On-air challenge: Today's puzzle involves wordplay on some well-known Canadian place names. Example:
The name of which Canadian province is an anagram of "oration"?
Last week's challenge: The seven words in the following sentence have something very unusual in common — something that almost no other words in the English language share. What is it?
"Ira saw three emigrants restock large wands."
Answer: Each of the words is an anagram of a word in "The Star-Spangled Banner" (air, was, there, streaming, rockets, glare, dawn's).
Winner: Daniel Zimmerman of Austin, Texas.
Next week's challenge: The challenge comes from listener Adam Cohen. Name an occupation starting with the letter B. Remove the second, third and fourth letters. The remaining letters in order will name something you might experience in the presence of someone who has this occupation. What is it?
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.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
If you're heading for the beach today, grab your towel and your sunscreen, but don't forget the puzzle. Joining me now is Will Shortz. He, of course, is the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master. Hi, Will.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Lynn.
NEARY: Now I hear you're in Vancouver, and you are directing the National Puzzler's League convention. Tell me about that.
SHORTZ: Yeah, there's almost 200 word puzzle enthusiasts from all of the United States and Canada. It's three and a half days of word puzzles and games - great time. You'll probably be hearing some puzzles in the future that come out of this weekend.
NEARY: Well, it's too bad that you weren't there last week to see the U.S. Women's soccer team win the World Cup. That was so exciting.
SHORTZ: Fantastic, yes.
NEARY: And speaking of winning, Will, remind us of last week's challenge.
SHORTZ: Yes, I said the seven words in the following sentence have something very unusual in common - something that almost no other words in the English language share. What is it? And the sentence was, Ira saw three emigrants restock large wands. And the answer was each of the words is an anagram of a word in the first verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner" - air, was, there, streaming, rockets, glare, and dawns.
NEARY: This was a really hard one, I have to say, Will, because only 302 people got the answer right. And our randomly selected winner is Daniel Zimmerman from Austin, Texas. Congratulations, Daniel.
DANIEL ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.
NEARY: I understand you go to Cornell University in New York. What are you studying there?
ZIMMERMAN: I'm a computer science major, and I am doing a minor in religious studies.
NEARY: Oh, that's an interesting combination. How long have you been playing the puzzle?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I've been playing, on and off, for about five years. When I go to church with my sister and my mom, we always hear the puzzle right before we go in to church so I like to think about it during the sermon.
NEARY: That's what you're doing when the pastor is giving his sermon (laughter).
NEARY: Well, this one was a hard puzzle. How did you solve it?
ZIMMERMAN: Well, I actually went a couple different routes solving it. The first way I tried was - I thought that maybe all the word origins were similar. So I looked that up and that wasn't the case because wand, I think, was Germanic and emigrants was French. So after that, what I thought is, well, Ira is an anagram for air. So I thought all the words had to relate to air because there - or three - is an anagram for ether. But that wasn't the case because when I saw rockets and streaming, it became clear that, oh, this must come from "The Star-Spangled Banner."
NEARY: And, of course, it was Fourth of July weekend when that puzzle was...
ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, so that gave me a little bit of the confidence there.
NEARY: Are you ready to play now?
NEARY: OK, Will, what is our puzzle this week?
SHORTZ: All right, Daniel and Lynn, today I brought some wordplay on a few well-known Canadian place names. Just answer the questions. Here's number one. The name of which Canadian province is an anagram of oration?
SHORTZ: That is correct. Number two, the name of which Canadian province is an anagram of avocations.
ZIMMERMAN: Avocation, Vancouver.
SHORTZ: No, it's got to be a province and it's avocations, plural.
NEARY: I might have an idea if you don't get it.
ZIMMERMAN: No, I'm stuck there, sorry.
NEARY: Is it Nova Scotia?
SHORTZ: Nova Scotia, nice job. All right, try this. The name of which province starts and ends with the initials of two college degrees?
ZIMMERMAN: Oh, OK, so there's BA and then there's BS so it might be that.
SHORTZ: BA is one of those.
ZIMMERMAN: OK, let me think about the Canadian provinces. There's Saskatchewan, there's - oh, Manitoba.
SHORTZ: Manitoba - MA and BA - good. Here's your next one. The name of what major Canadian city, in seven letters, consists of two boys' names, one after the other?
ZIMMERMAN: OK, let's see there's Montreal, I don't see any boys' names.
SHORTZ: I'll give you a hint - it starts with a C.
ZIMMERMAN: C, so it could be Calgary.
SHORTZ: Yes, it could be Calgary.
ZIMMERMAN: Oh, Cal and Gary. Cal and Gary.
SHORTZ: There you go. All right, the name of what Canadian city, in 10 letters, would name a major landmark in Washington, D.C., if you changed an R to a U?
ZIMMERMAN: R to a U. Let me...
SHORTZ: Or turn it around - you're looking for a 10 letter-landmark in Washington, D.C., maybe the most famous one of all, that contains the letter U.
ZIMMERMAN: There's the White House...
ZIMMERMAN: ...Washington Monument.
SHORTZ: Yeah, go back to your - go back to White House. Change the U to an..
NEARY: White House.
ZIMMERMAN: Oh, OK, the White House.
ZIMMERMAN: White Horse. White Horse.
SHORTZ: White Horse, the capital of Yukon Territory, good. OK, here's your last one. The name of which province is hidden in consecutive letters in the following sentence. Is the boutique becoming popular?
ZIMMERMAN: Is the boutique becoming popular. Oh, Quebec.
SHORTZ: Quebec is correct. Nice job.
NEARY: Great job, Daniel.
ZIMMERMAN: Thank you.
NEARY: I wish I could've helped you with that. I was thinking - I was - couldn't think of the names of all the Canadian cities.
ZIMMERMAN: I wish I had studied more in geography.
NEARY: (Laughter) Well, for playing the puzzle today you will get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin as well as puzzle books and games. And you can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle. Daniel, tell us - what is your public radio station?
ZIMMERMAN: It is KUT in Austin, Texas.
NEARY: Oh, that's a great one. Keep listening and thanks so much for playing the puzzle, Daniel.
ZIMMERMAN: Thank you, Will. Thank you, Lynn.
NEARY: OK, Will, so what do you have next week to puzzle about?
SHORTZ: Yeah, the challenge comes from listener Adam Cohen who is here at the National Puzzler's League convention in Vancouver. Name an occupation starting with the letter B as in boy. Remove the second, third and fourth letters, and the remaining letters, in order, will name something you might experience in the presence of someone who has this occupation. What is it? So again, an occupation starting with the letter B, remove the second, third and fourth letters and the remaining letters, in order, will name something you might experience in the presence of someone who has this occupation. What is it?
NEARY: OK, when you have that answer go to our website, npr.org/puzzle, and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Just one entry per person, please, and our deadline for entries is Thursday July 16 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. And please 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 will 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 a lot, Lynn. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.