Moms Are DownRight Excellent

May 7, 2011
Originally published on May 8, 2011 10:20 am

On-Air Challenge: In honor of Mother's Day, come up with items in each of the given categories that start with the letters of the word "Madre." For example, for the category "3-letter boys' names," the answer would include Moe, Art, Don, Ray and Eli.

Last Week's Challenge: From listener Dave Taub of Eugene, Ore.: Take the name of a well-known U.S. university. One of the letters in it is a chemical symbol. Change this to a two-letter chemical symbol to name another well-known U.S. university. What universities are these?

Answer: "Duke" and "Drake"

Winner: Larry Hughes of Tujunga, Calif.

Next Week's Challenge: From listener Aida Doss Havel: Think of two common girls' names that are seven letters long and that start with the same four letters in the same order. Drop these four letters in each name, and mix the last three letters in each name to come up with another common girls' name in six letters. What names are these?

Submit Your Answer

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.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. Happy Mother's Day.

HANSEN: Oh, thank you very, very much.

And I just want to mention something I forgot to mention last week before we get to the challenge that you gave us last week, a shout out to the folks at the WUWM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for putting on such a great event and meeting all the people out there. So I wanted to make sure they heard that.

OK. Challenge - periodic table was involved. Would you repeat it?

SHORTZ: Yes, it came from listener Dave Taub of Eugene, Oregon.

I said, take the name of a well-known U.S. university, one of the letters in it is a chemical symbol, change this to a two-letter chemical symbol to name another well-known university. What universities are these?

HANSEN: What are they?

SHORTZ: Well it's Duke to Drake. And Drake is a university in Iowa.

HANSEN: And U is uranium and RA is radium, right?

SHORTZ: That's right.

HANSEN: Oh boy. I got that from our listener's win, frankly. We had only about 700 who submitted answers this week. And our winner is Larry Hughes of Tujunga, California. Hi, Larry.

Mr. LARRY HUGHES: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve this? Are you a chemist?

Mr. HUGHES: Oh, I didn't do (unintelligible). No, not really. I've studied some chemistry. I'm actually an accountant more than anything.

HANSEN: So did it take you a long time?

Mr. HUGHES: Off and on probably spent about an hour thinking of university names and going over the periodic table and then I was finally reduced, I think about Tuesday morning to thinking about how I would do a computer search for this. I realized, oh, like Duke, for instance. You could take the K for potassium or that U for uranium and then substitute two blanks in a search. Come up with something like Drake.

HANSEN: All right.

Mr. HUGHES: So it came to me.

HANSEN: Great. You sound like you're ready to play today.

Mr. HUGHES: I'm ready.

HANSEN: Oh, listen to that, Will, such confidence. Will, meet Larry and let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Larry and Liane, I brought a game of categories today. You probably know how this works. I'm going to give you some categories. Your word is madre, in honor of Mother's Day. M-A-D-R-E. I'd like you to think of something in each category beginning with each of the letters M-A-D-R-E. For example, if the category were three-letter boys names, you might say, Mo, Art, Don, Ray, and Eli.

Mr. HUGHES: Sure.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one is books of the Bible.

Mr. HUGHES: OK. Micah.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. HUGHES: Acts.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. HUGHES: Deuteronomy.

SHORTZ: Yes.

Mr. HUGHES: Is there an Ezekiel?

SHORTZ: Yes, there is.

Mr. HUGHES: There's definitely Ecclesiastes.

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: Right.

Mr. HUGHES: And the other one would be Romans.

HANSEN: Romans.

SHORTZ: Romans, Ruth or Revelation. Excellent.

Your next category is first names of first ladies.

Mr. HUGHES: Oh, Mamie.

SHORTZ: Mamie. Good.

Mr. HUGHES: A is, oh, the famous hostess early in 1800s. I can't think

HANSEN: Well, you - I think, well, Dolly Madison.

Mr. HUGHES: We've got the Eleanor at the end again. Eleanor.

HANSEN: Eleanor. Dolly.

SHORTZ: Eleanor Roosevelt. Dolly Madison.

HANSEN: Right.

SHORTZ: Good.

I think you're on to the A, Larry.

Mr. HUGHES: Yeah, the A.

SHORTZ: She was the wife of the second president.

Mr. HUGHES: Oh, Abigail.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Abigail Adams. Right.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: And you just need an R.

HANSEN: An R.

Mr. HUGHES: Was there a Ruth?

SHORTZ: I'm not aware of a Ruth.

HANSEN: You know this.

Mr. HUGHES: Well, I can see her clearly. I got her face in my - a picture of her clearly. Now, what was her name? Oh

HANSEN: Her husband's name was Jimmy.

Mr. HUGHES: Jimmy Carter's wife is Rosalynn Carter.

SHORTZ: Rosalynn Carter. Good.

And here's your last one. Things seen in a library.

Mr. HUGHES: Wow. Encyclopedias.

SHORTZ: Encyclopedia, good, for an E.

Mr. HUGHES: Reference section.

SHORTZ: I'll give you that - references, reading room.

HANSEN: Atlas.

SHORTZ: Atlas, good. Almanac or...

Mr. HUGHES: (unintelligible)

SHORTZ: Good. M and D.

Mr. HUGHES: Maps.

SHORTZ: Maps, good. Didn't think of that. Magazines and microphone would work. And all you need is a D.

Mr. HUGHES: D...

SHORTZ: Where would you look words up?

HANSEN: Oh.

Mr. HUGHES: In a dictionary.

HANSEN: Of course.

SHORTZ: The dictionary.

HANSEN: No fancy stuff here, go straight to the root.

Mr. HUGHES: Wouldn't help to have a dictionary in front of me for this game.

HANSEN: Me too, Larry. Me too.

And, listen, we have a new way of telling you about what you get for playing our puzzle today.

Mr. HUGHES: Really?

HANSEN: Yeah. First we'll...

Mr. HUGHES: What is it?

HANSEN: Well, we're going to tell you. As you know, you get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and for all the puzzle goodies you're going to be receiving, you can actually go to our website NPR.org/puzzle and see the list of things that are going to be coming to your home. OK?

Mr. HUGHES: OK. All right.

HANSEN: All right. Larry, before we let you go, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. HUGHES: Well, whenever I get it on the radio, that would be KPCC. Recently became a member in Pasadena, California.

HANSEN: You betcha. Is Tujunga near there?

Mr. HUGHES: Yes, Tujunga's an outlying northern part of L.A. and it's as close to Pasadena as it is to anything.

HANSEN: Gotcha. Larry Hughes of Tujunga, California. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle this week.

Mr. HUGHES: Thank you.

HANSEN: All right. Will, a challenge for everyone to work on for the next week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Aida Doss Havel via the Internet. Think of two common girls' names, seven letters each. It starts with the same four letters in the same order. Drop these four letters in each name, and mix together the last three letters in each name to come up with another common girls' name in six letters. What names are these?

So again: Two common girls' names, seven letters each, start with the same four letters. Drop the four letters in each name, mix the last three letters in each name together, to come up with another common girls' name in six letters. What names are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline is Thursday, 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if youre the winner. 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 a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.