Trim a Bit off Both Ends Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's winner is Sabina Brukner of New York City. She listens to Weekend Edition on member station WNYC in New York.
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Trim a Bit off Both Ends

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Trim a Bit off Both Ends

Trim a Bit off Both Ends

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen and joining us is Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you this weekend?

Mr. SHORTZ: I'm doing excellent. How about you?

HANSEN: Fair to normal, thank you very much. You know, it's been a quiet week in - in, in where I live, anyway. Spent a little time at the beach. You left us with a challenge last week and I can't believe I actually got the answer.

Mr. SHORTZ: I was very impressed before we...

HANSEN: ...which is rare.

Mr. SHORTZ: ...even went off the air you had the answer.

HANSEN: Yeah, this only happens, you know, when there's an eclipse or something. Repeat it please.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener, Doug Heller of Flourtown, Pennsylvania. I said name two people who have been in the news together recently. One of them has a three-letter last name. The other has an eight-letter last name. Move the first letter of the eight-letter name to the start of the three-letter name and the result will be two words that are synonyms. What are they?

HANSEN: What are they?

Mr. SHORTZ: The names are Lay and Skilling, as in the former Enron execs. Move the S from Skilling to the front of Lay and you get slay and killing.

HANSEN: Well, we had over 2,000 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle, and our winner, randomly selected from the correct answers, is Sabina Brukner, and she joins us from New York City. Hi Sabina.

Ms. SABINA BRUKNER (Caller): Hi, how are you?

HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Ms. BRUKNER: I actually got it immediately. It was like you, Liane, it was one of these rare eclipse moments.

HANSEN: What do you do in New York?

Ms. BRUKNER: I'm the Executive Director of an organization called Living Traditions, which works to promote Yiddish culture.

HANSEN: Oh, wow. And how long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. BRUKNER: Since you've started, I think.


Ms. BRUKNER: I play along with you on the air. I've only sent in entries a few times.

HANSEN: Well...

Ms. BRUKNER: It's just fantastic.

HANSEN: Ding, ding, ding. And now you get your moment on Puzzle. You ready?

Ms. BRUKNER: I'm as ready as I can be.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Sabina. Let's play.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Sabina. I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word starts and ends with the same letter. Drop this letter at both the start and the end. The remaining letters will spell a new word that answers the second clue. For example, if I said flap on a suit jacket and to mimic, you would say lapel and ape.

Ms. BRUKNER: Okay, I'll give it a shot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Number one is to fix the hair just so and your second clue is outer edge.

Ms. BRUKNER: Primp and rim?

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. Number two, a computer connection device and a poem of praise.

Ms. BRUKNER: Modem and ode.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. A bereaved woman and a marriage vow. And the second one is a two-word answer.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, widow and I do.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's correct. Try this one, annual and your second clue is a British nobleman.

Ms. BRUKNER: Yearly and earl, wow.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Good going. A signal transmitter in the body and a foreign currency unit.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, neuron and Euro.

Mr. SHORTZ: Excellent. A supporter of the old Russian monarchy and dresses in India.

Ms. BRUKNER: Tsarist and Sari.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good. An herb used as a seasoning in cooking and a daughter of King Lear.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oregano and Regan.

Mr. SHORTZ: Ooh, I'm impressed. A California city on San Francisco Bay and your second clue is hobbled. The city is right next to Oakland.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, I've never been to California. Oh, Alameda and lame.

Mr. SHORTZ: Good job. Good job. Absolutely horrible, like an experience, and your second clue is an island where immigrants used to arrive.

Ms. BRUKNER: Hellish and Ellis.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes. Wasted time and your second clue is Kate's partner in 1980's TV.

Ms. BRUKNER: That's Allie.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yeah.

Ms. BRUKNER: And wasted time?

Mr. SHORTZ: Mm-hm.

Ms. BRUKNER: Dallied.

Mr. SHORTZ: Dallied then Allie, good. A pistol and to change gradually over time.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, evolve and revolver.

Mr. SHORTZ: Revolver is right. Gathering bit by bit, and your second clue is move closer so as to hear. And that second part's a two-word phrase.

Ms. BRUKNER: Gathering bit by bit. Gleaning.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. BRUKNER: And lean in.

Mr. SHORTZ: Gleaming and lean in is right. And here's your last one. Lacking elasticity or bounce, and your second clue is a popular brand of potato chips.

Ms. BRUKNER: Ooh, I should know the potato chips.

Mr. SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint. The chips come in a can.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, Pringles.

Mr. SHORTZ: Pringles, yes. And lacking elasticity?

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, springless.

Mr. SHORTZ: Springless is right.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, my goodness.

HANSEN: Ding, ding, ding. Amazing, every one.

Ms. BRUKNER: Oh, my goodness. I was so nervous.

HANSEN: Wow, wow, 100 percent, Sabina, 100 percent.

Ms. BRUKNER: Yay, yay!

HANSEN: Yay. And for 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 Parker Brothers, the Puzzlemaster Presents from Random House, Volume Two, a set of Sodoku puzzle books presented by Will Shortz from St. Marten's Press and one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. Sabina, what member station do you listen to?


HANSEN: In New York City. Sabina Brukner from New York City. Thanks a lot for playing the puzzle with us. You were great.

Ms. BRUKNER: Thank you. It's been a real pleasure.

HANSEN: It was our pleasure as well. Okay, Will, a challenge for next week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, name a people of Europe. Remove the second and third letters of this word. The remaining letters, in order, will spell an area of Europe that's unrelated to the people. What is it? So again, a people of Europe, remove the second and third letters of this word. The remaining letters, in order, will spell an area of Europe unrelated to the people. Who are the people and what's the area?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site,, and click on the Submit your Answer link on the Sunday Puzzle Page. Only one entry per person, please. And a little heads up, our deadline is early this week. The deadline is Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time and 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, who joined us this week from New York. Will, thanks a lot.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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