Where It's At

Apr 30, 2011
Originally published on May 1, 2011 9:47 am

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with AT in the middle. The letter A ends the first word of the phrase, and the letter T begins the second word. For the clue, "trying out of something while changes are still being made," the answer would be "beta test."

Last Week's Challenge: Think of a familiar three-word phrase in the form "___ and ___". If you remove the "and" and put the second word in front of the first word, you get a compound word naming a place of power. Hint: The compound word has nine letters. What is the three-word phrase, and what place of power is this?

Answer: Room and board, boardroom

Winner: Mike Stahl, Byron, Ill.

Next 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?

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. Hi, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Happy May Day.

SHORTZ: Happy May Day. Did you watch the royal wedding?

HANSEN: Yes, I did. I did get up early and watch it. I just think, you know, the pageantry goes back so many hundreds of years and I just kept thinking it in terms of theater, Shakespearean theater, and wonder how many Shakespeare plays will be produced in the next few years that kind of take some of the elements from the royal wedding; uniforms and that kind of thing. That's how I looked at it. How about you?

SHORTZ: Oh, I was sleeping.

HANSEN: Good for you. So, I can't tell you how good I'll be on the puzzle today but I'll put on my thinking tiara and we'll see what comes up. First of all, we have to begin with the challenge that you gave to our listeners last week. What was it?

SHORTZ: Yes. I said think of a familiar phrase in the form of blank and blank. And I said if you remove the and and put the second word in front of the first word, you'll get a compound word naming a place of power, and this compound word has nine letters. What phrase is it?

HANSEN: And what is it?

SHORTZ: The phrase is room and board, and you do that switch you get boardroom.

HANSEN: Well, more than 1,100 listeners submitted their answers this week, and our winner is Mike Stahl of Byron, Illinois. Hi, Mike.

Mr. MIKE STAHL: Hello.

HANSEN: What do you do in Byron?

Mr. STAHL: Well, I'm retired. I retired last November.

HANSEN: Oh. So, how long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Mr. STAHL: A few seconds - a little less than a minute.

HANSEN: Wow. Good for you. How long have you been playing?

Mr. STAHL: Probably about four years.

HANSEN: Well, good. And you sound like you're ready to play.

Mr. STAHL: Yeah, I'm ready.

HANSEN: All right. Well, Will, meet Mike; Mike, meet Will. Let's play.

SHORTZ: All right, Mike. Today's puzzle is called At the Middle. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with at in the middle. Specifically, the letter A ends the first word of the phrase and T starts the second word. For example, if I said trying out of something while changes are still being made, you would say beta test. All right.

Number one: area in the western Atlantic where ships mysteriously disappear.

Mr. STAHL: Bermuda Triangle.

SHORTZ: That's correct. Number two: area explored by Lewis and Clark.

Mr. STAHL: Louisiana Territory.

SHORTZ: That's it. Sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms, for example.

Mr. STAHL: Pizza toppings.

SHORTZ: Excellent. In school, it might carry food for a student's lunch.

Mr. STAHL: Cafeteria tray.

SHORTZ: Good. Very thinly sliced crisp piece of bread named after an Australian opera singer.

HANSEN: Oh.

Mr. STAHL: Melba toast.

SHORTZ: Did you know...

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: Melba toast, good, good, good. Atlanta school for engineers.

Mr. STAHL: Georgia Tech.

SHORTZ: That's it. American League team that until recently played at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

Mr. STAHL: Minnesota Twins.

SHORTZ: Good. Teenage mutant from comic books, TV and movies.

HANSEN: Do you recognize that phrase, teenage...

SHORTZ: Teenage...

HANSEN: ...mutant.

SHORTZ: ...mutant.

HANSEN: Oh, I'll help you out...

Mr. STAHL: The turtles.

HANSEN: Yes, ninja turtles.

SHORTZ: Yeah, that's good. Ninja turtles, good.

HANSEN: I was going to say one of my kids had a ninja turtle birthday party when they were young.

Mr. STAHL: (Unintelligible), OK. Good.

HANSEN: Good one.

SHORTZ: Good. On clocks, it's four hours behind New York and Washington.

Mr. STAHL: Four hours.

HANSEN: Four hours behind. The only...

SHORTZ: So, if the Pacific...

Mr. STAHL: Something time.

SHORTZ: ...Pacific is only three hours behind, what's four hours behind?

Mr. STAHL: (unintelligible) but I don't.

HANSEN: I'm going to say Alaska Time.

SHORTZ: Alaska Time is correct.

HANSEN: Really?

SHORTZ: Good.

HANSEN: That's it. 'Cause I know it's four hours behind.

SHORTZ: Very good. Female singer with the number one country album, "Come on Over."

Mr. STAHL: I don't know country music well.

HANSEN: I don't...I'm thinking, the only name I know is Reba but it doesn't begin with a T.

Mr. STAHL: Tucker - is the last name Tucker?

HANSEN: Tanya Tucker.

SHORTZ: Yeah, there's a Tanya Tucker. Unfortunately, that's not the one. I was going for Shania Twain. Try this: best actress Oscar winner for "My Cousin Vinnie."

Mr. STAHL: I have no idea. You're in an area that I'm not familiar with (unintelligible)...

HANSEN: Marisa Tomei.

SHORTZ: Marisa Tomei is it. Well, you're not going to like the next one either then: best actress Oscar winner for "Howard's End."

Mr. STAHL: No idea on that either.

SHORTZ: Liane?

HANSEN: Emma...

SHORTZ: Yes.

HANSEN: ...Thompson.

SHORTZ: Emma Thompson is right. How about: inventor rival of Thomas Edison that specialized in electromagnetism.

HANSEN: Actually...

Mr. STAHL: Don't know.

HANSEN: ...he has a car named after him now. One that is new.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it. Go ahead.

HANSEN: I think its Nikola Tesla.

Mr. SHORTZ: That's it, very good. And here's one that Liane will definitely know but let's try it out on Mike. It's legal affairs correspondent for NPR.

Mr. STAHL: Don't know.

HANSEN: You don't know.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. SHORTZ: Go ahead, Liane.

HANSEN: Nina Totenberg.

Mr. SHORTZ: Nina Totenberg is it. And here's your last one: Toll road that runs from east of Philadelphia to west of Pittsburgh.

Mr. STAHL: Oh, Pennsylvania Turnpike.

HANSEN: You got it, Mike.

Mr. SHORTZ: Pennsylvania Turnpike, good job.

HANSEN: Pennsylvania Turnpike. Nice work. Nice work. And for playing our puzzle today, Mike, you're going to get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, the book series Will Shortz Presents KenKen Volumes 1, 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press, one of Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges from Chronicle Books, and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles.

Before we let you go, Mike, tell us what member station you listen to.

Mr. STAHL: It's WNIJ out of the DeKalb, Illinois.

HANSEN: All right. Mike Stahl in Byron, Illinois, thanks so much for playing the puzzle with us this week.

Mr. STAHL: Okay, thank you.

HANSEN: Alrighty. Will, a challenge for everyone.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from Dave Taub of Eugene, Oregon. 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?

So again, a well-known university, one of the letters is a chemical symbol. Change this to a two-letter chemical symbol and you'll name another well-known university. What universities 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 at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time, because we'll call you if you're the winner. And you'll get to play puzzle 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.