On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some six-letter words. For each one, change one of the consonants to a vowel to make another familiar six-letter word.
Example: DEFECT --> DEFEAT
Last week's challenge: This came from listener Judy Horn, of Reading, Mass. Name a famous person with the initials M.C. The first initial and last name anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it?
Challenge answer: Michael Caine --> CINEMA
Winner: Danette Pachtner of Durham, N.C.
This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Take the name of a famous actor — 4 letters in the first name, 5 letters in the last. Spoonerize it. That is, interchange the initial consonant sounds of the first and last names. The result will be two new familiar first names — one male, one female — that start with the same letter ... but that letter is pronounced differently in the two names. Who's the actor?
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, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m. ET.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lulu.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yeah. It came from listener Judy Horn of Reading, Mass. I said, name a famous person with the initials M.C. The first initial and last name anagram to the person's field of renown. What is it? And the answer was Michael Caine, the two-time Oscar winner. His first initial and last name anagram to cinema.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We received nearly 1,200 correct responses, and the winner this week is Danette Pachtner of Durham, N.C.
DANETTE PACHTNER: Thank you so much.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: So how did you figure it out?
PACHTNER: Well, my family and I have made a tradition since the pandemic of sitting around the breakfast table listening to the show. So my daughter looked up famous M.C. people, and we went down the list. And I was hoping maybe it would be Marie Curie. I was thinking maybe the field of renown would be music. But then we went back over it, and I looked at Michael Caine, and it just jumped out at me that cinema was what it was.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: And that is interesting because you work at Duke University in something kind of related.
PACHTNER: I am the film librarian for...
PACHTNER: ...Duke University libraries, and it's the best job on the planet.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It sounds like the best job on the planet. I am deeply envious of that job. And we are going to let Will take it away.
PACHTNER: Oh, my gosh. OK.
SHORTZ: OK. Danette, I'm going to give you some six-letter words. For each one, change one of the consonants to a vowel to make another familiar six-letter word. For example, if I said defect - D-E-F-E-C-T - you would say defeat, which changes the C to an A.
PACHTNER: All right.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: That was a heavy sigh.
PACHTNER: I already feel defeated, but let's give it a shot.
SHORTZ: All right. Number one is avenge - A-V-E-N-G-E.
PACHTNER: OK, avenge. And I change a consonant to a vowel to...
SHORTZ: Change the G.
PACHTNER: Change the G. Avenge to - oh, my goodness. I'm already blanking on the first one. Any clues?
SHORTZ: Yeah. It's a synonym of street.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. I was about to sing the song to - you know, since you're a film historian, I was going to do...
PACHTNER: Well, avenue.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: ..."Easter Parade" song. Exactly.
PACHTNER: Thank you.
SHORTZ: Bravo - avenue. Change to G to U.
PACHTNER: Bravo. Good one. Good clue. Thank you (laughter).
SHORTZ: Number two is dipper - D-I-P-P-E-R.
PACHTNER: Dipper to diaper.
SHORTZ: Diaper - yes, you got it. Mighty - M-I-G-H-T-Y.
PACHTNER: Mighty would go to...
SHORTZ: Change the first letter.
PACHTNER: A, E, I, O, U - wow. I don't see anything. A, E - eighty. Eighty. Oh, my goodness.
SHORTZ: Eighty is it. You got it. Try this - preppy - P-R-E-P-P-Y.
PACHTNER: P-R-E-P-P-Y goes to...
SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint. It's something you usually have to do at a self-serve gas station.
PACHTNER: (Laughter) Not pumpy (ph).
PACHTNER: A - prepay.
SHORTZ: Prepay is it. Grouse - G-R-O-U-S-E.
SHORTZ: Try the G.
PACHTNER: OK. Arouse.
SHORTZ: That's it. Madden - M-A-D-D-E-N.
PACHTNER: Madden - maiden.
SHORTZ: That was fast. Biking - B-I-K-I-N-G.
PACHTNER: Biking - oh, my. Bikini.
SHORTZ: Excellent. Try this one. Carter...
PACHTNER: Carter - not Cartier. Let's see.
SHORTZ: All right. Here's your movie hint - my brilliant blank.
PACHTNER: Career - thank you.
SHORTZ: There you go.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Nice one.
SHORTZ: Now try this. Grange - G-R-A-N-G-E.
SHORTZ: Oh, that was fast. Decent - D-E-C-E-N-T.
PACHTNER: OK. Decent...
SHORTZ: Change the N.
PACHTNER: Change the N - deceit.
SHORTZ: Good. Here's your next-to-last one - stanch - S-T-A-N-C-H.
PACHTNER: S-T-A-N-C-H to...
SHORTZ: Change the H.
PACHTNER: OK. S-T-A-N - stance.
SHORTZ: Stance. And now, interestingly, change a letter in stance to make a new word.
SHORTZ: Seance - good job.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Good job. How do you feel?
PACHTNER: I know. I feel like I warmed up at the end. Thank you, guys.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You did great. You really did. And 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. And, Danette, which member station do you listen to?
PACHTNER: We listen to WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Danette Pachtner of Durham, N.C., thank you so much for playing The Puzzle.
PACHTNER: Thank you, guys. It was an honor.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, Will. What's next week's challenge?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Greg VanMechelen of Berkeley, Calif. Take the name of a famous actor - four letters in the first name, five letters in the last. Spoonerize (ph) it - that is, interchange the initial consonant sounds of the first and last names. And the result will be two new, familiar first names - one male, one female - that start with the same letter. But that letter is pronounced differently in the two names. Who's the actor? So again, famous actor, four, five, spoonerize it - that is, interchange the initial consonant sounds. The result will be two new, familiar first names - one male, one female - that start with the same letter, but that letter is pronounced differently in the two names. Who's the actor?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you have the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the submit your answer link. Remember, just one entry per person, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, September 24, at 3 p.m. Eastern. 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'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster, Will Shortz.
Thanks so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Lulu.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.