Puzzle: What's Perceptible in Non-Perception Puzzlemaster Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. (This week's winner is Bob Riedel from Dansville, N.Y. He listens to Weekend Edition on member station WXXI in Rochester.)
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Puzzle: What's Perceptible in Non-Perception

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Puzzle: What's Perceptible in Non-Perception

Puzzle: What's Perceptible in Non-Perception

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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzlemaster Will Shortz on the phone from home this week.

Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Real busy, huh?

SHORTZ: Real busy before Christmas. Yeah.


SHORTZ: How about you?

HANSEN: Well, I've been busy but I've been busy traveling. I was up visiting the folks at WNMU in Marquette, Michigan, and they taught me a new word.

SHORTZ: Which is?

HANSEN: Upers.

SHORTZ: How do you spell that?


SHORTZ: Gotcha. You know, I could use that in crosswords. That would be very useful.

HANSEN: And you know what it means?

SHORTZ: Well, I figured it out, upper peninsula people.

HANSEN: That's it. And I love that. I've been using that all--so I told them that I would tell you that I discovered a new word and actually one of the contributing listeners and members up there sidled up to me at a reception and gave me the answer to last week's challenge. So why don't you repeat the challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener John Duschatko of Arlington, Texas. I said, `Take the word debunk. Starting with the B inside, read the letters forward and you get bunk. And starting with the B and reading backward, you get bed. And together these two words spell bunk bed.' And I asked you to think of a word with an M inside. Starting with the M, read forward to get one word and read backward to get another and the two words go together to name a job title. What's the original word and what is this job title?

HANSEN: And what is the answer to each one of those questions?

SHORTZ: Well, it was diameter, making the words meter and maid or meter maid.

HANSEN: We had over a thousand entries from people who solved the puzzle, and our winner randomly selected from the current answer is Bob Riedel from Dansville, New York.

Hi, Bob.

Mr. BOB RIEDEL: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: What do you do there in Dansville?

Mr. RIEDEL: I'm a bookseller.

HANSEN: A bookseller. Do you--What? Rare books, chain store or what?

Mr. RIEDEL: No, I try to sell rare books.

HANSEN: What's the...

Mr. RIEDEL: It's just an appointment shop out of my home.

HANSEN: Oh, what book do you consider the most rare in your collection?

Mr. RIEDEL: That's here now?


Mr. RIEDEL: Oh, good heavens. We have a copy of the "Negro Explorer at the North Pole." Very scarce. A fellow went up with Perry.

HANSEN: Interesting. Oh, very interesting. So how long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. RIEDEL: Oh, probably a dozen years or so.

HANSEN: Oh, well, it sounds like you're ready to play.

Mr. RIEDEL: I'd like to.

HANSEN: OK. Well, Will, meet Bob. Bob, meet Will. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right. Bob, I'm going to give you some words. For each one, think of another word that can follow mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase. And your word should start and end with the same letters as my word. For example, if I said double, you might say dare as in double dare and both words start with the D's and both words end in E's. And as a hint, I'll tell you every answer has four letters.


SHORTZ: Number one is coffee.

Mr. RIEDEL: Cake.

SHORTZ: Coffee cake is right. Number two is big.

Mr. RIEDEL: Big?

SHORTZ: Yeah, big blank. Four letters starting with B, ending in G.

Mr. RIEDEL: All I can think of is blog.

HANSEN: How about bang?

SHORTZ: Big bang is right.

Mr. RIEDEL: Thank you.

SHORTZ: Hired--H-I-R-E-D.

Mr. RIEDEL: Hand.

SHORTZ: Hired hand is right. Sweet.

Mr. RIEDEL: Sweet?


Mr. RIEDEL: Heart. No.

HANSEN: Suet. I'm going suet. You're going seat.

Mr. RIEDEL: Sweet spot.


SHORTZ: Sweet spot is right. Yes. Borscht.

Mr. RIEDEL: Belt.

SHORTZ: Borscht belt is right. Black.

Mr. RIEDEL: Bart. Oh, black. Sorry.

HANSEN: Black.

Mr. RIEDEL: Ends in a K.

SHORTZ: That's right.

Mr. RIEDEL: Black.

SHORTZ: If you have a lot of girlfriends, this is where you might list them.

Mr. RIEDEL: Book.

SHORTZ: Black book...

Mr. RIEDEL: Thank you.

SHORTZ: ...is right. Peace--P-E-A-C-E.

Mr. RIEDEL: Pipe.

SHORTZ: Peace pipe is right. Saddle.

Mr. RIEDEL: Sore.

SHORTZ: Saddle sore or saddle shoe. Either one. Voice--V-O-I-C-E.

HANSEN: Voice.

SHORTZ: There might be one of these...

Mr. RIEDEL: Vote.

SHORTZ: What's that?

Mr. RIEDEL: Vote.

SHORTZ: Voice vote. Excellent. White--W-H-I-T-E.

Mr. RIEDEL: Wine.

SHORTZ: White wine. Excellent. Think.

Mr. RIEDEL: Tank.

SHORTZ: Think tank. Work--W-O-R-K.

Mr. RIEDEL: Week.

SHORTZ: Work week. Due--D-U-E.

Mr. RIEDEL: Date.

SHORTZ: Due date.


SHORTZ: Budweiser.

Mr. RIEDEL: Beer.

SHORTZ: Budweiser beer. Swap--S-W-A-P.

Mr. RIEDEL: Swap, like to trade?


Mr. RIEDEL: Shop.

SHORTZ: Swap shop is right. And your last one is fossil.

Mr. RIEDEL: Muscle...


Mr. RIEDEL: ...like my arm?


Mr. RIEDEL: Oh, fossil fuel.

SHORTZ: Fossil fuel. Bob, you did great.

HANSEN: Bob...

Mr. RIEDEL: Phew!

HANSEN: ...yeah.

Mr. RIEDEL: Oh, I'm on the other shore now. It feels great.

HANSEN: After swimming the channel and playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parkers Bros., "The Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, volume two, and three Sudoku wordless crossword puzzle books presented by Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press. I'm sure you'll finish them all in--What?--a half-hour I think, Bob?

Mr. RIEDEL: I'll stretch them out over the winter.

HANSEN: There you go.

Mr. RIEDEL: Thanks very much.

HANSEN: What member station do you listen to, Bob?

Mr. RIEDEL: I'm on the cusp between WSKG Binghamton and WXXI in Rochester, New York.

HANSEN: Oh, WSKG where I started my career and WXXI where Will was last week.

Mr. RIEDEL: That's right.

HANSEN: All right. Bob Riedel from Dansville, New York, thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us.

Mr. RIEDEL: Thank you both.


All right. Will, a challenge for everyone to work on this week.

SHORTZ: Well, take the word non-perception. That's N-O-N-P-E-R-C-E-P-T-I-O-N. Rearrange these 13 letters to name three things that are all in the same category. So again the word is non-perception. Rearrange the 13 letters to name three things that are all in the same category. What are they?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, e-mail us at puzzle@npr.org. Only one entry per person please. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3 PM Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster Will Shortz. There's also information on our Web site at npr.org.

Will, thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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