LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Time for a treat - of course, it's The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us as always is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So are you excited for the World Puzzle Championship in Prague next week?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It's going to be fun. I'm doing a road trip across Europe on the way from Amsterdam to Prague. And next Sunday, you'll catch me in Luxembourg.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ooh, nice - Prague is so beautiful. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
SHORTZ: Yeah. Yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said take the nine letters of beer mouth. I said arrange them in a three-by-three array so that the three lines across, three lines down and both diagonals spell common, three-letter words. Well, my answer was orb - O-R-B - hue - H-U-E - and met and with ohm, rue and bet going down. Of course, you can - of course, the acrosses and downs can be reversed. Either way works.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We had nearly 1,000 responses. And the winner today is Pat Johnson of Green Valley, Ariz. Hi.
PAT JOHNSON: Hi. Thanks for choosing me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I hear you've been playing The Puzzle for more than 25 years.
JOHNSON: Yeah. We've been playing for a long time. So we never thought we'd get called. So this was - in lieu of winning the Mega Millions, we got called for The Puzzle this week.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I hear you two have an amazing hobby, you and your husband.
JOHNSON: Yeah. We work on - we're retired. And we work on making toys for a children's clinic that's near the border.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, that's wonderful. What kind of toys do you make?
JOHNSON: We make wooden toys and also little dolls that go into a cradle, a wooden cradle. And they're very popular with the kids.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's really lovely. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
JOHNSON: I think so. I'll give it a try.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right. Pat, today we're going to go rowing. Every answer is a word or a name that has the accented syllable row somewhere inside it. For example, if I said savagely violent, you would say ferocious.
SHORTZ: All right - number one is a smell, especially an inviting one.
JOHNSON: Ooh, boy - with row - aroma.
SHORTZ: Aroma is it. Number two - a Kraft product with cheese.
SHORTZ: That's it - Mexican beer usually served with a lime wedge.
JOHNSON: Oh, Corona - very popular here.
SHORTZ: That's right - here, too, actually. Physical...
SHORTZ: Everywhere - physical exercises that you might do in a class.
SHORTZ: That's it - capital of Liberia.
JOHNSON: Oh, I should know that - not Monrovia.
SHORTZ: Yes, Monrovia - good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yes, it is.
JOHNSON: Oh, oh, OK.
SHORTZ: You got it. How about the capital of Kenya?
JOHNSON: I should know that, too. Oh, let's see. Maybe I need a hint.
SHORTZ: Let's see. It starts with N.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It starts with an N.
SHORTZ: Starts - yeah - there we go.
JOHNSON: Oh, Nairobi - Nairobi.
SHORTZ: Nairobi is it. Like the act of a lifeguard saving a drowning person.
JOHNSON: Ooh, row - let's see.
SHORTZ: And what would the lifeguard who saved somebody?
JOHNSON: A row - not a rower.
SHORTZ: You might put a star of this person's chest for doing something great.
JOHNSON: Oh, a hero.
SHORTZ: Yeah. And now turn it into an adjective.
JOHNSON: Oh, heroic.
SHORTZ: Heroic - there you go with the accented row - not correct as a statement.
JOHNSON: Row - not correct - mistake - error - erroneous.
SHORTZ: Erroneous is it. How about a woman in Greek myth after whom a continent was named?
JOHNSON: Oh, boy - Europa?
SHORTZ: Europa is it - Shakespearean setting for two gentlemen.
JOHNSON: Oh, Verona.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh - a Polish dumpling.
SHORTZ: That's it - like Catholic schools.
JOHNSON: I went to one. Let's see.
SHORTZ: Well, there you go. You know this word.
JOHNSON: Let's see - row, row, row.
SHORTZ: Starts with a P.
SHORTZ: Parochial is it - and your last one, fort captured by Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys in 1775.
SHORTZ: Ticonderoga - good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job - you did really well. How do you feel?
JOHNSON: Oh, relieved. Yes. It's much easier doing it while you're drinking coffee.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (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, Pat, what member station do you listen to?
JOHNSON: KUAZ - I'm a sustaining member - and also Minnesota Public Radio. We're transplants from there.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, fantastic - well, thank you for playing The Puzzle.
JOHNSON: OK. Thank you so much for having me on.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will, what is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from Sam Ezersky (ph) of Jersey City, N.J. Think of a famous Broadway musical in two words. Change one letter in it to the preceding letter of the alphabet. So B would become A. C would become B, et cetera. Remove the space between the two words so you have a solid word. And the result will name something that all of us are part of. What is it? So again, famous Broadway musical - two words - change one letter in it to the preceding letter of the alphabet. Remove the space between the two words, and the result will name something that all of us are part of. What is it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, November 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about the 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 very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
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