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A Winter Puzzle To Brrring In The New Year

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this page we posted the wrong on-air challenge. The correct on-air challenge for the week is posted below.

On-air challenge: Given a clue, each response is a two-word answer with the first word starting with B-R and the second word starting with R.

Last week's challenge: Take the following 5-word sentence: "THOSE BARBARIANS AMBUSH HEAVIER FIANCEES." These 5 words have something very unusual in common. What is it?

Answer: The letters in the odd positions in each word name part of the body: TOE, BRAIN, ABS, HAIR, FACE.

Winner: Caryn Hart of Haverstown, Pa.

Next week's challenge: Last fall I posed a challenge in which you were asked to name a country, change one letter in it and rearrange the result to name a world capital. Then change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another country. The answer was SPAIN to PARIS to SYRIA. Well, listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco has posed a related puzzle: Name a world capital. Change a letter in it and rearrange the result to name a country. Then change a letter in that and rearrange the result to name another world capital. What names are these?

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 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: January 4, 2015 at 12:00 AM EST
In a previous version of this page we posted the wrong on-air challenge. The correct on-air challenge for the week is posted above.
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).