AILSA CHANG, HOST:
2016 was definitely a long year. A lot of people were ready for it to be over, and now - thank goodness - it is. We've got a clean slate, so let's start things off right and play so puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
CHANG: Of course, I'm joined by the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz How. Are you doing, Will?
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Excellent, Ailsa. Happy New Year.
CHANG: Happy New Year to you, too. So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. The challenge came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said think of three words used in golf, say them out loud one after the other, and they'll sound like a group that was in the news in 2016. What group is it? Well, the answer is Green Party, which is made up of green, par and tee. A number of people did Tea Party. Didn't allow that because that used tea twice. You had to have different golf terms.
CHANG: Well, we got more than 800 puzzle entries with the right answer, and this week's winner is Mollie Carey of Haddam, Conn. Congratulations, Mollie, and Happy New Year to you.
MOLLIE CAREY: Thank you. Happy New Year to you guys, as well.
CHANG: So how did you figure out the answer?
CAREY: Well, my dad and I were sitting there listening, and my dad and I started working on it. And he got party and tee, and I started throwing together words that went with that. And all of a sudden, Green Party came out.
CHANG: Nice - a little family teamwork there. So your dad should be with us today, too, huh?
CAREY: Yes, he is.
CAREY: He's right next to me.
CHANG: Oh, good. All right. So you have a little teammate next to you. All right, Mollie. Are you ready to play the puzzle?
CAREY: I am.
CHANG: OK. Well, let's do this.
SHORTZ: All right, Mollie and Ailsa. Every year around this time, I do a year-end news quiz, usually on names that sprang into the news during the previous 12 months. This year, I didn't find many good ones I wanted to use. And since 2016 broke the mold in so many ways, I decided to break the mold with my quiz.
SHORTZ: I'm going to read you some notable quotes from the previous 12 months. You tell me who said them. And we'll start easy. Number one - I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters.
CAREY: Donald Trump.
CHANG: There you go.
SHORTZ: Donald Trump is right. All right. Here's your next one. Are you prepared to die? If that's OK, then you're a candidate for going. Here it is again. Are you prepared to die? If that's OK, then you're a candidate for going.
CAREY: I'm not sure.
CHANG: Famous entrepreneur.
SHORTZ: Entrepreneur - yes. Your hint is Mars. He has a plan to send humans to Mars.
CAREY: Not share.
SHORTZ: Go ahead, Ailsa.
CHANG: Elon Musk.
SHORTZ: Elon Musk is it. Good job. All right. Here's your next one. I'm not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I'm the first blank. And the name that goes in the blank is the person who said this. I'm not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I'm the first blank.
CAREY: Was it the gymnast?
CAREY: Oh, what is her name?
CAREY: Oh, Simone.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. That's it. Last name starts with a B.
CAREY: Simone Bile?
SHORTZ: Biles is it - Simone Biles.
CAREY: Simone Biles.
CHANG: Woo-hoo (ph).
SHORTZ: Good. All right. People are always like, why did you get a monkey? If you could get a monkey, well, you would get a bleeping monkey, too. Monkeys are awesome.
CHANG: Oh, my God.
SHORTZ: And I'll give you a hint. It's a singer - a popular singer.
CHANG: Yeah. Give us another hint, like a song, a genre of music.
SHORTZ: Oh, it's pop music. It's a male singer. Very contemporary. The initials are J.B.
CAREY: Justin Bieber?
SHORTZ: Justin Bieber said that.
CHANG: That's your generation, Mollie. You should be on that.
CHANG: Well, I don't listen to him, but those were the only initials.
SHORTZ: There you go. All right. Now name the movie this next one is from. We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.
CAREY: "Rogue One?"
SHORTZ: "Rogue One" is it. All right. For the last quote, I'm going to tell you who said it. You tell me what he was talking about. And the quote is - we thought the game would be popular, but it obviously struck a nerve. And that was John Hankey the CEO of the company Niantic. What was he talking about?
CAREY: Was it a game from this year?
CHANG: Hey, maybe ask your dad.
CAREY: Any ideas? He's stumped.
SHORTZ: It's a game you would play outdoors.
CHANG: You see people walking around with their smartphones.
SHORTZ: Yes, yes.
CAREY: Oh, Pokemon Go.
SHORTZ: Pokemon Go is the answer.
CHANG: Woo-hoo (ph). All right.
CHANG: Great job, Mollie. 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. And what's your member station? How do you listen to us?
CAREY: WNPR out of Hartford.
CHANG: Nice. Mollie Carey of Haddam, Conn., thank you so much for playing the puzzle.
CAREY: Thank you, guys, as well. Happy New Year.
CHANG: Happy New Year to you, too. All right, Will. What is the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. Take the four-letter men's names Todd, Omar, Dave and Drew. And if you write them one under the other, they'll form a word square spelling Todd, Omar, Dave and Drew reading down, as well. Can you construct a word square consisting of five five-letter men's names? Any such square using relatively familiar men's names will count. I have an answer that uses four relatively common names and one unfamiliar one. See if you can do better.
CHANG: When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on Submit Your Answer. Just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, January 5 at 3 p.m. Eastern, so include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are the winner, we'll give you a call, and you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thank you so much, Will. This month has been so fun with you. Happy New Year.
SHORTZ: Happy New Year, Ailsa. Great to play with you, too.
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