Tripping the Light Acrostic This Friday, the 20th, is the day of the year that has the most daylight. So, here's a game of categories using the word light.
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Tripping the Light Acrostic

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Tripping the Light Acrostic

Tripping the Light Acrostic

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is Lyle Shortz's son, Puzzlemaster Will. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. Welcome back.

HANSEN: Thank you very much. You know, as the founding father as our fun and games segment, I want you to know we should say Happy Father's Day to you because you're the father of all of us Puzzle players so, Happy Father's Day, my dear.

SHORTZ: That's very sweet. Thanks a lot, Liane.

HANSEN: Now, I was listening last week and you left a challenge and it involved a calculator. And whenever I hear it's some kind of puzzle involving a calculator, I always think about how the numbers can always sometimes look like words on the display screen. Did it have anything to do with that this time?

SHORTZ: That's a nice trick but I'm afraid there was a different trick involved in this.

HANSEN: All right. Well, why don't you repeat the challenge, because it came from an unusual source.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from Ukraine from a trio of puzzlers there - Serhiy Grabarchuk, Peter Grabarchuk and Serhiy Grabarchuk Jr. And they have a great new book out called "The Simple Book of Not-So-Simple Puzzles." And I said a calculator displays a five-digit number. The first four digits are 8-7-3-5. These digits form a logical sequence. What is the fifth number in the series?

HANSEN: What's the answer?

SHORTZ: The answer is 5. Each digit in the sequence is the number of line segments used to form the previous digit in a calculator display.

HANSEN: All right. Well, thank goodness for our listeners. We had over 1,000 entries, and our randomly-selected winner is Jim McSherry from Erdenheim, Pennsylvania. Is that how you pronounce it, Erdenheim?

Mr. JIM MCSHERRY: That's right.

HANSEN: Where is Erdenheim, Pennsylvania?

Mr. MCSHERRY: Just outside of Philadelphia on the northwest corner.

HANSEN: Um-hum. What do you do there?

Mr. MCSHERRY: These days I'm a flight instructor. During the school year I teach chemistry at the community college.

HANSEN: No kidding, a flight instructor. How long have you been playing the Puzzle?

Mr. MCSHERRY: Oh, maybe three or four years now.

HANSEN: Well, you're nice and warmed up then. You ready to play?

Mr. MCSHERRY: I'll try.

HANSEN: All right. Will, meet Jim. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Jim and Liane. This is a good two-person puzzle. This Friday the 20th is the day of the year that has the most daylight. So, I brought a game of categories using the word light. I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, name something in the category starting with each of the letters L-I-G-H-T.

For example, if the category were chemical elements, you might say lead, iron, gold, helium and tin.

HANSEN: There goes your best category, Jim.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Here's number one: U.S. states.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Okay. States?

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Louisiana, Indiana...

SHORTZ: Right. Yes.

Mr. MCSHERRY: ...Georgia...

SHORTZ: Um-hum.

Mr. MCSHERRY: ...Hawaii...

SHORTZ: Right.

Mr. MCSHERRY: ...Texas.

SHORTZ: Excellent. Or Tennessee. Very good. Number two is holidays.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Labor Day...

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: ...Independence Day...

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: ...I guess we don't have a Grandfather's Day.

SHORTZ: I'll give you Grandparent's Day, also Groundhog Day and Good Friday would have been good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: H, Hanukah and T, oh, how can we pass up Turkey Day - Thanksgiving.

SHORTZ: Thanksgiving. God, you're fast. Here's your next one: words related to weather.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Oh my, okay. Weather - lightning...

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: ...inversion layer.

SHORTZ: Wow, that's a good one. I was going forward...

HANSEN: He's a flight instructor.

SHORTZ: ...ice or isobar would have been good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Good. G - I'll come back to that one. Hail stones and thunder.

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Now, I need a good...

HANSEN: G.

SHORTZ: Yeah.

Mr. MCSHERRY: A G.

HANSEN: Can it be two words?

SHORTZ: Maybe. What are you thinking?

HANSEN: I'm thinking ground fog or gulf stream.

SHORTZ: All right. I'll take those.

Mr. MCSHERRY: I like ground fog better.

HANSEN: Ground fog, yeah. I mean, as a pilot I thought that would be something you can relate to.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Yeah.

SHORTZ: I was going for gale.

HANSEN: Oh, gale, of course. Yeah.

SHORTZ: All right. Here's your last one: colleges and universities that don't have states in their names.

Mr. MCSHERRY: So, Louisiana State doesn't work.

SHORTZ: That's right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: But Loyola would, right?

SHORTZ: Loyola would, good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Loyola. Let's see - Ignatius.

SHORTZ: Okay. Ithaca or Iona also. Um-hum.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Or Iona. Georgetown.

SHORTZ: Good.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Harvard.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. MCSHERRY: How about - (unintelligible) Louisiana.

HANSEN: Tulane.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Tulane.

SHORTZ: Tulane...

HANSEN: Tulane.

SHORTZ: ...is good. Jim, that was fantastic.

HANSEN: Man...

Mr. MCSHERRY: Well, thank you.

HANSEN: ...you were the pilot and I'm glad I was your co-pilot on this one.

Well, listen, we have a real treat for you and for everyone listening, including myself. And certainly, Will, you're going to love this. This week's celebrity prize reader may not need any introductions. He currently holds the Guinness World Record for being the fastest speaker and he's probably best known for his micro machine television ads. Here's John Moschitta.

Mr. JOHN MOSCHITTA (World's Fastest Talker): For playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe edition from Parker Brothers, the Puzzle Master Presents from Random House, Volume 2, Will Shortz's Little Black Book of Sudoku and Black and White Book of Crosswords from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz's Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books. And really when you think about it, who could ask for anything more? Back to you, Liane.

HANSEN: Wow. You know, even with that extra bit, Moschitta read that ten seconds faster than any other celebrity reader.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Wow.

HANSEN: So, Jim, did you get all that?

Mr. MCSHERRY: I did and my wife is going to appreciate the Sudoku book as much as I appreciate the crosswords.

HANSEN: All right. You can share the loot. Well, tell us what member station you listen to, Jim.

Mr. MCSHERRY: I'm a member of both of our local stations - WHYY and WXPN.

HANSEN: Good for you. Jim McSherry in Erdenheim, Pennsylvania. What fun. Thanks for playing with us today.

Mr. MCSHERRY: Well, thank you very much for having me.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, fun hasn't stopped. There's a challenge for next week. It's in your mind; now, put it out on the air.

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Ed Peg, Jr., who runs the Web site MathPuzzle.com. Rearrange the letters of English tea, T-E-A, to name a famous person with a prominent mustache - first and last names. So, again, rearrange the letters of English tea to name a famous person with a prominent mustache. Who is it?

HANSEN: When you know the answer, go to our Web site, NPR.org/Puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play Puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz.

I can't speak as fast as Mr. Moschitta but that's the deal. And, Will, as always, it is nice to be back and thanks a lot.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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