On-air challenge: Every answer consists of two words in the same category that rhyme. For example, two animals whose rhyming names start with B and H are BEAR and HARE. Each clue will give you the initial letters, the words' lengths and the category. Name the things.
Last week's challenge: The University Press of New England has just published a book by Boston College professor Paul Lewis, called The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789-1820. It has a chapter devoted to puzzles in poetic form. Most of the puzzles are explained — but one puzzle never had a printed answer.
I wanted to see if the collective brainpower of NPR listeners can be brought to bear to clear up this mystery. It's a two-line verse from the Nov. 12, 1803, issue of the Boston Weekly Magazine:
I am both man and woman too,
And go to school as good boys do.
I selected what I think is the best answer submitted.
Winner: Jonathan Black of Brockport, N.Y.
Next week's challenge: Take the word EASY: Its first three letters — E, A and S — are the fifth, first, and nineteenth letters, respectively, in the alphabet. If you add 5 + 1 + 19, you get 25, which is the value of the alphabetical position of Y, the last letter of EASY.
Can you think of a common five-letter word that works in the opposite way — in which the value of the alphabetical positions of its last four letters add up to the value of the alphabetical position of its first letter?
Submit Your Answer
If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday, April 7, at 3 p.m. ET.