On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a popular music group, past or present. You'll be given clues in which two letters in the group's name have been changed. For example, given "The Bench Boss," the answer would be "The Beach Boys," after changing the N in "Bench" to an A and the first S of "Boss" to a Y.
Last Week's Challenge: Think of a two-word phrase for something seen at a baseball game, four letters in each word. Change one letter in each word to a new letter to get a new two-word phrase that names a popular music group of the past. Name the group.
Answer: The baseball term is either "foul tips" or "foul pops," and the music group is the "Four Tops."
Winner: Michael Oleske of Manhasset, N.Y.
Next Week's Challenge from listener Sandy Weisz of Chicago: Name an article of clothing that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet consecutively in the word. For example, "canopy" contains the consecutive letters N-O-P. This article of clothing is often worn in a country whose name also contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together. What is the clothing article, and what is the country?
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. Get out your number twos, folks, or, if you're feeling bold, why not grab a pen, because it is once again time for the puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MARTIN: Joining us now is the puzzle editor of the New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: OK. So, Will, you tested our baseball know-how last week. Remind us what was last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. The challenge was to name something seen at a baseball game. This was a two-word phrase, four letters in each word. Change one letter in each word to a new letter to get a new two-word phrase that names a popular music group of the past. Name the group. Well, the group is the Four Tops, and you can get the answer in two ways. My intended phrase was foul tips. A lot of people submitted foul pops, and we accepted that as well.
MARTIN: OK. So, more than 1,300 of you figured out at least one of those answer. And our randomly selected winner this week is Michael Oleske of Manhasset, New York. Congratulations, Michael.
MICHAEL OLESKE: Well, thank you. I have never won anything so this is a great surprise.
MARTIN: Fabulous. About how long did it take you to figure this out, Michael?
OLESKE: I checked online to make sure that I had heard it right, because I thought it was two four-letter words that you hear in a baseball game. And I've heard a lot of four-letter words at baseball games...
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
MARTIN: I'm sure. Yeah.
OLESKE: ...that has nothing to do with baseball. And I was thinking like home runs and base hits. So, I started reverse engineered it and tried to think of two-word singing group then I could then back off into a, you know, a baseball term. And what came to mind immediately were the Four Tops. Four Tops became foul tips.
MARTIN: Well, without further ado, Michael, are you ready to play the puzzle?
OLESKE: I sure hope so.
MARTIN: All right. Let's do this. Will, take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Michael and Rachel. Today's puzzle is a spinoff of last week's challenge. Every answer is the name of a popular music group, past or present, in which I've changed two letters in their name. You name the group. For example, if I said the bench boss, you'd say the Beach Boys, changing the N in bench to an A, and the first S of boss to a Y.
MARTIN: OK. You ready for this, Michael?
OLESKE: OK. This is one where I'm going to have to write down quickly and then try to figure it out quickly without too much airtime silence. So, let's see what happens.
SHORTZ: Try that.
MARTIN: Let's try it, let's try it.
SHORTZ: And who knows, maybe you could do this in your head. Number one is the Bentley B-E-N-T-L-E-Y.
OLESKE: The Beatles.
SHORTZ: The Beatles is correct. Number two is the donkeys D-O-N-K-E-Y-S.
OLESKE: That would be the Monkees.
SHORTZ: That was fast. The novice N-O-V-I-C-E.
MARTIN: Is Sting in this band?
SHORTZ: Sting is in this band, good.
OLESKE: The Police.
SHORTZ: The Police is it. The pet show toys.
OLESKE: OK. That's something, something boys and...
OLESKE: The Pet Shop Boys?
SHORTZ: The Pet Shop Boys is it. The banjoes B-A-N-J-O-E-S.
OLESKE: The Bangles?
SHORTZ: The Bangles, good. The blank eyed pear P-E-A-R.
OLESKE: That's the Black Eyed Peas.
SHORTZ: The Black Eyed Peas.
MARTIN: Well done.
SHORTZ: The printer sitters.
OLESKE: That's got to be something sisters.
OLESKE: So, it's the Painter Sisters.
MARTIN: Ooh, so close.
SHORTZ: No. But change that second letter.
MARTIN: I'm trying to remember.
OLESKE: The Pointer Sisters.
SHORTZ: The Pointer Sisters is it. The glass rooms.
OLESKE: Glass rooms, roofs? Not roofs.
SHORTZ: Not roofs.
MARTIN: This one has me stumped.
SHORTZ: One of my favorite bands from the '60s and '70s. Got lots of albums by them.
OLESKE: Do you really?
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
MARTIN: Will's glass rooms.
SHORTZ: Grass is it, yeah.
SHORTZ: The grass...
OLESKE: The Grass Roots, OK.
SHORTZ: The Grass Roots is it, good.
OLESKE: We're dating ourselves, Will.
SHORTZ: I know, I know. The slashing bumpkins.
OLESKE: Oh, Smashing Pumpkins.
SHORTZ: That's it. The thongs T-H-O-N-G-S. Do you know the song "Wild Thing?"
OLESKE: "Wild Thing," that's the Troggs.
SHORTZ: The Troggs is it.
MARTIN: Wow. OK.
SHORTZ: How about the bad city hollers.
OLESKE: The bad? The Bay City Rollers.
SHORTZ: The Bay City Rollers. The manacles M-A-N-A-C-L-E-S.
OLESKE: The Miracles.
SHORTZ: The Miracles. That was fast. And your last one is the walking herds, H-E-R-D-S.
OLESKE: Talking Nerds - is there such a band?
SHORTZ: Talking is right.
OLESKE: Talking Heads.
SHORTZ: The Talking Heads. Good job.
MARTIN: Excellent. Great job, Michael. That was really well done.
OLESKE: I just couldn't believe how many there were.
MARTIN: And for playing the puzzle today, you will 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, Michael, what is your public radio station?
OLESKE: My wife and I are members of WNYC in New York.
MARTIN: Fabulous. We love to hear that you're members. Michael Oleske of Manhasset, New York, thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Michael.
OLESKE: Oh, thank you. This was really a lot of fun.
MARTIN: OK. So, Will, what have you cooked up for us for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes, the challenge comes from listener Sandy Weisz of Chicago. Name an article of clothing that contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet consecutively in the word. For example, canopy, C-A-N-O-P-Y, contains the consecutive letters N-O-P. But canopy is not usually something you wear. This article of clothing is often worn in a country whose name also contains three consecutive letters of the alphabet together. What is the clothing article and what is the country?
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 12th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you are 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 puzzle-master, Will Shortz.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.