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You Get To Change Some 4-Letter Words In This Week's Puzzle

On-air challenge:

Given a four-letter word, insert two letters to complete a common six-letter word.


Last week's challenge:

This challenge came from Ed Pegg Jr., who runs the website It's a word puzzle, though, not a math puzzle. The Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters — seven consonants (H, K, L, M, N, P, and W) plus the five vowels (A, E, I, O, and U). Use all 12 of these, and repeat four of them, to get 16 letters in all that can be arranged to name a well-known holiday item. What is it? As a hint — it's a two-word answer.

Answer: Halloween pumpkin

Next week's challenge:

This is one of the "lost" puzzles of Sam Loyd, the great American puzzlemaker from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It's from an old magazine with a Sam Loyd puzzle column. The object is to arrange three 9s to make 20. There is no trick involved. Simply arrange three 9s, using any standard arithmetic signs and symbols, to total 20. How can it be done?

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, November 5 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

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NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz has appeared on Weekend Edition Sunday since the program's start in 1987. He's also the crossword editor of The New York Times, the former editor of Games magazine, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (since 1978).