On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with only one name — either because they literally had only one name or because they are generally known by one name. I'll give you anagrams. You name the people.
Example: USUAL - U Biblical king --> SAUL
1. VIDEO - E Roman poet
2. CHROME - C Greek poet
3. LEADER - R Singer
4. SHAKEN - N Singer
5. TITANIC - C Italian artist
6. PEARL ASH - S Painter
7. OPTICIAN - I Native American leader
8. PALACE TOUR - U Queen
9. MERCHANDISE - N Mathematician/inventor
Last week's challenge: Think of a common 5-letter word. If you insert an E after the second letter, you'll get a common 6-letter word. If instead you insert an E after the fourth letter, you'll get another 6-letter word. And if instead you insert an E at the end, you'll get still another 6-letter word. What words are these?
Challenger answer: SPARS (spears, spares, sparse)
Winner: Jacob Jaffe of Seattle
This week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Hamden, Conn. If five = four, six = nine, and seven = five, what does twelve equal?
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, Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. ET.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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 puzzlemaster. Hey, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey, good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right. Last week's challenge, what was it?
SHORTZ: Well, it came from listener Matt Pillai (ph) of Denver. I said think of a common five-letter word. If you insert an E after the second letter, you'll get a common six-letter word. If instead you insert an E after the fourth letter, you get another six-letter word. And if instead you insert an E at the end, you'll get still another six-letter word. What words are these? And the word is spars - S-P-A-R-S. Do those E's, you get spears, spares and sparse.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received 382 responses, and the winner this week is Jacob Jaffe of Seattle, Wash. Congratulations.
JACOB JAFFE: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We are still continuing with the West Coast for the win. All right. Jacob, how did you figure out this week's challenge?
JAFFE: Well, I thought the five-letter word was probably plural, that an E could go before or after the S. And then I thought of six-letter words that end in S-E, and I came up with sparse.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nice. And what do you do for a living?
JAFFE: I'm a teacher. I'm about to start my first year of teaching.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, nice. All right, and how long have you been playing The Puzzle?
JAFFE: Maybe nine months?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Oh, you came to us new. We like it. We like it. All right. Are you ready to play?
JAFFE: I think so.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Jacob. Every answer today is the name of a famous person with only one name, either because they literally had only one name or because they're generally known by one name. I'll give you anagrams, you name the people. For example, if I said usual - U-S-U-A-L - minus U for a biblical king, you would say Saul.
SHORTZ: All right. No. 1 is video - V-I-D-E-O - minus E for a Roman poet.
SHORTZ: Ovid is right. No. 2 is chrome - C-H-R-O-M-E - minus C, Greek poet.
SHORTZ: That is right. Leader - L-E-A-D-E-R - minus R, a singer.
SHORTZ: Nice. Shaken - S-H-A-K-E-N - minus N, another singer.
JAFFE: I keep looking for Cher, but it's not Cher.
SHORTZ: It's not Cher, no.
SHORTZ: Kesha, nice.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're too good at this. I keep on wanting to bust out in song, and you're taking away my moment.
JAFFE: Just go for it, Lulu. Just go for it. Yeah.
SHORTZ: Titanic - T-I-T-A-N-I-C - minus C, an Italian artist.
SHORTZ: Titian is it. Pearlash - P-E-A-R-L-A-S-H - minus S, a painter.
JAFFE: A painter - Rafael?
SHORTZ: Rafael, yes. Optician - O-P-T-I-C-I-A-N - minus I, a Native American leader.
JAFFE: Let's see. I'm not seeing it right now.
SHORTZ: And here's an additional hint - it's also the name of a bygone car.
JAFFE: Oh, bygone car - Opticon - no, that's not - Pontiac.
SHORTZ: Pontiac is it. Good. Palacetour - P-A-L-A-C-E-T-O-U-R - minus U, a queen.
JAFFE: A queen - Cleopatra.
SHORTZ: That's it. And here's your last one - merchandise - M-E-R-C-H-A-N-D-I-S-E - minus N, and you're looking for a mathematician inventor.
JAFFE: Mathematician inventor - maybe Archimedes?
SHORTZ: Jacob, that was impressive.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I'm not going to give you any more validation than he did because he knows his stuff, but that was really amazing. That was really, really good.
JAFFE: Well, thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You should be proud. When you come back to your high school students, you can say that you dominated on The Puzzle.
JAFFE: I'll have a listening station where they can listen to the segment.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Exactly. 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 Jacob, which member station do you listen to?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Jacob Jaffe of Seattle, Wash. Thank you for playing The Puzzle.
JAFFE: Thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Hamden, Conn. Listen carefully. If five equals four, six equals nine and seven equals five, what does 12 equal? So here it is again. If five equals four, six equals nine and seven equals five, what does 12 equal?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: 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, August 22 at 3:00 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 puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.