Top Prize For Solving A Tough Puzzle ... There's A Total Pattern Here
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Before becoming the host of WEEKEND EDITION SUNDAY, you may recall I was an international correspondent for NPR. I reported from South America, Mexico, the Middle East. Decoding different cultures was pretty much my job, so let's see if I can decode this week's Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm joined by the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu. Welcome to the show.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm so excited to be here and to play The Puzzle. So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: I asked, can you construct a word square consisting of five five-letter men's names? And my answer, I said, had four good names and one not-so-common one. My answer was Kemal - K-E-M-A-L - Emile, Milan, Alain and Lenny. And the tough name there being Milan, M-I-L-A-N. It's very common...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I was about to say Milan. I don't know.
SHORTZ: I know, it's - I read that it's...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It wouldn't meet the Scrabble test, I think.
SHORTZ: (Laughter) It's a very common name in Eastern Europe, I read, but not around here. Of course, people sent in all sorts of answers. One that I particularly like from our winner had Abram, Blane, Randy, Andre and Meyer. Blaine was the odd one out there, B-L-A-N-E, but still pretty impressive.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. We received about 100 different word squares. And this week's winner is - and I love this story - 16-year-old Marisa Schiller from Sandusky, Mich. And she joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Marisa.
MARISA SCHILLER: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Tell us, how did you hear about The Puzzle?
SCHILLER: My teacher showed us in class and he said, you can figure it out. And so I tried to figure it out.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we've got your teacher, Kurt Wentzel, on the line here, too. Mr. Wentzel, how long have you been assigning The Puzzle to your students? What kind of teacher are you?
KURT WENTZEL: I teach world history and geography, and also English. I've been assigning The Puzzle for about five or six years.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I think we're playing today with your students in class. Can you get them to say hey to us?
WENTZEL: Sure thing. They want you to say hey, class.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: Hi. Hello.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Hey.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So a special Puzzle this week with two contestants, a live studio audience right there. Marisa and Mr. Wentzel from Sandusky Junior/Senior High School, are you both ready to play The Puzzle?
WENTZEL: Yes, we are.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Awesome. So, Will, let's do this. Take it away.
SHORTZ: Yes. Marisa and Kurt, this puzzle is a welcome to you, Lulu, to the program. So we're going to start at the top. Every answer is a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase in which the first part starts T-O and the second part starts P. For example, if I gave you the clue what the main ingredient in ketchup grows on, you would say tomato plant. Tomato starts T-O and plant starts P. Number one is a product from Crest or Colgate.
WENTZEL: That would be toothpaste.
SHORTZ: Toothpaste is correct.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Number two, a product from Charmin or Cottonelle.
SCHILLER: Toilet paper.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Place on a highway where you have to stop and pay money.
SCHILLER: Toll poll.
SHORTZ: Yes, toll is right. And it's a wide part and - what do you call that, a widening of the road?
WENTZEL: Oh, a plaza. Toll plaza.
SHORTZ: Toll plaza is right. A Native American sculpture in the Northwest in which giant heads are carved into a tree.
SCHILLER: Totem pole.
WENTZEL: Into a tree?
SHORTZ: Totem pole, good one.
SHORTZ: Rock singer and musician with the Heartbreakers.
WENTZEL: Oh, God.
SHORTZ: Do you know that, blank and the Heartbreakers?
WENTZEL: Oh, I know it. Tom Petty.
SHORTZ: Tom Petty is it, good. A pointing device on a laptop computer used as a substitute for a mouse.
SHORTZ: It's not a toggle, no. But think of a laptop and there's a flat surface that you move your...
SHORTZ: ...Hand around on.
SCHILLER: Touch pad.
SHORTZ: What do you call that? A touch pad, good one.
SHORTZ: A small ornamental stud inserted in part of the mouth.
WENTZEL: A tongue...
SHORTZ: You know this one, Marisa?
SHORTZ: Little ornament. It's a tongue piercing.
WENTZEL: Oh, a piercing.
SHORTZ: All right, try this one. Something smoked by Sherlock Holmes and Santa Claus.
WENTZEL: Something - oh.
SCHILLER: ...Tobacco pipe.
SHORTZ: Yeah, that's it, tobacco pipe. And here's your last one - a set of things for sightseers to see at an all-inclusive price.
WENTZEL: Sight - a tour package.
SHORTZ: Tour package. Nice job. It was a real combination there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You guys did a great job. For playing our Puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, each of you, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And what member station do you guys listen to there?
WENTZEL: Usually WFUM in Flint.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Marisa Schiller and her teacher Kurt Wentzel of Sandusky, Mich. and their class. Thanks for playing The Puzzle.
SCHILLER: Thank you.
WENTZEL: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENTS: Bye.
SHORTZ: That's right.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Bye, Michigan (laughter).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from Mike Reiss, who's a writer/producer for "The Simpsons." And he's had a number of challenges on this program. Think of a two-word phrase you might see on a clothing label. Add two letters to the end of the first word and one letter to the end of the second word, and the result is the name of a famous writer. Who is it? So again, think of a two-word phrase you might see on a clothing label, add two letters to the end of the first word and one letter to the end of the second word, and the result will be the name of a famous writer. What writer is it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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, January 12 at 3 p.m. Eastern, so 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 get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.