Sunday Puzzle: Hey Puzzlers, Ready For Some H-O-T Stuff? When NPR's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz, lists three words starting with the letters H, O and T, the answer's a word that can follow each to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
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Hey Puzzlers, Ready For Some H-O-T Stuff?

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Hey Puzzlers, Ready For Some H-O-T Stuff?

Hey Puzzlers, Ready For Some H-O-T Stuff?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487171451/487237260" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

ELISE HU, HOST:

There were a lot of riled up delegates at last week's GOP convention. First, arguments over the platform, anti-Donald Trump delegates tried to mount a rebellion. But we'd like to think people were upset for a completely different reason. They just wanted to play The Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

HU: I'm joined by puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Hey there, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Elise. Welcome to the show.

HU: Thanks. So are you a political junkie? Did you watch the convention this week?

SHORTZ: Yes, I'm a political junkie, but it's enough to read about it. I'd read about a lot but I didn't have to watch it live (laughter).

HU: So remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Ben Bass of Chicago. I said name a prominent American politician, first and last names, 11 letters total. I said 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? Well, the politician is Nancy Pelosi. And if you rearrange those letters, you get Spain and Ceylon.

HU: Oh, Ceylon. Well, just over 500 people sent in the right answer. And one of them is our randomly selected winner this week, Todd Garvin of Silverdale, Wash. Congratulations, Todd.

TODD GARVIN: Well, thank you.

HU: So how did you get to the answer?

GARVIN: I thought of countries that had changed their names and had Burma and Siam and Ceylon come to mind. And then I happened to see a picture of Nancy Pelosi on the web and I - it clicked that her name would contain those letters for Ceylon. And I was going from there.

HU: And, Todd, do you have a question for Will?

GARVIN: Well, I was wondering if Will is a morning person or when during the day does he do his best puzzle creating?

SHORTZ: Just the opposite. I'm a night owl. I have a typical go to bed time around 2. And the first crossword editor of The New York Times, Margaret Farrar, used to say her favorite part of the day was late at night when the phone stopped ringing. I guess I'm like her.

HU: OK, Will. Todd, if you're ready, let's play.

GARVIN: Sure.

SHORTZ: All right, Todd and Elise, I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters H, O and T, as in hot. You tell me a word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said home, oval and ticket, you would say office, as in home office, Oval Office and ticket office. Number one is haunted, opera, tree.

GARVIN: House.

SHORTZ: That is correct. Haunted house, opera house and tree house. Number two is head, one-night, taxi.

GARVIN: Stand.

SHORTZ: That's it. Hospital, oyster, twin.

GARVIN: Beds.

SHORTZ: That's it. Honor, onion, Tootsie.

GARVIN: Roll.

SHORTZ: That's it. Tootsie Roll. High - H-I-G-H - old, trade. Out of everyone I tested this puzzle on, everyone got stuck on this. High, old and trade.

HU: Pact.

GARVIN: Oh, how about, well, a mark?

SHORTZ: High mark, old mark, trademark. Well, trademark's good. I'm not buying those other two. What if I tell you it's six letters starting with S?

GARVIN: School.

SHORTZ: That's it. High school, old school and trade school.

HU: Oh.

GARVIN: Got it.

SHORTZ: Nice job. Hand, ox, tea - T-E-A.

GARVIN: Cart.

SHORTZ: That's it. Horse, Oxford, tennis. Horse, Oxford and tennis.

GARVIN: Shoe.

SHORTZ: That's it. Hail - H-A-I-L - Oliver, tomb.

GARVIN: Stone.

SHORTZ: Stone, with that middle being Oliver Stone. Hot water, oxygen, think.

HU: What was the third one?

SHORTZ: Think, as in to think or to cogitate.

GARVIN: Oh, tank.

SHORTZ: That's it. Horse, one-act, triple.

GARVIN: Play.

SHORTZ: Handle, open, tapas.

GARVIN: Bar.

SHORTZ: Head, ocean, trash can.

GARVIN: (Laughter).

HU: Trash can?

GARVIN: You've got to be...

HU: What does trash can go with?

GARVIN: Head, ocean...

SHORTZ: What do you put inside a trash can before you put any trash in?

GARVIN: Oh, a liner.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

HU: Yeah.

GARVIN: Liner.

SHORTZ: Headliner, ocean liner and trash can liner. And here's your last one. Hen - H-E-N - hen, opposition and Tupperware.

GARVIN: (Laughter) Boy, not a lid, a hen party. A hen party.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

GARVIN: There we are.

SHORTZ: Hen party, opposition party and Tupperware party. Nice job.

GARVIN: Thank you.

HU: Great job, Todd. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Todd, tell us your public radio station.

GARVIN: We are members of KUOW in Seattle.

HU: Thanks for supporting KUOW. And Todd Garvin of Silverdale, Wash., thanks for playing.

GARVIN: Thank you.

HU: OK, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, well, a spoonerism is an interchange of initial consonant sounds and a phrase to get another phrase, as in light rain and right lane. Name something seen in a kitchen in two words. Its spoonerism is an article that's worn mostly by men. What is it? So again, something seen in a kitchen in two words. Spoonerize it and you get an article that's worn mostly by men. What two phrases are these?

HU: All right, well, 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 28 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please 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, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Elise.

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