With Perspicacity, We Perform Word Play

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

Challenge from June 11: From listener Al Gori from Cozy Lake, New Jersey: Think of a phrase of the form, Blank and Blank. The initials of the two words in the blanks are R and F. Change the first letter of the second word from an F to a V, and the two words will be synonyms. What are they?

Answer: RANK and FILE, RANK and VILE.

Challenge from June 18: From Magdalen Braden, from Philadelphia and Harford, Pa. Think of a certain country in the world. Change its first letter to name a well-known 20th-century world leader. Or change its third letter to name another well-known 20th-century world leader. What is the country and who are the leaders?



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