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'Ar' You Listening Closely?

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home.

Challenge from Sept. 25: Think of a four-letter word starting with O. Change one of its letters to a new letter and rearrange to get a new four-letter word that's a synonym of the first. Then change one of its letters to a new letter and rearrange to get a third four-letter word that's a synonym of the first two. What words are these?

Answer: Only, Lone, Sole

Winner: Dr. Steven Kleinman of Victoria, B.C., Canada.

Challenge from Oct. 2: Take the words MAY, NAY, and STAY. Except for their opening letters, M, N and ST, they're spelled the same and they rhyme. Can you name three common, un-capitalized words, starting with M, N and ST, that again are spelled the same except for these opening letters? None of the words rhyme with any of the others. The lengths of the answers are for you to determine.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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).