When a guy named Shmuel aces NPR’s Christmas ‘puzzler’


A guy named Shmuel Thaler solved last week’s Sunday morning NPR puzzle challenge. It was pop-culture related — the answer was Green Hornet.

So no big deal. Except that Shmuel’s name was randomly picked out of over 120 winners for this week’s on-air puzzler, hosted by The New York Times puzzle master, Will Shortz.

The theme was Christmas carol or song titles.

Still no big deal but …

Listen to the slight awkwardness as Shortz, Thaler and NPR’s Rachel Martin run through the quiz (which wasn’t exactly challenging.) Sample question: Who’s the regular at King Arthur’s round table who doesn’t speak?

Shmuel aces it, and then this happens:

Martin: “Shmuel! That was really really well done!”

Shortz: “I’m impressed!”

OK, I listen to the puzzle fairly regularly. Martin and Shortz are never this effusive about people who ace the questions.

I think I know what’s going on here. And here’s my question for Martin and Shortz:

Who do you think authored about half the fershlugginer Christmas canon?

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