On-air Challenge: Every answer today is the name of a country. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, change one letter into two letters to name the country.
Ex. BELLE --> BELIZE
3. NO SAY
9. PANDA (3 answers)
Last week's challenge: Last week's challenge comes from listener Mark Scott, of Seattle. Think of a country with a one-word name. You can rearrange its letters to identify a member of one of our country's armed forces. Who is that, and what's the country?
Challenge answer: Suriname --> U.S. Marine, Myanmar --> Army man, Armenia --> A marine.
Winner: Jeff Perlstein of Stoneham, Mass.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from Robert Render, of Skokie, Ill. It's more challenging that it sounds. Name a well-known tourist locale that attracts millions of visitors a year. It has a two-word name. The first word is a number. And that number is the same as the total number of letters in the name. What's the tourist site?
If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, March 18, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
It's time to play The Puzzle.
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GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He is puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.
WILL SHORTZ: Hey there, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Mark Scott of Seattle. Interestingly, it had three acceptable answers. I said, think of a country with a one-word name. You can rearrange its letters to identify a member of one of our country's armed forces. Who is that, and what's the country? Well, our intended answer was Suriname - S-U-R-I-N-A-M-E. You can rearrange those letters to make U.S. Marine. Amazingly, you can rearrange the letters of Myanmar to spell Army man, and you can rearrange the letters of Armenia to make a Marine. And we accepted all three of those answers.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received almost 1,500 correct responses, and the winner this week is Jeff Perlstein of Stoneham, Mass.
JEFF PERLSTEIN: Well, thank you very much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So which one did you submit?
PERLSTEIN: I went with the Suriname one.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?
PERLSTEIN: Past searches through lists of countries of the world and too much Scrabble, rearranging all the letters in my head.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Fair enough. And what was it like when you got the call?
PERLSTEIN: Oh, it was very, very exciting. It's - the phone rang. It didn't say NPR, so I wasn't sure if I was going to answer it. But for some reason, something in my head said, answer that phone call. And I did, and it was wonderful.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is your shot. Are you ready to play?
PERLSTEIN: I'm very ready. Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right. Jeff, since you know your geography, I brought a geography puzzle today. Every answer is the name of a country. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, change one letter into two letters to name the country. For example, if I said belle - B-E-L-L-E - you would say Belize, changing the second letter of belle to I-Z. OK. Number one is fence - F-E-N-C-E.
SHORTZ: France is it. Brawl - B-R-A-W-L.
SHORTZ: Nice. No say - N-O S-A-Y.
SHORTZ: Polar - P-O-L-A-R.
SHORTZ: Brunt - B-R-U-N-T.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Mondo - M-O-N-D-O.
SHORTZ: That's it. Belays - B-E-L-A-Y-S.
SHORTZ: Well, finally, I made you think for a second.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Think around the Russia region.
PERLSTEIN: Oh, Belarus.
SHORTZ: Belarus is it.
PERLSTEIN: Thank you.
SHORTZ: Canal - C-A-N-A-L.
SHORTZ: That's it. And the last one has three different answers. The word is panda - P-A-N-D-A.
PERLSTEIN: Panama would be one of them.
SHORTZ: That's one.
PERLSTEIN: Panda - let me see. Poland.
SHORTZ: Nope, Poland doesn't work. Change the first letter.
PERLSTEIN: Panda to...
SHORTZ: Change the P.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So think Africa.
SHORTZ: What six-letter country ends in A-N-D-A?
SHORTZ: Rwanda. There's one more in Africa.
PERLSTEIN: Another one in Africa.
SHORTZ: East Africa.
PERLSTEIN: East Africa.
SHORTZ: Starts with a vowel.
PERLSTEIN: Oh, man. Uganda.
SHORTZ: Uganda. You got it.
PERLSTEIN: Woah. Nice.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great. How do you feel?
PERLSTEIN: Oh, thank you. I feel great. I feel very, very happy that I didn't embarrass myself.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Far from it. You were amazing.
PERLSTEIN: Thank you. Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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 Jeff, which member station do you listen to?
PERLSTEIN: The great GBH.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Jeff Perlstein of Stoneham, Mass., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
PERLSTEIN: Thank you so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Robert Render of Skokie, Ill. Name a well-known tourist locale that attracts millions of visitors a year. It has a two-word name. The first word is a number, and that number is the same as the total number of letters in the name. What's the tourist site? So again, well-known tourist site, millions of visitors a year, two-word name. First word is a number, and that number is the same as the total number of letters in the name. What tourist site 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 18, 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 if you pick up the phone, 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: Thanks, Lulu.
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