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: Yeah. It came from listener Chad Graham of St. Louis. I said, name a well-known restaurant chain. Rearrange its letters to name a large area in the United States with a two-word name. What is it? Well, the chain is Taco Bell, and you can rearrange those letters to make Coal Belt.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received just under 500 correct responses. And the winner this week is Matt Mignone from Bethpage, N.Y.
MATT MIGNONE: Thank you so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?
MIGNONE: Well, I tried to think of restaurant chains where the name wasn't too long. Taco Bell was one of the first I thought of. And I noticed you could get the word belt out of there, as in Corn Belt or Wheat Belt. And I was left over with a C-O-L-A, and I couldn't think of a place in the country called the cola belt.
MIGNONE: So I transposed the last two letters. And there it was - coal.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. If only there was a cola belt. Indeed.
SHORTZ: That's what we need.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) That's what we need. How long have you been playing The Puzzle?
MIGNONE: About five years.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's awesome. All right. Was this your first time submitting?
MIGNONE: Oh, no. I submit (laughter) almost every week.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful. All right. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Matt. This is a follow-up puzzle to last week's lost IDs. It's called replacement IDs. I'm going to give you some words. Each one contains the consecutive letters I-D somewhere in it. Change the ID to two new letters to get a new familiar word. For example, if I said stride - S-T-R-I-D-E - you might say stroke or strafe - either one - changing the ID.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is fidget - F-I-D-G-E-T.
SHORTZ: There you go. Number two is ideate - I-D-E-A-T-E.
SHORTZ: Nice. Bridal - B-R-I-D-A-L. It's an adjective that might...
SHORTZ: There you go. Rancid - R-A-N-C-I-D.
SHORTZ: Nice. Also, rancho works. Fiddle - F-I-D-D-L-E. It's a verb.
SHORTZ: There you go. The next answer is hyphenated. Afraid - A-F-R-A-I-D.
SHORTZ: It's a kind of house.
SHORTZ: There you go. Collide - C-O-L-L-I-D-E.
SHORTZ: Nice. Also, college works and collate would work. How about provide - P-R-O-V-I-D-E? It's a verb. What vowel do you think goes in place of the I?
MIGNONE: I'm thinking A.
SHORTZ: No. Try a different one.
MIGNONE: (Laughter) O.
SHORTZ: There you go.
SHORTZ: Provoke is it. How about humidity - H-U-M-I-D-I-T-Y?
MIGNONE: Humility. Oh, that's an I, so...
SHORTZ: Yeah. That repeats the I. This is something that you and I and Lulu are all part of.
MIGNONE: We're all part of humanity.
SHORTZ: There you go. Consider - C-O-N-S-I-D-E-R.
MIGNONE: C-O-N-S, blank, blank, E-R - consumer.
SHORTZ: There you go. Diffident - D-I-F-F-I-D-E-N-T.
SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one. President - P-R-E-S-I-D-E-N-T.
SHORTZ: Prescient. Yeah. Nice job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did really well. How do you feel?
MIGNONE: I feel invigorated.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yay (ph). 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 Matt, which member station do you listen to?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Matt Mignone of Bethpage, N.Y., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
MIGNONE: Oh, thank you so much. That's one off the bucket list.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I'm so glad. Will, what is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from listener Greg Van Mechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Think of a five-letter word. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a new word that doesn't share any sounds with the first one. Then change its first letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a third word that doesn't share any sounds with either of the first two. What words are these? So again, you're looking for three five-letter words. They're the same except for their first letters, which are next to each other in the alphabet. None of the three words share any sounds with any of the others. What words are these?
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, June 18, at 3 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 will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's very own puzzlemaster. And his name is Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
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