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 very own puzzlemaster.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Samuel Mace of Smyrna, Del. I said, name a famous actor whose first name is a book of the Bible and whose last name is an anagram of another book of the Bible. Who is it? And the answer is John Hurt. His last name is an anagram of Ruth.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received exactly 900 correct responses. And the winner this week is Seth Copans of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Welcome to the program.
SETH COPANS: Hi. Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how'd you figure it out?
COPANS: Well, like everyone would expect, I sat with a list of Bible books in front of my face...
COPANS: ...On the computer screen. I was fooled by Hosea at first, which anagrams beautifully to O'Shea, but I couldn't find anyone who really satisfied famous actor. So I went back to square one. And right at the beginning there, I realized that Ruth and Hurt were anagrams. And then John Hurt - right, just like that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Wonderful. What was it like when you got the call?
COPANS: I was beside myself. I'm still not a hundred percent believing this isn't some prank right now.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It is true. It is true. This is a prank. I am not Lulu, and that is not Will.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And this is a very elaborate setup - untrue, untrue. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
COPANS: I think I'm ready, yes.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Seth. I'm going to read you some sentences. Each ends in blank to blank. You fill the blanks with a pair of homophones. For example, if I said, the bicycle salesman had an innovative new blank to blank, you'd say pedal to peddle. All right. Number one, the thieves prowling around the Pittsburgh mill were looking for some blank to blank.
COPANS: Steel to steal.
SHORTZ: That's it. Number two, when you want to slow down in front of a busy intersection, that's a bad time for a blank to blank.
COPANS: Brake to break.
SHORTZ: As I watched the seabird walk 100 yards straight down the beach, I kept waiting for the blank to blank.
COPANS: Tern to turn.
SHORTZ: That's it. To prepare the dough for the oven, the baker will first blank to blank.
COPANS: Need to knead.
SHORTZ: That's it. My toes since the foot injury are better now, but I still have to wait for my blank to blank.
COPANS: Heel to heal.
SHORTZ: The strip of art along the ceiling needs warm temperature to dry, so I certainly wouldn't want the blank to blank.
SHORTZ: (Laughter) What would you call a strip of art on a wall?
COPANS: Mural is what I first thought of.
SHORTZ: Yeah, that would be the whole wall. What would be a narrow band of art? - six letters, starting with F.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Or the second word is something that happens when you put things in the top part of the fridge.
COPANS: Oh, the frieze to freeze.
SHORTZ: You wouldn't want the frieze to freeze. That's it.
COPANS: Of course not.
SHORTZ: To make some money, the illustrator for the old Disney film has a sample blank to blank.
COPANS: Cel to sell.
SHORTZ: Do you know when the TV network has scheduled Jane blank to blank?
COPANS: Eyre to air.
SHORTZ: When the physician's boat was moving erratically, the Coast Guard ordered the blank to blank.
COPANS: Doc to dock.
SHORTZ: That's it. Whoa, you're good. And here's your last one. Regulations may not allow you to speak, but you always have the blank to blank.
COPANS: The right to write.
SHORTZ: You always have the right to write. Good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Great job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel?
COPANS: Relieved. I got to admit, I'm the guy who's always standing in my kitchen scowling when people don't do great.
COPANS: Oh, yeah. I'm very judgey (ph).
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're very judgey. You're one of the judgey puzzle aficionados. I love you all. It's OK.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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 Seth, are you going to be less judgey now that you've had a chance to play on The Puzzle?
COPANS: Oh, no, I'm going to be much worse. My wife can attest, I'm sure.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Which member station do you listen to?
COPANS: We're members of WNYC in New York.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Seth Copans of Brooklyn, N.Y., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle so well.
COPANS: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco. Think of a famous philosopher, first and last names. Change one letter in the first name to get a popular dish. Drop two letters from the last name and rearrange the result to get the kind of cuisine of this dish. What is it? So again, a famous philosopher - change one letter in the first name to get a popular dish. Drop two letters from the last name and rearrange the result to get the kind of cuisine of this dish. What is it?
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, February 25, 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 very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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