Read Between The Letters
On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You will be given a clue for the word. Besides describing the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "It's near the planet Mars," you would say, "Earth."
Last week's challenge Mike Reiss, a writer for The Simpsons: Name a famous actor or actress whose last name ends in a doubled letter. Drop that doubled letter. Then insert an R somewhere inside the first name. The result will be a common two-word phrase. What is it?
Answer: Cate Blanchett, carte blanche
Winner: Nicole Lindenstein of Irvine, Calif.
Next week's challenge (Please note this is a two-week challenge): Write a clue for a word in the style of today's on-air puzzle, in which the answer has six or more letters. The clue should both define or describe the answer and contain the answer in consecutive letters.
Entries will be judged on accuracy of the cluing, specificity, naturalness of syntax and overall elegance. You may submit up to three clues in your entry. The person who sends the best clue in the judgment of Will Shortz will appear on the program in two weeks. And some of the runner-up entries will be used on the air.
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:
I'm Charm Latrine, and it's time for the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: Did you know my puzzle alter ego's name is Charm Latrine.
SHORTZ: You took me by surprise there.
MARTIN: That's the best anagram of my name. I imagine this is something you've looked into. Do you know an anagram of your name?
SHORTZ: I do. It's a tough name 'cause I only have two vowels - I and an O. And there's a Z in there. So it's, I think, Zilsworth.
MARTIN: Oh, Zilsworth.
SHORTZ: You can just call me Zilsworth.
MARTIN: Zils for short. OK, so I understand, Zils, that you are going on a bit of a tropical vacation this week?
SHORTZ: Yeah. On Monday, I'm going island hopping through Trinidad, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Antigua, Puerto Rico and playing at table tennis clubs at each one.
MARTIN: You are not one to just lay on the beach.
MARTIN: (Laughter) So that means we are going to have a two-week challenge coming up. But...
MARTIN: ...Before we get to that, let's start with last week's challenge. Refresh our memories.
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from Mike Reiss, who's a writer for "The Simpsons." And I asked you to name a famous actor or actress whose last name ends in a doubled letter. I said drop that doubled letter, then insert an R somewhere inside the first name. And the result is a common two-word phrase. What is it? Well, the actress was Cate Blanchett - ends in two Ts. Drop those Ts and put an R inside her first name, and you get carte blanche.
MARTIN: Which is a better anagram, in some ways than mine - charm latrine. OK, so we got over 450 correct answers. And our randomly selected winner is Nicole Lindenstein of Irvine, Calif. She's on the line now. Hey, Nicole. Congratulations.
NICOLE LINDENSTEIN: Hi. Thanks so much. I'm so happy to be on the radio with you guys.
MARTIN: (Laughter) We are happy to have you. So did this come easily to you? Did it take a while?
LINDENSTEIN: My husband and I were, like, debating it off and on throughout the day, like, when our kids were sleeping in the car so...
MARTIN: (Laughter) The conversational stuff of marriage.
LINDENSTEIN: I know. Once we dropped both letters, it was a pretty easy, actually.
MARTIN: So with that, Nicole, are you ready to do this thing?
LINDENSTEIN: I am so ready.
MARTIN: So ready. I like it.
SHORTZ: I like that.
MARTIN: She is enthusiastic. Well, let's play the puzzle.
SHORTZ: All right, Nicole and Rachel. Every answer today is a five-letter word. I'm going to give you a clue for the word. And besides describing the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, if I said it's near the planet Mars, you would say Earth because first of all, Earth is near the planet Mars. And the letters of Earth are found consecutively inside near the.
LINDENSTEIN: Oh, my gosh, OK.
MARTIN: You're so tricky. You think you have it, Nicole?
LINDENSTEIN: Yes, ready.
MARTIN: All right. All right. Let's give it a go.
SHORTZ: OK. Every answer's five letters. Number one - what chicks do.
SHORTZ: What chicks do.
LINDENSTEIN: ...chicks do.
SHORTZ: Chicks do.
SHORTZ: Hatch is it, good.
SHORTZ: Number two - from Antonines's home, say. And Antonines was an Emperor.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: From Antonines has that inside it. Here's your next one. One was awarded to Scarlett O'Hara's portrayer. One was awarded to Scarlett O'Hara's portrayer.
SHORTZ: Oscar, inside to Scarlet, is right. What to call a German brew.
SHORTZ: Lager, nice.
MARTIN: Good, Nicole.
SHORTZ: Number of times FDR was rewarded with reelection. Number of times FDR was rewarded with reelection.
SHORTZ: Three, inside with reelection. Good. Score a gleeful golfer might have.
SHORTZ: Eagle. That was fast.
LINDENSTEIN: My husband would be so proud that I knew that.
MARTIN: I - you are nailing it by yourself. Good job.
SHORTZ: I am impressed, I must say. Where a captain lets a boat moor. Where a captain lets a boat moor.
SHORTZ: Inlet. Good.
MARTIN: Oh, good.
SHORTZ: Bout of imbibing excessively.
LINDENSTEIN: Bout of imbibing - binge.
SHORTZ: Binges is it. They get their share of an estate.
SHORTZ: Heirs is it.
SHORTZ: And here's your last one, and it's a personal one. Spicy dish, which I like.
MARTIN: We're supposed to know your culinary preferences now.
SHORTZ: Well, you can figure it out from the letters.
SHORTZ: Chili is it.
MARTIN: Oh, chili. Nicole, that was awesome.
LINDENSTEIN: Thank you.
MARTIN: Well done. You should be very proud.
LINDENSTEIN: I love puzzles.
MARTIN: (Laughter) I love that you love puzzles. So Nicole, as someone who plays the puzzle a lot, you know, for playing the puzzle you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books, and games. You can read all about it at NPR.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, what's your public radio station?
MARTIN: KPCC in Pasadena, California. Nicole Lindenstein of Irvine, California. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Nicole.
LINDENSTEIN: Thank you so much.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's a two-week creative challenge. Write a clue for a word in the style of today's on-air puzzle in which the answer has six or more letters. And the clue should both define or describe the answer and contain the answer in consecutive letters. Entries will be judged on accuracy of the clueing, specificity, naturalness of syntax, and overall elegance. You can submit up to three clues in your entry. And the person who sends the best clue, in my judgment, will appear in the program in two weeks. And I hope to use some of the runner-up entries on the air.
MARTIN: OK, great. You know what to do. When you've got the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle. Click on that submit your answer link. And just one entry per person, please. Remember, this is a two-week puzzle, so our entries are due Thursday, May 15th at 3p.m., EDT. Don't forget a phone number where we can reach you at about that time.
And if you're the winner, we'll call you up, and then you will get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITIONS's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Happy trails, Will. Have fun on your vacation.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.