Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

When Ashley Madison, the website that helps people cheat on their spouses was hacked, it got our data expert wondering about the statistics of infidelity. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Mona Chalabi.

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Sunday Puzzle....
Every answer this week is a made-up three-word phrase in which all three words rhyme — and every word has two syllables.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made-up three-word phrase in which all three words rhyme ... and every word has two syllables.

For example, using the the initials V, H and F, an extremely hirsute sprite: very hairy fairy.

Last week's challenge from puzzle-maker Rodolfo Kurchan: Write down these six numbers: 19, 28, 38, 81, 83, 85. What are the next three numbers in the series?

Answer: 89, 97, 102. The series consists of the numbers that, when written in English, start and end with the same letter of the alphabet.

Winner: Ken Roberts of Philadelphia.

Next week's challenge from listener Daniel Grossman: Name something in three syllables that an auto mechanic might have. Move the second and third syllables to the front. The result, with some respacing, will name a group of auto mechanics. What is it?

Submit Your Answer

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. ET.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Survivors of the sinking of the Indianapolis are taken to a hospital on Guam...
After delivering the atomic bomb for the U.S. attack on Hiroshima 70 years ago, the Indianapolis was torpedoed and sank. Its story has been all but forgotten, but 32 survivors are having a reunion.

Next week marks the 70th anniversary of one of the worst disasters in U.S. Naval history — and one of the worst shark attacks on record. But it's a story that many people don't know.

In the summer of 1945, World War II was almost over, but in the shadows of that moment comes a story of survival that changed lives forever.

If you're a movie fan, you may recognize this line from the 1975 blockbuster, Jaws: "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was coming back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. Just delivered the bomb."

That's Robert Shaw's monologue about a wartime ship sinking and shark attacks. It's a story that World War II veteran Dick Thelen knows all too well.

"July 26, we delivered the bomb. And July 30, the ship was sank," Thelen says.

Thelen's living room is full of memorabilia from the 1945 sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The bomb he's referring to is the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima a week later. Thelen is 88 now, but in 1945 he was just an 18-year-old sailor.

After the bomb had been delivered, the Indianapolis headed to Guam to prepare for the upcoming invasion of Japan. The date was July 30.

"It's evening. It's hot," says Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way, which details the survivors' experiences. "Nearly 1,200 young men are asleep on this cruiser, which is about two football fields long."

A Japanese submarine surfaced not far away, saw the silhouette of the ship on the horizon and began tracking it.

Torpedoes were fired and the ship sank in just 12 minutes.

"Everybody asked me, 'Where was you when you jumped off the ship?' I didn't jump off the ship, the ship left me," Thelen says with a laugh.

There hadn't been time to get enough life boats into the water, so the survivors clung to life jackets, makeshift rafts and debris, thinking they'd be rescued within a few hours. But after two and a half days in the water, they realized help wasn't coming.

And then things got even worse. Hundreds of sharks had been feeding on those killed in the explosion. But now they turned their attention to the survivors. Thelen saw people get taken by the sharks.

"Years ago, I wouldn't be talking about it to you or anybody else. I wouldn't talk about it for years," Thelen says.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis' mission had fallen through the cracks of wartime secrecy, and the Navy didn't realize the ship was missing. Five days had passed when a pilot named Chuck Gwinn happened to be flying over open water.

"Chuck looked down at the exact same time they were flying over an oil slick." Thelen says. "Now if he'd looked any other way or wouldn't have flew that direction, he wouldn't have seen us. None of us would have survived."

About 900 men survived the torpedo attack after the ship sank. By the time of the rescue only 321 survivors were pulled from the water.

A few days later, on Aug. 6, the first atomic bomb hit an enemy target, and soon after, World War II was over. Thelen came home to Lansing, Mich., got a job driving a truck, got married and raised a family. But he rarely talked about his ordeal. Most of the men didn't, until the story entered pop culture in 1975.

Some survivors actually went to see Jaws together and began talking about their experience publicly for the first time. But not Thelen.

"I did not go see the movie. That and Titanic. Didn't go see that either. I see one ship sink, I don't want to see another one," he says.

Thelen has stayed in touch with many of his fellow survivors by attending reunions each year. This year's is taking place in Indianapolis this weekend.

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