Two-Letter, Two-Word Tango In the on-air puzzle this week, given a word, take the last two letters, reverse them, then think of a word starting with these two letters that can follow the original word to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "flat," you would take the last two letters, "at", and reverse them to make "tax," as in "flat tax."
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Two-Letter, Two-Word Tango

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Two-Letter, Two-Word Tango

Two-Letter, Two-Word Tango

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

From NPR News, this is WEEKEND EDITION. I'm Liane Hansen. And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How are you this week?

SHORTZ: I'm doing great, how are you?

HANSEN: I'm fine. I had a very nice trip to North Dakota this past week for the 10th anniversary of the big flood they had there in 1997 and met some very nice people and heard some really interesting stories. Anyway, you left us with a challenge last week that was not an April Fools joke as opposed to the one the week before…

SHORTZ: The week before.

HANSEN: Yeah, but it was still interesting. Remind us what it was.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said, take the phrase "saturated fat." It contains the letter pair "AT" three times. Think of another familiar two-word phrase containing the letter pair "SE" three times. Drop the "SE's" every time they appear; the remaining letters in order, reading left or right, will name part of a car. What is it?

HANSEN: What is it?

SHORTZ: Well, the phrase is "horse sense". Drop the "SE's" and you get "horn."

HANSEN: Wow. We had over 700 entries from people who solved the puzzle, and our randomly selected winner is Diane Miller(ph) from Appomattox, Virginia. Hi, Diane.

Ms. DIANE MILLER(ph) (Puzzle Winner): Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: What do you do in Appomattox?

Ms. MILLER: I'm a retired accountant.

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

Ms. MILLER: Actually, this one came very quickly because I got "sense." I thought, well, "sense" has two "SE's" and I tried to think of some combinations with "sense," and "horse sense" came pretty quickly.

HANSEN: Oh, good logic. How long have you been playing Puzzle?

Ms. MILLER: Well, I don't always send an entry, but I've been listening at least 10 years.

HANSEN: Good for you. Well, you know what happens now, right?

Ms. MILLER: Yes.

HANSEN: Yes, and now are you ready to play?

Ms. MILLER: Ready as I'll ever be, I guess.

HANSEN: Okay. Will, meet Diane. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Diane. This puzzle sounds a little more complicated than it is. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, take the last two letters, reverse them, then think of a word starting with these two letters that can follow mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase.

For example, if I said "flat," you would take the last two letters, "AT," reverse them to make "TA," and then say "tacks" as in "flat tacks."

Ms. MILLER: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number one - and your answers here are three letters long - first one is Faberge.

Ms. MILLER: Faberge…

SHORTZ: Faberge blank.

Ms. MILLER: Egg is all I can come up with.

SHORTZ: That's it. Faberge, famous Faberge eggs, is right. Number two is martial, M-A-R-T-I-A-L.

Ms. MILLER: Law?

SHORTZ: Martial law is right. Carrot.

Ms. MILLER: Top.

SHORTZ: Carrot top is right. Now your next answers are four letters long. And the first one of these is mad, M-A-D.

Ms. MILLER: Mad. Mad dog. Mad…

SHORTZ: It has to start with "DA."

HANSEN: And it has to relate to the first word, Will?

SHORTZ: Yeah - complete the familiar phrase. Mad blank - something you might do if you're in a hurry, something you might make…

Ms. MILLER: Dash.

SHORTZ: Mad dash is right. Daytime. This is an award that Susan Lucci won.

Ms. MILLER: Emmy.

SHORTZ: Daytime Emmy is right. Liquid.

Ms. MILLER: Diet?

SHORTZ: Liquid diet is right. Honor.

Ms. MILLER: Roll?

SHORTZ: Honor roll is good. Glow, G-L-O-W.

Ms. MILLER: Worm.

SHORTZ: Glowworm. That was fast. Now your next answers are all five letters long. And the first one is scrap, S-C-R-A-P.

Ms. MILLER: Paper.

SHORTZ: Scrap paper is right. Hot, H-O-T.

Ms. MILLER: Hot Totty?

SHORTZ: That's right. Also hot topic, I would have taken either one. How about blood?

Ms. MILLER: Donor.

SHORTZ: Blood donor is right. Detroit.

Ms. MILLER: Tigers.

SHORTZ: Detroit Tiger is right. Air, A-I-R.

Ms. MILLER: Air. Hmm.

SHORTZ: Something you would shoot with.

Ms. MILLER: Rifle.

SHORTZ: Air rifle is right. Now your next answers are six letters long. The first one of these is human.

Ms. MILLER: Human nature.

SHORTZ: Human nature. Good. How about cedar, C-E-D-A-R?

Ms. MILLER: Rapids?

SHORTZ: Cedar Rapids, uh-huh. Wonton, W-O-N-T-O-N.

Ms. MILLER: Wonton soup, but that's not six letters.

SHORTZ: All right. It has to start with "NO." Something that's like…

Ms. MILLER: Noodle.

SHORTZ: Wonton noodle is right. Arctic.

Ms. MILLER: Circle.

SHORTZ: Arctic Circle. Gasoline?

Ms. MILLER: Engine.

SHORTZ: Gasoline engine is right. And your last ones have seven or more letters. And your first one of these is civil, C—I-V-I-L.

Ms. MILLER: Liberty?

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Heart, H-E-A-R-T.

Ms. MILLER: Trouble?

SHORTZ: Heart trouble or heart transplant, either one. And your last one is Eleanor.

Ms. MILLER: Roosevelt.

SHORTZ: Eleanor Roosevelt is correct.

HANSEN: Diane. All of them. You are - definitely are a wonderful puzzle player. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll 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 Two, a set of Sudoku puzzle books presented by Will Shortz from St. Martin's Press, and one of Will Shortz' "Puzzle Master Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

Diane, what member station do you listen to?

Ms. MILLER: WVTF in Roanoke, Virginia.

HANSEN: Diane Miller from Appomattox, Virginia. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us today.

Ms. MILLER: Thank you for having me.

HANSEN: Okay, Will, something for everyone to work on for the next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, this week's challenge comes from listener Smatt Read of Missoula, Montana. And he's the coauthor of the book "Rubb-Origami" on creating rubber band sculptures. So name something commonly found in an office, two words -five letters in the first word, four letters in the last - and both words are the last names of famous singers. Who are they?

So again, name something commonly found in an office - two words, five, four -both words are the last names of famous singers. What's the phrase, and who are the singers?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org, and click on the Submit Your Answer link on the Sunday Puzzle page. 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, and we'll call you if you are 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.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.

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