Will Shortz http://kuer.org en If You Cut In The Middle, Go To The End Of The Line http://kuer.org/post/if-you-cut-middle-go-end-line <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> Two clues will be given for two five-letter answers. Move the middle letter of the first answer to the end of the word to get the second answer. Example: A weapon that's thrown; a tire in the trunk. Answer: spear/spare<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong> The challenge came from Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass., the father of the 11-year-old boy who <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/06/22/324333349/oh-you-know-the-answer">created a previous challenge</a>. Name a boy's name and a girl's name, each in four letters. Sun, 06 Jul 2014 12:10:00 +0000 Will Shortz 48851 at http://kuer.org If You Cut In The Middle, Go To The End Of The Line Floating Down The Anagram River http://kuer.org/post/floating-down-anagram-river <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> Today's puzzle is geographical. Every answer is the name of a river — identify it using its anagram minus a letter. Example: Top minus T = Po (River).<p><strong>Last Week's Challenge:</strong> Name part of a TV that contains the letter C. Replace the C with the name of a book of the Old Testament, keeping all the letters in order. The result will name a sailing vessel of old. Sun, 15 Jun 2014 12:20:00 +0000 Will Shortz 47826 at http://kuer.org Floating Down The Anagram River A Puzzle In The Merry Merry Month Of May http://kuer.org/post/puzzle-merry-merry-month-may <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> The theme of today's puzzle is May. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with MA and the second word ends with Y. Example: Alcoholic beverage made from fermented mash: Malt Whiskey<p><strong>Last Week's Challenge:</strong> Name a famous actress of the past whose last name has two syllables. Reverse the syllables phonetically. The result will name an ailment. Sun, 25 May 2014 12:02:00 +0000 Will Shortz 46826 at http://kuer.org A Puzzle In The Merry Merry Month Of May April Showers Bring Puzzle Flowers http://kuer.org/post/april-showers-bring-puzzle-flowers <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> With spring in the air, it's a fitting time for a flower puzzle. Find the flower answer using its anagram, minus one letter. Example: R-I-S-H-I, minus H, is "iris."<p><strong>Last week's challenge from listener Louis Sargent of Portland, Ore:</strong> Name a well-known American company. Insert a W somewhere inside the name, and you'll get two consecutive titles of popular TV shows of the past. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 14:01:00 +0000 Will Shortz 45122 at http://kuer.org April Showers Bring Puzzle Flowers Famous Four-By-Fours That Aren't Trucks http://kuer.org/post/famous-four-fours-arent-trucks <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> Every answer is the name of a famous person with four letters in his or her first name and four letters in the last. For each person, you'll be given initials and an anagram of the full name. You name the person.<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong> Name a famous entertainer: two words, four letters in each word. You can rearrange these eight letters to spell the acronym of a well-known national organization, and the word that the first letter of this acronym stands for. Sun, 23 Feb 2014 14:29:00 +0000 Will Shortz 42537 at http://kuer.org Famous Four-By-Fours That Aren't Trucks Get Ready To Flip Your Lid http://kuer.org/post/get-ready-flip-your-lid <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> Today's puzzle is called "One, Two, Three — Flip!" The answer will come in the form of two words, and for each word you'll get a clue beforehand. Reverse the order of the first three letters of the first word to get the second word. Example: Cavalry sword and more villainous = SABER, BASER.<p><strong>Last week's challenge </strong><strong>from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Mass.:</strong> Name a title character from a classic work of fiction, in eight letters. Change the third letter to an M (as in Mary). Sun, 16 Feb 2014 13:15:00 +0000 Will Shortz 42229 at http://kuer.org Get Ready To Flip Your Lid Drop The Zero And Get With The Hero http://kuer.org/post/drop-zero-and-get-hero <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> For each single letter given, recombine it with the letters in the word "ZERO" to spell a new word. For example, ZERO plus F would be "FROZE."<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong> What word, containing two consecutive S's, becomes its own synonym if you drop those S's?<p><strong>Answer:</strong> Blossom, bloom<p><strong>Winner:</strong> Trey Moody of Killeen, Texas<p><strong>Next week's challenge:</strong> The challenge came from Sam Williamson of Charlevoix, Mich. Sun, 02 Feb 2014 13:00:00 +0000 Will Shortz 41584 at http://kuer.org Drop The Zero And Get With The Hero Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette) http://kuer.org/post/take-synonyms-spin-or-pirouette <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong> The challenge came from Ed Pegg Jr., who runs the website <a href="http://mathpuzzle.com/" target="_blank">MathPuzzle.com</a>. Name a famous person whose first and last names together contain four doubled letters — all four of these being different letters of the alphabet. Who is it? Sun, 26 Jan 2014 14:21:00 +0000 Will Shortz 41281 at http://kuer.org Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette) Three B's Bring You To One http://kuer.org/post/three-bs-bring-you-one <strong>On-air challenge:</strong><strong> </strong>Name a word that, when combined with three words beginning with the letter B, completes a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "brew," "body" and "base," you would say "home" (home-brew, homebody, home base).<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong><strong> </strong>Name a familiar form of exercise in two words. Switch the order of the two words, then say them out loud. The result, phonetically, will name something to wear. Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:15:00 +0000 Will Shortz 40998 at http://kuer.org Three B's Bring You To One A's On Either End http://kuer.org/post/either-end <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Every answer is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. You'll be given an anagram of the letters between the A's. For example, given "ern," you would say, "arena."<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. Sun, 12 Jan 2014 13:02:00 +0000 Will Shortz 40704 at http://kuer.org A's On Either End Now You Know Them http://kuer.org/post/now-you-know-them <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>You will be given some names that you probably never heard of before 2013, but that were in the news during the past 12 months. You name who the people are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker, Tim Goodman and Sandy Weisz.<p><strong>Last week's challenge from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco: </strong>Think of a well-known filmmaker, first and last names. Add "S-U-N" before this person's first name and last name. In each case, you'll form a common English word. Sun, 29 Dec 2013 13:02:00 +0000 Will Shortz 40133 at http://kuer.org Now You Know Them When Push Comes To Shove http://kuer.org/post/when-push-comes-shove <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Every answer is a five-letter word. You'll be given a clue for the word. Besides giving you a direct hint to the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "push over hard," you would say "shove."<p><strong>Last week's challenge from listener Pete Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich.: </strong>Name a U.S. city in nine letters. Shift the third letter six places later in the alphabet. Then shift the last letter seven places later in the alphabet. Sun, 15 Dec 2013 13:23:00 +0000 Will Shortz 39582 at http://kuer.org When Push Comes To Shove Noteworthy Names, In Rhyme http://kuer.org/post/noteworthy-names-rhyme <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> Every answer is the name of a famous person whose first and last names start with the same consonant or group of consonants. You're given rhymes for the two names. You name the people. For example, if given "cycle four," the answer would be "Michael Moore."<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong> Name a dance. Change one of the letters to a U. The resulting letters can be rearranged to name an event at which this dance is done. Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:03:00 +0000 Will Shortz 39250 at http://kuer.org Noteworthy Names, In Rhyme Be THANKful For This Puzzle http://kuer.org/post/be-thankful-puzzle <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Today's puzzle is a game of categories based on the word "thank," in honor of Thanksgiving weekend. For each category, name something beginning with each of the letters T, H, A, N and K. For example, if the category were "U.S. States," you might say Tennessee, Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada and Kentucky.<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Name a tree whose letters can be rearranged to spell two herbs or spices. Hint: The tree has a two-word name. Sun, 01 Dec 2013 13:24:00 +0000 Will Shortz 38931 at http://kuer.org Be THANKful For This Puzzle More Fun Than A Dead Rose http://kuer.org/post/more-fun-dead-rose <strong>On-air challenge:</strong> Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the vowel in the first word is a short "e" and the vowel in the second word is a long "o." For example: A place to meditate would be a "zen zone."<p><strong>Last week's challenge:</strong> There is a politician today, sometimes known by his or her full three-word name, whose initials are also the initials of a popular chain of restaurants. Sun, 17 Nov 2013 13:46:00 +0000 Will Shortz 38343 at http://kuer.org More Fun Than A Dead Rose Regardless Of The Answer, Stay Staid http://kuer.org/post/regardless-answer-stay-staid <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Each answer is a two-word phrase consisting of two homophones starting with the letter S. For example, given the clue "remained dignified," the answer would be, "stayed staid."<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Name a brand of beer. Sun, 03 Nov 2013 13:05:00 +0000 Will Shortz 37673 at http://kuer.org Regardless Of The Answer, Stay Staid Hungry For A Hidden Word http://kuer.org/post/hungry-hidden-word <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>This week's puzzle involves brand names of foods at the grocery. If I asked you to take "Dole" (as in pineapples) and rearrange the letters to name an ore deposit, you would say "lode." What anagrams do each of the names conceal?<strong></strong><p><strong>Last week's challenge (this was a two-week challenge):</strong> Take a seven-by-seven square grid. Arrange the names of U.S. cities or towns in regular crossword fashion inside the grid so that the cities used have the highest possible total population, according to the 2010 Census. Sun, 27 Oct 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Will Shortz 37326 at http://kuer.org Hungry For A Hidden Word No Time To Be Bashful http://kuer.org/post/no-time-be-bashful This week we have a celebrity edition of the Puzzle. Comedian Paula Poundstone is taking on our challenge. Poundstone is also a regular panelist on NPR's <a href="http://www.npr.org/programs/wait-wait-dont-tell-me/"><em>Wait Wait Don't Tell Me</em></a>.<p><strong>On-air challenge:</strong> You're given discrete categories. If you were to list all of the things in the category alphabetically, the one you're given would be second in the list. Name the thing that would be first alphabetically. Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:03:00 +0000 Will Shortz 37014 at http://kuer.org No Time To Be Bashful Can You Pass This -TE ST-? http://kuer.org/post/can-you-pass-te-st <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Today's puzzle is an insider's test. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the consecutive letters T-E-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end with -TE and the second word will start ST-. For example, given "sheer force," you would say "brute strength."<p><strong>Last week's challenge from listener Ed Pegg Jr. of <a href="http://mathpuzzle.com">mathpuzzle.com</a>: </strong>What familiar saying with seven words has seven consonants in a row? The answer is a common saying in ordinary English. Sun, 13 Oct 2013 12:19:00 +0000 Will Shortz 36707 at http://kuer.org Can You Pass This -TE ST-? Find The Rhyme And The Reason http://kuer.org/post/find-rhyme-and-reason <strong>On-air challenge:</strong><strong> </strong>For each given category, name things in the category starting with the letters R, H, Y, M, E. For example, if the category were "chemical elements with names ending in -ium," you might say: radium, helium, yttrium, magnesium and einsteinium. You can give the answers in any order, and any answer that works is fine.<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Name something in seven letters that most people keep in their homes. Take the first, third, fourth and seventh letters and rearrange them. Sun, 06 Oct 2013 14:27:00 +0000 Will Shortz 36398 at http://kuer.org Find The Rhyme And The Reason What's That (Vowel) Sound? http://kuer.org/post/whats-vowel-sound <strong>On-air challenge:</strong><strong> </strong>Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which each word has two or more syllables. The first vowel sound in the first word is a short "e." Change that short "e" to a short "a" sound, and phonetically you'll get the second word of the phrase. For example, given "energetic backwoods father," you would say "peppy pappy."<p><strong>Last week's challenge from listener David Rosen of Bethesda, Md.: </strong>The name of what character, familiar to everyone, contains each of the five vowels (A, E, I, O and U) exactly once? Sun, 29 Sep 2013 12:02:00 +0000 Will Shortz 36060 at http://kuer.org What's That (Vowel) Sound? Close, But No Cigar http://kuer.org/post/close-no-cigar <strong>On-air challenge:</strong><strong> </strong>Each of the following answers is a made-up, two-word phrase in which the two words are homophones, and both words start with the letter C.<p><strong>Last week's challenge</strong> <strong>from listener Henry Hook of Brooklyn:</strong> Think of a well-known celebrity who goes by a single name — the last two letters of which are alphabetically separated by only one letter (like A and C, or B and D). Replace this pair of letters with the one that separates them, and you'll have a common, everyday word. Sun, 08 Sep 2013 09:40:00 +0000 Will Shortz 35082 at http://kuer.org Close, But No Cigar Shh! Listen Carefully http://kuer.org/post/shush-listen-carefully <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase with the consecutive letters of S-H-H. Specifically, the first word in the answer will end in SH, and the second will start with H.<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Think of a business that's found in most towns. Its name consists of two words, each starting with a consonant. Interchange the consonants and you'll get two new words — neither of which rhymes with the original words. Sun, 01 Sep 2013 09:56:00 +0000 Will Shortz 34771 at http://kuer.org Shh! Listen Carefully It's All Greek To Me http://kuer.org/post/its-all-greek-me <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>You're given some sentences. Each sentence conceals the name of a language in consecutive letters. Name the language. Each answer has five or more letters.<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>The Roman numeral for 38 is XXXVIII. Sun, 25 Aug 2013 09:18:00 +0000 Will Shortz 34433 at http://kuer.org It's All Greek To Me First Names First http://kuer.org/post/first-names-first <strong>On-air challenge:</strong><strong> </strong>This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. Sun, 04 Aug 2013 08:44:00 +0000 Will Shortz 33391 at http://kuer.org First Names First Psst ... It's Class Time http://kuer.org/post/psst-its-class-time <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."<p><strong>Last week's challenge from Gary Alstad of Tustin, Calif.: </strong>Think of a three-syllable word in four letters, add two letters and rearrange everything to become a two-syllable word in six letters. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 07:06:00 +0000 Will Shortz 33068 at http://kuer.org Psst ... It's Class Time The Price Of Fame: A Scrambled Name http://kuer.org/post/price-fame-scrambled-name <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>Every answer is the name of a famous person, past or present, with five letters in the first and last names. One letter in each name is changed to make a new word. You name the people.<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>In the phrase "clothes closet," all the letters of the second word can be found inside the first. Think of another two-word phrase that means a place to keep clothes in which all the letter of the second word are found inside the first. Sun, 21 Jul 2013 10:05:00 +0000 Will Shortz 32745 at http://kuer.org The Price Of Fame: A Scrambled Name A Geography Quiz With A Spelling Twist http://kuer.org/post/geography-quiz-spelling-twist <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>You're given a series of clues, and every answer is the name of a U.S. state capital.<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Rearrange the letters of INDIA and BELARUS to name two other countries. What are they?<p><strong>Answer:</strong> Sudan, Liberia<p><strong>Winner:</strong> Eddy Chandler of Piedmont, Calif.<p><strong>Next week's challenge from National Puzzle League members Patrick Berry and Todd McClary:</strong>The phrase "clothes closet" describes a place to keep your clothes. Sun, 14 Jul 2013 12:04:00 +0000 Will Shortz 32391 at http://kuer.org A Geography Quiz With A Spelling Twist Easy As One, Two, Three Initials http://kuer.org/post/easy-one-two-three-initials <strong>On-air challenge: </strong> You're given the three-word names of famous people. For each one, you get a clue to a familiar three-word phrase or title that has the same initials as the person. Name the phrase or title. For example, singer Billy Ray Cyrus has the initials B-R-C. And B-R-C are also the initials of the phrase "Blue ribbon commission."<p><strong>Last week's challenge</strong> <strong>from from listener Al Gori of Cozy Lake, N.J.:</strong> It involves a spoonerism, in which you reverse the initial consonant sounds in one phrase to make another phrase. Sun, 07 Jul 2013 06:33:00 +0000 Will Shortz 31998 at http://kuer.org Easy As One, Two, Three Initials Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential http://kuer.org/post/turn-shrub-something-presidential <strong>On-air challenge: </strong>For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."<p><strong>Last week's challenge: </strong>Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? Sun, 30 Jun 2013 08:25:00 +0000 Will Shortz 31684 at http://kuer.org Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential