On-air challenge: Every answer this week is a made-up two-word phrase, in which both words start with 'S' and they're anagrams of each other.
Example: Identical line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together = SAME SEAM
Last week's challenge: Name a world leader of the 1960s (two words). Change the last letter of the second word. Then switch the order of the words, putting the second word in front. The result will name a hit song of the 1990s. Who is the leader, and what is the song?
Answer: U Thant (third Secretary-General of the United Nations), "Thank U" (by Alanis Morissette)
Winner: David Henner of Las Cruces, N.M.
Next week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Peter Gwinn, a former writer for The Colbert Report. Think of a word that means "to come before." Replace its last letter with two new letters to get "someone who comes after you." These two words are unrelated etymologically. What words are they?
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. And gather round your radio everybody. It's time for the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times, and he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: So, Will, could you refresh our memories about last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Jason Zuffranieri. I said name a world leader of the 1960s - two words. Change the last letter of the second word, then switch the order of the words. And the results will name a hit song of the 1990s. Who's the leader, and what's the song? And the answer was U Thant. That's the letter U and then T-H-A-N-T. He was the third secretary general of the United Nations. If you change the last T to a K and reverse the order, you get the oddly spelled "Thank U," which is a hit by Alanis Morissette.
WERTHEIMER: Now this was a very tough puzzle I think. We got about 400 correct answers this week, as opposed to more than a thousand last week. And our randomly chosen winner is David Henner of Las Cruces, New Mexico, my home state. Congratulations, David.
DAVID HENNER: Thank you.
WERTHEIMER: So how did you figure out the answer?
HENNER: Well, it didn't come to me right away. I went through all the leaders I could think of. But I couldn't think of many songs that derived from Kennedy, Johnson or Nixon.
HENNER: And so I refreshed my '60s history and came across U Thant, upon seeing that the Morrissette song immediately came forward. I have it on my iPod.
WERTHEIMER: Oh, my gosh. Well, that is impressive. How long have you been playing the puzzle, David?
HENNER: Well, my wife and I have been puzzle addicts, the Sunday puzzle, for probably about 25 years now. We were sending in postcards at one time.
WERTHEIMER: (Laughter) Tell us what you like about Las Cruces.
HENNER: Las Cruces is a very friendly town, great people, great weather and amazing green chili.
WERTHEIMER: I was just going to say amazing green chili. So, David, are you ready to try your hand at playing the puzzle?
HENNER: Yes, I am. Let's go for it, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: OK, Will?
SHORTZ: All right. David and Linda, every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase in which both words start with S and they're anagrams of each other. For example, if I said, an identical line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together, you would say same seam.
WERTHEIMER: Oh, boy.
SHORTZ: OK. They both start with S. Here's number one. A wise man playing video games from a Nintendo rival.
HENNER: A Sega sage?
SHORTZ: Sega sage is right. Number two, an event in which a performing circus animal is marked down in price.
HENNER: A seal sale.
SHORTZ: A seal sale. A healing ointment for a person in bondage.
HENNER: A slave salve.
SHORTZ: Slave salve, yes good. A dirty mark on a shiny piece of fabric.
HENNER: A satin stain.
SHORTZ: Yeah. A Spanish gentleman's sleep sounds.
WERTHEIMER: This is the first one that I've gotten.
HENNER: Senor snores.
WERTHEIMER: There you go.
SHORTZ: Senor snores is right. An Angel that could accompany you up Mount Everest.
HENNER: Help me, Linda.
WERTHEIMER: I can't.
SHORTZ: She had the Sherpa part.
HENNER: It's a Sherpa seraph.
WERTHEIMER: Oh, gosh as in seraphim.
SHORTZ: As in seraphim. Good. All right, golfer Sam's hard top cars.
HENNER: Snead's sedans.
SHORTZ: Nice. An attempt by an Iroquois tribe to communicate with the dead.
HENNER: Well, I think it's a seance.
SHORTZ: Yes. And that Iroquois tribe?
HENNER: Is the...
SHORTZ: That's it. Linda knew it. Seneca seance is it. How about a conspicuous soda cracker?
HENNER: A salient saltine.
SHORTZ: Nice. I'm impressed. And here is your last one. A fish packed tightly in a can that has more beach grit on it.
HENNER: A sandier sardine.
SHORTZ: Oh, good job.
WERTHEIMER: That is a very good job, David. And for playing our puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about that at npr.org/puzzle. So, David, tell me the name of your public radio station.
HENNER: I'm a member of KRWG in Las Cruces. And I occasionally listen to KTEP in El Paso.
WERTHEIMER: David Henner of Las Cruces, New Mexico, thank you very much for playing the puzzle.
HENNER: Thank you for having me.
WERTHEIMER: Now, Will, what have you got for us - the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Peter Gwinn, who's a former writer for "The Colbert Report." Think of a word that means to come before, replace its last letter with two new letters to get someone who comes after you. And these two words are unrelated etymologically. What words are they? So again, a word that means to come before, replace its last letter with two new letters, and you'll get someone who comes after you. What words are they?
WERTHEIMER: And when you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle. Click on the submit your answer link. Just one entry per-person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday September 4 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a telephone 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 puzzle master, Will Shortz. Will, thank you very much.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Linda. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.