Put Two Up Front For Two New Words

Aug 4, 2012
Originally published on August 11, 2012 4:26 pm

On-air challenge: You are given two five-letter words. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of them to complete two familiar seven-letter words. The letters that go in front will never be a standard prefix, like "re-." For example, given "quire" and "tress," the answer would be "ac" to make "acquire" and "actress."

Last week's challenge, from listener Richard Whittington of Media, Pa.: Think of the last name of a famous person in entertainment. The first two letters of this name are a symbol for one of the elements on the periodic table. Substitute the name of that element for the two letters, and you will describe the chief element of this person's work. What is it?

Answer: Tina Fey, irony

Winner: Eric Running of Seattle

Next week's challenge, from listener Annie Haggenmiller of Chimacum, Wa.: Take the name of a well-known U.S. city with four syllables. The first and last syllables together name a musical instrument, and the two interior syllables name a religious official. What city is it?

Submit Your Answer

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.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer. And it is time for the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: Joining me now is puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: So, Will, could you remind us of last week's puzzle challenge.

SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Richard Whittington of Media, Pennsylvania. I said think of the last name of a famous person in entertainment. The first two letters of this name are a symbol for one of the elements on the periodic table. I said substitute the name of this element for the two letters, and you'll describe the chief element of this person's work. What is it?

WERTHEIMER: The answer is Tina Fey.

SHORTZ: Yes. And the first two letters of Fey are F-E, which is a symbol for iron. And irony is a chief element of her work.

WERTHEIMER: More than 700 listeners sent in the correct answer, and our winner this week is Eric Running of Seattle, Washington. Congratulations, Eric.

ERIC RUNNING: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: So, what do you do in Seattle?

RUNNING: Well, I'm a retired Foreign Service officer, and I moved back her and I'm sort of a stay-at-home dad and do some volunteer work.

WERTHEIMER: Did you have a favorite place that you served when you were on the Foreign Service?

RUNNING: Well, we really enjoyed Bangkok. We did a couple of assignments there.

WERTHEIMER: Bangkok, good food?

RUNNING: Good food.

(LAUGHTER)

WERTHEIMER: Will, have you been watching the Olympics?

SHORTZ: Yes, I have been quite a bit. You know, there's, you know, basketball, water polo, cycling, table tennis, of course. I had this idea this week there was something I wanted to watch. And I thought, OK, I'll bring some work down and I'll watch the TV out of the corner of my eye. But that doesn't work out so well. You know, you just end up watching TV.

WERTHEIMER: You just get totally sucked in.

SHORTZ: That's it.

WERTHEIMER: Well, now, Will, meet Eric; Eric, meet Will.

SHORTZ: Morning, Eric.

RUNNING: Morning, Will.

SHORTZ: I'm going to give you two five-letter words. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of them to completely two familiar seven-letter words. And the letters that go in the front will never be a standard prefix, like R-E. For example, if I said quire Q-U-I-R-E and tress T-R-E-S-S, you would say A-C, as in acquire and actress.

WERTHEIMER: Oh.

SHORTZ: OK? It's always two letters.

WERTHEIMER: Oh no. OK.

SHORTZ: Two letters that go in front. Here's number one: eight E-I-G-H-T and antic A-N-T-I-C.

RUNNING: Freight and frantic.

SHORTZ: Freight and frantic, good. Ounce O-U-N-C-E and avail A-V-A-I-L.

RUNNING: Trounce and travail.

SHORTZ: Trounce and travail, nice job.

WERTHEIMER: Oh, you're so much better at this than I am. I hate that.

SHORTZ: Linda, you're good too. Try this one: hoots H-O-O-T-S and price P-R-I-C-E.

RUNNING: Cahoots and caprice.

SHORTZ: Cahoots and caprice, good.

WERTHEIMER: Very good.

SHORTZ: Latin L-A-T-I-N and state S-T-A-T-E.

RUNNING: Gelatin and gestate.

SHORTZ: Gelatin and gestate, nice. Heist H-E-I-S-T and tempt T-E-M-P-T.

RUNNING: Atheist and attempt.

WERTHEIMER: Atheist.

SHORTZ: Atheist and attempt. OK. Try this: event E-V-E-N-T and orate O-R-A-T-E. OK. I'll give you a hint: it's two consonants that go in front.

RUNNING: Two consonants?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Sounds like I stumped you both. I'll just tell you the answer: is prevent and prorate.

RUNNING: Oh, OK.

SHORTZ: How about stain S-T-A-I-N and alone A-L-O-N-E.

RUNNING: Abstain and abalone.

SHORTZ: That's it. Nice job. How about this one: verge V-E-R-G-E and sable S-A-B-L-E.

WERTHEIMER: I am clueless, clueless.

SHORTZ: OK. For that first word, think of a synonym for split.

WERTHEIMER: Diverge.

RUNNING: Oh, disable.

SHORTZ: Disable, good job.

WERTHEIMER: Well, I only needed 14 hints.

SHORTZ: Here's your last one. Amble A-M-B-L-E and other O-T-H-E-R. And I'll give you a hint: it's two consonants.

RUNNING: Bramble and brother.

SHORTZ: Bramble and brother, nice job.

WERTHEIMER: Great job, Eric.

RUNNING: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/Puzzle. Eric, what public radio station do you listen to?

RUNNING: Well, we're members of both KPLU and KUOW here in Seattle.

WERTHEIMER: So, an embarrassment of riches in Seattle - two really fine stations. That's great. Eric Running of Seattle, Washington, thank you very much for playing the puzzle this week.

RUNNING: Thank you.

WERTHEIMER: Now, Will, what do you have to puzzle us with next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, this week's challenge comes from listener Annie Haggenmiller of Chimacum, Washington. Take the name of a well-known U.S. city in four syllables. The first and last syllables together name a musical instrument, and the two interior syllables name a religious official. What city is it?

So again, a well-known U.S. city, four syllables. The first and last syllables together name a musical instrument, and the two inside syllables name a religious official. What city is it?

WERTHEIMER: 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. The deadline for entries is Thursday at 3 P.M. Eastern. 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 will 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 very much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Linda.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.