On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a country, for which I'll give you an anagram. For example, PANE + L = NEPAL. The added letter at the end of the anagram will always be the last letter in the name of the country.
1. INCH + A
2. TAIL + Y
3. VITAL + A
4. ARISE + L
5. LINEAR + D
6. LOOMING + A
7. LIVES ON + A
8. ACROSTIC + A
Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Joe Krozel of Creve Coeur, Mo. Name something you see when going to the movies, in two words. Change the sixth letter to an R, and you'll get something you might buy at a grocery, in three words. What things are these?
Challenge answer: Box office --> box of rice
Winner: Eugene Clausen of Lincoln, Neb.
This week's challenge: This challenge might require a little research. Name a country. Remove its last letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a word that means "country" in that country's main language. What country 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 by Thursday, April 11 at 3 p.m. ET.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
And it's time to play the Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION'S puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Joe Krozel of Creve Coeur, Mo. I said, name something you see when going to the movies in two words, change the sixth letter to an R, and you'll get something you might buy at a grocery in three words. What things are these? Well, the first thing is the box office. Change that letter and you get a box of rice.
SHORTZ: We received more than 600 responses, and our winner this week is Eugene Clausen of Lincoln, Neb. Congratulations.
EUGENE CLAUSEN: Thank you, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And I understand that you and Will have an interest in common other than puzzles.
CLAUSEN: Yes. I enjoy playing table tennis. I haven't done as much in recent years. But when I was in high school in a small school in central Nebraska, they had a tournament there, and I won.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yay. You are a champion table tennis player as well.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It'd be fun to play you sometime.
CLAUSEN: Oh, I'm sure you'd beat me.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) I'd like to see that. And do you have a question for Will, Eugene?
CLAUSEN: Well, I was interested in the fact that you had a customized program in college for enigmatology. And I was sort of interested in the types of classes that you - I don't know if you designed - I guess you designed the curriculum and everything?
SHORTZ: I designed the curriculum and every course in it. I took courses on puzzle history, word puzzles, math puzzles, logic puzzles, puzzle magazines, the psychology of puzzles, and my thesis was on the history of American word puzzles before 1860.
CLAUSEN: Sounds great.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's amazing. I want to read that.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Are you ready to play the Puzzle, Eugene?
CLAUSEN: Oh, probably as ready as I'll ever be.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) Don't take that tone of voice. It'll be fun. All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Eugene, it's an easy-ish Puzzle today. Every answer is the name of a country, for which I'll give you an anagram. For example, pane - P-A-N-E - plus L, you would say Nepal. And the added letter at the end of the anagram will always be the last letter in the name of the country.
SHORTZ: Here's No. 1 - inch - I-N-C-H - plus A.
SHORTZ: That is correct. No. 2 is tail - T-A-I-L - plus Y.
SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Vital - V-I-T-A-L - plus A.
CLAUSEN: What was the word?
SHORTZ: Vital - V-I-T...
CLAUSEN: Oh, vital.
CLAUSEN: OK. Latvia.
SHORTZ: Latvia - nice. Arise - A-R-I-S-E - plus L.
CLAUSEN: They're getting harder.
SHORTZ: Yeah. They're getting longer.
SHORTZ: It starts with I.
CLAUSEN: I - Israel.
SHORTZ: Israel's right. Linear - L-I-N-E-A-R - plus D, as in dog.
CLAUSEN: Linear - D-R-N-A...
SHORTZ: It starts with I.
CLAUSEN: I - Ireland.
SHORTZ: Ireland is it. Looming - L-O-O-M-I-N-G - plus A.
CLAUSEN: A - looming - let's see - M plus A, N...
SHORTZ: Starts with M.
SHORTZ: No, not I.
SHORTZ: M-O - it's in Asia.
CLAUSEN: Asia - oh, Mongolia.
SHORTZ: Mongolia is it. Lives on - L-I-V-E-S-O-N - plus A.
SHORTZ: Slovenia, yeah. And here's your last one - acrostic - A-C-R-O-S-T-I-C - plus A.
CLAUSEN: Acrostic - let's see.
SHORTZ: It's a two-word answer...
CLAUSEN: Oh, OK.
SHORTZ: ...And starts with C...
SHORTZ: ...And think Central America.
CLAUSEN: Oh, OK - Costa Rica.
SHORTZ: Costa Rica is it.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?
CLAUSEN: Oh, very good.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. You did really well. You really did. For playing our Puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Eugene, what member station do you listen to?
CLAUSEN: KUCV here in Lincoln.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Eugene Clausen of Lincoln, Neb., thank you for playing the Puzzle.
CLAUSEN: Thank you, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will, what's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah, it might require a little research. Name a country, remove its last letter, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a word that means country in that country's main language.
SHORTZ: What country is it? So, again, a country, drop its last letter, the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell a word that means country in that country's main language. What country is it?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That sounds fun. When you have the answer, go to our website - npr.org/puzzle - and click on the submit your answer link. Remember; just one entry per person please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 11 at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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: Thank you, Lulu. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.