On-air challenge: You are given two words starting with M-A. The answer is a third word that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.
Last week's challenge: Name a famous performer whose last name has six letters. Move the first three letters to the end — without otherwise changing the order of the letters — and add one more letter at the end. The result, in seven letters, will name a place where this person famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place?
Answer: Maria Callas, La Scala
Winner: Dena Sanford, Harrison, Neb.
Next week's challenge from listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, N.J.:
Name a famous American man, first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T to H. The result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who 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. Put down your eggs benedict and Mother's Day mimosa because it is time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)
MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Morning, Rachel. Happy Mother's Day.
MARTIN: Thank you very much.
SHORTZ: And how's that Mother's Day mimosa going?
MARTIN: Yeah, right. I wish. Later, after the show, my Mother's Day mimosa. So, refresh our memories, Will. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. I asked you to name a famous performer whose last name has six letters. Move the first three letters to the end without otherwise changing the order of the letters, and add one more letter at the end. The result, in seven letters, will name a place where this person famously performed. Who is it, and what's the place? Well, the person was Callas, as in Maria Callas. And you do that operation and you get La Scala.
MARTIN: OK. About 680 listeners had it right this week. And our randomly selected winner is Dena Sanford of Harrison, Nebraska. She is on the line now. Hi, Dena.
DENA SANFORD: Hi, there.
SANFORD: Thank you.
MARTIN: So, are you a big opera fan? How did you figure this out?
SANFORD: I never listen to opera.
MARTIN: How did this come to you? Just by chance?
SANFORD: Oh, utterly, yes. My husband actually caught onto the second part of the clue and he said it's got to be opera. And so then we thought La Scala and then the name just popped into my head. So, those are about the only two names I know of opera.
MARTIN: All right. Well, shout-out to Dena's husband for helping. Have you been playing the puzzle a long time?
SANFORD: We've been listening on the radio for 10 years and only really just recently started submitting answers.
MARTIN: All right. Well, all those people who've been playing for years and years will be a little envious of you, but...
SANFORD: I'm sorry.
MARTIN: ...that's the way it goes - randomly selected. So, what do you do for a living in Harrison?
SANFORD: I actually live out Agate Fossil Beds National Monument south of Harrison. And I am an architectural historian for the National Park Service.
MARTIN: So, you must live in a beautiful part of the country.
SANFORD: It's lovely and we actually finally got spring a couple of weeks ago and so it's even more lovely.
MARTIN: Dina, do you have a question for Will Shortz?
SANFORD: I do. I'm just sort of promoting the National Park Service. Have you been able to enjoy any of the parks out in the Midwest region?
SHORTZ: Sure. I've been to every state in the country except Alaska and I go to parks wherever I go - Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon - all over the country.
MARTIN: OK. With those images in our mind, are you ready to play the puzzle, Dena?
MARTIN: All right, let's do it. What the heck. OK, Will. What's the puzzle?
SHORTZ: All right. Well, in honor of Mother's Day, I have a little mama-related puzzle. I'm here to give you two words starting with M-A. You give me a third word that can follow my first one and precede my second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if I said making and magazine, you would say time, as in making time and Time magazine.
MARTIN: Ooh. Tricky. Do you think you have it, Dena?
SANFORD: I hope I do.
MARTIN: Let's try a few. OK, Will. Let's do it.
SHORTZ: Number one: mandarin and marmalade.
SANFORD: I was going to say mandarin duck, but that doesn't work. Mandarin orange.
SHORTZ: There you go - mandarin orange and orange marmalade, good. Malted and maid M-A-I-D.
SHORTZ: Malted milk and milk maid, right. Marco and mallet.
SANFORD: Marco Polo?
SHORTZ: There you go, and a polo mallet, good. Main M-A-I-N and map, and there might be one of these running through your town.
SANFORD: Is it street?
SHORTZ: There you go. Main Street and street map. How about magnetic and mall M-A-L-L. And blank mall might be a little place you shop.
SANFORD: A strip mall.
SHORTZ: There you go. And a magnetic strip, good. Nice. Mail M-A-I-L and machine.
SHORTZ: Mail slot and slot machine. Matthew and Mason. And the Matthew blank is an actor.
SHORTZ: Not that one. And blank Mason.
SHORTZ: Perry Mason and Matthew Perry is right. Mad M-A-D and market.
SANFORD: Mad money, money market.
SHORTZ: There you go. Mad money and money market, good. And here's your last one: mathematical and manners M-A-N-N-E-R-S. And it's five letters starting with T. Mathematical blank and blank manners. And blank manners is something you should show when you're having dinner.
SHORTZ: There you go.
MARTIN: Yes. Mathematical table.
MARTIN: Man, I'm glad that's over. Am I allowed to say that? That was hard.
SANFORD: Oh, you know, I really do - I do pretty good at 6:40 when it first comes on. And then when it comes on again at 8:40, I am tremendous.
MARTIN: It's funny how that works.
MARTIN: Dena, that was fantastic. For playing the puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. You can, of course, read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Dena, what is your public radio station?
SANFORD: It is Wyoming Public Radio in Lingle, KUWV.
MARTIN: Dena Sanford of Lingle, Nebraska, thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Dena.
SANFORD: Oh, thank you very much.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, New Jersey. Name a famous American man, first and last names. Change the first letter of his first name from T, as in telephone, to H. And the result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?
So famous American man - first and last names - change of first letter of the first name from T to H., and the result will sound like a term for an attractive person. Who is it?
MARTIN: You know what to do. When you've got 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, May 16th at 3 P.M. Eastern.
Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're 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.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.