On-air challenge: Every answer today is a six-letter word or name that has a repeated two-letter pair, like "eraser," which has E-R twice, or "regret," which has R-E twice. The repeated pair of letters can appear anywhere in the word. You'll be given the pair of letters and a clue, and you provide the words.
Last week's challenge from listener Sandy Weisz in Chicago: Name two parts of the human body. Put them together one after the other. Change the seventh letter in the result to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that's often found in books. What is it?
Answer: "Footnote," which can be formed with "foot" and "nose"
Winner: Paul Anagnostos from Boston
Next week's challenge: Think of a word in which the second letter is R. Change the R to an M, and rearrange the result. You'll get the opposite of the original word. What is it? (Hint: The two words start with the same letter.)
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. And I hope your pencils are sharpened because it is time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: And joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will. It's been a while.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. Great to have you back.
MARTIN: Oh, thank you so much. I mean, I did listen to the show while I was away, but I was maternity leave and totally sleep-deprived, so my synopses weren't always firing quickly. And all of that is to say I may be a little rusty, so be patient with me today.
SHORTZ: OK. How's the baby, by the way?
MARTIN: Baby is doing great. Baby's doing great. He's a puzzler in the making.
SHORTZ: All right.
MARTIN: And if I remember correctly, last week's challenge had something to do with body parts?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Sandy Weisz of Chicago. And the challenge was to name two parts of the human body, put them together one after the other, and then change the seventh letter in the result to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that's often found in books. What is it? Well, the answer is footnote. And you change the T of note to a S, you get foot and nose.
MARTIN: OK. Well, more than 1,100 listeners figured this out. And our randomly selected winner this week is Paul Anognostos of Boston. He joins us now by smartphone app, so we have a nice clear line. Congratulations, Paul.
PAUL ANOGNOSTOS: Thank you very much.
MARTIN: OK. So, was the answer right under your nose, so to speak, or were you initially stumped on this one, Paul?
ANOGNOSTOS: I usually jot them down and unless it comes to me instantly, I put it aside and think about it later. And I was walking to work and I couldn't - there's so many body parts. And then I said, well, maybe the other way around, and, poof, it came right to me.
MARTIN: Very nice. And can I ask what do you do in Boston?
ANOGNOSTOS: I'm an accounting manager at Victory Programs. It's a nonprofit organization that works with individuals and families around homelessness and substance abuse disorders.
MARTIN: Great. Very important work. And you're a big puzzler - crosswords and everything?
ANOGNOSTOS: You know, it's funny. I don't do crosswords very much anymore, but we grew up doing them. My parents are huge crossword puzzlers. And we used to have these debates because as kids we would do them and I would always use pen and my mother would get upset with me because I was supposed to use a pencil.
MARTIN: Pen. I mean, you must have been really confident.
ANOGNOSTOS: Yeah. For me, it was just more visible.
MARTIN: Will, what's your preference? I'm pegging you for a pen guy, too.
SHORTZ: I'm a pen guy, unless I'm doing it in an antique book or magazine. Then, of course, I'll use a pencil. So, theoretically the puzzle could be erased.
MARTIN: All right. OK. So, Paul, with that are you ready to play the puzzle?
ANOGNOSTOS: Only if you are.
MARTIN: I guess so. Like I said, a little rusty but we'll endeavor on together.
MARTIN: Will, let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, Paul and Rachel. Every answer today is a six-letter word or name that has a repeated two-letter pair, like eraser, which has E-R twice or regret, which has R-E twice. Now, the repeated pair of letters can appear anywhere in the word. I'll give you the pair of letters and a clue. You tell me the words.
SHORTZ: Here's number one - V-E - that's V as in victor - V-E and you're looking for a kind of cloth.
SHORTZ: Velvet is it, good. Number two is C-O - C as in Charles - C-O, architectural style.
ANOGNOSTOS: It's not column. Let's see. C-O. Colonial. No.
SHORTZ: No, it's got to have C-O twice, and remember it's going to be only six letters. I'll give you a big hint:
MARTIN: I have no idea.
SHORTZ: I'll give you a big hint - the C-O is repeated at the end of the word.
SHORTZ: Rococo is it, good.
MARTIN: Glad you got that one, Paul.
SHORTZ: U-K, footwear.
ANOGNOSTOS: It's not mukluk.
SHORTZ: Yes, it is mukluk.
ANOGNOSTOS: Oh, OK.
MARTIN: I love a mukluk.
SHORTZ: It's amazing what's in the back of the brain. Here's your next one: T-I - T as in Thomas - and artist.
SHORTZ: Titian, good. G-E and English king.
SHORTZ: That's it. O-N - as in Nancy - a world capital.
ANOGNOSTOS: O-N, world capital. Let's see, it's not Lisbon.
SHORTZ: But it does end in O-N.
ANOGNOSTOS: Oh, London.
SHORTZ: London is it.
MARTIN: Well done.
SHORTZ: Try this one: A-R - again, same as before - and this is a mountain.
PAUL ANAGNOSTOS: Ararat.
SHORTZ: Ararat is good.
SHORTZ: And here's your last one, T-O, T as in Thomas, product of a vegetable garden.
SHORTZ: Tomato is it. Good job.
MARTIN: Oh, great job, Paul. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you get to read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.
You did a fabulous job. Thanks for being my partner my first puzzle back.
ANAGNOSTOS: And thank you for your help. It was great fun. I really enjoyed it.
MARTIN: And before we let you go, how about giving a shout-out to your Public Radio station?
ANAGNOSTOS: I'm a member of WBUR in Boston.
MARTIN: Perfect. Paul Anagnostos of Boston, thanks so much for playing the puzzle.
ANAGNOSTOS: My pleasure.
MARTIN: OK, Will. We're ready. What do you have for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, think of a word in which the second letter is R. Change the R to an M as in Mary, and rearrange the result. You'll get the opposite of the original word. What is it? And here's a hint: The two words start with the same letter.
So again, a word in which the second letter is R. Change that to an M. Anagram, you get the opposite of the original word. 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. The deadline for entries is Thursday, October 4th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are the winner we will 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.
And, Will, I know you're heading off to the World Puzzle Championship this week in Croatia, right?
SHORTZ: That's right. That's right.
MARTIN: So we'll catch up with you there next Sunday.
SHORTZ: Sounds good, looking forward to it.
MARTIN: OK, safe travels. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.