On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a world capital. You'll be given clues to its phonetic parts, and you name the capital. For example, given the clues "person from Bangkok" and "salary," the answer would be Taipei ("Thai" plus "pay").
Last Week's Challenge From Listener Jack Lechner: Name two different kinds of wool. Take the first five letters of one, followed by the last three letters of the other, and the result will spell the first and last name of a famous actor. Who is it?
Answer: "Al Pacino" can be formed from the first five letters of "alpaca" and the last three letters of "merino."
Winner: Charles Eugene of Marina, Calif.
Next Week's Challenge From Listener Eli Blake of Joseph City, Ariz.: Take the names of two state capitals. Change one letter in each one, resulting in a phrase naming someone you will see soon on TV. Who is it? (Hint: You don't really have to know anything about TV to solve this puzzle.)
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 12 p.m. Eastern. (PLEASE NOTE: This week's deadline has been moved up to 12 p.m.)
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. OK, get ready. Get set. Get thinking because it's time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: And joining me now is Will Shortz. He is, of course, the puzzle editor of The New York Time's and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK. So refresh our memories, Will. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it was created by a listener, Jack Lechner, who was an intern at Games magazine years ago and that's where I worked before going to The Times. The challenge was to name two different kinds of wool and then combine the first five letters of one with the last three letters of the other to spell the first and last name of a famous actor. Who is it?
MARTIN: Okay. So what was the answer, Will?
SHORTZ: The answer is Al Pacino. That takes the first five letters of alpaca and the last three letters of merino.
MARTIN: Al Pacino. Very clever. Well, more than 1,900 of you figured this out and our randomly selected winner this week is Charles Eugene of Marina, California. And Charles joins us on the line now. Congratulations.
CHARLES EUGENE: Thank you.
MARTIN: Charles meet Will. Will meet Charles.
SHORTZ: Congratulations, Charles.
EUGENE: Thank you. Thank you very much.
MARTIN: OK. So Charles, how did you figure this out. I mean, were you wearing a wool sweater, you're just a big fan of Al Pacino movies?
EUGENE: Actually, it was probably one of the easiest. When he said two kinds of wool, I thought immediately of merino and alpaca. And when merinaca didn't come up with anything, I moved it around and, whoa, that was right there.
MARTIN: Well, good for you. And Will, are you a big Al Pacino fan? Is that why you picked the puzzle?
SHORTZ: I think, honestly, I've seen only one or two Al Pacino movies. No, I picked this because of the elegance of the wordplay.
MARTIN: The elegance of the wordplay, which is what I love about you, Will. No one else can look at alpaca and merino and say, puzzle elegance, right there. OK. And Charles, before we get started, tell us what you do in Marina, California.
EUGENE: Well, I sometimes say I'm a gardener in Eden because I have a landscape maintenance business on the Monterrey Peninsula.
MARTIN: Oh, a beautiful place to live and a beautiful place to be outside.
EUGENE: It is.
MARTIN: And lots of time, I imagine, outdoors to think about puzzles?
EUGENE: Yes. And I actually listen to NPR on podcast, so I can listen while I'm working.
MARTIN: Puzzle while you garden. We appreciate that. OK. Well, Charles, are you ready to play the puzzle?
EUGENE: I hope so.
MARTIN: All right. Let's do it. Will, what do you have for us?
SHORTZ: Right, Charles and Rachel. Every answer today is the name of a world capital. I'll give you clues to its phonetic parts. You name the capital. For example, if I said, a person from Bangkok plus salary, you would say Taipei. Person from Bangkok being a Tai and salary being pay making the capital of Taiwan.
MARTIN: Wow. OK. You have this, Charles?
EUGENE: I got the idea.
MARTIN: Kind of? All right. Let's try it.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is actress Taylor informally and covering for a hot dog or hamburger.
EUGENE: That would be Lisbon.
SHORTZ: Lisbon is right. Number two, a Muslim's place of worship and a cry of surprise.
SHORTZ: Moscow, we have to go with, yeah. And I guess Moscow works as well. A wildebeest and a sandwich shop.
EUGENE: New Delhi.
SHORTZ: New Delhi, that was fast.
Chesapeake, for example, and a road or a highway. Well, first of all, what's Chesapeake, for example?
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Beirut, good. All right. And our last several answers have three parts.
CHARLES EUGENE: Uh-oh.
MARTIN: Somehow I feel like you're going to be fine, Charles.
SHORTZ: All right. How about a sound of disapproval, like in a stadium, a snarling dog and to seize as control. OK. First of all, let's go back to the start, sound of disapproval. You don't like the other team in your stadium, what do you do?
SHORTZ: You boo, uh-huh. Snarling dog, maybe a mutt.
SHORTZ: A cur, right. Boo, cur...
SHORTZ: There you go. To wrest control. Excellent. And here's your last one. Opposite of heaven, to croon and a lock opener.
SHORTZ: So good. Now, you've got it.
MARTIN: Oh, my gosh. I mean, Will, were you impressed with that?
SHORTZ: I'm impressed, yeah.
MARTIN: I mean, that was a great job, Charles. For playing the 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. Charles, before we let you go, tell us which public radio station you listen to while you're gardening.
EUGENE: Well, I generally listen to podcasts while I'm gardening, but my local station is KAZU 90.3.
MARTIN: We'll take it. KAZU in Monterrey, California. Charles Eugene of Marina, California. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle this week, Charles.
EUGENE: My pleasure.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What do you have to puzzle us with for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Eli Blake of Joseph City, Arizona. Take the names of two state capitals. Change one letter in each one, resulting in a phrase naming someone you will see soon on TV. Who is it? And I give you a hint: You don't really have to know anything about TV to solve this puzzle.
So again, the names of two state capitals. Change one letter in each one. The result is a phrase naming someone you will see soon on TV. Who is it?
MARTIN: OK, 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 take note: We have moved up our deadline for entries this week. Please send in you entries by next Thursday at 12 P.M. Eastern Time. Again, that's Thursday at 12 P.M. Eastern.
Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time - 12 P.M. Eastern. 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 puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.