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

Sunday Puzzle: Easter Ladder

Sunday Puzzle
Sunday Puzzle

On-air challenge:Today I've brought a word ladder with sort of an Easter egg theme. The object is to convert CHICK to HATCH, changing one letter at a time, making a new word each step of the way. I'll give you clues for the steps. You tell me the words.

Starting with CHICK, change one letter in it to make ...
1. The sound of a camera. Then change one letter in that to make ...
2. A timepiece [etc.]
3. Unit of a city street
4. Opposite of white
5. Devoid of writing or marks
6. Long, flat piece of lumber
7. Carpenter's tool
8. Locale
9. Informal word of parting
10. A juicy fruit
11. Locale for a summer getaway
12. Seat for a pianist
13. Group, as of flowers
14. Drink served in a big bowl
15. Tiny amount, as of salt
16. Throw
17. What a pirate might have over one eye
18. What chicks do

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Bruce Campbell of Kansas City, Mo. Think of a well-known U.S. city. Its population is over a quarter of a million. Phonetically, the first syllable of the city's name plus the first syllable of the name of its state will sound like a well-known brand name. What is it?

Challenge Answer: Plano, Texas --> Playtex

Winner: Keith Nathan of Bozeman, Montana

This week's challenge: The challenge is to create the shortest possible word ladder connecting LARGE to SMALL, changing one letter at a time, making a common, uncapitalized word each step of the way. Here's the tricky part: Plurals and verbs formed by adding -s are not allowed.

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 by Thursday, April 16, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

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.