Three Words, Four Letters

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

Challenge from December 31: Think of a familiar two-word phrase, in the form, BLANK- OIL. And another familiar two-word phrase, in the form, OIL-BLANK, in which the two words in the blanks are anagrams of each other. And here's a hint: Each of the anagrams is a regular four-letter word. What phrases are these?

Answer: OIL LAMP and PALM OIL.

Winner: Michael DeMarco of Bloomsburg, Pennsylania

Challenge from January 7 and January 14: A special challenge open for two weeks. The object is to arrange 16 different letters of the alphabet into a 4-by-4 square, so that four common, uncapitalized words read across and four common uncapitalized words read down. To start, the second word across is ruly. This is the only sightly unusual word in the square. Every other word in it is one any school child would know. Can you do it?

Responses for this two-week challenge are due by Thursday, Jan. 18.

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