On-air Challenge: I'm going to give you some categories in two words. You name something in each category starting with each initial in the category. Any answer that works is fine.
Ex. Zoo Animals --> Zebra, Anteater
1. Asian Countries
2. Dog Breeds
3. Cabinet Departments
4. Carnival Rides
5. Religious Holidays
6. Nonreligious Holidays
7. Florida Cities
8. [triple:] Foreign Auto Makes
Last challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Ben Austin, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Take the name of a major American city. Move one of its letters three spaces later in the alphabet. Embedded in the resulting string of letters, reading left to right, is a cardinal number. Remove that number, and the remaining letters, reading left to right, spell an ordinal number. What city is it, and what are the numbers?
Challenge answer: Fort Worth --> FOURTH + TWO
Winner: Ricardo Fonseca of Nashville, Tenn.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Ari Carr, of Madison, Wis. Name a form of musical composition. If you say the word quickly, you'll name something, in two words, that you might buy in a music store. What is it?
If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Sept. 2, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.
ASMA KHALID, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
KHALID: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster. Hi there, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Hey there, Asma.
KHALID: So, Will, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes. It came from listener Ben Austin of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. I said take the name of a major American city. Move one of its letters three spaces later in the alphabet. And embedded in the resulting string of letters, reading left to right, is a cardinal number. Remove that number. And the remaining letters, reading left to right, spell an ordinal number. What city is it? And what are the numbers? And the city is Fort Worth. Change the R to a U. And embedded in the string of letters is two, T-W-O. Remove that. And you're left with fourth.
KHALID: Well, we received nearly 1,400 correct responses. And the winner is Ricardo Fonseca of Nashville, Tenn. Congratulations, and welcome to the program.
RICARDO FONSECA: Well, thank you very much, Asma.
KHALID: So, Ricardo, as a longtime listener, first-time host here, I will say I am in awe of those...
KHALID: ...Of you who are able to figure these puzzles out. So how did you do it?
FONSECA: The main clue was the ordinal. So I said this word has to end in TH. So none of the major American cities came to mind at first. But then I just looked at 50 largest American cities. I saw Fort Worth, and then it was pretty easy to figure out from that.
KHALID: So how long have you been playing The Puzzle?
FONSECA: Intermittently for some three years.
KHALID: Well, Ricardo, are you now ready to play The Puzzle here?
FONSECA: I hope so.
KHALID: All right. Take it away, Will.
SHORTZ: All right. Ricardo, I like your puzzle-solving skills. I like the way you did that challenge. Now today, I'm going to give you some categories in two words. You name something in each category, starting with each initial in the category. And any answer that works is fine. For example, if I said zoo animals, you might say zebra and anteater because those start with Z and A just like the category zoo animals. Here is number one - Asian countries.
FONSECA: OK. Asian countries with A and C - well, Cambodia.
SHORTZ: Cambodia is a good C.
FONSECA: And then A...
SHORTZ: There's been one that's been in the news.
FONSECA: Oh, Afghanistan.
SHORTZ: Afghanistan. Azerbaijan would also have worked. Next category is dog breeds, starting with D and B.
FONSECA: Well, the doodles are popular - well, dachshund.
SHORTZ: Dachshund is good. Uh huh.
FONSECA: And then B - Bernese mountain dog.
SHORTZ: Oh, nice - beagle, basset hound, boxer and bulldog all work, too. How about cabinet departments?
FONSECA: So commerce.
SHORTZ: Commerce - nice.
FONSECA: And then D...
SHORTZ: It's a very important one. It protects the United States.
FONSECA: Of course, defense.
SHORTZ: Defense is it - good. All right. Your next category is carnival rides.
FONSECA: OK. C - I mean, there's those cars - the bumper cars.
SHORTZ: Yeah. Unfortunately, that's a B rather than a C.
FONSECA: Yeah, yeah. Carousel.
SHORTZ: Carousel - there's a great C. And how about an R? - probably takes up more room in the amusement park than any other ride.
FONSECA: A roller coaster.
SHORTZ: A roller coaster, yeah. Religious holidays.
FONSECA: Oh, Rosh Hashanah.
SHORTZ: Now you need an H.
FONSECA: The alternate spelling of Hanukkah.
SHORTZ: We'll give you Hanukkah.
SHORTZ: Yeah, that's what I was going for. Now try nonreligious holidays, N and H.
FONSECA: Well, Halloween.
SHORTZ: Halloween's a good H. And N - there's one near the start of the year - very near the start of the year.
FONSECA: Oh, New Year's Day.
SHORTZ: New Year's Day, yeah. Try this one - Florida cities.
SHORTZ: My answers both have two words and the F word...
FONSECA: Oh, yeah, Fort Lauderdale.
SHORTZ: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers works. And you need a C. My C is near Tampa-St. Pete.
SHORTZ: Clearwater - nice. And here's your last category. It's a triple. So you got to get three answers. And the category is foreign auto makes.
FONSECA: OK. Fiat.
SHORTZ: Fiat - good.
SHORTZ: Audi is right - and an M.
FONSECA: Foreign - Mitsubishi.
SHORTZ: Mitsubishi, Mazda, Maserati...
KHALID: That's great.
SHORTZ: ...All work. Nice job.
KHALID: Great job, Ricardo. How do you feel?
FONSECA: Much relieved.
KHALID: (Laughter) You got - you did fantastic. Well, thank you for playing our puzzle today. For that, 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. And Ricardo, before we let you go, I should ask, which member station do you listen to?
FONSECA: I'm a sustaining member of WPLN in Nashville.
KHALID: Great - of Nashville, Tenn. Well, thank you again for playing the Puzzle.
FONSECA: Thank you so much for having me.
KHALID: All right, Will. What is next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, this one comes from listener Ari Carr of Madison, Wis. Name a form of musical composition. If you say the word quickly, you'll name something in two words that you might buy in a music store. What is it? So, again, a form of musical composition - say the word quickly. And you'll name something in two words that you might buy in a music store. What is it?
KHALID: Well, when you have the answer, you can 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, September 2 at 3 p.m. Eastern. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you. If you're the winner, we'll give you a call. You'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Thanks, as always, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Asma.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.