On-air challenge: Answer riddles from The Amusing Puzzle Book, published circa the 1840s:
- I know a word of letters three, add two, and fewer there will be.
- Without a bridle or a saddle, across a thing I ride astraddle. And those I ride, by help of me, though almost blind, are made to see.
- What is that which has been tomorrow and will be yesterday?
- Clothed in yellow, red and green, I prate before the king and queen. Of neither house nor land possessed, by lords and ladies, I'm caressed.
Last week's challenge: Take the name of a popular children's character in nine letters. Several of its letters appear more than once in the name. Remove every duplication of a letter, so every letter that remains appears just once. This new set of letters can be rearranged to name a famous classical composer. Who is it?
Answer: Pinocchio, Chopin
Winner: Margo Michelle Huffman of Corvallis, Ore.
Next week's challenge: It's an anagram word ladder. For example, take the word "spring." If the last letter is changed to an "o" and the result is rearranged, you get "prison." Or, instead, if the last letter is changed to an "e" and the result rearranged, you get "sniper." Or change the last letter to an "a" and get "sprain," and so on. For this challenge, start with the word "autumn." Changing one letter at a time, and anagramming it each step of the way, turn "autumn" into "leaves." Each step has to be a common word. In how few steps can you do it?
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.