Two Words Looking for a Third Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home. This week's winner is Christine Murray of Gaylordsville, Conn.
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Two Words Looking for a Third

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Two Words Looking for a Third

Two Words Looking for a Third

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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 Don Gonyea, sitting in for Liane Hansen. And joining us is Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzlemaster): Hi, Don, how are you?

GONYEA: I'm great. And I understand you've got something going on in the great state of Texas coming up.

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, next weekend is the annual convention of the National Puzzlers League, which I direct a program for every year, and it's this gathering of 130, 150 puzzlers from all over the U.S. and Canada for three or four days of solid puzzles and games.

GONYEA: Beautiful. Well, remind us of the challenge that you left us with last week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, I said name a well-known figure in Greek mythology whose name consists of two consecutive pronouns and I said it's a name everyone knows. Who is it?

GONYEA: And the answer is?

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, I'll tell you the answer was not Hermes, which consists of Her plus Me, but there's that pesky S at the end. The correct answer is Theseus, which is These and Us.

GONYEA: All right. Well, we had over 1,700 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle and our winner randomly selected from the correct answers is Christine Murray of Gaylordsville, Connecticut. Hi, Christine.


GONYEA: Tell us what you do in Gaylordsville.

Ms. MURRAY: I am a construction manager for a design build firm here in Gaylordsville.

GONYEA: And how long have you been doing the puzzle on Sunday mornings with Will?

Ms. MURRAY: I've been doing it for about ten years.

GONYEA: So you're definitely a veteran.

Ms. MURRAY: Yes.

GONYEA: And if ten years has prepared you for anything, it's prepared you for this moment, I hope, right?

Ms. MURRAY: Well, I hope so. I don't know how I'll do being a little nervous on the air and everything.

GONYEA: Well, Will, meet Christine and let's play the game.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Christine and Don, I'm going to give you two words. For each pair, name a third word that can follow my first one and precede my second one to complete compound words or familiar two-word phrases. For example, if I said hush and bags, you would say money, as in hush money and money bags. And as a hint, I'll tell you every answer is a five-letter word of two syllables ending in Y. Your first one is tooth and tale, T-A-L-E. Tooth blank and blank tale. And this is someone who might leave a dollar...

Ms. MURRAY: A fairy.

Mr. SHORTZ: A tooth fairy...

Ms. MURRAY: Fairy tales.

Mr. SHORTZ: ...fairy tales, right. Number two is Easter hop, H-O-P.

Ms. MURRAY: Bunny.

Mr. SHORTZ: Easter bunny, bunny hop, excellent. Stir eights, E-I-G-H-T-S.

Ms. MURRAY: Crazy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Crazy, stir crazy and crazy eights. Hamburger cake.

Ms. MURRAY: Patty.

Mr. SHORTZ: Patty, good. Pretty loafer.

Ms. MURRAY: Penny.

Mr. SHORTZ: Penny loafer, good. Top, T-O-P, and metal, M-E-T-A-L.

Ms. MURRAY: Heavy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Heavy, good job. Blind and cat, C-A-T.

GONYEA: I've gone one of these. I've got both of these, I think.

Ms. MURRAY: I was going to say alley, but...

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it, blind alley and alley cat.

Ms. MURRAY: Oh, okay.

Mr. SHORTZ: Pot and dance.

Ms. MURRAY: Belly.

Mr. SHORTZ: Belly, potbelly and belly dance is right. Hill, H-I-L-L, and club, C-L-U-B.

Ms. MURRAY: Billy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Billy, mm-hm. Cotton cane, C-A-N-E.

Ms. MURRAY: Candy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Candy that was fast. Political hat, H-A-T.

Ms. MURRAY: Party.

Mr. SHORTZ: Political party, party hat, good. Second line, L-I-N-E. Second blank, that's part of an apartment building, say.

Ms. MURRAY: Story.

Mr. SHORTZ: Second story, storyline, good. Baby whip, W-H-I-P. Something you might push around the park.

Ms. MURRAY: Buggy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Baby buggy, a buggy whip. And your last one is turkey train.

Ms. MURRAY: Train. Gravy.

Mr. SHORTZ: Turkey gravy, gravy train, nice job, Christine.

Ms. MURRAY: Well, thank you.

GONYEA: Excellent indeed.

Ms. MURRAY: Well, thanks. It was a lot of fun.

GONYEA: Well, for playing our puzzle today, we have a long list of things. This list seems to keep getting longer, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: I know.

GONYEA: 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; Word Play, the official companion book to the movie featuring Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press; and one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. There it is. Christine, tell us what member station do you listen to?

Ms. MURRAY: WFAQ in Fairfield.

GONYEA: Beautiful, know it well. Well, Christine Murray from Gaylordsville, Connecticut, you were great and thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us.

Ms. MURRAY: Well, thanks for having me. I had a good time.

GONYEA: Excellent. Will, what is the challenge for people listening at home to puzzle out for next week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Well, this week's challenge comes from Katherine Bryant of Cambridge, Massachusetts. She's the editor for the National Puzzlers League and will be at the NPL Convention in San Antonio next weekend. Name something you might order in a bar, two words, three letters in the first word, five letters in the second. Change the second letter of the first word from a U to an A. The result will be a new two-word phrase naming something you don't want to be seen in. What is it? So again, something you might order in a bar, three, five, change the second letter of the first word from a U to an A. The result will be a new two-word phrase naming something you don't want to be seen in. What is it?

GONYEA: All right. When you have the answer, go to our Web site,, and click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday Puzzle page. Remember, only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at that time. We'll call you if you are the winner and you will get to play Puzzle on the Air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION'S Puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Don.

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