Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Tween Team: 2 Letters Get Right In The Middle Of This Puzzle

Sunday Puzzle.
Sunday Puzzle.

On-air challenge: Insert the letters A and R into the middle of the first clue to get the answer to the second clue. For example, when given the clues "small argument" and "a tax on imports," the answer would be "tiff" and "tariff."

Last week's challenge, from Ken Stern of Brooklyn, N.Y.: Think of a sign that's frequently seen around this time of year — two words of four letters each. Among these eight letters all five vowels — A, E, I, O and U — appear once each, along with three consonants. What sign is it?

Answer:Vote aqui.

Winner:Jeanne Ryan, of Indianapolis.

Next week's challenge:This is a two-week creative challenge. The object is to write a conundrum or riddle that starts "What is the difference between ..." — in which the answer involves a transposition of words.

For example: What is the difference between a chatterbox and a mirror? Answer: One speaks without reflecting while the other reflects without speaking. Or: What is the difference between a lucky criminal and some Saran with a garden vegetable? Answer: One beats the rap while the other wraps the beet.

Change of spelling in the words is allowed, but not necessary. Entries will be judged on their sense, naturalness of wording, humor, elegance and overall effect. You may submit up to three entries. I will announce my favorites — and the overall winner — in two weeks.

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to this 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 Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

Corrected: November 12, 2016 at 10:00 PM MST
A previous Web version of this story stated that the deadline for submitting an answer is Thursday, Nov. 17. In fact, the deadline for the two-week challenge is Wednesday, Nov. 23.
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).
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.