On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word ends in GO. Drop the GO, and what's left will answer the second clue.
For example: What's loaded onto a ship / Automobile --> CARGO
1. Tropical fruit / Guy or fellow
2. Australian sheep menace / Cacophony
3. Ballroom dance / Light brown
4. Second-longest river in Africa / Opposed to
5. North Dakota city / At a distance
6. Game with a 25-square card / Large container
7. Foreigner in Mexico / Smile
8. Italian cheese / Where China is
9. Third-largest city in America / Latin-American girl
10. Name of a bay in Jamaica / Card game associated with cheats
11. California city / Cookie often made with pecans
12. Enthusiastic response from an audience (2 words) / Substitute (hyphenated)
Last week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. Name a well-known game in 8 letters. Drop the fifth letter. Move the first letter into the vacated spot and you'll spell, in order, part of the human body. What game is it, and what's the body part?
Challenge Answer: Cribbage, rib cage
Winner: Amy Vames of Highland Park, N.J.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Michael Wilk of Goleta, Calif. Think of a hyphenated word that describes certain pants. The first half of the word and a homophone of the second half are synonyms. What kind of pants are these?
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, March 5, at 3 p.m. ET.
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LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Leila.
FADEL: So will you remind us of last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Peter Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich. I said, name a well-known game in eight letters. Drop the fifth letter. Move the first letter into the vacated spot. And you'll spell, in order, part of the human body. What's the game? And what's the body part? And the game is cribbage. And do those operations. You get rib cage.
FADEL: We received over 1,600 correct responses. And the winner this week is Amy Vames of Highland Park, N.J.
Congratulations. And welcome to the program.
AMY VAMES: Thank you. Hi.
FADEL: So how'd you solve the puzzle?
VAMES: Well, it took me a few days. But I - my husband got it pretty quickly. And he was trying to give me clues, but I wasn't really coming up with any game. So then one night in bed, I just started thinking of body parts. And so I did it backwards, and I got rib cage. And then I immediately thought, oh, cribbage, even though I've never played the game myself. So...
FADEL: Oh, wow. So how long have you been playing The Puzzle?
VAMES: Oh, gosh - quite a long time - not postcard days but, you know, probably at least 10, 15 years. And I try to send in my answer whenever I can.
FADEL: And now you get to play on air.
FADEL: Are you ready to play?
VAMES: Yes, I am.
FADEL: Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right. Amy, I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word ends in G-O. Drop the G-O. And what's left will answer the second clue. For example, if I said what's loaded onto a ship and automobile, you would say cargo. And when you drop the last two letters, you get car.
SHORTZ: Number one is a tropical fruit and a guy or fellow.
VAMES: Mango and man.
SHORTZ: That's it - an Australian sheep menace and cacophony.
VAMES: Dingo and din.
SHORTZ: That's it - a ballroom dance and light brown.
VAMES: Tango and tan.
FADEL: Wow. You are so good at this, Amy.
SHORTZ: Bam, bam, bam - second-longest river in Africa and opposed to.
VAMES: Congo and con.
SHORTZ: Nice - North Dakota city at a distance.
VAMES: Fargo and far.
SHORTZ: A game with a card that has 25 squares and a large container.
VAMES: Bingo and bin.
SHORTZ: That's it - a foreigner in Mexico and a smile.
VAMES: Gringo and grin.
SHORTZ: That's it - an Italian cheese and where China is.
VAMES: Asiago and Asia.
SHORTZ: Nice - the third-largest city in America and a Latin American girl.
VAMES: Oh, Chicago and chica.
SHORTZ: That's it - name of a bay in Jamaica and a card game associated with cheats.
VAMES: Oh. Wait. Can you do that - say that again?
SHORTZ: Yeah. Your first clue is the name of a bay in Jamaica and a card game associated with cheats.
SHORTZ: And that card game you might see when you're walking down the street and someone has a table with three cards.
VAMES: Oh. Oh. I'm blanking on the name of that.
SHORTZ: And it's often called three-card...
VAMES: Oh, Montego and monte.
SHORTZ: That's it.
SHORTZ: A California city...
SHORTZ: ...And a cookie often made with pecans.
VAMES: Oh, San Diego and sandie.
SHORTZ: And a sandie is right. And your last one - it's tricky. The first part is a two-word answer. It's an enthusiastic response from an audience.
SHORTZ: And drop the G-O, and you get a hyphenated word that means substitute.
VAMES: Something like...
SHORTZ: So you're...
VAMES: Oh, standing O and stand-in.
SHORTZ: That's it. Nice job.
VAMES: (Laughter) Thanks.
FADEL: Wow. You powered through that.
VAMES: Oh (laughter). Thank you.
FADEL: How do you feel?
VAMES: Good (laughter) and relieved.
VAMES: It was fun, though.
FADEL: For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Amy, which member station do you listen to?
VAMES: I listen to WNYC in New York City.
FADEL: That's Amy Vames of Highland Park, N.J. Thanks for playing The Puzzle.
VAMES: Thank you.
FADEL: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Michael Wilk of Goleta, Calif. Think of a hyphenated word that describes certain pants. The first half of the word and a homophone of the second half are synonyms. What kind of pants are these? So again, a hyphenated word that describes some pants - the first half of the word and a homophone of the second half are synonyms. What kind of pants are these?
FADEL: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, March 5, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. If you're 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 puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Thank you so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thank you, Leila.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.