LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey, there. Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Will, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from Peter Collins (ph). And I said, my friend Penelope, who is from La Jolla, went on a world vacation. She stopped in Santa Rosa, Toronto and Casablanca. What European capital did she also visit? Well, the answer is Amsterdam. Penelope visited cities whose names start and end with the same two letters, just like Penelope.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received over 800 correct responses. And the winner this week is Dick Ehrman of Lincoln, Neb. Congratulations.
DICK EHRMAN: Thanks.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you solve the puzzle?
EHRMAN: Well, soon as I recognized that the first and last two letters were the same, it kind of, you know, became a little bit obvious. And then I just started thinking of European capitals. And fortunately, Amsterdam was right at the head of the list. So I just kind of tripped over it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) So I hear you would like to have a word with Will about some of his crossword themes.
EHRMAN: Well, I tell you - I'm a certified crossword puzzle junkie. I do The New York Times puzzle all the time. And depending upon the day, I'm either alternately cheering Will or cursing him because of his clues.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm sure many people can sympathize with those reactions.
SHORTZ: Yeah. Dick has lots of company on that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Dick, are you ready to play The Puzzle?
EHRMAN: Well, I guess there's one way to find out.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Indeed. Here we go. Take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Dick. I'm going to give you some words starting with the letter L. For each one, give me another word starting with L that will complete a common two-word phrase. For example, if I said language, you might say lab, as in language lab.
SHORTZ: Your first one is a three-letter answer, just like lab - lemon.
EHRMAN: Oh, lemon...
SHORTZ: And this - if you have a bad car, this is something that might protect you.
EHRMAN: Oh, a lemon law.
SHORTZ: Lemon law is it. Good.
SHORTZ: Now we go for four-letter answers. And your first one is laundry.
SHORTZ: That's it. Loose.
EHRMAN: Loose lips.
SHORTZ: That's right. Also, loose leaf would work.
EHRMAN: Oh, OK.
EHRMAN: Leading, leading - I'm trying to think of...
SHORTZ: Think movies.
EHRMAN: Leading lady.
SHORTZ: That's it. Your next one is lady.
EHRMAN: Lady - lady love.
SHORTZ: That - oh, lady love. I'll give that to you. I was going for Lady Luck...
EHRMAN: Oh, OK.
SHORTZ: ...But they work equally well.
SHORTZ: How about lava?
EHRMAN: Lava lamp.
SHORTZ: That's it. La-la.
EHRMAN: La-la Land.
SHORTZ: That's it. Now five-letter answers - and your first one is last.
EHRMAN: Last - oh, boy. Last - can you give me a clue?
SHORTZ: If you are going back and forth on a conflict with somebody and you come out...
EHRMAN: Last laugh.
SHORTZ: There - you get the last laugh is it.
SHORTZ: How about Latin?
EHRMAN: Latin lover.
SHORTZ: That's it. Now six-letter answers - and your first one is love.
EHRMAN: Oh, gee. Love, love...
SHORTZ: And it's something you might send on Valentine's Day.
EHRMAN: Oh, love letter.
SHORTZ: Love letter is it. Lounge.
EHRMAN: Lounge lizard.
SHORTZ: That's it. Loss.
EHRMAN: Loss - oh, gosh. Loss...
SHORTZ: And it's something a supermarket might have.
EHRMAN: Oh, a supermarket might have a loss. I'm drawing a blank. Lulu, help me out.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is also a word for someone who is the head of something.
EHRMAN: Loss leader.
SHORTZ: That's it - loss leader. Good.
EHRMAN: Oh, wow. OK.
SHORTZ: All right. How about lapis - L-A-P-I-S?
EHRMAN: Well, a geologist ought to know Lapis lazuli.
SHORTZ: Very good. Living.
EHRMAN: Living legend.
SHORTZ: That's it. Here's a tough one - little.
EHRMAN: Little League.
SHORTZ: There - that was so good. And now your last ones are all seven letters or longer. And your first one...
EHRMAN: Oh, boy.
SHORTZ: ...Is liquor.
EHRMAN: Liquor - let's see. Liquor - not liquor law, liquor...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You apply for it.
EHRMAN: Oh, a liquor license.
SHORTZ: Liquor license is it. Lending.
EHRMAN: Lending - not lending lease, lending...
SHORTZ: And this is sort of an old-fashioned establishment where you'd get books.
EHRMAN: Oh, a lending library.
SHORTZ: Lending library. And your last one is limited.
EHRMAN: Limited liability.
SHORTZ: Nice job.
EHRMAN: Oh, geez. That's...
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great. How do you feel?
EHRMAN: Exhausted and terrified.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Exhausted and terrified - that's how we like to leave people who play The Puzzle, honestly.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We've done our job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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 Dick, which member station do you listen to?
EHRMAN: Well, my wife Mary and I are sustaining members of the Nebraska Public Radio network, but our home station is KUCD (ph) here in Lincoln.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's wonderful. Dick Ehrman from Lincoln, Neb., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
EHRMAN: Oh, thank you, guys. This was so much fun.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Chris Rorer (ph) of St. Paul, Minn. What familiar 10-letter word contains a silent B, E and O? - not necessarily in that order. And those three letters don't have to be consecutive in the word. So what common 10-letter word contains a silent B, a silent E and a silent O? What word 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, February 20, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. 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.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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.