On-Air Challenge: You'll be given a two- or three-word description of a famous person. The initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person.
Last Week's Challenge from listener Sandy Weisz of Chicago: Name an article of clothing that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet consecutively in the word. For example, "canopy" contains the consecutive letters N-O-P. This article of clothing is often worn in a country whose name also contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together. What is the clothing article, and what is the country?
Answer: "Hijab" is the clothing article, and "Afghanistan" is the country.
Winner: David Corriveau from Lebanon, N.H.
Next Week's Challenge: Name a famous novel in two words. The first word has five letters, and the second word has 11. If you have the right novel, the initial letters of the novel's title, reversed, are the initials of its author. What's the novel, and who is the author?
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 am hope that you are ready because it is time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Let's start with a refresher on last week's challenge from the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Name an article of clothing that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet, consecutively in the word. This article of clothing is often worn in a country whose name also contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together. What is the clothing article and what is the country?
MARTIN: Well, almost 1,500 of you solved that challenge. And our randomly selected winner this week is David Corriveau of Lebanon, New Hampshire. Congratulations, David.
DAVID CORRIVEAU: Thank you.
MARTIN: So tell us, what was the answer to last week's challenge?
CORRIVEAU: The article of clothing in question was the hijab, the headdress that many women in Muslim countries wear. And one of the countries where they wear them is Afghanistan. So, the hijab is H-I-J in the alphabet, and the Afghanistan, the F-G-H.
MARTIN: Nicely done. So, did you have to go through the whole alphabet to work through before you figured it...
CORRIVEAU: I - well, my wife was at work figuring it out a few days later and she came to it right out of her head, whereas I needed to write down A-B-C, B-C-D and so forth. And...
MARTIN: So, you had a little help.
CORRIVEAU: I had more than a little help, yeah.
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MARTIN: Before we continue, let's bring on the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
SHORTZ: Good morning, Rachel. David, congratulations. And I want to mention to listeners before we go on, that about 300 solvers had the article of apparel being an afghan, which you could wear in Afghanistan. And according to the dictionary, an afghan can be a shawl. So, we accepted that answer as well.
MARTIN: So, a couple of different answers there, but David Corriveau is our winner this week. David, are you ready to play the puzzle?
CORRIVEAU: I hope so.
MARTIN: OK. Let's go for it together. Will, what do you have?
SHORTZ: All right, David and Rachel. Today's puzzle is called characteristic initials. I'm going to give you a two- or three-word description of a famous person. The initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person. For example, if I said clothing designer, you would say Christian Dior.
MARTIN: Ah. OK. You got it, David?
CORRIVEAU: Hope so.
MARTIN: All right. Let's try.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is Massachusetts Republican.
CORRIVEAU: Mitt Romney.
SHORTZ: That's it. Number two is baby specialist.
CORRIVEAU: Benjamin Spock.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Western enforcer.
CORRIVEAU: Western enforcer - oh, Wyatt Earp.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Intergalactic author.
CORRIVEAU: Isaac Asimov.
SHORTZ: That's it. News-making astronaut. News-making in 19...
CORRIVEAU: I should know this one. (Unintelligible) Rachel.
SHORTZ: News-making in 1969.
MARTIN: One step for mankind...
CORRIVEAU: Neil Armstrong.
SHORTZ: Neil Armstrong is it. Boss singer. That's B-O-S-S, boss.
CORRIVEAU: Bruce Springsteen.
SHORTZ: Bruce Springsteen is it. Union's Star General.
CORRIVEAU: Ulysses S. Grant.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Motown great.
CORRIVEAU: Marvin Gaye.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Austrian strongman.
CORRIVEAU: A little help. What era? What year, I guess?
MARTIN: I was going to do a really bad impersonation and I'm not going to say. I'm just going to say he lives in California, he is the governor, he used to the governor...
CORRIVEAU: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
SHORTZ: Arnold Schwarzenegger is it. Aviatress extraordinaire.
CORRIVEAU: Amelia Earhart.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Eccentric American poet.
CORRIVEAU: e.e. cummings.
SHORTZ: No, no. Eccentric...E-A-P is your initials.
CORRIVEAU: Eccentric, E-A-P, oh dear. Edgar Allan Poe.
SHORTZ: That's it. Lady hotelier.
CORRIVEAU: Leona Helmsley.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Little men author.
CORRIVEAU: Louisa May Alcott.
SHORTZ: Good. Surly critic.
CORRIVEAU: In print, on TV?
SHORTZ: Oh, on TV. Think "American Idol" and "X Factor."
CORRIVEAU: Oh, Simon Cowell.
SHORTZ: Simon Cowell is it. She delivered opinions.
MARTIN: S-D-O? Is that what we're...
MARTIN: ...looking for?
CORRIVEAU: Oh dear.
MARTIN: She delivered opinions.
SHORTZ: OK. Big hint here: former Supreme Court justice.
CORRIVEAU: Oh, Sandra Day O'Connor. Very good.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: And your last one is birthers' obsession. Here it is again, birthers...
CORRIVEAU: Oh, Barack Obama.
MARTIN: There you go.
SHORTZ: Barack Obama. Nice job.
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MARTIN: Nice job, David. Well done. And for playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at NPR.org/Puzzle. And, David, before we let you go, what's your Public Radio station?
CORRIVEAU: We are members of two different stations that we listen to in Vermont: Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio.
MARTIN: New Hampshire Public Radio and Vermont Public Radio, WVPR in Windsor, Vermont, to be specific.
CORRIVEAU: And WEVH in Hanover, New Hampshire.
MARTIN: Perfect, love to hear that you're members of both. David Corriveau of Lebanon, New Hampshire. Thank you so much for playing the puzzle this week. We appreciate it. It was fun.
CORRIVEAU: Thank you, my pleasure.
MARTIN: OK, Will, we're ready. Hit us up with what you have cooking for next week.
SHORTZ: Yes, name a famous novel in two words. The first word has five letters, second word has 11. If you have the right novel, the initial letters of the novel's title, reversed, are the initials of its author. What's the novel and who's the author?
So again, a famous novel, two words - 5/11. If you've got the right one, the initial letters of the novel's title, reversed, are the initials of its author. What's the novel and who is the author?
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. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 19th 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'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.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.