On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with L-O and the second word starts with G.
For example, a professional organization that seeks to influence legislation is a LOBBYING GROUP.
Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pa. Take the first names of two politicians in the news. Switch the first letters of their names and read the result backward to name something that each of these politicians is not.
Answer: MARCO (Rubio) + TED (Cruz) --> DEMOCRAT
Winner: Marilyn Comerford of Clifton, N.J.
Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Dan Ezekiel of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name a famous actor whose first and last names both are seven letters long. Change the first three letters of the actor's last name to three new letters and you'll name another famous actor. They share the same first name. Add the three letters you changed in the first actor's last name plus the three letters you changed to get the second actor's name, and you'll spell the last name of a third famous actor. Who are these three Hollywood stars?
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.
(SOUNDBITE OF "BEAT THE CLOCK" THEME SONG)
MARTIN: OK. No, that definitely sounds off.
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MARTIN: Yeah, perfect. Now we can play The Puzzle. Joining me is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times, WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. Love that music.
MARTIN: I know, right? Do you like TV game shows? Did you watch a lot of them growing up?
SHORTZ: As you might guess, I did love TV game shows. I'll tell you, back in 1964, 65 Jeopardy had a contest where you could make up your own Jeopardy boards, send it in. I think if you won, you got to appear on the show. I was, like, 13, 14 years old then.
MARTIN: You did it?
SHORTZ: And I did it but did not get chosen.
MARTIN: Oh, shoot. OK. So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pa. I said take the first names of two politicians in the news, switch the first letters of their names and read the result backward to name something that each of these politicians is not. Well, the politicians are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. So the first names are Marco and Ted, switch the M and the T and read the result backward. You get Democrat. I think that's the - one of the most amazing pieces of wordplay I've seen ever.
MARTIN: High praise, very cool. So around 960 of you submitted correct answers, and our randomly selected winner is Marilyn Comerford of Clifton, N.J. Hi, Marilyn.
MARILYN COMERFORD: Hi, Rachel.
COMERFORD: Thank you.
MARTIN: How did you figure it out?
COMERFORD: I decided that it was probably the presidential candidates. After I eliminated Hillary, I was left with the Republicans. I played around with their first names and then decided to work it from what they were not. And when I came up with Democrat, it came to me.
MARTIN: Well done. So Marilyn, do you want to play the puzzle?
COMERFORD: I do want to play, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK. I want to play, too.
COMERFORD: Let's do it.
MARTIN: OK, Will. We're ready.
SHORTZ: All right, Marilyn and Rachel, today's puzzle is as easy as falling off a log. Every answer is a familiar two word phrase or name in which the first word starts with L-O and the second word starts with G. For example, if I said a professional organization that seeks to influence legislation, you would say lobbying group.
MARTIN: OK. Let's give it a go.
SHORTZ: Number one, a mirror.
COMERFORD: Looking glass.
SHORTZ: Looking glass is right. Number two, what you put a car into when you go up a steep hill.
COMERFORD: Low gear.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A pistol with bullets in it.
COMERFORD: A loaded gun.
SHORTZ: That's it. What a mayor is head of.
COMERFORD: Local government.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Mastermind or clue.
COMERFORD: Mastermind or clue? Rachel, you have to help me.
MARTIN: Well, the last one is game.
SHORTZ: That's right.
MARTIN: Right? The last word is game.
SHORTZ: And what do you use to solve those games or play those games?
MARTIN: Oh, is it logic?
SHORTZ: There you go, logic game.
COMERFORD: Oh, see? OK.
SHORTZ: Very good. California city whose name is Spanish for the cats.
COMERFORD: Los Gatos.
SHORTZ: That's it - 1920s, 30s Yankee who was known as the Iron Horse.
COMERFORD: Oh, Lou Gehrig.
SHORTZ: That's it. Term that Ernest Hemingway used for those who came of age during World War I.
COMERFORD: Lost generation.
SHORTZ: Right. Missing for more than a while.
COMERFORD: Long gone?
SHORTZ: That's it. All right, how about surety for when someone borrows money.
COMERFORD: Something guarantee.
SHORTZ: Yeah, uh-huh.
COMERFORD: Loan guarantee.
SHORTZ: Loan guarantee is it. And your last one is Eros or Cupid.
COMERFORD: Love something?
MARTIN: Yes, love god.
SHORTZ: Love god is it.
MARTIN: Marilyn, that was very well done. And you did a great job.
COMERFORD: Thank you.
MARTIN: For playing The Puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and all kinds of puzzle books and games. You can read about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. Marilyn, what is your public radio station?
MARTIN: WNYC in New York. Marilyn Comerford of Clifton, N.J. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Marilyn.
COMERFORD: Thank you, Will. Thank you, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. The challenge comes from listener Dan Ezekiel of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name a famous actor - seven letter first and last names. Change the first three letters of the last name to three new letters, and you'll name another famous actor. They both have the same first name. And here's what's most surprising. The three letters you changed in the first actor's name, plus the three letters you change them to in the second actor, in order, to spell the last name of a third famous actor. Who are these three Hollywood stars? So again, famous actor - seven, seven. Change the first three letters of the last name to three new letters to get another actor's name. And the three letters you changed in the first actor's name, plus the three letters you changed them to in the second actor's name, in order, spell the last name of a famous third actor. Who are these Hollywood stars?
MARTIN: That is a puzzle. When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle and click on that submit your answer link. Limit yourself to one entry per person, please. Those entries are due by Thursday, April 30 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner, then we'll give you a call. And then you get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times. And he is WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzle master, Mr. Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.