On-air challenge: You will be given some words starting with the letter R. You name a proverb or saying that contains each one.
Last week's challenge from listener Gary Alvstad of Tustin, Calif.: Name a well-known movie in two words with a total of 13 letters. Each of the two words contains the letter C. Drop both C's. The letters that remain in the second word of the title will be in alphabetical order, and the letters that remain in the first word will be in reverse alphabetical order. What movie is it?
Answer: Police Academy
Winner: John Crotteau of Los Angeles
Next week's challenge from listener Brian Greer of Portland, Ore.: Name two parts of the human body, 10 letters in all. Place their names one after the other. Take a block of three consecutive letters out of the second word and insert them somewhere inside the first word without otherwise changing the order of any of the letters. The result will name a kind of doctor. What kind of doctor 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. Step right up, step right up, ladies and gentlemen. It is time for the puzzle.
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MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: Will, remind us about last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Gary Alvstad of Tustin, California. I said name a well-known movie in two words with a total of 13 letters. Each of the two words contains the letter C. I said drop both Cs. The letters that remain in the second word of the title will be in alphabetical order, and the letters that remain in the first word will be reverse alphabetical order. What movie is it? Well, this is a well-known movie that would never have been named Best picture of the year. It was "Police Academy." Drop both Cs and you're left in the second word with A-A-D-E-M-Y, and that's alphabetical, the letters in police are P-O-L-I-E, reverse alphabetical.
MARTIN: And it's perfect that we had a movie-themed puzzle this week because, of course, tonight is the Oscars. Will, do you have a favorite of the nominees you've seen this year?
SHORTZ: Well, I want to hear your favorite too. I've seen four of the nine nominees. I think my favorite may have been "Argo" because it was so exciting, and it's very crossword-friendly name - four letters starting and ending in vowels.
MARTIN: Well, I'm a little, I've been slow to watch all of the nominees this year because we've been busy at home with baby. But I really loved "Silver Linings Playbook." I thought it was great. So, this week, it was a tough puzzle. We got about 350 correct answers, and our randomly selected winner is John Crotteau of Los Angeles, California. And John joins us on the phone. Congratulations.
JOHN CROTTEAU: Thanks.
MARTIN: So, any particular strategy you used to figure this one out?
CROTTEAU: It was a lot of brainstorming, and I came up on the movie "Ice Age," and that had a lot of good vowels in it, and got me to police. And it should be noted that a "Police Academy" movie came out every single year I was in elementary school.
MARTIN: And have you seen them all?
CROTTEAU: Probably, yeah, when I was eight and nine and thought they were funny, yes.
MARTIN: How long have you been doing the puzzle, John?
CROTTEAU: At least 10 years.
MARTIN: Wow, OK. Great. And what do you do for a living in L.A.?
CROTTEAU: I work on a late-night TV show, and at home I record theme songs and jingles for podcasts.
MARTIN: How very L.A. of you.
MARTIN: What makes for a good jingle?
CROTTEAU: It's short and gets in your head.
MARTIN: Nice. OK. Well, let's see if the puzzle this week gets in your head in a good way. John, are you ready to play the puzzle?
CROTTEAU: Let's try it.
MARTIN: All right. Will, let's do it.
SHORTZ: All right, John. I'm going to give you some words starting with the letter R. You tell me a proverb or saying that contains each one. For example, if I said rains. You might say when it rains it pours.
MARTIN: You got it, John?
CROTTEAU: Yeah, let's try it.
SHORTZ: And some of these have multiple answers. Number one is Rome R-O-M-E.
CROTTEAU: When in Rome...
SHORTZ: Excellent - do as the Romans do. You could have always said Rome was not built in a day or all roads lead to Rome - any of those. Number two is rolling.
SHORTZ: It's the second word of the saying. And the first word is the article A.
CROTTEAU: Oh. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
SHORTZ: There you go. Reap R-E-A-P.
CROTTEAU: Reap what you sow.
SHORTZ: OK. As you sow, so shall you reap - same deal. Rise R-I-S-E. I associated this with Benjamin Franklin.
CROTTEAU: It's not coming to me.
MARTIN: You don't do this when you live in L.A.
SHORTZ: Especially if you work for a late-night TV show.
MARTIN: Yeah, exactly.
CROTTEAU: Oh, right. Rise early...
MARTIN: Oh, so close.
SHORTZ: Start with the word early.
CROTTEAU: Oh, early to bed, early to rise.
SHORTZ: There you go.
MARTIN: Makes the man healthy, wealthy and wise.
SHORTZ: Makes the man healthy, wealthy and wise.
CROTTEAU: Makes the man healthy, wealthy and wise.
SHORTZ: All right. Your next one is rush R-U-S-H. And this is a saying in which rush is the second word. It starts with a plural noun as the first word.
CROTTEAU: Oh, fools rush in.
SHORTZ: There you go - where angels fear to tread. Revenge.
CROTTEAU: ...is a dish best served cold.
SHORTZ: Very nice. Also, revenge is sweet and living well is the best revenge - any of those. All right. Your next one is rod R-O-D.
CROTTEAU: Spare the rod, spoil the child.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Reward.
CROTTEAU: What is its own reward, virtue?
SHORTZ: Yeah. Virtue is its own reward. How about receive?
CROTTEAU: It's better to give than to receive.
SHORTZ: Oh man, you're hot. And your last one is rest R-E-S-T.
CROTTEAU: Don't rest on your laurels.
SHORTZ: OK. I'll give you that. I was going for no rest for the weary or no rest for the wicked.
CROTTEAU: Right, right.
MARTIN: John, that was great. Very well done. And for playing the puzzle today, you of course get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.
And before we let you go, what is your Public Radio station?
CROTTEAU: Here in Los Angeles, I like KPCC and KCRW.
MARTIN: Great, John Crotteau of Los Angeles, California. John, thanks so much for playing the puzzle.
CROTTEAU: Thank you so much.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Brian Greer of Portland, Oregon. And he happens to be a former crossword editor of The Times of London. Name two parts of the human body, 10 letters in all, place their names one after the other. Then take a block of three consecutive letters out of the second word and insert this somewhere inside the first word without otherwise changing the order of any of the letters. And the result will name a kind of doctor. What kind of doctor is it?
So again: two parts of the human body, 10 letters, put the names one after the other. Take three letters out of the second word and insert them in the first word without otherwise changing the order of any of the letters. And the result will name a kind of doctor. What kind of doctor is it?
MARTIN: OK, you know what to do. When you have the answer, go to our Web site, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, February 28th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.
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.