On-Air Challenge: For each category, name something in the category starting with each of the letters in the word "trail." For example, if the category were "books of the Bible," you might say Timothy, Ruth, Amos, Isaiah and Leviticus.
Any answer that works is correct. And you can give the answers in any order.
Last week's challenge from listener Steve Baggish of Littleton, Mass.: Think of a well-known actor, three letters in the first name, seven letters in the last. One of the letters is an "S." Change the "S" to a "K" and rearrange the result, and you'll name a well-known fictional character. Who is it?
Answer: Tinkerbell, which comes from the name of the actor Ben Stiller.
Winner: Lynette Hendricks of Dallas
Next week's challenge from listener David Rosen, a member of the National Puzzlers' League: The name of something that you might see your doctor about is a two-word phrase. Three letters in each word. When these six letters are written without a space, a three-letter word can be removed from inside, and the remaining three letters in order also form a word. What's interesting is that the four three-letter words — the two in the original phrase, the one that was removed, and the one that remains — all rhyme. What is the original phrase?
If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene. And you know what time it is. It's time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Joining me is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey, David.
GREENE: So, remind us of last week's puzzle challenge. I think it had to do something with Hollywood. Am I right?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Steve Baggish. I asked you to think of a well-known actor - three-letter first name, seven-letter last name. This name contains the letter S. I said remove the S and replace it with a K. Rearrange the letters and you'll name a well-known fictional character. Who is it? The actor was Ben Stiller. Make that change and you get Tinkerbell.
GREENE: Nice. You know, that's a tough one. I mean, we had 400 listeners who got the answer. And our winner this week, Lynette Hendricks of Dallas, Texas. Lynette, hello and congratulations.
LYNETTE HENDRICKS: Thank you so much.
GREENE: So, what do you do in Dallas, Lynette?
HENDRICKS: I'm an accountant.
GREENE: All right. So, you move numbers around?
HENDRICKS: I do, I do. I have a BBA, not a BS. So, accounting is art, not science.
GREENE: Aha. I like that. So, does moving numbers around mean you're really good at moving letters around too?
HENDRICKS: Well, I can pretend to be, can't I?
GREENE: I think so. Will, you are not at your normal outpost. You are, as I understand it, Portland, Oregon this week. Why are you there?
SHORTZ: It's the National Puzzlers League Convention, which is something I've directed every year since 1976. It's about 150 puzzlers here from all over the United States and Canada and they're here for four days of word games and puzzles.
GREENE: OK. So, when you get 150 puzzlers together, is it all work? Is there some play? What happens there?
SHORTZ: Oh, it's all play, it's all play. And people stay up half the night playing stuff, even outside the program.
GREENE: OK. Well, from the 173rd National Puzzlers League Convention, I bring you Will Shortz. Lynette, Will, have at it.
SHORTZ: All right, Lynette. Today, I brought you a game of categories, and you probably know how this works. It's based on the word trail T-R-A-I-L, as in the Oregon Trail. And I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each letter of trail. For example, if the category were books of the Bible, you might say Timothy, Ruth, Amos, Isaiah and Leviticus. Any answer that works is fine and you can give them in any order.
SHORTZ: Here's number one: foreign makes of automobiles.
HENDRICKS: Range Rover, Audi, Land Rover...
SHORTZ: Land Rover, OK. Lexus also works.
HENDRICKS: Toyota and Isuzu.
GREENE: Wow, Lynette, that was amazing.
SHORTZ: Bravo. OK. Your second category is islands. Think of a Hawaiian island starting with L.
SHORTZ: Lanai works - also Long Island. OK. T, R, A and I.
HENDRICKS: There's not Bermuda. There's not Jamaica. There's not...Antigua.
GREENE: Nice, nice, nice.
SHORTZ: Antigua, good. Aruba also works. OK. T, R and I.
GREENE: Yeah, there you go.
SHORTZ: Iceland is good. And you need T and R.
SHORTZ: Yes. Taiwan also works. And you just need an R. and there's one off the coast of Greece.
SHORTZ: Rhoads is good. All right. Your next category: things found in a motel room.
HENDRICKS: Telephone, air conditioner, ice bucket, lamp...
SHORTZ: Lamp is good for an L. I've got eight Rs - all you need is one of them. What might you hold in your hand when you're in bed?
HENDRICKS: Room key.
SHORTZ: That's all right. Also a robe, refrigerator, a rollout bed...
HENDRICKS: You stay in nicer hotels than I do when you get a refrigerator.
SHORTZ: Well, also my list had roaches so...
GREENE: Or maybe not.
HENDRICKS: And I've stayed in better hotels than that.
SHORTZ: OK. Your last category is seven-letter words containing a Q.
HENDRICKS: Oh yes. Let's just be - let's see how difficult we can be.
GREENE: Goodness gracious.
SHORTZ: Antique is good, yes.
SHORTZ: There you go.
GREENE: Can I give a hint, Will?
GREENE: If I were to take a shot of something at a bar.
HENDRICKS: Liqueur, liquor.
SHORTZ: Liqueur is good. There's your L.
GREENE: Oh, oh. Wait, wait, wait, Lynette. I was giving you a hint for another one. You're going to get two out of this. Think of...
HENDRICKS: (unintelligible) booz. So, still taking a shot?
GREENE: Yes, yes. A type of that L you just gave.
HENDRICKS: It's a type of liquor. Tequila. And then we R - is racquet...that's one, right?
SHORTZ: Racquet works, yes - the, you know, the fancified spelling, R-A-C-Q-U-E-T. That's good.
GREENE: Lynette, that was incredible. Seriously, good job. You've been listening for so long you probably know what you're getting, but I will tell you...
HENDRICKS: I do, I do. But I'm so excited, I can't wait for the UPS guy to show up or whoever you use.
GREENE: Well, the UPS guy or whoever he is will be bringing you a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and some puzzle books and games. And you can read all the details at npr.org/Puzzle. And, Lynette, I know you've been waiting to tell us who is your public radio station?
HENDRICKS: I am a proud longtime member of two public radio stations - KERA and KXT.
GREENE: Fantastic, and now you can open the office - open your door to your office and go tell all of your officemates that you really rocked the puzzle. Thanks so much for playing with us.
HENDRICKS: Thank you.
GREENE: All right, Will, that puzzle for next week. Give it to us.
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener David Rosen who is a member of the National Puzzlers' League. Think of a familiar two-word phrase, something you might go to a doctor about. And there are three letters in each word. Remove the space from those two-word phrase and there will be a three-letter word formed in the middle. If you remove that, the remaining letters in order will also spell a three-letter word.
And what's interesting is that all four words here - the two original three-letter words, the three-letter word you've removed from the middle, and the word that remains at the end - all four of these words rhyme. What phrase is it?
GREENE: Sounds tough. You being at a puzzlers' convention, is that making you, you know, make things a little harder, Will. Are you in the mood to give people a challenge?
GREENE: Well, everyone, when you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. And please, just one entry per person. The deadline for entries is Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. And if you could, include a phone number where we'd be able to reach you at about that time. If you're the winner we'll give you a ring, and you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
Will, enjoy the rest of your time in Portland. Thanks.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, David. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.