On-air Challenge: Today's puzzle is called A++. I'm going to give you clues for two things. Say what they are. Then put the letter "A" at the start to make a word.
Example: Prohibition / Mafia chief --> ABANDON (a + ban + don)
1. Hydroelectric facility / Insect that scurries
2. Old horse / Male sheep
3. Hot dog holder / Waltz or minuet
4. Where a scientist works / Fall flower
5. Untruth / Country or land
6. Colorado ski resort / Skill
Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco. Think of a famous philosopher — first and last names. Change one letter in the first name to get a popular dish. Drop two letters from the last name and rearrange the result to get the kind of cuisine of this dish. What is it?
Challenge answer: Friedrich Nietzsche --> Fried rice, Chinese.
Winner: Tim Erskine of Chester, Va.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge from from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn. I'm looking for the names of two companies. One of them has a two-part name (5,5). The other has a three-part name (5,7,5). The last five-letter part of the two names is the same. And the first five-letter part of the first company's name is something the second company wants. What is it?
If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, March 4, 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:
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.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco. I said, think of a famous philosopher - first and last names. Change one letter in the first name to get a popular dish. Drop two letters from the last name and rearrange the result to get the kind of cuisine of this dish. What is it? And the answer is Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher. If you change the E in Friedrich to an E, you get fried rice. You drop the T and Z from Nietzsche and rearrange. You get Chinese. And of course, fried rice is a classic Chinese dish.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And we received 1,500 correct responses. And the winner is Tim Erskine of Chester, Va.
Congratulations and welcome to the program.
TIM ERSKINE: Thank you, Lulu. Hi, Will.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?
ERSKINE: Well, it actually had a lot to do with Monty Python's "Philosophers Song."
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Hit it.
ERSKINE: I started through the list and, you know, quickly eliminated the ancient Greeks because they didn't have two names. And as I got to Nietzsche, I thought, well, Friedrich - oh, fried rice.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) How long have you been playing The Puzzle?
ERSKINE: Probably about 2002 or 2003.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And what was it like when you got the call?
ERSKINE: Quite pleasing and surprising.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) You picked up on the first ring.
ERSKINE: Truth be told, I set an alarm on my phone to go off at a few minutes before 3 o'clock on every Thursday, just in case.
ERSKINE: And when the phone rang a few minutes after 3, I thought, I better answer that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Love it. You actually have an alarm.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You see, this is why I ask these questions. All right. Are you ready to play The Puzzle?
ERSKINE: No. But don't let that stop you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Tim. Today's puzzle is called A-Plus-Plus. I'm going to give you clues for two things. Say what they are. Then put the letter A at the start to make a word. For example, if I said prohibition and mafia chief, you would say abandon because prohibition is ban. A mafia chief is a don. And you put an A in front. You get abandoned.
ERSKINE: Oy. OK.
SHORTZ: OK. Number one is a hydroelectric facility and an insect that scurries. So think of a hydroelectric facility as on a river.
SHORTZ: And an insect that scurries - maybe would invade your picnic, maybe, in three letters.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's the strongest insect in the world.
SHORTZ: There you go - adamant. Number two is an old horse and a male sheep. Both are three-letter words.
ERSKINE: OK. Anagram.
SHORTZ: Anagram - nice - nag and ram. A hot dog holder and a waltz or minuet.
SHORTZ: There you go. Where a scientist works and a fall flower.
ERSKINE: Fall flower.
SHORTZ: Five letters, starts with A.
SHORTZ: There you go. An untruth and a country or land. So a three-letter untruth...
ERSKINE: Is a lie.
SHORTZ: That's it. And what's a synonym of country?
SHORTZ: There you go. Good. And here's your last one - a Colorado ski resort and skill. So that ski resort has four letters.
ERSKINE: Vail - available.
SHORTZ: Yeah, and skill. Make it in the noun form. If you have skill, you have - just make it a noun.
SHORTZ: There you go. Bravo.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Very good. This was a hard one, I thought. How do you feel?
ERSKINE: Oh. Well, I'm glad it's over.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. 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 Tim, which member station do you listen to?
ERSKINE: My wife and I are members of VPM in Richmond, Va.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Tim Erskine of Chester, Va., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
ERSKINE: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It comes from Joseph Young of St. Cloud, Minn. He runs the website Puzzleria. I'm looking for the names of two companies. One of them has a two-part name, five letters in each part. And the other has a three-part name, 5-7-5. The last five-letter part of the two names is the same. And the first five-letter part of the first company's name is something the second company wants. What is it? So again, two companies - first one is 5-5. The second is 5-7-5. The last five-letter part of the two names is the same. And the first five-letter part of the first company's name is something the second company wants. What companies are these?
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 4, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. You can set an alarm. 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 very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
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