Weekend Edition

Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 10am

News, analysis, essays, and features for your weekend, anchored by Scott Simon on Saturdays, NPR's Peabody Award-winning host and correspondent. Sundays are hosted by NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro and feature The New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz offering a challenging puzzle each week. 

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some common five-letter words in Spanish. For each one, rearrange the letters to spell a common, uncapitalized word in English.
Example: CESTA (basket) --> CASTE
1. TODOS (all or every)
2. TRUCO (trick)
3. BANCO (bank)
4. ARROZ (rice)
5. CINCO (five)
6. JABON (soap)
7. TORRE (tower)
8. PECHO (chest)
9. HUESO (bone)
10. ODIAR (to hate)

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(SOUNDBITE OF DOLLY PARTON SONG, "TOGETHER YOU AND I")

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Dolly - at a time with so much division, writer Sarah Smarsh says Dolly Parton might just be the great unifier.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOGETHER YOU AND I")

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It's either a perfect or a perfectly terrifying time for Lauren Tarshis's I Survived books, a series of historical fiction that follows one kid as he or she finds themselves in mortal danger at the center of an event — like the Great Chicago Fires of 1871. But as she points out — at least you know the ending. "Some kid who hasn't read it goes, 'But does he, you know, but he died in the first chapter!' Because I leave them on a cliffhanger, and I say, well, you know what would have been a really bad name for my series? I Died.

On-air challenge: The theme of this puzzle is P, B & J. I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters P, B and J. You give me a fourth word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Example: Parking, Back, Job --> LOT (parking lot, back lot, job lot)

Starting with three-letter answers:

1. Penalty, Boom, Juke

2. Power, Buzz, Jig

3. Present, Birth, Judgment

4. Pill, Bed, Jitter

Now four-letter answers:

5. Perp, Board, Jay

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National Book Award winner Phil Klay's new novel Missionaries takes readers around the world, from the chaos in Iraq and Afghanistan to turmoil in rural Colombia.

"The more that I thought about the way that we wage war in the 21st century, the more it seemed to me insufficient to just talk about one theater of conflict," Klay explains. "I wanted to talk about the ways these wars bleed into each other."

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase in which the only consonants are P and R — repeated as often as necessary. The other letters are all vowels.

Example: More mature, as fruit --> RIPER
1. What beats rock but loses to scissors in a children's game
2. Musician with a flute
3. Partner of salt
4. Fix, as an appliance
5. Brand of bottled water
6. Open grassland, as in Kansas and Nebraska
7. Like reasoning by theoretical deduction (2 words)
8. Come into view again

Imagine being able to lay down your burdens and fly away from Earth — to a place of harmony, where discrimination is left behind. That dream is the basis of the song "Blackstronauts" by Britton & The Sting, a standout entry in this year's Tiny Desk Contest. Britton Smith, who wrote the song, tells Weekend Edition he wrote "Blackstronauts" while thinking about one particular burden: the need for affirmation.

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So there are many questions about where President Trump got infected and by whom. When reporters at Walter Reed Medical Center asked about that yesterday, White House physician Sean Conley refused to answer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

In Baltimore, summer Sundays are the time to ride — on warm evenings, dirt bikes and four wheelers roar through the city's streets with young riders popping wheelies and pulling gravity defying tricks.

Filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto says Baltimore's bike culture is unlike any other: "It's one of the most exhilarating and emotional spectacles of talent that I have ever seen, streetwise ..." he says. "They were literally like dancing on top of their bikes while popping a wheelie. I've never seen anything like that."

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you pairs of incomplete phrases. Put the same word in each blank to complete them. Every answer is a four-letter word.
Ex. ___ of wolves / ___ of cigarettes --> PACK
1. ___ of sale / ___ of rights
2. ___ of arms / ___ of paint
3. ___ of thought / ___ of scrimmage
4. ___ of fire / ___ of wax
5. ___ of thumb / ___ of law
6. ___ of mouth / ___ of God
7. ___ of hands / ___ of force
8. ___ of Africa / ___ of plenty
9. ___ of paper / ___ of the tongue

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(SOUNDBITE OF COMEDY SPECIAL, "WELCOME TO BUTEAUPIA")

MICHELLE BUTEAU: It has been such a beautiful time for me. You know what I mean? I feel like I can't complain, but I love to.

(LAUGHTER)

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Juan Felipe Herrera is an artist and educator and activist and a former U.S. poet laureate. The poems in his latest book are urgent and haunting, like this one - "Border Fever 105.7 Degrees."

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On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence conceals the name of a state capital in consecutive letters. You name the capitals.

Example: Check the chart for details. --> HARTFORD
1. You can't rent only one trailer.
2. How does golf rank for television?
3. That's not too pleasant a feeling.
4. Dad prepared flapjacks once.
5. The numeral eight comes before nine.
6. We fly to Zurich Monday.
7. Are you and Eric on cordial terms?
8. I wanna polish off dinner.

This year, many people have been turning to music for catharsis, but Mama Haze, aka songwriter Meaghan Maples, has been tapping into music's healing powers for a long time. Before pursuing music full-time, the Oakland, Calif.-based artist was a doula and caregiver, often prescribing music as an antidote to patients' pain.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker about the Republican push to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the presidential election.

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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
1. AVENGE
2. DIPPER
3. MIGHTY
4. PREPPY
5. GROUSE
6. MADDEN
7. BIKING
8. CARTER
9. GRANGE
10. DECENT
11. STANCH
12. STANCE

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OK. We have lived through the toilet paper shortage and the hand sanitizer shortage, but right now there is actually another shortage - one that's got some home canners on a fruitless search. NPR's Martha Ann Overland investigates.

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