A's On Either End
On-air challenge: Every answer is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. You'll be given an anagram of the letters between the A's. For example, given "ern," you would say, "arena."
Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?
Answer: Dream; Daymare
Winner: Susan Lynn of Portland, Ore.
Next week's challenge: Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words. Then say them out loud. The result phonetically will name something to wear. 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 if the weather this past week put your brain in a deep freeze, have another cup of coffee to get the defrost going because it's time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's the puzzle editor of the New York Times and he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK. Let's just get right to it. Will, what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. I asked you to name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, something nice to have. And I said to add the letters A and Y and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. And the answer is a seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it? Well, the five letter thing is a dream - nice thing to have. Add an A-Y, do that reshuffle, and you get a daymare, which is like a wakeful dream, which is - and it's like a nightmare during the day. Not a nice thing.
MARTIN: I had never heard of a daymare, but makes sense. Sounds terrifying. So, we got over 200 correct answers this week. Our randomly selected winner is Susan Lynn of Portland, Oregon. She joins us on the line now. Congratulations, Susan.
SUSAN LYNN: Thank you.
MARTIN: Have you ever had a daymare, Susan?
LYNN: I don't think so.
MARTIN: But you still managed to figure this one out.
LYNN: Yes. I got it from dream but I don't think I would have come up with the word daymare.
MARTIN: And what do you do in Portland?
LYNN: I'm a pastry chef.
MARTIN: Ooh, delicious. So, do you have a specialty?
LYNN: I like making pies probably the best. But pretty much anything. I love making creme brulees and cream puffs.
MARTIN: Oh man. Sounds dangerous. What is the key to a good pie crust, Susan?
LYNN: You need to chill the ingredients.
MARTIN: All the ingredients, OK.
LYNN: I do it in a mixer, like, with a paddle. It's better not to use your hands.
MARTIN: That's where I think I'm going wrong. So, are you ready to play the puzzle, Susan?
LYNN: I'm ready.
MARTIN: All right. Let's do it, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Susan. You're making me hungry. Every answer today is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. I'll give you an anagram of the letters between the A's. You tell me the words. For example, if I said ern E-R-N, you would say arena.
SHORTZ: Starts and ends in A. Number one is rot R-O-T.
SHORTZ: That's right. Number one is pen P-E-N.
SHORTZ: Apnea, good. Clap C-L-A-P.
SHORTZ: That's it. Dram D-R-A-M.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Laze L-A-Z-E.
SHORTZ: Good. Mine M-I-N-E.
SHORTZ: Good. Deng D-E-N-G, as in Deng Xiaoping.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Ice dam I-C-E D-A-M.
LYNN: I-C-E D-A-M.
SHORTZ: Academia, good. In sheets I-N S-H-E-E-T-S, like the rain comes down in sheets.
LYNN: Let's see.
MARTIN: They're getting harder.
SHORTZ: Suddenly they get longer, yeah.
SHORTZ: Anesthesia, I'm impressed.
MARTIN: Susan, good one.
SHORTZ: Now, your final three answers are all geographical names. And your first one of these is crime C-R-I-M-E.
SHORTZ: Good. Renting R-E-N-T-I-N-G.
SHORTZ: That's it. And your last one is rituals R-I-T-U-A-L-S.
SHORTZ: Australia. Susan, that was so fast.
MARTIN: I mean, that was amazing. Are you a word person? Do you do this a lot?
LYNN: I do the New York Times crossword every day and I love puzzles.
MARTIN: Wow. That was well played.
LYNN: This is a dream come true for me.
MARTIN: Well, you exceeded all of our expectations - not that they were low to begin with, but you just did great. Congratulations.
LYNN: Thank you.
MARTIN: And for playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, what is your public radio station, Susan?
LYNN: KOPB in Portland, Oregon.
MARTIN: OPB. Susan Lynn of Portland, Oregon. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Susan.
LYNN: Thank you.
MARTIN: All right, Will. What's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words then say them out loud and the result phonetically will name something to wear. What is it?
So, again. A familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words, say them out loud, the result phonetically will name something to wear. What is it?
MARTIN: You know what to do. When you've the answer, go to our website. It is, of course, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Limit yourself to one entry per person, please. And don't forget, our deadline for entries is Thursday, this week, January 16th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.
Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. Because if you're the winner, we will give you a call, and then 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.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.