LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
It's Father's Day. And if you forgot to get something for your dad, don't worry because we've got the gift that keeps on giving. It's The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah, I said consider the sentence - Benjamin, the Greenpeace ombudsman in the panorama, was charmed by the chinchilla fragrance. And this sentence contains seven words of seven or more letters. And they all have something very unusual in common. I asked, what is it and can you give me an eighth word with the same property?
Well, in each case, you can - each of those words, you can delete some of the interior letters to leave the name of a country. So Benjamin leaves Benin. Greenpeace leaves Greece, et cetera. And of the words that people gave us I think the most common ones were Latinos, leaving Laos, and turnkey, leaving Turkey. My favorite alternative word was bestialize, which leaves Belize.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK, we got 500 responses. And our winner this week is Mike Strong of Mechanicsburg, Ps. Hey, Mike, congratulations.
MIKE STRONG: Thank you very much, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So you've won the puzzle before?
STRONG: Yeah. I won one of Will's very interesting, creative challenges about three years ago.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, what do you do in Mechanicsburg?
STRONG: I'm a software engineer. I write software. It's called C software. It's software that engineers use to predict how their designs will work on a computer before they're actually made.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So that sounds like it would lend itself to being good at puzzles.
STRONG: Well, it definitely lends itself to being interested in puzzles.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right, we'll see now if you are indeed good at puzzles.
SHORTZ: All right, Mike, every answer today is a word that contains part of the human body in the exact middle. For example, if I said a group of Native Americans starting with T and ending with E, you would say tribe because between the T and the E is rib.
SHORTZ: All right, number one is word starts with E and ends in Y. And it means a mournful poem.
STRONG: An elegy.
SHORTZ: Elegy with leg in the middle is right. W is at the start. And Y is at the end. And it means tired.
STRONG: It means tired? Weary.
SHORTZ: That's it with ear. Starting with A and ending in G. And it means very sore.
SHORTZ: Very sore, starting with A and ending in G.
SHORTZ: Aching with chin, good. Starting with E-L and ending in S-E. And it's a geometrical shape.
SHORTZ: With Lip. Starting with L-E and ending in E-S. And it means beans and peas.
STRONG: Legumes, legumes.
SHORTZ: That's it with gum inside.
SHORTZ: Starting with R-E and A-L. And it means an opposing argument in a debate.
SHORTZ: Rebuttal with a butt. That's right.
SHORTZ: Starting with...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This reduces me to being a teenager. But we said butt on air, all of us.
SHORTZ: Here's your next one. Starting with O-B and ending in T-E. It means out of date.
SHORTZ: That's it with sole. R-A and ending S-S. And it's quality of a harsh voice.
SHORTZ: That's it with spine inside. And here's your last one starting F-L-A and ending E-S-S. And it means showy display.
STRONG: Flemboy (ph).
SHORTZ: It's four letters, a four-letter body part. And it's part of your leg.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Something that lightning does. Or it - or light does this, too, when it goes on and off.
STRONG: I'm drawing a blank.
SHORTZ: That would be the verb form of the answer.
SHORTZ: Yeah, yeah. All right, Mike, I want you to get this last one. So what's the - what do you call the lower part of the leg?
SHORTZ: There you go.
SHORTZ: Flashiness is it, good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, you did a really good job, Mike.
STRONG: Well, thanks, Lulu. Thanks for the help.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, congratulations. You're my favorite kind of puzzle guest - the one that does not require me to give bad hints (laughter). 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, Mike, what member station do you listen to?
STRONG: My wife and I are members of WITF in Harrisburg.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful. Mike Strong of Mechanicsburg, Ps. Thank you for playing The Puzzle.
STRONG: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It's a spin off of my on-air puzzle. Think of a familiar two-word phrase starting with T and ending with S in which the interior letters name part of the human body. Remove the first and last letters of that word and what remains will name another part of the human body. So what's the phrase and what are the body parts?
So again, a familiar two-word phrase starting with T, ending with S, in which the interior letters name part of the human body. Then you remove the first and last letters of that word and what remains will name another part of the human body. What's the phrase, and what are the body parts?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Lots of body parts, lately. All right, 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 22 at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. 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.