On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a famous, one-named singer like Madonna or Beyoncé. Identify each name from its anagram, to which one extra letter is added. The singers are a mix of past and present. For example, given "ADS" plus "E," the answer is "Sade."
Last week's challenge: This is a spinoff of the on-air puzzle. Name a country with at least three consonants. These are the same consonants, in the same order, as in the name of a language spoken by millions of people worldwide. The country and the place where the language is principally spoken are in different parts of the globe. What country and what language are these?
Answer: Ukraine/Korean, Lebanon/Albanian, Uganda/Gondi.
Winner: Carl Huber of York, Penn.
Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Ed Pegg, Jr., who runs the website mathpuzzle.com. Take the phrase "merchant raider." A merchant raider was a vessel in World War I and World War II that targeted enemy merchant ships. Rearrange the letters of "merchant raider" to get two well-known professions. 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:
We may have had to say goodbye to lead David Letterman this past week, but luckily our own pop culture icon is not retiring any time soon. Let's play the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Good morning, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.
MARTIN: So you are not retiring anytime soon, right?
SHORTZ: No, I'm not. Did you watch Letterman's last show?
MARTIN: No, I didn't. I missed it.
SHORTZ: Oh, of course, you have to...
MARTIN: It's on way too late for me.
SHORTZ: ...Probably go to bed hours before that.
MARTIN: Yeah, so many hours before that show is on. But, I mean, so you're not retiring, but let's just play this mental game. If you were retiring, are you a beach guy or are you a mountains guy?
SHORTZ: When I was younger, I went to the beach every day when I could. I don't know. I'd probably go to the mountains now, though.
MARTIN: OK. What was last week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes, I said name a country with at least three consonants. These are the same consonants, I said, in the same order as in the name of a language spoken by millions of people worldwide. What country and language are these? Well, my answer was Ukraine and Korean. But I tell you, we got another answer I like even better 'cause it has more consonants. It's Lebanon and Albanian, which has four. We also accepted Uganda and Gondi, G-O-N-D-I, which is a language in India.
MARTIN: OK, so 200 of you got the correct answer. Our winner this week is Carl Huber of York, Penn. He joins us on the line now. Hey, Carl, congratulations.
CARL HUBER: Thank you, Rachel. I'm really glad to be here.
MARTIN: So which answer did you come up with?
HUBER: Oh, I came up with Ukraine and Korean simply by taking the consonants and sticking vowels in front of it 'cause I assumed a Will puzzle would have a vowel in front of one of the first consonants somehow.
SHORTZ: (Laugher) Nice.
HUBER: I said, OK. And I just stumbled on Korea and then got U, K, R and that's all I needed.
MARTIN: With that, Carl, are you to play the puzzle?
MARTIN: Let's give it a go, Will.
SHORTZ: All right, Carl and Rachel, every answer today is the name of a famous one-named singer like Madonna or Beyonce. Identify each one from its anagram. And I'll tell you the singers are a mix of past and present. For example, if I said ads, A-D-S, plus E, you would say Sade.
MARTIN: Sade. All right, let's try.
SHORTZ: Number one is yen, Y-E-N, plus A.
SHORTZ: Enya is right. Number two is lead, L-E-A-D, plus E.
HUBER: L-E-A-D, Adele.
SHORTZ: Adele is right. Dare, D-A-R-E, plus K.
HUBER: That was what again? The first letter.
SHORTZ: D-A - I'll tell you. Like you're on a dare - D-A-R-E, plus K.
HUBER: Oh, boy.
SHORTZ: We're looking for rapper here, and it is a regular English word in addition.
HUBER: D as in David was the first letter?
SHORTZ: That's right.
HUBER: And it's a regular English word.
MARTIN: What does it start with?
SHORTZ: It starts with a D.
HUBER: Oh, man. I can't believe I can't see this.
SHORTZ: You want to jump in, Rachel?
MARTIN: I think it's Drake.
SHORTZ: It's Drake. Very good.
HUBER: Oh, Drake. Oh, OK. That never dawned on me. OK.
SHORTZ: Grief, G-R-I-E-F, plus E. It's a female singer.
SHORTZ: And it's a female first name - nickname.
HUBER: Fergie. My wife said Fergie.
MARTIN: Who's giving you the answers? (Laughter)
SHORTZ: I hear here an answer in the background. Fergie is it, yes.
MARTIN: Tell her to whisper her hints.
HUBER: I don't know these people.
HUBER: All right.
MARTIN: All right.
SHORTZ: OK. Here's your last one - caliber, C-A-L-I-B-E-R, plus E.
HUBER: What was the add-on?
SHORTZ: Plus the letter E. Letter is E.
SHORTZ: And it's a singer who used to perform in Las Vegas.
MARTIN: Am I going to have to send you guys two lapel pins?
HUBER: Cheryl's (ph) going to get the other WEEKEND EDITION pin because she just answered some of them for me.
MARTIN: (Laughter) All right.
MARTIN: We don't typically allow teamwork, but I suppose we'll make a special dispensation today. Great job, Carl and Cheryl. For playing the puzzle, you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, maybe two, puzzle books and games as well. You can read about your prizes at npr.org/puzzle. And before we let you go, Carl, where do you hear us?
HUBER: We've been subscribers to WITF in Harrisburg, formally Hershey, since the mid-70s so that's our station.
MARTIN: That is great to hear. Carl Huber of York, Penn. Thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Carl.
HUBER: Thank you, Rachel. Goodbye, Will.
SHORTZ: So long.
MARTIN: (Laughter) Cheryl. OK.
SHORTZ: OK. That's a first, yeah.
MARTIN: OK, Will, what's up for next week?
SHORTZ: Yes. The challenge comes from listener Ed Pegg, Jr., who runs the website mathpuzzle.com. Take the phrase merchant raider. And a merchant raider was a vessel in World War I and II that targeted enemy merchant ships. And here's the puzzle. Rearrange the letters of merchant raider to get two well-known professions. What are they? So the letters are M-E-R-C-H-A-N-T-R-A-I-D-E-R. Rearrange these letters to get two well-known professions. What are they?
MARTIN: When you've got the answer, go to npr.org/puzzle. Click on that submit your answer link. Just one entry per person please. And our deadline for those entries is Thursday, May 28 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Don't forget to include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And you know how it goes, if you're the winner, we give you a call. And then you 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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.