZ: Well, at first I thought that it was maybe, like, a team saying like Roll Tide or something. And then I went back and I read the puzzle again. And I think the wording in it made me realize it was not two words. So - and I also realized the word the was probably in it. So I went from there, and it was pretty easy after that.
NEARY: And how long have you been playing the puzzle?
SUAREZ: About three and a half years. My husband and I play every Sunday. It's our favorite thing to do besides working the crossword.
NEARY: Amy, are you ready to play the puzzle?
SUAREZ: I hope so.
NEARY: All right, let's play then. Will?
SHORTZ: All right, Amy and Lynn, I'm going to give you clues for two words. Insert the letters V-E, as in vitamin E, somewhere inside the first word to get the second word. For example, if I said Abel's brother in the Bible and danger for a spelunker, you would say Cain and cave-in because cave-in inserts V-E inside Cain.
Here's number one. Genuine and unmask. So think of a word meaning genuine. What's the first thing you think of for genuine?
SHORTZ: Real, yes, and insert V-E inside that and you get unmask.
SHORTZ: Good. Number two is gossip and cause to change course.
SUAREZ: Let's see.
NEARY: Amy, I wish I could help (laughter). I'm kind of lost.
SUAREZ: I'm not getting it.
SHORTZ: I'm going to tell you this one. Gossip is dirt. You dish dirt. And a cause to change course is to divert.
SUAREZ: Divert, OK.
SHORTZ: OK, here's your next one. A large furry animal and a smallish furry animal.
SUAREZ: A bear and a beaver.
SHORTZ: That's it. Good. Low in fat and add yeast to.
SUAREZ: Low in fat. Lean.
SHORTZ: And add yeast to.
SHORTZ: Leaven is it. Transparent and a heavy knife.
SUAREZ: Clear and a cleave - or a cleaver.
SHORTZ: Nice. Cleaver is it. Wrath and one who retaliates.
SHORTZ: What's a five-letter synonym of wrath?
NEARY: I might have the first word.
SHORTZ: Yes. Insert V-E and you get one who retaliates.
SHORTZ: Avenger is it. And here's your last one. A person who is connected by blood and the last book of the New Testament.
SUAREZ: Oh, a relative and Revelation.
SHORTZ: Relation and Revelation is it. You got it.
NEARY: (Laughter) Amy, that - I thought that one was really hard (laughter).
SUAREZ: I thought it was hard, too.
NEARY: And I think you did a great job.
SUAREZ: Thank you.
NEARY: So for playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Amy, what is your public radio station there in Albuquerque?
SUAREZ: It is 89.9 KUNM.
NEARY: That was Amy Suarez of Albuquerque, N.M. And, Will, what is the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Ben Bass of Chicago. Name a prominent American politician, first and last names, 11 letters total. Rearrange these letters and you'll get a country plus the former name of another country. Who's the politician, and what countries are these? So again, prominent American politician, first and last names, 11 letters total. Rearrange the letters and you'll name a country plus the former name of another country. Who's the politician, and what countries are these?
NEARY: And when you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, July 21 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, we'll give you a call. And you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lynn.
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