Of Primo Importance In the on-air puzzle, you are given several 10-letter words. For each word, rearrange the first five letters to spell a common word and the last five letters to spell another common word.
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Of Primo Importance

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Of Primo Importance

Of Primo Importance

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


HANSEN: Anything new?

SHORTZ: What's new? Actually, nothing is new. How about you?

HANSEN: No, I've got nothing either. I've got nothing. I guess we'll have to go right to the puzzle, huh?


HANSEN: All right. Remind us of the challenge you left us with last week.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Gary Alvstad of Tustin, California. I said start with an eight-letter term in mathematics. Remove the first, fourth, and eighth letters to produce a synonym of the original word. What is it?

HANSEN: What is it?

SHORTZ: The answer is fraction to ratio.

HANSEN: Wow! I bet our listeners had to use their whole brains to figure that one out. And out of all the correct entries, our randomly chosen winner is Norman Lane from North Hollywood, California. Hey, Norman.

Mr. NORMAN LANE (Competition Winner): Good morning.

HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Mr. LANE: Not very long. It kind of came to me as an epiphany, maybe, in a minute or two.

HANSEN: Really? Are you a puzzle person?

Mr. LANE: Definitely.

HANSEN: Really? How much of a puzzle person?

Mr. LANE: Well, New York Times and L.A. Times crossword puzzles every day. I go into my sister's double crostic Web site and play that pretty much every day.

HANSEN: My goodness. You really are a puzzle person. How long have you been playing this one?

Mr. LANE: Since the days of postcards. Probably 15 years.

HANSEN: All right. Well, we finally got to you.

Mr. LANE: Well, I feel good about that because it does get me upset when those first timers get on.

HANSEN: No! I bet it does. All right. Well, I hope we've made peace with you. And are you ready to play?

Mr. LANE: I am.

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

SHORTZ: I'm going to give you some 10-letter words. For each one, rearrange the first five letters to spell a common word and the last five letters to spell another common word. Each pair of answers is unique. For example, if I said importance, you would rearrange the first five letters to spell primo and the second five letters to spell enact. All right, number one. Number one is unsteadily. U-N-S-T-E-A-D-I-L-Y.

Mr. LANE: Second part is daily.

SHORTZ: That's right.

Mr. LANE: And the first part is tunes.

SHORTZ: Tunes. Good job. Number two is continuity. C-O-N-T-I-N-U-I-T-Y.

Mr. LANE: I'm doing it backwards again. Unity is the second part.

SHORTZ: That's right.

Mr. LANE: And conti, notice, nitoc.


Mr. LANE: Tonic!

SHORTZ: Tonic. Good job.

HANSEN: Tonic. Good.

SHORTZ: Good one. Your next one is allegorist. A-L-L-E-G-O-R-I-S-T.

Mr. LANE: Legal.

SHORTZ: Legal is right.

Mr. LANE: It works with my profession. And tourist is spelled with a U.

HANSEN: Right.

Mr. LANE: Riots.

HANSEN: Riots. Good.

SHORTZ: Riots. Nice job.

HANSEN: You're so fast.

SHORTZ: Norman, I knew you'd be good when you said all those puzzles you do. Here's your next one. Patriotism, P-A-T-R-I-O-T-I-S-M.

Mr. LANE: And again the second one is moist.

SHORTZ: That's correct.

Mr. LANE: And the first one is tapir, the animal.

SHORTZ: That's good. That South American animal.

HANSEN: I'm leaving, Will. I'm leaving. You - I'm going to leave you and Norman alone, OK?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Out of all the people I've tested this puzzle on, Norman, you got that animal the fastest. Here's your next one. Mercantile, M-E-R-C-A-N-T-I-L-E.

Mr. LANE: Cream. First one.

SHORTZ: That's correct.

Mr. LANE: And I don't see that one. Lentil? No, it's not lentil.

SHORTZ: Start with the I.

HANSEN: Inlet?

Mr. LANE: Inlet! That's the first.

SHORTZ: Inlet. That's it.

HANSEN: I got one.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. LANE: You got it.

SHORTZ: Here's your next one. Boisterous, B-O-I-S-T-E-R-O-U-S.

Mr. LANE: The second one is rouse.

SHORTZ: That's right.

Mr. LANE: And the first one is...

SHORTZ: Section of a newspaper.

Mr. LANE: Dear me. I'm stumped.

HANSEN: Obits.

Mr. LANE: Obits. Yeah.

SHORTZ: Obits. Good one, good one. And here's your last one. Decahedron, D-E-C-A-H-E-D-R-O-N.

Mr. LANE: Drone is the second part.

SHORTZ: That's correct.

Mr. LANE: And chead, no.

SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint. The first half starts with an A.

Mr. LANE: Ached.

HANSEN: Ached.

SHORT: Ached is it. Nice job, Norman.

HANSEN: Norman!

Mr. LANE: Thank you.

HANSEN: So well done!

Mr. LANE: Thank you.

HANSEN: Well, listen, this week - I don't know if you heard the show last week, but Kim Cattrall pretty much steamed up everybody's radio by reading the gifts that you're going to be taking away today. And we actually this week have a guest prize reader who thought that he could read the prizes even sexier. Here he is.

Mr. DAN SAVAGE: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a Weekend Edition lapel pin - stick that! - 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. And my local member station, which I listen to in bed, frequently naked, KOUW in Seattle, Washington.

HANSEN: That may be more information than we actually need. But I'll tell you it's not a voice that's recognizable because his main job is in print. That's Dan Savage, and he writes the internationally syndicated sex advice column "Savage Love."

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: So these are as interesting as sometimes the challenge, you know, who's going to be reading the puzzle prizes. So, Norman, that's what you're going to get. So tell us what member station you listen to.


HANSEN: All right, and that's in Los Angeles - in Pasadena actually, correct.

Mr. LANE: Pasadena and L.A.

HANSEN: And L.A. Norman Lane from North Hollywood, California, thanks so much. You were fabulous. Thanks for playing with us today.

Mr. LANE: My pleasure.

HANSEN: All right. Will, a challenge now for next week.

SHORTZ: Yes, This is not too hard a challenge. Think of a familiar brand name ending in the letters G-S. Change the G-S to an O, and you'll get the brand name of a completely different product. What is it? And here's a hint. The first word has five letters, and the second has four. So, again, a well-known brand name ending in G-S. Change the G-S to O, and you'll get another well-known brand name, five letters and four letters respectively. What brand names are these?

HANSEN: When you have 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 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time because we're going to 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. Thanks a lot, Will.

WILL: Thanks, Liane.

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