LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Judy Horn of Reading, Mass. I said, name a famous person with the initials M.C. The first initial and last name anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it? And the answer was Michael Caine, the two-time Oscar winner. His first initial and last name anagram to cinema.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received nearly 1,200 correct responses, and the winner this week is Danette Pachtner of Durham, N.C.
DANETTE PACHTNER: Thank you so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how did you figure it out?
PACHTNER: Well, my family and I have made a tradition since the pandemic of sitting around the breakfast table listening to the show. So my daughter looked up famous M.C. people, and we went down the list. And I was hoping maybe it would be Marie Curie. I was thinking maybe the field of renown would be music. But then we went back over it, and I looked at Michael Caine, and it just jumped out at me that cinema was what it was.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And that is interesting because you work at Duke University in something kind of related.
PACHTNER: I am the film librarian for...
PACHTNER: ...Duke University libraries, and it's the best job on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It sounds like the best job on the planet. I am deeply envious of that job. And we are going to let Will take it away.
PACHTNER: Oh, my gosh. OK.
SHORTZ: OK. Danette, I'm going to give you some six-letter words. For each one, change one of the consonants to a vowel to make another familiar six-letter word. For example, if I said defect - D-E-F-E-C-T - you would say defeat, which changes the C to an A.
PACHTNER: All right.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was a heavy sigh.
PACHTNER: I already feel defeated, but let's give it a shot.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is avenge - A-V-E-N-G-E.
PACHTNER: OK, avenge. And I change a consonant to a vowel to...
SHORTZ: Change the G.
PACHTNER: Change the G. Avenge to - oh, my goodness. I'm already blanking on the first one. Any clues?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It's a synonym of street.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I was about to sing the song to - you know, since you're a film historian, I was going to do...
PACHTNER: Well, avenue.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ..."Easter Parade" song. Exactly.
PACHTNER: Thank you.
SHORTZ: Bravo - avenue. Change to G to U.
PACHTNER: Bravo. Good one. Good clue. Thank you (laughter).
SHORTZ: Number two is dipper - D-I-P-P-E-R.
PACHTNER: Dipper to diaper.
SHORTZ: Diaper - yes, you got it. Mighty - M-I-G-H-T-Y.
PACHTNER: Mighty would go to...
SHORTZ: Change the first letter.
PACHTNER: A, E, I, O, U - wow. I don't see anything. A, E - eighty. Eighty. Oh, my goodness.
SHORTZ: Eighty is it. You got it. Try this - preppy - P-R-E-P-P-Y.
PACHTNER: P-R-E-P-P-Y goes to...
SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint. It's something you usually have to do at a self-serve gas station.
PACHTNER: (Laughter) Not pumpy (ph).
PACHTNER: A - prepay.
SHORTZ: Prepay is it. Grouse - G-R-O-U-S-E.
SHORTZ: Try the G.
PACHTNER: OK. Arouse.
SHORTZ: That's it. Madden - M-A-D-D-E-N.
PACHTNER: Madden - maiden.
SHORTZ: That was fast. Biking - B-I-K-I-N-G.
PACHTNER: Biking - oh, my. Bikini.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Try this one. Carter...
PACHTNER: Carter - not Cartier. Let's see.
SHORTZ: All right. Here's your movie hint - my brilliant blank.
PACHTNER: Career - thank you.
SHORTZ: There you go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nice one.
SHORTZ: Now try this. Grange - G-R-A-N-G-E.
SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. Decent - D-E-C-E-N-T.
PACHTNER: OK. Decent...
SHORTZ: Change the N.
PACHTNER: Change the N - deceit.
SHORTZ: Good. Here's your next-to-last one - stanch - S-T-A-N-C-H.
PACHTNER: S-T-A-N-C-H to...
SHORTZ: Change the H.
PACHTNER: OK. S-T-A-N - stance.
SHORTZ: Stance. And now, interestingly, change a letter in stance to make a new word.
SHORTZ: Seance - good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?
PACHTNER: I know. I feel like I warmed up at the end. Thank you, guys.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great. You really did. And 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, Danette, which member station do you listen to?
PACHTNER: We listen to WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Danette Pachtner of Durham, N.C., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
PACHTNER: Thank you, guys. It was an honor.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Take the name of a famous actor - four letters in the first name, five letters in the last. Spoonerize (ph) it - that is, interchange the initial consonant sounds of the first and last names. And the result will be two new, familiar first names - one male, one female - that start with the same letter. But that letter is pronounced differently in the two names. Who's the actor? So again, famous actor, four, five, spoonerize it - that is, interchange the initial consonant sounds. The result will be two new, familiar first names - one male, one female - that start with the same letter, but that letter is pronounced differently in the two names. Who's the actor?
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, September 24, 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'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.
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