LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Today, lets take advantage of the long weekend - fire up the grill, set out our Gingham blankets and play, of course, the Sunday Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining me as always is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Will, good morning.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a creature in nine letters. It has two words in its name. Drop the consecutive letters, U-R, and the result will name a major U.S. city in seven letters. What is it? Well, the creature is a sea turtle, and drop the U-R, you get Seattle.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, we got over 1,200 responses. And our winner this week is Mark Scott of - drum roll please - Seattle, the answer to your challenge. Congratulations, Mark. Seems like it was meant to be.
MARK SCOTT: I guess it was.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) So how'd you come up with the answer?
SCOTT: Well, I'm third generation Seattle, and I think that had something to do with it. It was two words and sea popped in right away. And I said, oh, well, it's got to be sea turtle.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I wonder what the - how many people from Seattle actually got that first. I'd love to know the percentages on that. What do you do there in Seattle?
SCOTT: Well, I'm retired. I was a skydiver.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: A skydiver?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's awesome. I'm glad to see that you're happily and safely retired.
SCOTT: Well, and I'll bet that I'm the only teacher you know who's proud of a 100 percent student dropout rate.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's a good one. I like it. All right, are you ready to play The Puzzle?
SCOTT: Well, we'll find out.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Here we go.
SHORTZ: All right, Mark, I'm going to give you some six-letter words. For each one, insert two letters in the exact center to complete a familiar eight-letter word. For example, if I said innate, I-N-N-A-T-E, you would say innovate, inserting an O-V in the middle.
SCOTT: All right.
SHORTZ: OK, number one is argent, A-R-G-E-N-T. And the two letters always go exactly in the middle so here between the G and the E.
SCOTT: Any two letters? All right.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's something that I do with my husband all the time.
SHORTZ: That's (laughter) - I'm sorry to hear that. Argument is right. Good. Number two is vanish, V-A-N-I-S-H.
SHORTZ: Vanquish is it. Corral, C-O-R-R-A-L.
SHORTZ: Not quite. No, because that only uses one of the Rs.
SCOTT: I thought - oh, OK. Oh, that's right.
SHORTZ: Insert two letters between the two Rs.
SHORTZ: Corporal, good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
SHORTZ: Rosary, R-O-S-A-R-Y.
SHORTZ: Rosemary, nice.
SCOTT: Is that right? OK, got it.
SHORTZ: Good. Panama, P-A-N-A-M-A.
SCOTT: Not getting that one.
SHORTZ: And let's see, I'll give you a hint. It's a vowel, consonant in that order. And a synonym might be vista.
SHORTZ: Panorama is it. Though, T-H-O-U-G-H.
SHORTZ: Thorough, excellent. Carnal, C-A-R-N-A-L.
SHORTZ: Cardinal - what did you say? Oh, you said Carnival. Interesting.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: He said carnival.
SHORTZ: Yeah, that doesn't go in the exact middle, though.
SCOTT: No, it doesn't.
SHORTZ: The answer I just told you was cardinal.
SHORTZ: Try this one, cruder, C-R-U-D-E-R.
SHORTZ: Yes. Manure, M-A-N-U-R-E.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This has nothing to do with the other thing.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's what ladies do at a salon.
SHORTZ: Manicure. You get a manicure. How about chaise, C-H-A-I-S-E?
SCOTT: Not chemise is it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's what I do to my daughter.
SHORTZ: Chastise, yeah. I'm also sorry to hear that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm just kidding.
SHORTZ: OK, how about estate, E-S-T-A-T-E?
SHORTZ: That's it. Offing, O-F-F-I-N-G.
SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one, and it's a tough one - subtle, S-U-B-T-L-E.
SHORTZ: Subtitle. Not tough for you. Good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, you did that really fast. Congratulations, nicely done.
SCOTT: Thank you, Lulu and Will.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, which I'm sure you've always wanted as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Mark, what member station do you listen to?
SCOTT: KUOW 94.9 FM in Seattle.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Mark Scott of Seattle, thank you for playing The Puzzle.
SCOTT: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, Will, what's the next challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. If Eli is 173 and Lois is 5,107, how much is Leslie? And Leslie is spelled the usual way, L-E-S-L-I-E. Now, I gave this puzzle to a friend who solved it in five seconds. There's no fancy math needed. So, again, if Eli is 173 and Lois is 5,107. How much is Leslie?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You must have very smart friends. 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. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, June 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number, where we can reach you at about that time. 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 Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Thank you, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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