On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. Add the letters Q-U and rearrange the result to get a new word. The Q-U can appear anywhere in the answer.
Example: ITALY + QU --> QUALITY
1. CRONE + QU
2. TREAT + QU
3. BEETS + QU
4. A ROBE + QU
5. BIBLE + QU
6. REBUS + QU
7. RECTO + QU
8. INNIE + QU
9. DIALS + QU
10. CLEAR + QU
11. I RULE + QU
Last week's challenge: Name a well-known U.S. city in two words (5,3). Change the first letter of the second word to name a popular rock group. Who is it?
Challenge answer: Green Bay (Wis.) --> Green Day
Winner: Ben Blackman from San Francisco.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Eric Berlin of Milford, Conn. There are several words that consist of the consonants N, P and R and an assortment of vowels — for example, APRON, PIONEER and EUROPEAN. But there is only one common phrase that contains exactly two N's, two P's and two R's with no other consonants. You can add vowels as needed. What phrase is this?
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, Nov. 12, at 3 p.m. ET.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
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.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. I said, name a well-known U.S. city in two words - five letters in the first word, three letters in the last. And I said, change the first letter of the second word to name a popular rock group. What is it? And the city is Green Bay, Wis. Make that change, you get Green Day.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received more than 3,500 correct responses. And the winner is Ben Blackman from San Francisco.
Congratulations, and welcome to the program.
BEN BLACKMAN: Thanks so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: How'd you figure it out?
BLACKMAN: I started thinking about what common words and cities were either five words or three words. North and South didn't work. And then I landed on bay, which led to Green Bay and then Green Day.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I hear you're a biology professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies - let's see if I get this right - the evolution and domestication of sunflowers.
BLACKMAN: That's correct.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We need something sunny like sunflowers right now. I just want to keep that in my head. How did you end up doing that? What's your interest in sunflowers?
BLACKMAN: I'm really interested in how evolutionary change happens over time. And sunflowers are really fascinating from that perspective because with domestication, they've been really transformed. Wild sunflower is a really bushy, branchy plant with many small heads and small seeds. And it's only within the last 4,000 years ago that early farmers in North America transformed it into the crop plant we're familiar with today with the single stem, big heads and big seeds that we, you know, use for confectionary seed and many people globally use in their kitchens for oil.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Cool. All right. Well, ready to play The Puzzle?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: (Laughter) All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Ben. I'm going to give you some words. Add the letters QU and rearrange the result to get a new word. And the QU can appear anywhere in the answer. For example, if I said Italy plus QU, you would say quality.
SHORTZ: Number one is crone - C-R-O-N-E - plus QU. And the answer starts with C.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: William the...
SHORTZ: Conquer is it - conquer. Good. Try this one - treat - T-R-E-A-T - plus QU.
SHORTZ: Quartet. Good job. Beets - B-E-E-T-S - plus QU.
SHORTZ: Nice. A robe - A R-O-B-E - plus QU.
SHORTZ: Nice. Bible - B-I-B-L-E - plus QU.
SHORTZ: Nice. Rebus - R-E-B-U-S - plus QU.
SHORTZ: Busker - I don't think so. I think that's usually B-U-S-K-E-R.
BLACKMAN: Yeah. Sorry, that's with a K. Yeah, that's right. Oh, brusque.
SHORTZ: Brusque, yes.
SHORTZ: Recto - R-E-C-T-O - plus QU.
BLACKMAN: Let's see.
SHORTZ: This is a game.
BLACKMAN: Oh, croquet.
SHORTZ: Croquet. Good job.
SHORTZ: Innie - I-N-N-I-E - plus QU. It's the name of a medicine.
BLACKMAN: Oh, yeah, of course - quinine.
SHORTZ: Quinine is it. Clear - C-L-E-A-R - plus QU - starts with L.
SHORTZ: Lacquer - oh, you're good at these. And your last one is I rule - I R-U-L-E - plus QU.
BLACKMAN: Let's see. I may need a hint on this one.
SHORTZ: Starts with L.
BLACKMAN: Starts with L.
SHORTZ: Something to drink.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: After dinner.
BLACKMAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah - liqueur.
SHORTZ: That's not an easy puzzle, Ben. You did great.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great. How do you feel?
BLACKMAN: Thanks. I feel pretty good.
BLACKMAN: Yeah, there's a lot of rearranging that was happening there, so yeah.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did really well. And for playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And, Ben, which member station do you listen to?
BLACKMAN: I listen to KQED in San Francisco.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Ben, thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
BLACKMAN: Thanks so much. It was my pleasure.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Eric Berlin of Milford, Conn. There are several words that consist of the consonants N, P and R and an assortment of vowels - for example, apron, pioneer and European. But there is only one common phrase that contains exactly two Ns, two Ps and two Rs with no other consonants. And you can add vowels as needed. What phrase is this? So again, a common phrase that contains exactly two Ns, two Ps and two Rs and no other consonants. What phrase is it?
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, November 12, 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 if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's very own puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.