Hit Me Baby One More Time
On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a word, phrase or name starting with the letter "B," ending in "Y" and having "A" and "B" inside, in that order, although not necessarily consecutively. For example, if I said "assistant to a baseball team," the answer would be either "batboy" or "ballboy."
Last Week's Challenge: Name something to sit on. Divide the letters of this exactly in half. Move the second half to the front, without changing the order of any letters. The result will name some things seen on computers. What are they?
Answer: "Bar stool" becomes "toolbars."
Winner: Allen Cass of Columbia, Mo.
Next Week's Challenge comes from listener Kate MacDonald of Murphys, Calif.: Think of a common French word that everyone knows. Add a "v" (as in "violin") to the beginning and an "e" at the end. The result will be the English-language equivalent of the French word. 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 Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. And here we go - ready, set, it's time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: And joining me now is Will Shortz. He is, of course, the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK. So, refresh our memories: what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. The challenge was to name something to sit on. Divide the letters of this exactly in half, move the second half to the front without changing the order of any of the letters. The result named something seen on computers. What is it? And the answer was: the thing you sit on is a barstool. Make that switch and you get toolbars.
MARTIN: OK. Very good. Well, more than 1,100 of you figured this out. And our randomly selected winner this week is Allen Cass of Columbia, Missouri. And he joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Allen.
ALLEN CASS: Thank you.
MARTIN: And, Allen, meet Will; Will, meet Allen.
CASS: Hello, Will.
SHORTZ: Hi, Allen. Way to go.
MARTIN: So, Allen, was this an easy one for you to solve? Did it take a little bit of time?
CASS: No. I thought it was pretty easy compared to most of them.
MARTIN: OK. So, how do you keep your puzzle skills sharp? Do you play a lot of other puzzles during the week to keep up for Sundays?
CASS: I do, actually, sometimes. And I was going to ask Will if he enjoys Kakuro, which is kind of similar to Sudoku, but a little different.
MARTIN: Kakuro - have you heard of that, Will?
SHORTZ: Well, I not only have heard of it, I have a book of Kakuro. I do like Kakuro. It's a Japanese puzzle. It's like cross sums in some newsstand puzzle magazines. Have to tell you - the book did not sell well.
CASS: I'll have to get it.
MARTIN: OK. So, Allen, what do you do in Columbia?
CASS: I am an anesthesiologist.
MARTIN: And I understand that you may have stepped out of an operating room to join us on the air?
CASS: I may have.
MARTIN: OK. Well, we hope your patient is understanding or maybe even a puzzler. Allen, are you ready to play the puzzle?
CASS: I believe so.
MARTIN: OK. Let's do it. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: Yes. Today's puzzle is in honor of Rachel, who is about to go on maternity leave. Has this been announced?
MARTIN: I think you just announced it, Will. Yes, that's correct. I'm going to be taking some time off. My husband and I are expecting a baby in the next few days. So, I'll be gone for a little while.
SHORTZ: Well, good luck on that.
MARTIN: Thank you.
SHORTZ: And meanwhile, every answer is a word, phrase or name starting with the letter B, ending in Y and having an A-B inside in that order, although not necessarily consecutively. For example, if I said: assistant to a baseball team, you might say bat boy or ball boy, each of which has the letters B-A-B-Y in order.
MARTIN: OK. Do you have this, Allen?
CASS: I think I do.
MARTIN: All right. Let's give it a try together.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one: late science fiction author Ray.
SHORTZ: That's right. Number two: North Africa's blank coast.
SHORTZ: Good. All right. Try this: iPhone competitor.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Herman Melville's story: blank the Scrivener.
MARTIN: Oh, man.
CASS: I'm not sure.
MARTIN: Bartleby, is it Bartleby?
SHORTZ: Oh, good going, Rachel. Bartleby, very good. I am impressed.
MARTIN: I don't know where I pulled that one from.
SHORTZ: Where ships arrive in Sydney, Australia. This is a two-word answer now.
CASS: Botany Bay.
SHORTZ: Botany Bay, good. In fact, all the answers from now on are two words. An attractive woman in a swimsuit at the shore.
CASS: Bathing beauty.
SHORTZ: That's it. Any of the singers of "California Girls."
CASS: Beach Boys.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Beach boy, right. Classic song by The Who with the lyric it's only teenage wasteland.
CASS: I'm not sure.
MARTIN: Oh, man. All my friends who are Who fans are going to be really disappointed in me.
SHORTZ: I'll tell you. It's Baba O'Reilly.
MARTIN: Oh, of course.
CASS: I did not know that.
MARTIN: I didn't either.
SHORTZ: Let's try this: Interstate 695 in central Maryland.
CASS: Central Maryland. Never been there.
SHORTZ: OK. I think you can figure it out though. What's a big city in central Maryland?
SHORTZ: There's your B-A and now you need the highway that goes around. And there's one in D.C. as well.
SHORTZ: There you go. The Baltimore Beltway is right. All right. A crime that might involve giving a note to a teller.
CASS: Bank robbery.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Anna Sewell novel about a horse.
CASS: "Black Beauty."
SHORTZ: "Black Beauty" is it, good. Lead actress in TV's "Leave It to Beaver."
CASS: Barbara Billingsley.
SHORTZ: Good. And your last one - it's a three-word answer: at some eventual time.
CASS: By and by.
SHORTZ: By and by, nice job.
MARTIN: By and by, which is when I will have this baby - by and by. Great job, Allen. And for playing our puzzle today, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.
And, Allen, before we let you go and you can get back to the operating room, tell us your Public Radio station.
MARTIN: KBIA in Columbia, Missouri. Allen Cass, thanks so much for playing the puzzle this week.
CASS: Thank you very much.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what do you have to puzzle us with for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, this week's challenge comes from listener Kate MacDonald of Murphys, California, and it's a little tricky. Think of a common French word that everyone knows. Add a V, as in violin, to the beginning and an E at the end. The result will be the English-language equivalent of the French word. What is it?
So again, a common French word, everyone knows it. Add a V to the beginning and an E at the end. The result will be the English-language equivalent of the French word. What word is it?
MARTIN: OK, 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. And our deadline for entries is Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please 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.
Will Shortz, thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Hurry back soon.
MARTIN: I'll be back in a few months. Take care. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.