On-air challenge: You will be given some names that you probably never heard of before 2013, but that were in the news during the past 12 months. You name who the people are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker, Tim Goodman and Sandy Weisz.
Last week's challenge from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco: Think of a well-known filmmaker, first and last names. Add "S-U-N" before this person's first name and last name. In each case, you'll form a common English word. Who is the filmmaker?
Answer: Ken Burns
Winner: Josh Gutman of Providence, R.I.
Next week's challenge from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pa.: The word "wizard" has the peculiar property that its letters can be grouped in pairs — A and Z, D and W, and I and R — that are opposite each other in the alphabet. That is, A and Z are at opposite ends of the alphabet, D and W are four letters in from their respective ends, and I and R are nine letters in from their respective ends. Can you name a well-known brand name in six letters that has this same property?
JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jennifer Ludden. And forget New Years. The most important countdown of your weekend ends in three, two, one. Let's puzzle.
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LUDDEN: Here, as the ball drops for the last puzzle of 2013, is Will Shortz. Of course, he's the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Jennifer. Welcome to the show.
LUDDEN: Thank you. So, remind us, Will, what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. Last week's challenge came from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco. And I said think of a well-known filmmaker - first and last names. I said add sun S-U-N before this person's first name and last name, in each case, to form a common English word. Who's the famous filmmaker? Well, the answer is Ken Burns. If you add sun, you get sunken and sunburns.
LUDDEN: All right. Well, we got over 1,100 correct answers this week. And our randomly selected winner is Josh Gutman of Providence, Rhode Island, though lately in San Francisco, and he joins us from there on the line now. Congratulations, Josh.
JOSH GUTMAN: Thank you very much.
LUDDEN: So, how did you figure this one out?
GUTMAN: Well, I spent a lot of Sunday trying to figure it out without aid and failing because of my lack of knowledge of filmmaking. And went to the Internet on Monday finally. And as I went down the list of filmmakers, Ken Burns jumped out and worked.
LUDDEN: All right. And have you been playing this a long time?
GUTMAN: Oh, since the postcard days.
LUDDEN: Great. Well, we are happy to have you. Are you ready to play this week's puzzle?
GUTMAN: As ready as I'll ever be.
LUDDEN: OK. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Josh and Jennifer. With this being my last on-air puzzle of the year, I've brought my annual new names in the news quiz. And here's how it works. I'm going to give you some names that you probably never heard of before 2013, but that were big in the news during the past 12 months. You tell me who the people are. And these names were compiled with the help of Cathy Baker, Tim Goodman and Sandy Weiss. Start with some easy ones. Number one is Rob Ford.
GUTMAN: Boy. That doesn't ring a bell at all. Don't know.
SHORTZ: Do you know this one, Jennifer?
LUDDEN: Think. Well, I would say think National Enquirer but I think that was on NPR as well. Mayor of Toronto.
SHORTZ: Yes, the crack cocaine-smoking mayor of Toronto, good.
GUTMAN: I remember the story but not the name.
SHORTZ: Here's your next one: Edward Snowden.
GUTMAN: Oh, yes. The fellow who was leaking all the NSA information.
SHORTZ: Yes. Former CIA employee. Good. George Alexander Lewis Windsor.
GUTMAN: That doesn't - I can't, I don't recognize that name at all.
SHORTZ: And your hint is George was born this year.
GUTMAN: Oh, the child of the royals, the royal son.
SHORTZ: New royal baby, good. How about North West?
LUDDEN: That's a name?
SHORTZ: Those are two - first and last names. That's correct. North West.
GUTMAN: First and last names. No, that one I don't know at all.
SHORTZ: You know that one, Jennifer?
LUDDEN: No idea.
SHORTZ: That's Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's child.
GUTMAN: West, of course. Kanye West.
SHORTZ: OK. How about Hasan Rouhani?
GUTMAN: Oh, I know that name but I don't know from where. He's the new, the head of the government in Iran?
SHORTZ: Iran, yeah, new president of Iran.
LUDDEN: Excellent, Josh.
SHORTZ: Considered a moderate. Very good. How about Janet Yellen Y-E-L-L-E-N?
GUTMAN: Oh, yes. The new head of the Federal Reserve.
SHORTZ: That's right. She's Obama's nominee to head the Federal Reserve. She'd be the first one to hold this position. Yeah, you know your hard news. I like this. How about Magnus Carlsen, Magnus Carlsen. Your hint is he's world champion but at what?
GUTMAN: Magnus Carlsen.
SHORTZ: I'll give you a second hint. He's the first world champion born in the West in this activity in 40 years.
GUTMAN: My goodness. I don't...
SHORTZ: Do you know this one, Jennifer?
LUDDEN: Not so up on my sporting news, no.
SHORTZ: Not actually sports. He's the new world chess champion. First one born in the West since Bobby Fischer actually. And here is your last one: sunny S-U-N-N-Y. And your hint is it's not a human.
GUTMAN: Yeah. I was starting to wonder about the single name, whether it could be a dog but...
SHORTZ: Yes, it is a dog. Whose dog?
GUTMAN: The president's dog?
SHORTZ: Yes, it's the new White House dog to accompany Bo.
LUDDEN: Josh, you did great.
LUDDEN: And for playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Before we let you go can you tell us, Josh, your public radio station?
GUTMAN: Yes, I listen out here in San Francisco to KQED. But back in Providence, I'm a member of WRNI.
LUDDEN: Josh Gutman of Providence, Rhode Island, this was so fun and thank you very much.
GUTMAN: Thank you so much, I enjoyed it. Thank you, both.
LUDDEN: OK, Will. What do you have for us next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, this week's challenge comes from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania. The word wizard has the peculiar property that its letters can be grouped in pairs - A and Z, D and W, and I and R - that are opposite each other in the alphabet. That is, A and Z are at opposite ends of the alphabet, D and W are four letters in from their respective ends, and I and R are nine letters in from their respective ends. Can you name a well-known brand name in six letters that has this same property?
LUDDEN: Wow. OK, well, maybe some people will have some holidays off to ponder that one. 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. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, January 2nd at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.
Please include a phone number where we can reach you about that time. 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.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Jennifer.
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