KORVA COLEMAN, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
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COLEMAN: Joining me, as always, is Will Shortz. He's the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Korva.
COLEMAN: So, Will, it's really hard for me to say - and I wish Lulu was here to break the news. But it turns out, through some listener surveys, that not many people enjoy The Puzzle. So WEEKEND EDITION will now fill that space with more news. Starting next week, it's coming to an end.
SHORTZ: Well, of course, you told me beforehand. I wish I could convince you otherwise. But it's been a good 31 years.
COLEMAN: I can tell you, as NPR's regular morning drive time newscaster, I can vouch for the relentless news cycle. We apologize to our Sunday Puzzle fans that this was so sudden. But let's end it with just one last challenge, OK? So, Will, can you repeat last week's challenge for us, please?
SHORTZ: I said name a small but well-known U.S. city, followed by its two-letter state postal abbreviation. And I said this string of letters, reading from left to right, spells two consecutive words that name distinctive characteristics of bunnies. What city is it? Well, the city is Hope, Ark. And you do that string. It's hop and ear.
COLEMAN: We got over 650 correct responses. And our randomly selected winner is David Marx of Wexford, Pa. Hi, David. Congratulations.
DAVID MARX: Well, thank you, Korva. Hi, Will.
SHORTZ: Hey there.
MARX: I'm excited to be a part of this but kind of sad, too, that it's the last one. I feel honored to be the last participant in what's been a great run.
COLEMAN: Well, we're glad to have you here, David.
MARX: Well, thank you.
COLEMAN: David, when we called you up, you told us something very exciting about your son. Can you tell us?
MARX: Oh, I'd be happy to. He got married to his wonderful partner, Natasha (ph). Jacob and Natasha have been together for a while. And the same day that I spoke to you all was the day they got married.
COLEMAN: Oh, congratulations.
MARX: Oh, thank you.
COLEMAN: Oh, that's lovely. There's a beginning.
MARX: Exactly. Yeah, yeah.
COLEMAN: OK, David. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
MARX: I'm all ready, Korva. Let's go.
COLEMAN: Let's go.
SHORTZ: All right. David and Korva, considering the occasion, it seems appropriate today to bring a puzzle about endings. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. The word that goes in the first blank contains the consecutive letters E-N-D. Drop those letters. And the remaining letters, in order, will spell a new word that goes in the second blank to complete the sentence. For example, right now dark lipstick is blank. So this is something hip people might blank. Well, you'd say dark lipstick is trendy. And this is something hip people might try. OK, number one. It could only blank bad things when hundreds of enemy ships sailed into blank.
MARX: Portend and port.
SHORTZ: That's correct. In a children's rhyme, I intended to buy blank for a salad when I was going to St. blank.
MARX: Endives and Ives.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: The rap singer wore several blank around his neck. And his blank were held up by a large, shiny belt.
MARX: Korva? (Laughter).
COLEMAN: Well, I think the end one has to be pants.
SHORTZ: Yeah, yeah. And stick end in there. What would hang around the neck that has end in it?
MARX: Pendants. Pendants. There we go. Pendants and pants.
SHORTZ: Oh, you got it. Pants is...
SHORTZ: Pendants - yeah, pants...
SHORTZ: ...And pendants. That's it. The stylist had a hard time blank the client's minimalist aesthetic with his need to wear some blank. That's a tough one. Here it is, again. The stylist had a hard time blank the client's minimalist aesthetic with his need to wear some blank. And that second blank is, like, fancy, flashy jewelry.
MARX: Bling and blending. Blending and bling.
SHORTZ: That's it. Nice.
SHORTZ: And here's your last one. I didn't have enough money to order a beer at the pub. So the blank said I could resort to blank.
MARX: Bartender and barter.
SHORTZ: Good job.
COLEMAN: David, you're great.
MARX: (Laughter) Oh, man. It's so much easier at home.
COLEMAN: Oh, wow. Congratulations. That is terrific. David, for playing our Puzzle today, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games, which you can also do at home. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. David, what member station do you listen to?
MARX: WESA in Pittsburgh.
COLEMAN: David Marx of Wexford, Pa., thank you for playing the puzzle.
MARX: Oh, thank you for having me.
COLEMAN: OK. Will, it looks like we don't have another challenge to announce for next week.
SHORTZ: Well, as just about everyone listening has probably figured out by now, this was an April Fool's. The weekly Puzzle isn't going anywhere.
SHORTZ: And I do have a new challenge.
COLEMAN: We better say that again because of all the angry people who - what have you done? It's April Fool's, everyone. Will isn't going anywhere. Good one, Will. What is next week's real challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. So it comes from listener Eric Iverson (ph) of Eagan, Minn. And listen carefully. Pick an even number between one and 10 that's one more than four and two more than 10. Here it is again. Pick an even number between one and 10 that's one more than four and two more than 10. What number is it?
COLEMAN: 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 this Thursday, April 5 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Yes, there is a deadline. Yes, there is a Puzzle. 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. Thank you so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Korva.
[Editor’s note on April 2, 2018: Many of you will figure it out quickly. This was an April Fools’ joke. We hope you enjoy it.]
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