NPR's Eyder Peralta plays the puzzle with puzzle master Will Shortz and this week's winner Teri Fenner from San Diego, Calif.



And it's time to play The Puzzle.


PERALTA: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION.

Hey there, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Eyder.

PERALTA: So Will, remind us of last week's challenge.

SHORTZ: Yeah, it came from listener Brent McKay of Flagstaff, Ariz. I said name a famous singer, first and last names. Each name has two syllables. Change the first vowel sound in the first name and the last vowel sound in the last name. And in each case, phonetically you'll name part of the human body. Who's the singer? And the singer is Billie Eilish. Make those changes. You get belly and eyelash.

PERALTA: So we received more than 1,000 correct responses. And the winner is Teri Fenner from San Diego, Calif.

Congratulations, Teri, and welcome to the program.

TERI FENNER: Thank you very much.

PERALTA: So, Teri, how did you figure that out?

FENNER: So my son and his girlfriend, another friend - we were sitting around the table during this break playing with the puzzle app. And then we heard the question. We thought it's going to be much easier to figure out two syllable body parts, and we just started going through and, you know, elbow and kneecap. And we got to eyelash. It just came to us.

PERALTA: All right. I hear you have a new puppy. You have to tell us all about that.

FENNER: Oh, his name is Murphy (ph). He's a poodle mixed with a wheaten terrier, and he's 10 months old now. He's just a lot of fun.

PERALTA: Teri, are you ready to play The Puzzle?

FENNER: Excited and nervous, but yes.

PERALTA: (Laughter) OK, Will, take it away.

SHORTZ: All right, Teri, don't be nervous. I'm going to give you two words. Drop one letter in each of them to name two new words that are in the same category of things. For example, if I said drill and stage, you would say dill and sage, dropping the R from drill and the T from stage. And, of course, dill and sage are both herbs.


SHORTZ: OK. Number one is marks - M-A-R-K-S and venues - V-E-N-U-E-S.

FENNER: Marks, venues. Marks. Max, Mars. Mars, Venus.

SHORTZ: Mars and Venus. You got it. Number two is bred - B-R-E-D and violent - V-I-O-L-E-N-T.

FENNER: Bead. Bead, violin.

SHORTZ: No, all you have to do is drop one letter from each word. B-R-E-D was the first word.


SHORTZ: Drop one of those letters.

FENNER: Bed. Or red. Red, violet.

SHORTZ: Red and violet.


SHORTZ: You got it. Next one is scorn - S-C-O-R-N and beret - B-E-R-E-T.

FENNER: B-E like the hat.


FENNER: Corn, beet.

SHORTZ: Corn and beet - vegetables. Preach - P-R-E-A-C-H and bandana - B-A-N-D-A-N-A.

FENNER: Preach, bandana. Peach, banana.

SHORTZ: Peach and banana. Blush - B-L-U-S-H and charter - C-H-A-R-T-E-R.

FENNER: Lush. Lush, no. Not lush, chart. Lush, heart. Bush. Bush, Bush. Is it bush?

SHORTZ: Yes. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

FENNER: Bush and shrub, no (laughter). Charter. Carter? No.


FENNER: Bush and...

SHORTZ: You got it. What do Bush and Carter have in common?

FENNER: Oh, presidents, OK.

SHORTZ: They're presidents, yeah.

FENNER: (Laughter) I was thinking tree bush.

SHORTZ: Exactly. Misleading. And here's your last one, cinder - C-I-N-D-E-R and larger - L-A-R-G-E-R.

FENNER: Large, binder. Send, binder. Binder, large. Arge. Binder and arge. I'm drawing a blank on this one.

SHORTZ: All right, drop the N from cinder.

FENNER: Cider and lager.

SHORTZ: Good job.

FENNER: (Laughter) Thank you.

PERALTA: Teri, great job. How do you feel?

FENNER: Relieved. It was fun (laughter).


FENNER: Little nerve-racking, too, but thank you.

PERALTA: So 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 And, Teri, which member station do you listen to?

FENNER: I listen to KPBS in San Diego.

PERALTA: Teri Fenner from San Diego, thank you for playing The Puzzle.

FENNER: Thank you for having me.

PERALTA: OK, Will, what's next week's challenge?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener David Yanover of South Pasadena, Calif. Take the name of a certain vegetable. Move the seventh, fifth and sixth letters in that order to the front of the word. And phonetically, you'll name another vegetable. What vegetables are these? So again, a certain vegetable. Move the seventh, fifth and sixth letters in that order to the front. And phonetically, you'll name another vegetable. What vegetables are these?

PERALTA: When you have the answer, go to our website and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Remember, just one entry, please. Our deadline for entries is Thursday, January 6 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. And if you pick up the phone, you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and puzzlemaster of WEEKEND EDITION, Will Shortz.

Will, thank you.

SHORTZ: Thank you, Eyder.

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