LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Jon Siegel of Chevy Chase, Md. And I said the words won, W-O-N, and sun, S-U-N rhyme even though their vowels are different. And I asked, can you name four common uncapitalized four-letter words, each of which has exactly one vowel and all of which rhyme. Even though all four vowels are different. Well, my answer was herd, H-E-R-D, bird, word and curd, C-U-R-D. And there are other answers possible. We accepted anything that worked.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 1,500 correct responses. And the winner this week is Niels Sator of Beavercreek, Ohio.
NIELS SATOR: Hi.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So, Niels, I understand that you have some guests with you there.
SATOR: Yes. I've got my wife Sally (ph) and my daughter Chrissy (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Laughter).
SATOR: And we usually do The Puzzle in the car. But this is totally foreign to us. We're doing it around the kitchen table.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long have you been playing The Puzzle?
SATOR: I've been playing The Puzzle since the postcard days. I've submitted over 900 answers.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my goodness. Well, you deserve to play (laughter).
SATOR: Yes, ma'am. I'll tell you what happened. When you guys called me, I had just started a new job. I never have my ringer on except for the times when you guys can call me.
SATOR: So what happened is, I had the ringer on. And my phone started ringing. I looked at it. And it said Washington, D.C. And I screamed. I said, I got the call.
SHORTZ: That's funny.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right. Niels, I'm going to give you some categories and two things in each category. You name a third thing in the category that fits between my two alphabetically. For example, if I said playing cards and jack and queen, you would say king because king fits between jack and queen alphabetically. Number one is colors of the rainbow - red, yellow.
SHORTZ: Purple. Well.
SATOR: No, no, no, no.
SHORTZ: It's another name for purple, actually.
SHORTZ: Violet is it. Good going. Great Lakes - Michigan, Superior.
SHORTZ: Nice. Nobel Prize categories - economics, peace. And I'll give you a hint, it's not a science category.
SATOR: Oh, literature.
SHORTZ: Literature is it. Good. All right. Try this one. Federal holidays - Independence Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
SATOR: Independence and MLK.
SHORTZ: Here's your big hint, it's in September.
SATOR: Labor Day.
SHORTZ: Labor Day is it. Good. South American countries - Guyana, Peru. I'll tell you, it starts with a P.
SATOR: Not Panama.
SHORTZ: It does start P-A, though.
SHORTZ: Paraguay. Good. Try this one. Beatles number one hits - "Hello, Goodbye" and "Hey Jude."
SHORTZ: And since...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Singing) I need somebody.
SHORTZ: ...Both these songs...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Singing) Not just anybody.
SHORTZ: Oh, there you go.
SHORTZ: That's right. And here's a - that's a great hint. And it has four letters. And you know it starts H-E.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It might...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ...Be what you're about to ask for next.
SHORTZ: "Help" is it. Good. (Laughter). Nice one. General Mills cereals - Total, Wheaties.
SATOR: Total and Wheaties?
SHORTZ: And I'll tell you, it has four letters.
SHORTZ: Trix. Nice one. Try this. Old Testament books - Exodus and Ezra.
SHORTZ: No, that's too early.
SATOR: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Exodus and Ezra. And you said Ezekiel?
SHORTZ: Ezekiel, good. That's it. And here's your last one, sounds on Old MacDonald's farm - moo, oink
SATOR: Neigh, neigh.
SHORTZ: Neigh is it. Good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel?
SATOR: Oh, relieved.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter). What does your family say? Thumbs up, family?
SATOR: Thumbs up? I got a double thumbs up from my daughter.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. 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, Niels, which member station you listen to?
SATOR: I listen to WYSO FM at Antioch college in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Niels Sator of Beavercreek, Ohio. Thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
SATOR: Thank you very much. It was my honor.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. Comes from listener Joe Krozel of Creve Coeur, Mo. Name something you find in a grocery - two words, three letters in the first word, six in the second. Switch the third and seventh letters, and read the result backward. The result will name the same grocery item again. What is it? So again, something you find in a grocery - three, six. Switch the third and seventh letters, and read the result backward. You'll get the same grocery item again. What item 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, December 5 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you about that time. And if you're the winner, we will 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.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
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