Initials that Really Matter: WB In the puzzle this week, every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials "WB." For example if the clue was, "a film studio that distributed Casablanca," you would say "Warner Bros."
NPR logo

Initials that Really Matter: WB

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Initials that Really Matter: WB

Initials that Really Matter: WB

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

Mr. WILL SHORTZ (Puzzle Master): Hi, Liane. It's great to have you back.

HANSEN: It's good to be back, thanks. I had a great three months off. I did a lot of things, including crossword puzzles. I'm getting a lot better at that. But of course when you put me on the air for the 20th anniversary to be the puzzle contestant, ever since that day the song "Norwegian Wood" has been going through my head because I couldn't figure out a Beatles song for the letter N. So now I know what it feels like.

All right, remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, I said it's literally a brain buster. I said think of a word that can follow brain and precede buster, in each case completing a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

HANSEN: And what's the answer?

Mr. SHORTZ: The answer is trust, making brain trust and trust buster.

HANSEN: Elegant. We had over 2,000 entries from people who tried to solve the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner is Quentin Decker, and he joins us from Bakersfield, California. Hi, Quentin.

Mr. QUENTIN DECKER (Puzzle Winner): Hello, Liane.

HANSEN: What do you do there in Bakersfield?

Mr. DECKER: I work for the Department of Child Support Services.

HANSEN: Ah, civil servant.

Mr. DECKER: Yes.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. DECKER: Oh, off and on for at least 10 years.

HANSEN: Really? Have you submitted entries all that time?

Mr. DECKER: All that time. I get a little jealous when somebody says, oh, well, this is my first time trying.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Yes, and then again, we get people who've been listening like you for quite a long time. How was this puzzle for you: easy, hard?

Mr. DECKER: Well, what I did is I just grabbed a big, thick dictionary and looked up brain and found all the little things that follow.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Ah yeah, I understand. Sometimes you have to go to some kind of reference material. But you're ready to play, and no books are going to help you.

Mr. DECKER: I'm afraid not.

HANSEN: All right, well, we'll team up on this one, because it's been a while. So Will, please meet Quentin, and let's play.

Mr. SHORTZ: All right, Quentin and Liane. Every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials WB, as in Warner Brothers. For example, if the clue were film studio that distributed "Casablanca," you would say Warner Brothers. Number one, container for Chablis or Chianti.

Mr. DECKER: Wine bottle.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Number two: in old ads, product that helped build strong bodies 12 ways.

Mr. DECKER: Wonder Bread.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. A popular encyclopedia.

Mr. DECKER: World Book.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. What a mammal has that a reptile doesn't. What's the distinguishing characteristic of mammals?

HANSEN: Think about what courses through their veins.

Mr. DECKER: Oh, warm blood.

Mr. SHORTZ: Warm blood is right. Someone who dampens others' enthusiasm.

Mr. DECKER: Wet blanket.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A place to grow flowers next to a sill.

Mr. DECKER: Window box.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Things you manipulate in your hand to relieve stress.

HANSEN: Oh. Some kind of bead?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. DECKER: Worry beads.

HANSEN: Worry beads.

Mr. SHORTZ: Worry beads is right. A flamingo or ibis.

Mr. DECKER: Water bird.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And what kind of water bird? They've got long legs, so they're - so it's a...

Mr. DECKER: Wading bird.

Mr. SHORTZ: Wading bird is right. Famous place to surf in Honolulu.

Mr. DECKER: Waikiki Beach.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Another name for Aquarius.

Mr. DECKER: Water bearer.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right. 1965 hit for Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

Mr. DECKER: "Woolly Bully."

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Right. Liane, you can hum that later.

HANSEN: No, no, I'll pass, thanks.

Mr. SHORTZ: Okay. A woman who marries just before her husband goes off to fight.

Mr. DECKER: War bride.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. February 22.

Mr. DECKER: Washington's Birthday.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right. A group that forecasts precipitation and temperature.

Mr. DECKER: Weather bureau.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Internet explorer, Mozilla, Firefox or Safari, for example.

Mr. DECKER: Web browser.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Nickname for frontiersman Hickok.

Mr. DECKER: Wild Bill.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A hollow, plastic sphere with holes that's hit with a bat.

Mr. DECKER: Whiffle ball.

Mr. SHORTZ: Uh-uh. Locale of Bethlehem and Jericho.

Mr. DECKER: West Bank.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's right. Things that ring in June.

Mr. DECKER: Wedding bells.

Mr. SHORTZ: Right, and your last one: a greeting to a person who's been away a long time.

Mr. DECKER: Welcome back.

Mr. SHORTZ: That is correct.

Mr. DECKER: And welcome back, Liane.

HANSEN: Thank you so you much, Quentin. Man, you're on fire. Yeah, nice work. 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 Puzzle Master Presents" from Random House, Volume 2; a set of Sudoku puzzle books presented by Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press; and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. Did that list get longer when I was away?

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Quentin, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. DECKER: KBPR-KBBX out of Fresno.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Quentin Decker in Bakersfield, California, well done. Thanks a lot for playing with us today.

Mr. DECKER: I had fun.

HANSEN: So did I. Take care. Now, Will, a challenge for everyone to work on for the next week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. By using only the letters in the phrase triple mocha, T-R-I-P-L-E M-O-C-H-A, and repeating them as often as you wish, you can spell the name of another cold treat. The answer consists of four words with a total of 21 letters. What is it? So again, triple mocha. Repeat these letters as often as you wish. You can spell the name of another cold treat, four words, 21 letters. What is it?

HANSEN: Cold treats on cold days? You'd think you'd give us something warm to work on.

(Soundbite of laughter)

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. Our deadline this week is Thursday, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz.

It's fun being back in the saddle again. Thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

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.