You'd Better Sit Tight For This One
On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts SI and the second word starts with T. For example, given "unadorned set of facts," you would say, "simple truth."
Last week's challenge: Name a movie in two words — five letters in each word. Both words start with vowels. Take one letter in the first word, move it two spaces later in the alphabet, and rearrange the result. You'll get the second word in the movie's title. What movie is it?
Answer: After Earth
Winner: Joseph Young, St. Cloud, Minn.
Next week's challenge from listener Eric Timar of Falls Church, Va.: Write down these five words: "mate," "peck," "miss," "pot" and "blunder." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And, can you name one other word with the same property?
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.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Faster than a speeding typewriter, more powerful than a cryptic code, able to stump smart listeners with a single clue: it is the Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, I understand you just got back from a big trip. You were in Alaska, right?
SHORTZ: Yeah. I won't bore you with all the details. It was a fantastic trip. I blogged about it every day and I wrote a little puzzle every day I was there, which I incorporated into the blog. It's like an NPR challenge but a little easier. And there's a link to all this on NPR's Puzzle page.
MARTIN: Great. I've always wanted to go to Alaska, so I will live vicariously through your adventures and I'll check out your blog. So, let's get down to business. Remind us what was last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said name a movie in two words - five letters in each word. Both words start with vowels. I said take one letter in the first word, move it two spaces later in the alphabet, and rearrange the result. You'll get the second word in the movie's title. Well, the answer is a recent movie. In fact I think it's out right now. I saw it a couple of weeks ago: "After Earth." The F from after changes to an H, and you rearrange that to get Earth.
MARTIN: OK. We got over 500 correct answers this week, and our randomly selected winner is Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He joins us on the line. Congratulations, Joseph.
JOSEPH YOUNG: Thank you, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, did this one come pretty quickly? How did you figure it out?
YOUNG: And it was sort of a tough one, mainly 'cause I wasn't real familiar with the movie. But I just took five-letter words and started with vowels that might be in movies. I finally just hit upon the right answer, and I made sure it was a movie, and it was.
MARTIN: Are you been playing the puzzle for a long time?
YOUNG: Oh, about 10 years. You know, so I'm really amazed that I was chosen.
MARTIN: No, 10 years is a long time to accrue some good experience. That should help you today. And you're from St. Cloud, Minnesota, we mentioned. What do you do for fun there?
YOUNG: I like to bicycle and I do some writing. One thing about this puzzle too, Rachel, that I'd like to say that it's really ingenious because the letters in the name of the movie could be rearranged to form the word father. And Will Smith and Jaden Smith are actually father and son in the movie and in real life. So, I think Will did something very...
MARTIN: Did you know that, Will?
SHORTZ: No. That is so clever.
MARTIN: Well, points for creativity on that one, Joseph.
YOUNG: Well, I think Will was the creative one there. I just, you know, figured it out.
MARTIN: OK. Well, let's see if you can put those skills to the test. Will, what do you have for us?
SHORTZ: All right. Joseph, today's puzzle is best to try if you're sitting down. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts S-I and the second word starts with T. For example, if I said unadorned set of facts, you would say simple truth.
SHORTZ: Number one: a birthday message, say, that's delivered musically.
YOUNG: Let's see, oh boy. Might need some help here. Birthday message - singing telegram, of course.
SHORTZ: There you go - singing telegram. Number two: when someone speaks glibly and beautifully, they are said to have this.
YOUNG: Silver tongue.
SHORTZ: Right. When you don't speak with someone for a long time because you're angry with them, you're giving them this.
YOUNG: Silent treatment.
SHORTZ: Right. A levy on alcohol, cigarettes and such.
YOUNG: Sin tax.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. High structure from which messages are sent by lights or flags.
YOUNG: Signal tower.
SHORTZ: Right. Journey that's taken off the main course.
YOUNG: Side trip.
SHORTZ: That's it. A Shakespeare character with the last name Belch.
YOUNG: Oh boy. I should know Shakespeare better. Belch.
SHORTZ: And the S-I one is a title for a distinguished man.
YOUNG: Oh. Sir Toby.
SHORTZ: Sir Toby is it. The heavy weight that completes this classic song lyric: you load blank. What do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.
YOUNG: Sixteen tons.
SHORTZ: That's it. Neck wear you might wear with a nice suit.
YOUNG: Well, it's some kind of tie, obviously. Let's see.
SHORTZ: Right. And what material would it be made of?
YOUNG: Oh, silk, thank you.
SHORTZ: That's it. A person who doesn't like the complications of modern life might long for this.
YOUNG: Simple times.
SHORTZ: That's right. And your last one is: waiting things out.
YOUNG: Something time.
YOUNG: No? OK.
SHORTZ: Waiting things out.
SHORTZ: That's it.
YOUNG: Oh, sitting tight.
SHORTZ: Sitting tight.
YOUNG: I knew you would give me clues. Thank you.
MARTIN: That was great. You did excellent.
YOUNG: Thank you, Rachel.
MARTIN: And for playing our puzzle today, you will of course get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at our Web site, npr.org/puzzle.
And before we let you go, Joseph, what is your public radio station?
MARTIN: KNSR, Minnesota Public Radio in Collegeville, Minnesota. So, Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minnesota, thank you so much for playing the puzzle, Joseph.
YOUNG: Thank you, Rachel. And thank you, Will.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Eric Timar of Falls Church, Virginia. Write down these five words: mate, M-A-T-E; peck, P-E-C-K; miss, M-I-S-S-; pot, P-O-T; and blunder. There's something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And can you name one other word with the same property?
So again: mate, peck, miss, pot and blunder. They have something very unusual in common. What is it? And name one other word with the same property?
MARTIN: All right, you know what to do. When you have 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, June 20th at 3 P.M. Eastern.
And 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'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.