On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Let's." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or title containing the consecutive letters L-E-T. Specifically, the first word will end in L-E and the second word will start with T.
Last week's challenge: Write down these six words:
The six words have something unusual in common. And when you've figured out what it is, that unusual something will suggest the name of a well-known U.S. city. Name that city.
Answer: The first syllable of each two-syllable word sounds like a letter of the alphabet: Q, U, I, N, C, and Y. The city is Quincy, Mass.
Winner: Karen Neale of Afton, Va.
Next week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. Take the first name of a nominee for Best Actor or Best Actress at Sunday's Oscars. You can rearrange these letters into a two-word phrase that describes his or her character in the film for which he or she is nominated. Who is this star, and what is the 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.
JACKI LYDEN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. So, pull up a chair, get out your pen and paper. It is time to play the puzzle.
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LYDEN: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is, of course, the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Hello there, Will. Great to be back with you.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Jacki. Great to have you back.
LYDEN: Well, it is indeed a pleasure. So, speaking of long memories, would you refresh ours? What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. There was a slight flaw to it actually. I said take the following words: cupid, yoo-hoo, eyeball, entrance, seafood and wiper. And I said there's something unusual that they have in common and that this unusual thing suggests the name of a well-known U.S. city. What is it? Well, the unusual thing is that the first syllable of each of those two-syllable words sounds like a letter of the alphabet - Q, U, I, N, C and Y. And this spells out the city Quincy in Massachusetts. The slight flaw is that in Quincy they pronounce it Quin-zy. Did you know that? It's a Z sound.
LYDEN: I never knew that. I assumed it's named for John Quincy Adams, no?
SHORTZ: It may actually be John Quin-zy Adams. I'm not sure about that.
LYDEN: See, this is why you're the puzzle-master and I'm not. So, we got about 900 correct answers - however you say Quin-zy - and our randomly selected winner out of those 900 is Karen Neale of Afton, Virginia. And she joins us on the line now. Hey, Karen, congratulations.
KAREN NEALE: Hi. Thank you.
LYDEN: So, how did you figure this one out?
NEALE: Well, I grew up in the Boston area. So, when I figured out that the first syllables were letters, Quincy jumped right out at me. And Quin-zy - with a Z - is the proper pronunciation.
LYDEN: So, did that take you hours and hours?
NEALE: It took just a few minutes.
LYDEN: What do you do for a living in Afton, Karen?
NEALE: Well, I work at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
LYDEN: That sounds...
SHORTZ: Oh, my alma mater.
LYDEN: Well, a lot of good things come out of Charlottesville. And how long have you been playing the puzzle?
NEALE: Oh, since the postcard days. So, quite a while.
LYDEN: Well, then this should be no problem for you, Karen. Are you ready to play the puzzle?
NEALE: I am.
LYDEN: Excellent. Will, what do you have for us this week?
SHORTZ: All right, Karen and Jacki. Today's puzzle is called Let's. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or a title containing the consecutive letters L-E-T. And specifically, the first word will end in L-E and the second word will start with T. For example, if I said a shade provider on many lawns, you would say maple tree.
SHORTZ: Number one - what you need in order to watch HBO and Showtime.
NEALE: Cable TV.
SHORTZ: That's it. Number two - the song "Born to Run" from the album "Born to Run," for example.
NEALE: Title track.
SHORTZ: Title track, good. Rustler, a rustler.
NEALE: Cattle thief.
SHORTZ: Good. A cap for a glass container.
NEALE: Cap for a glass container. A bottle top.
SHORTZ: Bottle top is it. What you swear to tell in court, so help you God.
NEALE: The whole truth.
SHORTZ: That's it. Original name for the Popeye comic strip.
NEALE: Something theater.
SHORTZ: Yes. It's something you wear when you sew.
NEALE: Thimble. Thimble Theater.
SHORTZ: Thimble Theater. Out of all the people I've tested this puzzle on, no one has gotten that. So, I'm impressed.
NEALE: That just shows my age.
SHORTZ: The largest newspaper in Washington State.
NEALE: Something Tribune.
NEALE: No? Seattle Times.
SHORTZ: Seattle Times is it. The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book to be printed using this.
NEALE: Moveable type.
SHORTZ: That's it. Nickname for Charlie Chaplin.
NEALE: Little Tramp.
LYDEN: Good heavens.
SHORTZ: Everything - boom, boom, boom. Purchase for a drawing.
NEALE: Purchase for a drawing.
SHORTZ: Usually done for charity.
NEALE: Purchase for a drawing. Oh, raffle ticket.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one. A delayed reaction to something surprising immediately after the first reaction.
NEALE: A double take.
SHORTZ: A double take. Nice job.
LYDEN: Excellent. Karen, that was absolutely impressive. And for playing our puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as our puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/Puzzle.
Now, before we let you go, you have to tell us your public radio station.
NEALE: Yes, it's WMRA in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
LYDEN: Karen Neale, of Afton, Virginia, thank you so much for playing our puzzle today.
NEALE: Thank you, both.
LYDEN: Most impressive. Ah, Will. I don't know if I could even think about another puzzle.
LYDEN: But I guess we have to go on, carry on the tradition. What do you have for us for next week?
SHORTZ: Yeah, we have to carry on. Yes, the challenge comes from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey. Take the first name of a nominee for Best Actor or Best Actress at tonight's Oscars. You can rearrange these letters into a two-word phrase that describes his or her character in the film for which he or she is nominated. Who is this star and what is the phrase?
So, again. First name of a nominee for Best Actor or Best Actress tonight. You can rearrange these letters into a two-word phrase that describes his or her character in the film for which he or she is nominated. Who's the star and what is the phrase?
LYDEN: Great, and when you have got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, March the 6th at 3 o'clock Eastern Time in the afternoon.
Please 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 will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's very own puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
Will, that was a real brainteaser but I do want to say thank you so much.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Jacki.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.