On-air challenge: Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the first word has seven letters. Drop its first and last letters to get a five-letter word that is the second part of the phrase. For example: Bottled water from France that is not normal is "deviant Evian."
Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Henry Hook. And it was a little tricky. Given a standard calculator with room for 10 digits, what is the largest whole number you can register on it?
Answer: If you key in 709,009 and turn the calculator upside down, it will read "GOOGOL."
Winner: Kim Page of North Kingstown, R.I.
Next week's challenge: Name something that might be worn on the foot. Change one letter in it without changing the order of the other letters. The result will name something one might wear on the upper part of the body. What is it? Here's a hint: The thing on the upper part of the body is a two-word phrase.
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.
(SOUNDBITE OF "MAD MEN" THEME SONG)
MARTIN: The deceit, the deals, the daytime drinking and the drama. Yes, it's time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: We kid, of course. I was talking about "Mad Men," which begins at swansong tonight on AMC. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will. Do you watch "Mad Men"? You a big fan?
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel. I don't. The only TV I make time for is "The Daily Show." I watch that every night. How about you?
MARTIN: Yeah. I have been obsessed with this show. I have been watching "Mad Men" longer than I have known my husband so a lot has transpired in these many seasons. So it's within added sense of poignancy that I anticipate the final season. And before we talk about last week's challenge, we have a correction from last week's puzzle to make, right?
SHORTZ: Yeah. The category was insect, and I mentioned that ticks and centipedes are insects. Actually, they're not. The category should've been insects and bugs.
MARTIN: OK. So what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It was kind of tricky. It came from listener Henry Hook. I said you have a standard calculator with room for 10 digits. What is the largest number you can register on it? Well, the answer is if you key in 709,009 - that's 709009 - and turn the calculator upside down, you get Google - G-O-O-G-L-E. We also accepted answers like 999 Google and things like that were actually higher.
MARTIN: OK, so this was a hard one. We got just over 200 correct answers. Our randomly selected winner is Kim Page of North Kingstown, R.I. She's on the line now. Hey, Kim, congratulations.
KIM PAGE: Oh, thank you. I was pretty excited when I got the call.
MARTIN: Well, we're excited to have you. So did this come pretty easily to you?
PAGE: No, not really. So I normally work on the puzzle when I'm at church, I'll admit.
MARTIN: Kim. (Laughter).
PAGE: But this week, I was the reader at church so I couldn't sit up in front of the congregation and work on it.
MARTIN: No you could not.
PAGE: I was working on something with scientific notation, and finally on Wednesday night, my husband said to me, have you gotten the puzzle yet? And I said no. And I said, but I don't think it has to do with scientific notation. And I said it might be a word. And so I started throwing out words like trillion, zillion. And I said oh, it's Google.
MARTIN: Oh, well done. And Will Shortz is on the line. Do you happen to have a question for him, Kim?
PAGE: Will, I was wondering if you've ever thought about doing any sort of an on-air challenge for people to challenge you, kind of like the stump Will Shortz segment.
SHORTZ: Yeah, that's kind of scary actually.
SHORTZ: It's happened a couple of times. Sure, I'm up for it.
MARTIN: That's what this question is supposed to be. You get your chance to stump Will Shortz. So with that, Kim, are you ready to do this? You ready to play the puzzle?
PAGE: Yeah, I guess I am.
MARTIN: OK. Let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, Kim and Rachel, every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase in which the first word has seven letters. Drop the first and last letters, and you'll get a five-letter word that is the second part of the phrase. For example, if I said bottled water from France that is not normal, you would say deviant Evian.
MARTIN: All right.
SHORTZ: Yes. Number one is opposed to profits. Opposed to profits.
PAGE: Opposed to profits. So against a gain.
SHORTZ: Against gains is correct. Here's the next one - catch sight of slight hobbles. Catch sight of slight hobbles.
PAGE: Catch sight of - glimpse limps.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: Former Alaska governor with a milky white hue.
PAGE: So Palin. Let me see.
SHORTZ: There's a vowel that goes in front of that P.
SHORTZ: Opaline or opaline Palin is correct. Narrow walkway covered with a colorful, curvy shirt pattern. What's a narrow walkway in five letters?
PAGE: So a paisley - paisley.
PAGE: Paisley aisle.
SHORTZ: Paisley aisle is it.
SHORTZ: And in the last example, the five-letter word comes first. And your clue is a great deal of wreckage from a ship.
PAGE: Wreckage from a ship. So sunk.
SHORTZ: Oh, no. And theirs stuff in the water, and there's a ship that was wrecked.
PAGE: Oh, debris.
SHORTZ: There's a specific word for all that stuff after a shipwreck that's found floating in the water. What do you call that stuff?
PAGE: Oh, flotsam.
SHORTZ: And now you need the five-letter word inside that.
PAGE: Oh, OK.
SHORTZ: A great deal of wreckage from a ship.
PAGE: Oh a lot or lot flotsam - or, yeah, you know what I mean.
MARTIN: Yeah, let's give it to her. Lots.
SHORTZ: Lotsa - it's actually lotsa flotsam.
MARTIN: Oh, lotsa.
SHORTZ: Lotsa flotsam.
MARTIN: Oh, Will. I mean that was hard.
SHORTZ: That was tough.
MARTIN: Kim, that was really good.
PAGE: Oh, thank you.
MARTIN: For playing the puzzle today, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can read all about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Kim, where do you hear us?
PAGE: I hear you on WRNI, and then sometimes I hear you on WGBH.
MARTIN: Great. Kim Page of North Kingstown, R.I. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Kim. It was fun.
PAGE: Thank you. This was a lot of fun. I really appreciate it.
MARTIN: All right, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, name something that might be worn on the foot. Change one letter in it without changing the order of the other letters, and the result will name something you might wear on the upper part of the body. What is it? And here's a hint - the thing on the upper part of the body is a two-word phrase. So again, something worn on of the foot, change one letter, the result will name something you wear on the upper part of the body in two words. What things are these?
MARTIN: You know what to do. When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle. Click on that submit your answer link. Just one entry per person, please. Get those entries in by Thursday, April 9 at 3 p.m. eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And 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 he is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will shorts. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.