On-air challenge: I've brought a game of categories based on the word MAROC — the French way to say Morocco. For each category, name something in it starting with each of the letters M-A-R-O-C. For example, if the category were "Two-Syllable Girls' Names," you might say Mary, Amy, Rachel, Opal, and Carly. Here are the categories:
1. U.S. PRESIDENTS
2. FOREIGN MAKES OF CARS
3. THINGS FOUND ON A BOAT
Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Tyler Lipscomb of Hamden, Conn. If five = four, six = nine, and seven = five, what does twelve equal?
Challenge answer: 55. Consecutive letters in each number represent a number in Roman numerals: f(IV)e, s(IX), se(V)en, twe(LV)e
Winner: Adam Boyette of Fort Worth, Texas
This week's challenge: This is a two-week challenge from Lee Zion, of Lafayette, Minn. It may sound impossible, but it's not. You wake up trapped in a round room with six doors. A voice over a loudspeaker tells you that five of the doors are booby-trapped and will bring instant death if you try to open them. Only one door provides an opening that will get you out safely. The doors are evenly spaced around the room. They look exactly alike. Your only clue is that on the wall between each pair of doors is a large letter of the alphabet. Going clockwise, the letters are H, I, J, K, L and M. Which is the correct door that will get you out ... and why?
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 Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 3 p.m. ET.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
And it's time to play The Puzzle.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
FADEL: Joining us is Will Shortz. He's puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster.
WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Leila.
FADEL: And this week, we're joined by special guest Ted Allen.
TED ALLEN: Hello. I've never talked to a puzzlemaster before. That's a great title - right up there with wig master.
FADEL: For those of you who might need a reminder, Ted is the host of "Chopped." He was part of the lineup on the original "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy." And he graced our airwaves in November to help us navigate hosting a Thanksgiving dinner.
Welcome back, Ted.
ALLEN: Hey, it's great to be with you again.
FADEL: So Ted, are you ready to play The Puzzle?
ALLEN: I am as ready as I'll ever be.
FADEL: All right, Will. Take it away.
SHORTZ: All right, Ted and Leila. I've brought a game of categories based on the word Maroc - M-A-R-O-C - which is where I'll be by the time you hear this - Maroc being the French way to say Morocco. For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters M-A-R-O-C. For example, if the category were two-syllable girls' names, you might say Mary, Amy, Rachel, Odette and Carly. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order.
ALLEN: Oh, God.
SHORTZ: Number one is U.S. presidents. Can you think of a president starting - his name starts with M?
ALLEN: Well, Milhous, but that's his middle name. It starts with M. This should be so easy.
SHORTZ: There you go.
ALLEN: There you go. Madison - now they're all going to come. Madison, Monroe...
SHORTZ: And there's also McKinley, but you only need one. Now try an A.
SHORTZ: OK - R.
ALLEN: Oh, I can't think of an R.
SHORTZ: Roosevelt is good - also, Reagan. How about O?
ALLEN: You're much better at this than I am.
SHORTZ: Think - there you go. Obama - good.
ALLEN: Oh, my God.
SHORTZ: And there's a whole bunch of Cs. Think of one from the late 20th century starting with C.
ALLEN: Oh, yeah - Clinton (laughter).
SHORTZ: Clinton is good - also, Carter, Coolidge and Cleveland.
ALLEN: Oh, good Lord. You know what? I just literally finished reading the Hamilton biography yesterday. You'd think I'd be a little better at this.
SHORTZ: (Laughter) You're doing fine. All right, Ted. Are you a car guy?
SHORTZ: All right. Your next category is foreign makes of cars.
ALLEN: OK - Maybach.
SHORTZ: Maybach - wow. That's about the most expensive one. Yeah. Fine. That's impressive. A.
ALLEN: Audi - Audi is one.
SHORTZ: Audi is good. Acura, Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo are good. How about an R? There was one from France.
ALLEN: Oh, yeah - Renault.
FADEL: That was my first car.
SHORTZ: Renault is good - also, Rolls Royce. How about an O?
ALLEN: Well, I think Oldsmobile, but that's not foreign.
SHORTZ: No. There's an O in Europe that's - doesn't - it's not sold here, but it's all over Europe, and it sounds like the name of a gemstone.
SHORTZ: Opel is it - O-P-E-L. That's good. And how about C? Think about something from France.
ALLEN: Oh, oh, oh - Citroen.
SHORTZ: Citroen, good.
FADEL: All I could think of was cheese when you said France.
SHORTZ: Your next category is things found on a boat.
ALLEN: OK - mast.
SHORTZ: Mast is good.
SHORTZ: Anchor - nice job. And R?
SHORTZ: I'll give you rotor - also, rope, raft, rigging, rudder and rail. How about an O?
ALLEN: On a boat - oars.
SHORTZ: Oar is good.
SHORTZ: And C?
SHORTZ: Captain - yeah.
ALLEN: Captain - good one.
SHORTZ: All right. Well, you two are a good team. And Ted, you were really nice at this.
ALLEN: Well, I think we've established that there's only one puzzlemaster in this conversation.
FADEL: And it's not us, Ted.
ALLEN: And it's not us.
FADEL: Great job 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.
Ted, which member station do you listen to?
ALLEN: I listen to WNYC.
FADEL: That's Ted Allen of "Chopped."
Thanks for playing The Puzzle.
ALLEN: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
FADEL: All right, Will. We're in the middle of a two-week challenge. Why don't you remind us what that is?
SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from Lee Zion of Lafayette, Minn. And here's the situation. You wake up trapped in a round room with six doors. A voice over a loudspeaker tells you that five of the doors are booby-trapped and will bring instant death if you try to open them. Only one door provides an opening that will get you out safely. The doors are evenly spaced around the room. They look exactly alike. Your only clue is that on the wall, between each pair of doors, is a large letter of the alphabet. And going clockwise, the letters are H, I, J, K, L and M - H to M. What is the correct door that will get you out and why?
FADEL: When you have the answer, 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 Wednesday, September 4, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. 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.
Thank you so much, Will.
SHORTZ: Thanks, Leila. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.