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Sunday Puzzle

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

And it's time to play the Puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RASCOE: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION. Good to talk to you, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Ayesha.

RASCOE: So remind us, please, of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Joseph Young, who conducts the blog "Puzzleria!" I said name a vehicle in two words - four letters in the first, five letters in the last. I said, move the second letter of the last word into the second position of the first word, and the result, phonetically, will name a popular figure from legend. Who is it? Well, the vehicle is a fire truck. Move that R, and, phonetically, you get Friar Tuck.

RASCOE: We received nearly 1,800 correct responses. And the winner is Bob Clark of Scranton, Pa. Congratulations, Bob, and welcome to the show.

BOB CLARK: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

RASCOE: So, Bob, how did you figure this one out? Because I would be confused, but you got it.

CLARK: Well, normally what happens with these for me is either I get it within an hour or I don't get it ever.

RASCOE: OK.

CLARK: So this one came to me almost as soon as it was out of Will's mouth, to be quite honest.

RASCOE: Oh, wow.

CLARK: But that doesn't often happen.

RASCOE: And what do you do when you're not playing the Puzzle?

CLARK: Well, I like sports of all kinds. I like to travel. I love music and concerts.

RASCOE: All right, Bob, are you ready to play the Puzzle?

CLARK: I'm ready with your help.

RASCOE: OK, I'm going to try to help you as I can (laughter), OK? Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Bob and Ayesha, I'm going to give you two four-letter words. Add the same two letters at the front of each of them to complete two common six-letter words. For example, if I said mire, M-I-R-E, and vise, V-I-S-E, you would add A-D at the front to make admire and advise.

CLARK: OK.

SHORTZ: Here's No. 1 - goon, G-O-O-N, and tent, T-E-N-T.

CLARK: Lagoon and latent.

SHORTZ: You got it. No. 2 is gust, G-U-S-T, and burn, B-U-R-N.

CLARK: August and auburn.

SHORTZ: You got it. Phew, P-H-E-W, and gate, G-A-T-E.

CLARK: Nephew and negate.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Read, R-E-A-D, and wart, W-A-R-T.

CLARK: Thread and thwart.

SHORTZ: You got it. Rile, R-I-L-E, and ewer, E-W-E-R. OK, I'll give you a hint.

CLARK: Yeah - a hint, yeah.

SHORTZ: The answer is a consonant and a vowel.

RASCOE: That's the hint (laughter)?

CLARK: Right. Yeah. You can do better than that. My gosh, that's an awful hint (laughter), a consonant and a vowel.

RASCOE: A consonant and a vowel.

SHORTZ: Yeah. All right, here's another hint. If you watch TV, that means you are a...

CLARK: Viewer...

SHORTZ: Yeah, and virile.

CLARK: ...And virile.

SHORTZ: You got it. You got it.

CLARK: Good one.

RASCOE: OK. OK. OK. Yeah, that was a toughie.

SHORTZ: All right, try this one - nine, N-I-N-E, and shew, S-H-E-W.

CLARK: Canine and cashew.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Even, E-V-E-N, and apse, A-P-S-E.

CLARK: Eleven and elapse.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And here's your last one - long, L-O-N-G, and eyed, E-Y-E-D.

CLARK: Oh, oblong and obeyed.

SHORTZ: Oh. Well, that is brilliant, you know, except for that little trouble with virile and viewer.

CLARK: Yes, rile and ewer.

SHORTZ: Boom, boom, boom.

RASCOE: (Laughter) Yeah, no. I mean, that was amazing. You're like the Michael Jordan of these puzzles. You didn't need any help (laughter).

CLARK: I'm glad I could give you the week off. How's that?

(LAUGHTER)

RASCOE: Exactly. But how do you feel after that? Because you ran away with it.

CLARK: Well, I'm relieved about that because I was afraid of blowing it, that's for sure (laughter).

RASCOE: Oh, well, you definitely did not do that. So for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Bob, which member station do you listen to?

CLARK: I'm a sustaining member of WVIA.

RASCOE: Very nice. Bob Clark of Scranton, Pa., thank you so much for playing the Puzzle.

CLARK: Thanks for having me.

RASCOE: All right, Will, what is next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yeah, this one comes from listener Jeff Balch (ph) of Evanston, Ill. Name a sound made by a certain animal. Change one letter in it to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a color associated with that animal. What's the sound, and what's the color? So, again, a sound made by a certain animal. Change one letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a color associated with that animal. What's the sound, and what's the color?

RASCOE: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 28, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call. And if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz. Thank you, Will.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Ayesha.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.