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Sunday Puzzle: Hitting the right key

Sunday Puzzle
Sunday Puzzle

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Middle C" — as in a midpoint on a piano. I'll give you a four-letter word. You rearrange the letters and put a C in the middle to make a common five-letter word.

Example: OVAL --> VOCAL








8. [two answers:] RULE

Last week's challenge: Last week's challenge came from Joseph Young, who conducts the blog "Puzzleria!" Let A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc. Think of a five-letter word whose letters' values add up to 51. Now take this word's last two letters. Add their values. (For example A and C would total 4.) Change these two letters to the single letter of the alphabet that represents their total. (In this case, D.) The result will be a new word that is the opposite of the original.

Challenge answer: Thick, thin.

Winner: Gradie Cartlidge from Oak Harbor, Wash.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Jay Feldman, of Davis, Calif. What three common five-letter nicknames have the same last four letters and alphabetically consecutive initial letters? Or to put it another way, think of three common five-letter nicknames that have alphabetically consecutive initial letters and the same last four letters. Which common nicknames are these?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Jan. 20, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.

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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).