Weekend Edition Sunday

  • Hosted by Rachel Martin
  • Local Host Karlie Huckels

On Sundays, Weekend Edition combines the news with colorful arts and human-interest features, appealing to the curious and eclectic. With a nod to traditional Sunday habits, the program offers a fix for diehard crossword addicts-word games and brainteasers with The Puzzlemaster, a.k.a. Will Shortz, puzzle editor of The New York Times. With Hansen on the sidelines, a caller plays the latest word game on the air while listeners compete silently at home. The NPR mailbag is proof that the competition to go head-to-head with Shortz is rather vigorous.

Another trademark of Sunday's program is "Voices in the News," a montage of sound bites from the past week, poignant in its simplicity. Hansen also engages listeners in her discussions with regular contributors, who cover a wide range of national and international issues.

Hawaii is known as a natural paradise. It's also known as the endangered species capital of the world. One of the state's most threatened seabirds, the Newell's shearwater makes its home on the island of Kauai, where a small group of environmentalists is working to keep the iconic seabird from disappearing because of collisions with power lines and confusion from artificial light.

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is a look back on the people and things you probably never heard of until 2019, but who sprang to prominence during the past 12 months. Tell me who and what they are:

1. Greta Thunberg

2. Chasten Glezman — husband of Pete Buttigieg

3. Christina Koch and Jessica Meir

4. Naruhito

5. Lizzo

When Ellison Nguyen was 4 years old he got the chance to meet Thi Bui, the illustrator of one of his favorite books. He was so inspired by her work that he promptly wrote and drew his own picture book — "It came to me," Ellison, now 6, explains simply.

When the creators of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child were working on adapting the wizarding world for the stage, they knew a lot of people have seen the Harry Potter movies. And they didn't want to reproduce the things most people have already seen.

Even by the secretive standards of U.S. national security, the court that oversees government surveillance in terrorism and espionage investigations is cloaked in mystery.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, also known as the FISA Court — for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which governs it — operates completely out of sight.

That means secrecy surrounds every case in which the FBI goes to the court to get approval to wiretap an American — or foreigner — on U.S. soil who's suspected of spying for a foreign power or belonging to a terrorist group.

When President Trump signed a $738 billion defense spending bill on Friday, he officially created the Space Force. It's the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Services, and the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947.

"Space is the world's newest war-fighting domain," President Trump said during the signing ceremony. "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we're leading, but we're not leading by enough. But very shortly we'll be leading by a lot."

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is a variation on last week's. It's more like a quiz. I'm going to give four words. Three of them have something in common. I'll tell you what that something in common is. You tell me which word is the odd one out.

1. Words that are both flowers and girls' names: Violet, Lily, Iris, Cowslip

2. Words that start the names of state capitals: Big, Rich, Mad, Tall

3. Adjectives that are the titles of well-known movies: Frozen, Notorious, Sweet, Unforgiven

Every Christmas Eve at exactly 3 p.m., the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England plays A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The tradition began in 1918, and for decades it's been broadcast on the BBC and around the world. A commemorative recording of last year's Centenary Service has just been released; it was the last one conducted by Sir Stephen Cleobury, the choir's music director for 37 years, who died just last month on Nov. 22.

With the holidays approaching, it's the time of year for families to come together and share their traditions. But which traditions?

On-air challenge: I'm going to give four words. Three of them have something in common. I'll tell you what that something in common is. You tell me which word is the odd one out.

1. Compound words that become new words when their sides are switched: Bankroll, Bookwork, Downturn, Overhang

2. Words that name countries if you change a letter: Child, Fiance, Mother, Spawn

3. Words containing "A-I" that become new words if the A and I are reversed: Dairy, Plaint, Strain, Trail

Pages