Monday, April 04, 2011

Puzzle people!

Didja' miss the NPR puzzle yesterday? Need your Will Shortz fix? Read on, puzzle enthusiasts, because it was my week to transcribe the puzzle. :-)


Synopsis of
NPR Weekend Edition puzzle
David Greene and Will Shortz


The Current Challenge (given 20110327):
From puzzle writer Francis Heaney: Take the word "calm" and flip the letters A and L to get "clam." Take the last name of a film director known for using profanity, and flip two pairs of letters in place to get a word used as a substitute for profanity. Who's the director, and what's the word?

The answers were TARANTINO and TARNATION. David played a brief clip from a Tarantino movie (the famous "Royale with cheese" conversation) and asked Will if he could name the movie. Will could not come up with the title _Pulp Fiction_ and confessed he was not a fan of profanity.

The on-air players today, randomly drawn from more than 2,500 correct answers, were Jaxon and Arlene Teck of Rockaway, New Jersey. David asked this "package deal" what they did for living; Arlene replied that she writes brand names for pharmaceutical products, and Jaxon is a logistics planner. They've been playing since the postcard days. Jaxon confessed that "it's primarily Arlene who does the submitting...I just sort of watch as it goes by." David joked that Arlene does "the heavy lifting," and Jaxon agreed. Jaxon & Arlene listen to NPR on member station WNYC (FM 93.9).

Will welcomed Arlene and Jaxon, saying that today's challenge "is a good puzzle for two people." Every answer today was a familiar proverb or saying containing a word that starts with the letter T. Will gave David, Arlene, and Jaxon the T word, and they were to come up with the saying. (Some of the words had multiple correct proverbs/sayings, but Will assured them that any familiar answer "would be counted correct.") For example, if Will said TRY, the answer might be a saying like "If at first you don't succeed--try, try again."

CLUES (hints below clues; answers at the end of this synopsis):










2. The first word is "people."

3. Will said, "It's got to be a proverb or saying, though, rather than just an expression."

4. Will's answer starts with "fools."

 6. There are several possibilities, but one of them starts with the word "measure."

8. Will says, "This is so appropriate for today. Your first word is 'great.' "

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The listener challenge for next week:

From :

Assign every letter of the alphabet a numerical value: A=1, B=2, C=3 and so forth. Think of a classic work of literature that has eight letters in its title. When the letters are given a numerical value, they add up to 35. What's the title? Clue: The title has two words.

Answers must be received by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on THURSDAY. One entry per person.

NPR will no longer receive entries by email.

Be sure to include a telephone number where you can be reached if you are selected as the winner.

Entries may be made at the web page:

You might also get to this page by going to:

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Guest editor's notes from Kristy:

It's the first Sunday of the month, and that means it's my turn to type up the puzzle synopsis. HOORAY!

Serendipitous links for today:

David Greene's NPR biography page:

The Japan/Haiti photojournalism project from today's _Weekend Edition Sunday_ (audio available after 12 p.m. Eastern):

 ONLY for fans of Rebecca Black or Stephen Colbert:

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Editor's notes:

Puzzles, and contents of Weekend Edition/Sunday puzzle segment are copyrighted 2010, by Will Shortz and NPR. Reprinted here with permission.

Here's our regular monthly puzzle transcription schedule:

1st Kristy

2nd Richard

3rd Joe

4th Jerry

5th Richard

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No mail.

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Links of interest:

Merl Reagle’s article on constructing crossword puzzles, available at:

World Puzzle Federation:

More of Ed Pegg Jr.'s puzzles are available at:

Joe Wander suggests:

You can join Kathie Schneider's email list for accessible word and logic puzzles. To subscribe, send a blank email to:

For Team USA of the World Puzzle Federation:

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("A picture is worth a thousand words.")


("People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.")


("One good turn deserves another.")


(Will's answer: "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." Jaxon's answer: "Tread softly, but carry a big stick.")


("Dead men tell no tales.")


("Measure twice; cut once." "Once bitten, twice shy." "Lightning never strikes twice in the same spot." "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.")


("A stitch in time saves nine." "Time will tell." "Time heals all wounds.")


("Great minds think alike.")

End of NPR Puzzle Synopsis.

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