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Hiding In Plain Sight

On-air challenge: You will be given some words. For each one, you provide a four-letter word that can follow the first to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The four letters of the second word can always be found inside the first word. For example, given "personal," the answer would be "loan."

Last week's challenge from listener Andrew Chaikin: Take the four words "salt," "afar," "lava" and "trap." Write them one under the other, and the words will read the same vertically as horizontally. This is a word square of four-letter words. Note that the only vowel in this example square is an A. The object of the challenge is to create a five-letter word square using only common, uncapitalized English words, in which the only vowel in the entire square is A. The word in the center row, and column, is "nasal."

Answer: Panda, apart, nasal, drama, atlas

Winner: Chris Tyre of Wauwatosa, Wis.

Next week's challenge: Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, and rearrange all seven letters. You will name something else you probably use every day. This seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they?

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 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Roll up your pajama sleeves because it is time for the puzzle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: Joining me now is WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Good morning, Rachel.

MARTIN: OK. Remind us what was last week's challenge, Will.

SHORTZ: Yes. Last week's challenge was from listener Andrew Chaikin. The object was to create a five-by-five letter word square in which the words read across and down the same, using only common, uncapitalized English words in which the only vowel in the entire square is A. And I said the word in the center row and column is nasal N-A-S-A-L. Well, there was only one answer using only common words. It's panda, apart, nasal, drama and atlas.

MARTIN: OK. Well, we got a lot of correct answers this week, over 850. And our randomly selected winner is Chris Tyre of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He is on the line. Hey, Chris. Congratulations.

CHRIS TYRE: Thank you very much, Rachel.

MARTIN: So, how'd you figure this one out?

TYRE: Well, I started with the four-square example and then wrote out the center word nasal and wrote a list of five-letter words with A as the only vowel and remembered panda, then everything sort of fell into place.

MARTIN: OK. And did it take you a long time or did it come pretty quickly?

TYRE: This one came fairly quickly. Probably a couple hours of doodling with it, trying to get my son to help me but he kept walking away.

MARTIN: He had other things to do, OK.

TYRE: He had other things to do.

MARTIN: And do you have a question for Will?

TYRE: I was wondering if Will has been to the Spin in Milwaukee. I believe Will is associated with the Spin...

SHORTZ: Yeah, the Spin Table Tennis Club. Well, I'm a member of the Spin in New York City and I was at the grand opening of the one in L.A. But, no, I haven't been to the one in Milwaukee yet.

MARTIN: Are you a table tennis player, Chris?

TYRE: No, but I have been to Spin a few times. And I own at least one of Will's puzzle books. And now I'm talking to him. I'm feeling like a bit of a Will Shortz's stalker.

MARTIN: No, just a mega-fan, you know, you know.

TYRE: Yes, a fan.

MARTIN: Yes. Mega-fan. Well, we're happy to have you here. What do you do for a living, Chris?

TYRE: I am a psychologist.

MARTIN: A psychologist, OK. Well, that could help you - who knows? Who might be able to get inside the mind of Will Shortz and it could help you with the puzzle. Are you ready to play?

TYRE: Yeah.

MARTIN: All right, Will. What do you have for us this week?

SHORTZ: All right, Chris and Rachel. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, you give me a four-letter word that can follow mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase. And the four letters of your word will always be found inside the word I give you. For example, if I said personal, you would say loan. Because personal loan is a phrase and the letters L-O-A-N are all found inside personal.

MARTIN: OK. I've got it, I think. Chris, do you have it?

TYRE: I think I'm ready.

MARTIN: All right. Let's do it.

SHORTZ: Number one is taste T-A-S-T-E. Taste blank, four letters.

TYRE: Trying to think of a two-word phrase with taste. Oh, taste test.

MARTIN: Yeah, there you go.

SHORTZ: Taste test is it, good. Number two is maiden M-A-I-D-E-N. It's something your mother had.

TYRE: Name.

SHORTZ: Maiden name is it. Local L-O-C-A-L.

TYRE: Call.

SHORTZ: Local call is it. Billiard.

TYRE: Ball.

SHORTZ: Billiard ball. Hornets.

TYRE: Nest.

SHORTZ: Hornet's nest is it. Telephone.

TYRE: Telephone line - no.

SHORTZ: No, there's no I in telephone.

TYRE: No I. I can't read my own writing. Pole.

MARTIN: Ah, good.

SHORTZ: Telephone pole. Good job. No hint needed. Convection.

TYRE: Oven.

SHORTZ: Convection oven is it. Hippocratic.

TYRE: Oath.

SHORTZ: Um-hum. Friendly.

TYRE: Fire.

SHORTZ: Friendly fire. Industrial.

TYRE: Industrial.

SHORTZ: When I was in high school, boys had to take a class industrial...

TYRE: Arts.

SHORTZ: Arts is it. Broken. I'll give you a hint: it starts with a B.

TYRE: Bone.

SHORTZ: Broken bone is it. And your last one is dormitory.

TYRE: Room.

SHORTZ: Dormitory room. Nice job, Chris.

MARTIN: Ah, Chris, very well done. That was excellent.

TYRE: Thank you.

MARTIN: And For playing our puzzle today, you will of course get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin and puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at npr.org/puzzle.

And before we let you go, Chris, what is your public radio station?

TYRE: It is WUWM in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

MARTIN: Chris Tyre of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Chris, thanks so much for playing the puzzle.

TYRE: Oh, it's been my pleasure. Thank you both.

MARTIN: OK, Will. What's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, an easy-ish one, I think. Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M - as in Mary, and rearrange all seven letters. You'll name something else you probably use every day. And this seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What is it?

So again, something in four letters you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, scramble. You'll name something else you probably use every day. And these two things are usually found near each other. What things are they?

MARTIN: All right, when you've got the answer, go to our website, npr.org/puzzle and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, April 4th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time.

Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. And if you're the winner we'll give you a call, and you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Rachel.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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