Playing at Sixes and Sevens

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

Challenge from September 3: In most words containing the letter "O" between two consonants, the O is either pronounced as a long O or a short O. Can you name a common word in which O appears between two consonants and the O is pronounced like a short "i"?

Answer: Women (Words such as cinnamon, pivot, parrot, ribbon, common, havoc and cotton are what the dictionary calls "schwas" or words with an unstressed vowel sound. Therefore the only correct answer is "women.")

Winner: Eric Feit of Burbank, Calif.

Challenge from September 10: From Henry Hook of Brooklyn, New York, one of the country's top puzzle makers: Think of a seven-letter word that names a certain implement with a sharp point. Reverse the order of the second, third, fourth, and fifth letter, leaving the other three letters in place. The result will name a popular TV series. This series has other types of sharp implements in use.



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