The ART Of The Word The theme is "ART." You are given three words, starting with the letters A, R and T, respectively. You offer a fourth word to precede each of the original words to create a familiar two-word phrase.
NPR logo

The ART Of The Word

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The ART Of The Word

The ART Of The Word

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


From NPR News, this is Weekend Edition. I'm Liane Hansen and joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.


HANSEN: You're in Colorado for the annual national puzzle convention.

SHORTZ: National Puzzlers' League convention.

HANSEN: National Puzzlers' League. What are you doing? What's new?

SHORTZ: Well, this is the world's oldest puzzlers' organization, and this is our annual convention. Four straight days of word puzzles and word games that ends today. I tell you, one of the interesting things this year is called the Puzzle Master game, and several conventioneers have prepared, in advance, some puzzles in the style of my Sunday morning puzzles here on NPR. And they're being presented all weekend live with people pretending to be you and me.

HANSEN: Oh, you're kidding.

SHORTZ: And Thursday night, I got to play you while someone else played me.

HANSEN: What was it like to me?

SHORTZ: Well, I think I did all right. It was a lot of fun. And the challenge puzzle coming up is one of the puzzles from this game.

HANSEN: Oh, great. All right. But before we can get to that, you have to repeat the challenge you gave us last week, please.

SHORTZ: Yes, I said take the word contaminated. Rearrange these 12 letters to get a familiar sign in two words. What is it?

HANSEN: What is it?

SHORTZ: The answer is no admittance.

HANSEN: Nearly 1,000 listeners wrote in with the correct answer. Our randomly chosen winner is Liz Perch from Savannah, Georgia. Hi, Liz.

Ms. LIZ PERCH (Caller): Hi.

HANSEN: How did you solve the puzzle?

Ms. PERCH: I used Scrabble tiles.

HANSEN: Smart move. Smart move. What do you do in Savannah?

Ms. PERCH: I'm a consultant. I work mostly right now for the Church of the Brethren Mennonite Church, U.S.A., and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting which is a Quaker organization. I'm planning an ecumenical peace conference.

HANSEN: Wow. How interesting to have you in the puzzle segment while we are doing our series on Philadelphia. And last week we heard all about the Quakers. Cool. How long have you been playing the puzzle?

Ms. PERCH: About 10 years.

HANSEN: Oh, all right. So you know the drill. You're ready to play, right?

Ms. PERCH: Yes.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will meet Liz, and let's see if we can work on what you brought us from Colorado.

SHORTZ: All right, Liz and Liane this is a good two person puzzle. The theme today is art. I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters A, R and T respectively. You give me a fourth word that can precede each of mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said alarm, report and teeth, you would say false, as in false alarm, false report and false teeth. Here's number one. Ant, A-N-T, retardant, truck.

Ms. PERCH: Fire.

SHORTZ: Fire is right. Fire ant, fire retardant and fire truck. Number two is age, retriever, touch.

Ms. PERCH: Golden.

SHORTZ: That is correct. Attendant, recorder, test. Your words are attendant, recorder, test.

Ms. PERCH: The only thing I can come up with is tape recorder.

HANSEN: That's the first thing I thought of but I'm not getting...

Ms. PERCH: And it doesn't work.

HANSEN: Right. I'm going to guess, flight?

SHORTZ: That's it. Flight attendant, flight recorder and flight test. Good job. Angle, reverend, turn.

Ms. PERCH: Right.

SHORTZ: That's correct. Acres, room, thumb.

Ms. PERCH: Green.

SHORTZ: That's fast. Alert, rooster, tape. Alert, rooster and tape.

HANSEN: You're looking for a color?


Ms. PERCH: Black.


SHORTZ: Think of a brighter color than that.

HANSEN: You look at the other checker on the checker board.

Ms. PERCH: Red.


SHORTZ: Yes. Red alert, red rooster and red tape. Good.

Ms. PERCH: Yeah, okay.

SHORTZ: Air, A-I-R, rod, tub. Air, rod and tub. And maybe you have this kind of tub in the back of your house.


Ms. PERCH: Hot.

SHORTZ: There you go. Hot air, hot rod and hot tub. Good. Atlas, rage, trip.

Ms. PERCH: Road.

SHORTZ: Road. Good one. Aspirin, Ruth, talk.

Ms. PERCH: What's the second one?

SHORTZ: Ruth, as in the name. R-U-T-H.

HANSEN: You're looking for a candy bar there?

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes.

Ms. PERCH: Baby.


SHORTZ: Baby is right. And your last one. Afternoon, riddance, taste.

Ms. PERCH: Good.


SHORTZ: Good afternoon, good riddance and good taste.

HANSEN: Good afternoon and good riddance. Hey, Liz, nice work.

Ms. PERCH: Thank you.

HANSEN: Yeah, we work well as a team.

Ms. PERCH: Yes.

HANSEN: Well, you know, to tell you what you get for playing our puzzle today, we're going to return to the author of the book "Ladies of Liberty," NPR's Cokie Roberts.

COKIE ROBERTS: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a Weekend Edition lapel pin, the Eleventh Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, "The Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House, Volume Two, 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 Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books.

HANSEN: Liz, all that and Cokie too!

Ms. PERCH: Wow.

HANSEN: Wow. I know. What member station do you listen to in Savannah?


HANSEN: All right. Liz Perch, great player from Savannah, Georgia. Thanks a lot for playing our puzzle today.

Ms. PERCH: Thank you.

HANSEN: All right. Will, given you're at the Puzzlers' League Convention, chances are you've got a bang up challenge for us to work on. Am I correct?

SHORTZ: I hope so. Try this. It's from Adam Cohen from the National Puzzlers' League Convention. Name a famous person in early American history with five letters in the first name and five letters in the last. Just six letters of the alphabet are used in this name, some of them repeated. And the same six letters make up the name of another famous person in early American history whose first and last names have six and four letters respectively. Who are these two people?

So again, two famous people in early American history whose first and last names have five-five and six-four letters, respectively. And the same six letters of the alphabet make up these names. Who are these famous people?

HANSEN: My goodness. When you figure out the answer go to our Web site, and click on the "Submit your Answer" link. Only one entry per person, please. And our deadline is Thursday, 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Don't forget to give us your phone number, your home, your cell, whatever else you have. If you're the winner, you'll hear from us. 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. Thanks a lot, Will. Have fun.

SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Liane.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

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.