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Making a Name for Themselves

Puzzle master Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home.

Challenge from Dec. 25:

Name something in nine letters commonly seen around Christmas. Change the first letter to the previous letter of the alphabet. Change the third letter to the following letter of the alphabet. The result will name part of the human body. What body part is this?

Answer: Mistletoe/Little Toe

Winner: Kathy Emerson of Brunswick, Maine.

Challenge from Jan. 1:

From Ed Pegg, Jr., who runs the Web site mathpuzzle.com: The numbers 2, 4, 6 and 30 are the first four numbers whose names lack the letter "E." What is the 23rd number whose name lacks an "E?"

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Will Shortz
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).