On-air challenge: Every answer is a three-word phrase, in which each word has four letters. All three words end in the same three letters, and they rhyme. For example, given the clue, "Series of offerings of excellent chardonnays and Rieslings," the answer would be "fine wine line."
Last week's challenge from Pierre Berloquin: What letter comes next in this series: W, L, C, N, I, T?
Answer: The next letter is "S." The series represents the initial letters of the words in the question "What letter comes next in this series?"
Winner: Carl Huber of York, Pa.
Next week's challenge from Jeffrey Harris of Norwalk, Conn.: Think of a word associated with Halloween. Add a letter in the second position to create a new word that does not rhyme with the first. Then add another letter in the third position of the word you just created to complete another word that does not rhyme with either of the first two. What words are these?
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. ET.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Grab some Halloween candy and get some sugar to your brain because it is time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, Will, I learned a little bit of Will Shortz trivia this week. I found out that you went to law school. I did not know that.
SHORTZ: I was trying to have a J.D. from the University of Virginia, 1977.
MARTIN: OK. So, we know this because there are some new videos on YouTube. Tell us about these videos.
SHORTZ: Yeah. Bloomberg Law has launched a stealth lawyer series of videos, and they're interviews of people who were lawyers or who have J.D.s but are not practicing law.
MARTIN: You are a stealth lawyer. OK. So, why didn't you become a lawyer?
SHORTZ: Well, I decided I wanted a career in puzzles. I knew that from years ago, but I thought I couldn't make enough money doing it. My idea was that I would practice law for 10 years, retire and then do what I really wanted. And when I graduated, I thought, you know, why devote 10 years of my life to something I really don't love, so I went into puzzles immediately.
MARTIN: And look at you now, Will Shortz. You have made puzzling a career.
SHORTZ: Less money but more fun.
MARTIN: More fun. Well, before we get going with this week's puzzle, Will, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I came from Pierre Berloquin from France. It's a puzzle he made 30 years ago, published in Games magazine. I tried it on him a week ago. And he not only could not remember his puzzle, he couldn't answer it. And the challenge: I said what letter comes next in this series: W, L, C, N, I, T, blank. And the answer is S. The series represents the initial letters of the words in the question: What letter comes next in this series?
MARTIN: Wow. OK. Almost 800 listeners sent us the correct answer. And our randomly selected winner this week is Carl Huber of York, Pennsylvania. He joins us now on the line. Congratulations, Carl.
CARL HUBER: Well, thank you very much, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, have you been playing the puzzle a long time?
HUBER: Just about forever.
MARTIN: Well, we're glad that you're with us this week. Are you ready to play the puzzle?
HUBER: I sure am.
MARTIN: All right. I like it.
HUBER: Been waiting for this for a long time.
MARTIN: Let's do it, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Carl and Rachel. Every answer today is a three-word phrase, each word having four letters. All three words end in the same three letters and they rhyme. For example, if I gave you the clue: a series of offerings of excellent chardonnays and Rieslings, you would say fine wine line.
MARTIN: Oh man.
SHORTZ: Number one: letters received at a prison in a Colorado ski town.
HUBER: Jail Vail mail.
SHORTZ: Yeah. Vail jail mail...
MARTIN: Vail jail mail.
SHORTZ: ...would be a natural way to say that. Good. Additional family stories about former Vice President Al.
HUBER: Gore lore...more Gore lore.
SHORTZ: More Gore lore is right.
SHORTZ: The principle profits made by Governor Romney's investment company.
HUBER: Bain gain...
HUBER: Main Bain gain.
SHORTZ: The main Bain gain is right.
SHORTZ: Grooming of a hairless female horse.
HUBER: Bare...something about bare hair mare. Bare mare care.
SHORTZ: Bare mare care is right. An optimal checkup of part of a three-piece suit.
HUBER: Optimal checkup...best vest test.
SHORTZ: A best vest test. Good one.
SHORTZ: A hip implement used on a billiard table.
HUBER: Hip...cool pool tool.
SHORTZ: Cool pool tool is it. Medicinal tablet used in a Quentin Tarantino film.
HUBER: Uh-oh. Films are not my fort.
SHORTZ: Well, think of a medicinal tablet.
HUBER: A pill.
SHORTZ: Yeah. And then the Quentin Tarantino film.
HUBER: Kill Bill?
SHORTZ: There you go. That's a kill Bill pill. How about a thin and nasty college administrator.
HUBER: A thin, mean, lean dean.
MARTIN: Oh, nice.
SHORTZ: That's it, a thin, mean, lean Dean. And here's your last one: A crazy tool used for fixing a flat tower on a big truck.
HUBER: Mack jack whack?
SHORTZ: Yeah, that's a whack Mack jack. Good job.
MARTIN: Love it. Well done, Carl. Well done. For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at NPR.org/puzzle. Before we let you go, Carl, what's your Public Radio station?
HUBER: WITF, I've been a member of public broadcasting there since the mid '70s.
MARTIN: Glad to hear it, WITF in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Carl Huber of York, Pennsylvania, thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Carl.
HUBER: Thank you very much.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's our challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from Jeffrey Harris of Norwalk, Connecticut. Think of a word associated with Halloween. Add a letter in the second position to create a new word that does not rhyme with the first. Then add another letter in the third position of the word you just created to complete another word that doesn't rhyme with either of the first two. What words are these?
So again, a word associated with Halloween. Add a letter in the second position to make a new word that doesn't rhyme with the first one. Then add another letter in the third position of the word you just created, which creates a final word that doesn't rhyme with either of the first two. What words are these?
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 our deadline for entries is Thursday, November 1st at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.
Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner we will 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.