Matching Near-Homonyms

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

Last week's challenge, from listener Kevin Connors in Colorado Springs, Colo.: Think of a seven-letter word that names a much-admired person. The first letter is "p." Replace the "p" with an "r", rearrange the result, and you'll name a person who is despised. Neither word is capitalized. Who is it? The answer: PATRIOT — TRAITOR.

This week's winner is Stephen Grady from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He listens to Weekend Edition on member station WSCL in Salisbury, Md.

Next Week's Challenge

Take the animal name puma: the last two letters of its name, "m" and "a," start mandrill, which is a large baboon. The last two letters of mandrill, "ll" start llama, and the last two letters of llama start marmot. So, the result is a chain of four animals, with two letter links, puma, mandrill, llama, and marmot. Can you form a similar chain of animal names linking, hippo to ermine? And the number of links in the chain is for you to determine. Every animal has to be either a mammal or a reptile. Only the general terms for animals are allowed — not the names male, female, young, breeds, nicknames, etc.

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