On-air challenge: I've brought a game of Categories based on the word THINK. For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters T-H-I-N-K. For example, if the category were "Boys' Names," you might say Tom, Hank, Ike, Nick and Kent. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order.
1. U.S. States
2. Football Terms
3. Parts of the Human Body
4. Things Seen on a Dinner Table
5. Five-Letter Words Ending in 'O'
Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Hugh Stoll of Harrisonburg, Va. Think of a 4-letter word for something commonly seen in the winter. Write it in lowercase letters. Turn it upside, and you'll name a device you use with this thing. What is it?
Challenge answer: wool --> loom
Winner: Gene Wolski of Henrico, Va.
This week's challenge: Take the letters S Y T O Y. Add the same letter of the alphabet six times to complete a familiar phrase. What is it?
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 by Thursday, March 21 at 3 p.m. ET.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Hugh Stoll of Harrisonburg, Va. I said think of a four-letter word for something commonly seen in the winter. Write it in lowercase letters. Turn it upside down, and you'll name a device you use with this thing. What is it? Well, the thing you see in the winter is wool. Turn that upside down, you get loom - so cool. I've never noticed that before.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 800 responses. And our winner today is Gene Wolski of Henrico, Va. Congratulations and welcome to the program.
GENE WOLSKI: Thanks for having me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How did you solve it?
WOLSKI: A lot of brainstorming - I think we got stuck on the four-letter part. And eventually, at some point, the word blanket came up in my head. And then from there, it was kind of natural - wool blanket. And as Will said, once you hit wool, and it's wool and loom, it's like, oh, boom, done.
WOLSKI: That was it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long have you been playing The Puzzle?
WOLSKI: I've been a listener on and off for years. This is the - actually, my very first time I've actually submitted the answer.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, my goodness. Well, there you go. First time's a charm. Are you ready to play?
WOLSKI: Yes, let's go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Gene. Today I brought a game of categories based on the word think. For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters T-H-I-N and K. For example, if the category were boys' names, you might say Tom, Hank, Ike, Nick and Kent. Any answer that works is OK. And you can give the answers in any order. Here's your first category - and we'll start easy - U.S. states.
WOLSKI: Oh, U.S. states - so Texas.
WOLSKI: How many do I need to give you?
SHORTZ: Just one for each letter.
WOLSKI: OK, perfect.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're like, I'm done (laughter).
WOLSKI: Oh, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska and Kansas.
SHORTZ: Oh, man. Boom, boom, boom - good job. Next category is football terms.
WOLSKI: Football terms.
WOLSKI: Let's see. There's a kick.
WOLSKI: Football terms - there's team. There's...
SHORTZ: Team - all right.
SHORTZ: Touchdown and tackle...
WOLSKI: A huddle.
SHORTZ: ...Are good.
SHORTZ: Huddle - yeah.
SHORTZ: Nice - I and N.
WOLSKI: Oh, let's see - I. I'm blanking.
SHORTZ: For an I, what's something that the quarterback doesn't want to happen?
WOLSKI: Intercept - there we go.
SHORTZ: Interception - good. All you need is an N.
WOLSKI: Nose - nose guard, OK.
SHORTZ: The nose guard, very good. Here's your next category - parts of the human body.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We always get into trouble with this, Will.
SHORTZ: (Laughter) Well...
SHORTZ: ...Only clean parts.
WOLSKI: Well, we have toes.
WOLSKI: We have our hearts.
WOLSKI: We have intestines.
WOLSKI: We have - oh, I'll repeat nose if that's OK because that's an N.
SHORTZ: You can say nose. Also, neck and nostril work.
WOLSKI: And then for K - oh, gosh.
SHORTZ: Like in part of your leg.
WOLSKI: Part of your leg.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you bend.
WOLSKI: You bend your knee. There we go - sorry.
SHORTZ: Your knee - also your knuckle.
WOLSKI: Yeah, absolutely.
SHORTZ: And kidney would work. All right. Your next one is things seen on a dinner table.
WOLSKI: OK. A dinner table - so tablecloth.
SHORTZ: Tablecloth, good.
WOLSKI: Let's see, H could be - what? - table knife. Well, I'll go with knife or the K.
SHORTZ: Nice. H...
WOLSKI: There's napkin.
SHORTZ: ...I and N.
WOLSKI: And the I is...
SHORTZ: I is tough. Let's say something that holds things to keep your drinks cold.
WOLSKI: Or ice cube or...
SHORTZ: In an ice bucket. Good.
WOLSKI: Ice bucket.
SHORTZ: H and N.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: He said N already.
WOLSKI: Yeah. I had napkin for...
SHORTZ: Oh, sorry.
WOLSKI: ...N I think already.
SHORTZ: Napkin - yes, good. All you need's an H.
WOLSKI: Hot plate.
SHORTZ: Hot plate or hot pad. And your last category - it's five-letter words ending in O.
WOLSKI: Five-letter words ending in O. Let's see here. For a T...
SHORTZ: Think of a dance for T.
SHORTZ: Tango is good.
WOLSKI: And then for the H...
SHORTZ: What do you say when you pick up the telephone?
WOLSKI: Hello. That's an easy one.
WOLSKI: There we go.
SHORTZ: If you lived in Alaska, you might live in (laughter)...
WOLSKI: Oh, an igloo - there we go.
SHORTZ: Igloo works - good. And N is a kind of chip, a snack chip.
WOLSKI: Oh, a nacho chip.
SHORTZ: Nacho. And for K, you just need a musical instrument, one that you might hum into.
WOLSKI: Oh, kazoo (laughter).
SHORTZ: A kazoo - good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How do you feel?
WOLSKI: I feel pretty good (laughter). Those are good ones.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good. You did really well. And 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, Gene, which member station do you listen to?
WOLSKI: WCVE is my station.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was Gene Wolski of Henrico, Va. Thanks for playing The Puzzle.
WOLSKI: Thank y'all.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It's not too hard this time. Take the letters S, Y, T, O, Y. Add the same letter of the alphabet six times to complete a familiar phrase. What is it? So again, the letters are S, Y, T, O, Y. Add the same letter of the alphabet six times to complete a familiar phrase. What phrase is it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website npr.org/puzzle. And click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember; just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, March 21 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
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