A Brand-New Word
On-air challenge: Every answer is a well-known commercial name that spells a regular word or name backward. Identify the brands. For example, given "laundry detergent" and "work in a magazine office," the answer would be "tide" and "edit."
Last week's challenge: Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, and rearrange all seven letters. You will name something else you probably use every day. This seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they?
Answer: Soap; shampoo
Winner: Mark Weisman of Stow, Ohio
Next week's challenge: Name something in nine letters that is commonly read on Sunday morning. If you have the right thing, you can rearrange all the letters to name a bygone car model that you still see on the road today. What are they?
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.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Places, everyone, places. It is time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, Will, what's going in your life? Anything new and exciting happening?
SHORTZ: Well, something big this weekend. There is a Chinese table tennis star that has come to the United States and is particularly in my hometown of Pleasantville. And his goal is to become an American and play for the United States in international table tennis tournaments. And he's moving into my house this weekend.
MARTIN: Wow. So, you had to do a little spring cleaning to make room, I imagine?
SHORTZ: I've cleared the third-floor guest room. So, he's not only going to have a room, he'll have an entire floor to himself.
MARTIN: Also, you're going to have a live-in ping-pong partner.
SHORTZ: That's right. I'll get lessons whenever I want.
MARTIN: That's great. OK. Will, remind us, what was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yeah. Last week, I asked you to name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M and rearrange all seven letters. You'll name something else you probably use every day. And I said this seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they? Well, the four-letter thing was soap. Add O, H and M, shuffle it up and you get shampoo.
MARTIN: OK. Well, we received over 1,300 correct answers this week. And our randomly selected winner is Mark Weisman of Stow, Ohio. Hey, Mark. Congratulations.
MARK WEISMAN: Thanks.
MARTIN: So, how'd you figure this one out?
WEISMAN: Well, my friends would question whether I use soap every day, but I just thought of some household ordinary things, and it came to me kind of quickly.
MARTIN: Kind of quickly. Does it usually take you awhile or do they usually come pretty quick when you play...
WEISMAN: Usually, they come quickly.
MARTIN: And have you been playing the puzzle a long time?
WEISMAN: Twenty-five years maybe, since the late '80s.
MARTIN: Yes. That is a long time, officially. Well, we are glad to have you on this show. Are you ready to play the puzzle?
WEISMAN: I am.
MARTIN: OK. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Mark and Rachel. Every answer today is a well-known commercial name that spells a regular word or name backward. Identify the brands. For example, if I said a laundry detergent and backward it spells to work in a magazine office, you would say Tide and edit.
MARTIN: OK. You got it, Mark?
MARTIN: All right. Let's...
SHORTZ: All right. And we're starting with four-letter answers. Your first one is a brand of soap. And backward it means put down.
WEISMAN: Put down.
SHORTZ: Yeah, it's past tense - put down or placed.
SHORTZ: There you go. Dial and laid. Good. Number two is a powdered orange drink. And backward it's a flying insect.
WEISMAN: Gnat and Tang.
SHORTZ: That's it. Tang and gnat. A video game company, and backward it spells long periods of time.
MARTIN: Video game company.
SHORTZ: Not quite as long as eons geologically.
MARTIN: I'm stumped.
WEISMAN: You got me.
SHORTZ: All right. Well, the video game company is Sega and backward is ages.
MARTIN: Sega - that's old school.
SHORTZ: OK. Try this one: a brand of cigarette. And backward it means to peer.
WEISMAN: Kool and look.
SHORTZ: That's it. Processed meat. And backward it spells geographical charts.
WEISMAN: Spam and maps.
SHORTZ: That's it. Manufacturer of cosmetics. And backward it spells a blazing star.
WEISMAN: Avon, nova.
SHORTZ: Um-hum. An antacid. And backwards it spells blue material.
WEISMAN: Tums and smut.
SHORTZ: That's it. Swedish car. And backward it's some farm sounds.
WEISMAN: Saab, baas.
SHORTZ: And baas is it. Now, five letters. A bottled water. And backward it's innocent.
WEISMAN: Evian and naive.
SHORTZ: That's it.
MARTIN: Good, Mark.
SHORTZ: And now a six-letter answer: a Kia model. And certain battery ends.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: And Sedona...
SHORTZ: ...is it backwards. Sedona is a Kia Sedona. And your last one - also six letters - a beer, a brand of beer. And backward it's an item of summer apparel. I'll tell you backward, the summer apparel, that is something you'd wear on your legs.
WEISMAN: Strohs and shorts.
SHORTZ: Strohs and shorts is it.
MARTIN: Well done, Mark. That was great.
WEISMAN: Thank you. That was fun.
MARTIN: For playing the puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and, of course, puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Mark, what public radio station do you listen to?
WEISMAN: WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio.
MARTIN: Great. Mark Weisman of Stow, Ohio, thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Mark.
WEISMAN: Thank you, both.
MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, name something in nine letters that's commonly read on Sunday morning. If you have the right thing, you can rearrange all the letters to name a bygone car model that you still see on the road today. What is it?
So again: nine letters, something that's commonly read on Sunday morning. Rearrange the letters and you'll name a bygone car model. What things are these?
MARTIN: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 11th at 3 P.M. Eastern.
Please 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 will 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: Thanks, Rachel.
(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.