LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: OK. Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Greg Lewis of Columbus, Ind. I said, name part of the human body in seven letters. The first four letters, in order, spell a familiar boy's name, and the second through fifth letters, in order, also spell a familiar boy's name. What body part is it? And the answer is earlobe, and those boys' names are Earl and Arlo.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received almost 2,000 correct responses, and the winner this week is Mark Badon of New Orleans, La.
MARK BADON: Thank you. Thank you. I'm really excited to be here.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. We're excited to have you. How'd you solve it?
BADON: Well, I was - I'm working from home. I'm sitting at my kitchen table, like many of us are doing these days.
BADON: And I was just watching my young 2-year-old son watch his show on the carpet in the living room. And I'm just looking him over. OK, he's got an elbow. He's got knees. None of that was working. Then he started tugging on his ear, and I wrote down earlobe. And I have a grandpa named Earl and my cousin's 4-year-old son named Arlo. And it just kind of popped out at me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wow. I love that story. That's, like, a whole family thing (laughter).
BADON: Yeah. So I had an assist from a 2-year-old.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's true. It's like a whole pandemic puzzle story right there. I love it. Are you ready to play?
BADON: I am.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Mark. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence ends in blank to blank. Put two homophones in the blanks to complete it. For example, if I said the bicycle salesman had an innovative new blank to blank, you'd say he had an innovative new pedal to peddle.
BADON: OK. I think I've got it.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is the thieves prowling around the Pittsburgh mill were looking for some blank to blank.
BADON: Steel to steal.
SHORTZ: That's it. All right. Try this. To prepare the dough for the oven, the baker will first blank to blank.
BADON: He'll need to knead.
SHORTZ: That's it. Since my foot surgery, my toes have gotten better, but I still have to wait for my blank to blank.
BADON: Heel to heal.
SHORTZ: That's it. To make some money, the illustrator for the old Disney film has a sample blank to blank.
BADON: Make some money...
SHORTZ: The illustrator for the old Disney film has a sample blank to blank. Nowadays, the pictures are done digitally, but what were they done in the old days? What form?
BADON: Well, they were done on paper - drawing.
SHORTZ: What do you call each of those...
BADON: Frame to frame.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: But he - what - he's trying to make some money, so what do you think he's going to do with them?
BADON: Cell to sell.
SHORTZ: There you go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's it.
BADON: OK. Cell to sell.
SHORTZ: He had a sample cell to sell - C-E-L. Good. Try this one. Seeing the physician's boat moving erratically, the Coast Guard ordered the blank to blank.
BADON: Coast Guard ordered the...
SHORTZ: And what's another name for a physician, informally?
BADON: They ordered him - they ordered the doc to dock.
SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one. Regulations may not allow you to speak, but you always have the blank to blank.
BADON: Speak - ear to ear, listen.
SHORTZ: And what's the opposite of speak?
SHORTZ: OK. So you want to express yourself, and you don't want to speak it? What's the other way you might do it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And you're going to be using a paper and a pencil or a pen.
BADON: Oh, yeah - the right to write.
SHORTZ: You have the right to write. Good job.
BADON: Thank you, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're welcome. How do you feel?
BADON: Oh, relieved, but I'm complete.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, you did great. For playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And Mark, which member station do you listen to?
BADON: I listen to two. I listen to WWNO in New Orleans, and I listen to KRVS out of Lafayette. And I'd like to wish my wife Alison (ph) a happy birthday. Love you, babe.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh. Happy birthday, Alison, from us, too. Mark Badon from New Orleans, La., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
BADON: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from Ben Bass of Chicago, who's now making cryptograms twice a week for The New York Times. Name a famous American landmark in eight letters. The first four letters, in order, are the first four letters of the name of a famous person associated with this landmark. Who is it? And here's a hint. The famous person's name also has eight letters. So again, famous American landmark, eight letters. The first four letters are the first four letters of the name of a famous person associated with this landmark. Who 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, April 30, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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