On-air challenge: In each pair of clues, the answer to the first clue is a word that contains the consecutive letters A-R. Drop the A-R, and the remaining letters in order will form a word that answers the second clue.
Example: Sweet brown topping on ice cream / Animal with humps = C(AR)AMEL
Last week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Daniel Grossman of New York City. Name a major American company. Drop its first and last letters, and the remaining letters in order will name a famous singer — both first and last names. What company is it?
Answer: Walgreens (Al Green)
Winner: Arushi Agarwal of Palo Alto, Calif.
Next week's challenge: The seven words in the following sentence have something very unusual in common — something that almost no other words in the English language share. What is it?
"Ira saw three emigrants restock large wands."
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.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
Fireworks all spent? Friends all gone home? Strawberry shortcake all eaten? If you woke up this morning feeling like the weekend's excitement is behind you, think again because it's time for the puzzle. Rachel may be away, but Will Shortz is here to hold down the puzzle fort. He, of course, is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn. Welcome back.
NEARY: Nice to be here. Nice to be talking to you again. And you're going to have to remind me, what was last week's puzzle, Will?
SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Daniel Grossman of New York City. I said name a major American company. Drop its first and last letters, and the remaining letters, in order, will name a famous singer - first and last names. What company is it? Well, the answer is Walgreens, and drop the W and S, and you get Al Green.
NEARY: More than 540 of you figured it out. And our randomly selected winner this week is Arushi Agarwal from Palo Alto, Calif., and she joins us now on the line. Congratulations, Arushi.
ARUSHI AGARWAL: Thank you.
NEARY: Arushi, you know, normally our first question to guests is, what do you do for a living. What do you do for a living, Arushi?
ARUSHI: Well, I am currently a high school student so I don't have a job.
NEARY: Well, that's a job, going to high school. That's a job. How old are you?
ARUSHI: I'm 15.
NEARY: Well, that's great. We're so glad you're playing the puzzle. How long have you been playing the puzzle?
ARUSHI: I've been playing the puzzle for about five years now.
NEARY: Five years. How did you get into it?
ARUSHI: I think my parents thought that it would be a really great way for us to spend our Sundays, just exercising our brains and spending a little time together as a family. So it's kind of become a regular Sunday tradition.
NEARY: And how did you figure out this week's challenge? Did they help you?
ARUSHI: Yeah, I did it with my brother. We kind of figured out that it probably wouldn't be a singer that we knew of so we searched the top 500 companies. And when Walgreens came, we thought that Al Green was a pretty viable name, so we searched him up, and he turned out to be a singer.
NEARY: So you didn't even know he was a singer (laughter). Well, we're going to educate you here. We have one of Al Green's songs queued up right now. This is called "Love And Happiness."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOVE AND HAPPINESS")
AL GREEN: (Singing) Love and happiness. Love and happiness.
NEARY: And now, as Al Green might say, let's bring a little love and happiness to our audience and get started. Does that work for you. Arushi?
NEARY: OK, Will, let's play.
SHORTZ: All right, Arushi - and I like that family tradition you have - and Lynn, I'm going to give you a pair of clues. The answer to the first clue is a word that contains the consecutive letters A, R. Drop the A, R and the remaining letters, in order, will form a word that answers the second clue. For example, if I said a sweet brown topping on ice cream and an animal with humps, you would say caramel and camel. Caramel has AR inside it, drop that and you're left with camel.
NEARY: OK. Have you got that, Arushi?
ARUSHI: OK, yeah.
SHORTZ: Number one practicing in the boxing ring and what follows winter.
ARUSHI: Sparring and spring.
SHORTZ: You got it. Number two, not easy to see, and your second clue is a husband of an aunt.
ARUSHI: This is difficult.
SHORTZ: So what's the - what's an aunt's husband?
ARUSHI: Another ant?
SHORTZ: Oh, you're thinking the insect ant.
SHORTZ: OK maybe I should say aunt, you know, A-U-N-T.
ARUSHI: Oh, OK. So, uncle.
SHORTZ: Yes and add AR - not easy to see. OK, stick the AR...
ARUSHI: Oh, unclear (laughter).
SHORTZ: Unclear is it.
NEARY: Unclear, OK.
SHORTZ: That's a real nice twist. All right, here's your next one. Former Secretary of State Clinton and like some rough terrain.
ARUSHI: Hillary and hilly.
SHORTZ: That's it. A list of specialized words and their definitions, and your second clue is having a smooth shiny surface, as a photo.
SHORTZ: No, it's a list of specialized words, like in the back of a book there would be a couple of pages of...
ARUSHI: Oh, a glossary and glossy.
SHORTZ: Yes, glossy is it. And here's your last one. Somewhat like a rectangle with four equal sides and your second clue is to step on, as a bug.
ARUSHI: Squarish and squish.
SHORTZ: Oh, man, am I impressed.
NEARY: Arushi, you are great and I'm so glad because I couldn't help you hardly at all with that (laughter).
ARUSHI: (Laughter) That was a lot of fun.
NEARY: You did so well. And for playing our puzzle today, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Arushi, tell us, what's your public radio station?
ARUSHI: KQED in San Francisco.
NEARY: Arushi Agarwal of Palo Alto, Calif. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle.
ARUSHI: Thank you.
NEARY: OK, Will, do you have a puzzle for us for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the seven words in the following sentence have something very unusual in common - something that almost no other words in the English language share. What is it? And here's your sentence - Ira saw three emigrants restock large wands. And that's emigrants spelled E-M-I-G-R-A-N-T-S. Ira saw three emigrants restock large wands. These seven words have something very unusual in common. What is it?
NEARY: Well, that's an interesting one. I like that one. So 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, July 9 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'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 so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks a lot, Lynn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.