Initially Famous 2: Electric Boogaloo
On-Air Challenge: This week's challenge is a twist on "Characteristic Initials." We will gives clues for some famous people, past and present. The initial letters of the clues are also the initials of the answers. For example "Wrote Sonnets" would be "William Shakespeare."
Last Week's Challenge: Name a state capital. Change one of the vowels to another vowel and say the result phonetically. You will name a revered profession. What is it?
Answer: Madison and medicine
Winner: Allan Richardson of Marietta, Ga.
Next Week's Challenge From Listener Peter Persoff of Piedmont, Calif.: Think of a common three-letter word and five-letter word that together consist of eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you will have the present and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
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. Hope you've had your morning caffeine fix because it is time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: And in case you forgot last week's challenge, here's a refresher from the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Name a state capital. Change one of the vowels to another vowel and say the result phonetically. You will name a revered profession.
MARTIN: Well, more than 1,000 of you entered this week, and of those entries, our winner is Allan Richardson of Marietta, Georgia. So, Allan, what was the answer to last week's challenge?
ALLAN RICHARDSON: The answer was Madison, Wisconsin. Change the A to E and get medison, which sounds like medicine.
MARTIN: Nice job. And can I ask you how you came up with the answer? Did it take you a while?
RICHARDSON: Basically, just going through the list of state capitals in order and each one trying different combinations of vowels.
MARTIN: And what do you do in Marietta?
RICHARDSON: Well, I'm a retired computer programmer and retired DSL phone technician.
MARTIN: Well, before we continue, let's welcome the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. You know his name, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
SHORTZ: Morning, Rachel. Congratulations, Allan.
RICHARDSON: Oh, thank you.
MARTIN: So, Will, we are talking to you from Beijing, China. You've been there all this past week. What are you doing there?
SHORTZ: Well, it's the second Beijing International Sudoku Tournament. I'm the chairman of the World Puzzle Federation, which oversees the event.
MARTIN: Of course you are.
SHORTZ: So, I'm here to help out - and sightsee and have a good time.
MARTIN: Fabulous. Well, we'll glad to talk to you as always. OK, Allan, without further ado, are you ready to play the puzzle?
RICHARDSON: I'm ready.
MARTIN: All right, Will. Let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, Allan and Rachel. Today's puzzle is a twist on characteristic initials, which I did a few weeks ago. I'm going to give you clues for some famous people, past and present. The initial letters of the clues are also the initials of the answers. For example, if I said wrote sonnets, you would say William Shakespeare, because wrote sonnets has the initials W.S. and those are the initials of William Shakespeare, who wrote sonnets.
MARTIN: OK. Allan, you got it?
RICHARDSON: Oh, yes, I do.
MARTIN: All right. Let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is created Snoopy.
RICHARDSON: Oh, that would be Charles Schulz.
SHORTZ: Charles Schulz, excellent. Number two is helped beat slavery.
RICHARDSON: Helped - what was the second word?
SHORTZ: Helped beat slavery.
RICHARDSON: Oh, yes. Harriet Beecher Stowe.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Turned America electric.
RICHARDSON: Thomas Alva Edison.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Broke Watergate.
RICHARDSON: Bill Woodward, I believe it is.
SHORTZ: Woodward is right. What's his first name?
RICHARDSON: I think it's Will or Bill or Bob.
MARTIN: Bob, there you go.
SHORTZ: Bob Woodward is right. Readily wrote essays.
RICHARDSON: Let's see, readily wrote essays. Oh, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
SHORTZ: Nice job. Constructed hotels.
RICHARDSON: Oh, yes. Paris' dad - Conrad Hilton.
SHORTZ: Conrad Hilton is it.
MARTIN: Well done.
SHORTZ: Knows Republicans.
RICHARDSON: Oh yes, Karl Rove.
SHORTZ: Karl Rove, nice job. Married Schwarzenegger.
RICHARDSON: Oh, Maria Shriver.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Advised lovelorn.
RICHARDSON: Ann Landers.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Painted prolifically.
RICHARDSON: Oh, yes, Pablo Picasso.
SHORTZ: Nice. Authored classic detective.
RICHARDSON: Classic detective. Now, that's one I might have a little trouble with.
SHORTZ: No, you know this one. Authored classic detective. Who's the most classic, who's the biggest detective of fiction?
RICHARDSON: Oh, OK. Way back, OK. I was thinking the '40s, noir. That would be Doyle.
MARTIN: Arthur Conan Doyle, right?
RICHARDSON: That's right.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Supplies Christmas.
RICHARDSON: Santa Claus.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. Fashioned depression recovery.
RICHARDSON: Good old FDR.
SHORTZ: That's it. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And your last one is asks trivia.
RICHARDSON: Asks trivia. Now, that wouldn't be you. Oh, Alex Trebek.
SHORTZ: Alex Trebek, nice job.
MARTIN: Allan, just knocking it out of the park. Well done.
RICHARDSON: Well, the only hard one was the Doyle, I think.
MARTIN: Well, that was pretty much a home run, as far as I'm concerned. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and you get puzzle books and games. You can, of course, read all about it at npr.org/Puzzle. And, Allan, before we let you go, tell us which public radio station you listen to.
RICHARDSON: I listen currently to WABE in Atlanta and I just recently joined it. And before that, I was a member at WJCT in Jacksonville. And before that, at WUSF in Tampa.
MARTIN: Allan Richardson of Marietta, Georgia, thanks for playing the puzzle this week.
RICHARDSON: Thank you very much.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's our challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Peter Persoff of Piedmont, California. Think of a common three-letter word and five-letter word that together consist of eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you'll have the present and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
So again, a common three-letter word and five-letter word, together they have eight different letters of the alphabet. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of these words, and you'll have the present tense and past tense forms of the same verb. What words are these?
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 next Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.