On-air challenge: Given a five-letter word, insert two new letters between the second and third letters of the given word to complete a common seven-letter word. For example: Amble - Am(ia)ble.
Last week's challenge: This three-part challenge comes from listener Lou Gottlieb. If you punch 0-1-4-0 into a calculator, and turn it upside-down, you get the state OHIO. What numbers can you punch in a calculator, and turn upside-down, to get a state capital, a country and a country's capital?
Answer: Boise (35108), Belize (321738), Oslo (0750)
Winner: Margaret Bayer of Lawrence, Kan.
Next week's challenge: Name a famous actor best known for tough-guy roles. The first five letters of his first name and the first four letters of his last name are the first five and four letters, respectively, in the first and last names of a famous author. Who is the actor, and who is the author?
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.
WADE GOODWYN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Wade Goodwyn. Erno Rubik, the Hungarian inventor of the Rubik's Cube has been quoted saying our whole life is solving puzzles. If that's true, then our lives have come down to this. I guess it's puzzle time.
Here now is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Wade.
GOODWYN: Please remind us, what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It was a three-parter, and it came from listener Lou Gottlieb. I said if you punched 0140 into a calculator and turn it upside down, you get the state Ohio. And I asked what numbers can you punch in a calculator and turn upside down to get a state capitol, a country and a country's capital.
GOODWYN: Wait a minute while I went run out to the tardis and travel back to 1976. I used to spell my first girlfriend's name out on my calculator - 317537. Leslie upside down.
GOODWYN: Those were the days. OK, Will, what's the answer.
SHORTZ: The answer is Boise, Idaho, which is 35108; Belize 321738; and Oslo 0750. And in case you're having trouble putting a zero at the start, if you put a decimal point first, the calculator will let you do a zero next.
GOODWYN: We received about 1,080 entries. And Margaret Bayer from Lawrence, Kansas sent in the correct answer. Hello, Margaret.
MARGARET BAYER: Hello.
GOODWYN: So did you have to bust out the old Texas Instruments to solve this puzzle?
BAYER: Yeah, my new calculators don't have digits that look that way. But I sort of did it from memory and wrote down the letters that corresponded to digits on old calculators.
GOODWYN: What do you do for a living, may I ask?
BAYER: I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Kansas.
GOODWYN: Well, that doesn't seem fair. No wonder you got this one. How long have you been teaching math?
BAYER: About 30 years.
GOODWYN: So you've lived in Kansas. What's it like in Lawrence?
BAYER: It's very pleasant. Unlike most people's images of Kansas, we have rolling hills. And except for the terrible heat in the summer, it's very nice.
GOODWYN: Kansas is not so bad. All right, I think we're warmed up for the game. Are we ready to play?
BAYER: I guess so.
GOODWYN: All right. Will, all yours.
SHORTZ: All right, Margaret and Wade. I'm going to give you some five-letter words. Insert two letters between the second and third letters of my word to complete a common seven-letter word. For example, if I said amble - A-M-B-L-E, you would say amiable because you would put an I-A between the M and B.
SHORTZ: Number one, is anime - A-N-I-M-E. And you want to put two letters between the M and the I.
SHORTZ: Oh, man. And it's a pretty one, but kind of hard I guess. I'll tell you it's a Y that goes after the N.
BAYER: Oh, anytime.
SHORTZ: Anytime is it. OK, now you're off and running. Number two is bride - B-R-I-D-E.
BAYER: B-R-I-D-E. Bromide.
SHORTZ: Bromide. Excellent. Camel - C-A-M-E-L.
SHORTZ: Caramel. That's right. Exude - E-X-U-D-E.
BAYER: Is this a word - extrude?
SHORTZ: Extrude. You got it. Fiery - F-I-E-R-Y. It's two consonants that go in there.
BAYER: Yeah. I can think of one consonant. Let's see.
SHORTZ: Yeah. I bet you're thinking of finery.
GOODWYN: You want two consonants.
BAYER: Wade, can you help me out here?
GOODWYN: Not really.
SHORTZ: Wade's thinking too. OK, I'll give you a hint. It's someplace where you might get seafood.
BAYER: Oh, fishery.
SHORTZ: Fishery is it. How about local - L-O-C-A-L. And this is like your mind, an adjective for your mind.
BAYER: Oh, logical.
SHORTZ: Logical is it. Manta - M-A-N-T-A.
SHORTZ: That's it. Reign - R-E-I-G-N.
SHORTZ: Oh, nice. Toast - T-O-A-S-T. This is another one of those nasty ones with two consonants. And it's a compound word.
BAYER: Yeah. I was thinking the last part might be cast.
GOODWYN: How about top mast?
SHORTZ: Top mast is it. Good.
BAYER: Top mast.
SHORTZ: And here's your last one, trial - T-R-I-A-L.
SHORTZ: Trivial. Margaret, I knew you would be good with your math background.
GOODWYN: How about that, Margaret, once you got going, you did a great job.
BAYER: I don't know. I needed a lot of hints.
GOODWYN: Well, for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. Find out more about these prizes that npr.org/puzzle. Margaret, what public radio station do you listen to?
BAYER: I listen to KANU, part of Kansas Public Radio.
GOODWYN: Well done. Margaret Bayer of Lawrence, Kansas, thank you for playing the puzzle with us.
BAYER: Thank you.
GOODWYN: OK, will. What's the new challenge you have for us?
SHORTZ: Yes. Name a famous actor best known for tough-guy roles. The first five letters of his first name and the first four letters of his last name are the first five and four letters respectively in the first and last names of a famous author. Who's the actor, and who's the author? So again, a famous actor best known for tough-guy roles the first five letters of his first name and the first four letters of his last name are the first five and four letters respectively in the first and last names of a famous offer. Who is the actor, and who is the author?
GOODWYN: 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, September 25 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at that time. 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. Thanks, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Wade. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.