If You Cut In The Middle, Go To The End Of The Line
On-air challenge: Two clues will be given for two five-letter answers. Move the middle letter of the first answer to the end of the word to get the second answer. Example: A weapon that's thrown; a tire in the trunk. Answer: spear/spare
Last week's challenge: The challenge came from Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass., the father of the 11-year-old boy who created a previous challenge. Name a boy's name and a girl's name, each in four letters. The names start with the same letter of the alphabet. The boy's name contains the letter R. Drop that R from the boy's name and insert it into the girl's name. Phonetically, the result will be a familiar two-word phrase for something no one wants to have. What is it?
Answer: Brad, Beth/bad breath
Winner: Matthew Leal of San Francisco, Calif.
Next week's challenge: Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has 5 letters. Move the middle letter to the end to name another famous actress of the past. Who are these actresses?
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.
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News - I'm Linda Wertheimer. For soccer fans who are still recovering from the US of A's loss at the World Cup, we have another game for you. No penalty kicks - no red or yellow cards and no biting. It's time for the puzzle. Joining me now is referee Will Shortz. He is of course the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: So Will, could you refresh our memories about the challenge from last week?
SHORTZ: Yes. It was created by listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. I said the challenge is to think of a boys' name and a girls' name, each in four letters. The names start with the same letter of the alphabet and the boys name contains the letter R. I said to drop that R from the boy's name and insert it into the girl's name. And phonetically, the result will be a familiar two-word phrase for something no one wants to have. What is it? Well, the names were Brad and Beth. And if you move the R from Brad into to the middle of Beth, you get bad breath.
WERTHEIMER: Phonetically you do - spelling you don't (laughing)
SHORTZ: Phonetically, no.
WERTHEIMER: Still very clever. So more than 1,500 of you figured it out. Our randomly selected winner this week is Matthew Leal of San Francisco, California. He joins us on the line now. Congratulations Matthew.
MATTHEW LEAL: Thanks very much.
WERTHEIMER: So do you know anybody named Brad or Beth with bad breath? Or did the names just come to you?
LEAL: Well, I just started from the top of the alphabet. And I started with Bart - and then I got bat. And then...
LEAL: ...That led me to bad and then - there you go.
WERTHEIMER: I see, OK. Tell us what you do in San Francisco.
LEAL: I work on mobile apps. So mostly mobile gaming.
WERTHEIMER: So I would imagine that puzzles are just a walk in the park for you.
LEAL: It's a hobby.
LEAL: I enjoy it very much.
WERTHEIMER: So Matthew, are you ready to play the puzzle?
LEAL: I am.
WERTHEIMER: OK, Will, let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, Matthew and Linda, I'm going to give you clues for two five-letter words. Move the middle letter of the first word to the end to get the second word. For example, if I said a weapon that's thrown and a tire in the trunk, you would say spear and spare. S-P-E-A-R and move the E to the end, you get spare, the second word. You all set?
WERTHEIMER: I don't know.
LEAL: I am.
WERTHEIMER: Here we go.
SHORTZ: Here we go, number one is start. And your second clue is any living creature. So what's a five-letter word meaning start?
SHORTZ: That's it. And move the G to the end, and what do you get?
SHORTZ: Being - that's it.
WERTHEIMER: I got that one, and that will probably be last one I do get.
SHORTZ: (Laughing) All right, number two - you're on a roll now. Bringer of presents at Christmas and your second one is the devil.
LEAL: Santa and Satan.
SHORTZ: That's it. Handed out as cards and an area around the mouth of a river.
LEAL: Dealt and Delta.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Discovered and melted in French cooking.
LEAL: Found an fondu.
WERTHEIMER: That's a very good one.
SHORTZ: Thank you. To change and to warn.
LEAL: Alter and alert.
SHORTZ: There you go. A series of links and where Shanghai is.
LEAL: Chain and China.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Wash cycle after wash and up and about.
LEAL: Rinse and risen.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. A monthly bill, something you pay by the month typically and a spy in the Bible. And let's go back, if you're a TV watcher, what do you pay every month for? And it shows HBO and Showtime.
LEAL: Cable and Caleb.
SHORTZ: That's it. Astrological sign after Leo and were second word is strength.
LEAL: So Virgo and vigor?
SHORTZ: And vigor is good. And your last one is a fur wrap. And the second one is an early Italian Pope. He's the first to be called the great. So what's the first.
LEAL: A fur wrap.
SHORTZ: A fur wrap - like a woman would drape around her shoulders.
LEAL: A Shawl?
WERTHEIMER: Close. Close.
LEAL: A stole?
SHORTZ: That's it. And now move the O to the end...
LEAL: Saint Leo.
SHORTZ: Saint Leo is it.
WERTHEIMER: Matthew, that was a great job. And I'm impressed with your - with your general knowledge that gets you to Caleb and some other places that I was struggling with.
LEAL: You just turn off your brain. You turn off your brain and you just let it flow, I think.
SHORTZ: That's it.
LEAL: I think that's the best way to do it.
WERTHEIMER: So for playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and some puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Matthew, tell us your public radio station.
LEAL: I listen to KQED here in San Francisco. And I just want to give a shout out to KPCC in Los Angeles where I used to live. I miss those guys.
WERTHEIMER: Matthew Leal of San Francisco, California, thank you for playing the puzzle this week.
LEAL: It was so much fun.
WERTHEIMER: Will, what do you have to puzzle us with next week?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's a spinoff of the on-air puzzle - name a famous actress of the past who's last name has five letters. Move the middle letter to the end to name another famous actress of the past. Who are these actresses? So again, famous actress of the past. Name has five letters - move the middle letter to the end and you'll name another famous past actress. What famous actresses are these?
WERTHEIMER: 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. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, July 10th at three p.m. Eastern. Please include a telephone number where you 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Thank you, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Linda. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.