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Hungry For A Hidden Word

On-air challenge: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?

Last week's challenge (this was a two-week challenge): 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. For example, if you put Chicago in the top row and Houston in the sixth row, both reading across, and then fit Atlanta, Oakland and Reno coming down, you'll form a mini-crossword. And the five cities used have a total population, according to the 2010 Census, of 5,830,997. You can do better.

As in a regular crossword, the names must read across and down only. Every name must interlock with at least one other name. And no two letters can touch unless they are part of a name.

What is the highest population total you can achieve? And when you send in your answer, please include the names of the cities, in order, across and down.

Answer:The best answer received was a crossword with New York; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Ajo, Ariz.; Omaha, Neb.; and Knox, Ind., with a total population of 14,584,183.

Winner: Glenn Keenan of Des Moines, Iowa

Next week's challenge:Name a brand of beer. Rearrange the letters to name an activity often associated with beer.

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. Eastern.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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).
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