Making Changes Is Up To You Change one letter in each word of a made-up, two-word phrase to get two new words that will start a familiar proverb or saying. Determining which letters to change is up to you.
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Making Changes Is Up To You

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Making Changes Is Up To You

Making Changes Is Up To You

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish and it's time now for the puzzle.


CORNISH: We'll start with last week's challenge from Will Shortz. He's, of course, the puzzle editor of The New York Times and Weekend Edition's puzzle master.

WILL SHORTZ, BYLINE: Think of a common five-letter word in one syllable. Change the fourth letter to the next letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a common word in two syllables, also in five letters. What words are these?

CORNISH: We received more than 600 entries and our randomly-selected winner this week is Jim Liddle from West Hartford, Connecticut. Congratulations, Jim.

JIM LIDDLE: Thank you.

CORNISH: So what was the answer you sent in for last week's challenge?

LIDDLE: Well, the first word was Blair and the second word was blase.

CORNISH: Ah, nice job. And before we continue, let's welcome The New York Times puzzle editor and Weekend Edition's puzzle master, Will Shortz. Good morning, Will.

SHORTZ: Hi, Audie. And I wanted to mention there was actually more than one answer to last week's challenge. For example, charm and chasm would work. Also, mints and minus. There are other answers as well.

CORNISH: Right. And we've actually posted the other answers to the challenge on So Jim, tell us, how did you come up with Blair and blase?

LIDDLE: Well, it wasn't coming to me, so I actually just created myself a list of five letter words and started skimming it and found my first answer in the Bs.

CORNISH: Oh, cool. Well, lucky for you there was an answer early in the alphabet.

LIDDLE: It was.

SHORTZ: Good thing it wasn't zebra.


CORNISH: And what do you do there in West Hartford, Connecticut, Jim?

LIDDLE: I'm a computer programmer.

CORNISH: And any other talents other than puzzle solving?

LIDDLE: I kind of like music. I play the piano a bit. I play the organ at church and I sing in our company's choir, the Traveler's Chorale.

CORNISH: All right, Jim. Are you ready to play the puzzle?

LIDDLE: I think so.

CORNISH: And Will, you ready?

SHORTZ: I am ready.

CORNISH: OK, let's play.

SHORTZ: All right. Jim and Audie, I'm going to give you a made-up two word phrase. Change one letter in each word to get two new words and these two words will start a familiar proverb or saying. Determining which letters to change is up to you. For example, if I said letter rate, you would say, better late than never, changing the L of letter to a B and the R of rate to L. All right.

Number one is treat minus T-R-E-A-T M-I-N-U-S.


SHORTZ: And I'll give you a hint. Change the first letter of treat to get a new word.

LIDDLE: Well, great comes to mind.

SHORTZ: Great is right.

LIDDLE: Great minds think alike.

SHORTZ: Great minds think alike. Good job. Number two is moose lies. M-O-O-S-E L-I-E-S. This was a saying popularized during World War II.

LIDDLE: Loose lips sink ships.

SHORTZ: Loose lips sink ships. Good. Get sweeping. That's G-E-T and sweeping, like what you do on the floor.

LIDDLE: Let sleeping dogs lie.

SHORTZ: That's it. Easter sand. E-A-S-T-E-R S-A-N-D.

LIDDLE: Hmm. I thinking Easter might be master or something.

SHORTZ: Yeah. You'd think so, but it's not.


Don't change the first letter. Change the fourth letter.


LIDDLE: Easier said than done.


SHORTZ: That's it. Gold thongs G-O-L-D T-H-O-N-G-S.

LIDDLE: Oh, that's what I'm wearing right now.

SHORTZ: And not just one, but multiple thongs, yeah, I like it. It's one of the great things about radio. You could be wearing anything. All right. What letter do you change in thongs?

LIDDLE: The O to an I maybe?

SHORTZ: That's correct.

LIDDLE: I'm still drawing a blank on the first one.

SHORTZ: Change the L.

LIDDLE: Good things come in twos, threes? What is the thing?

SHORTZ: All right. Well, there's a couple answers. Good things come to those who wait or good things come in small packages. And here's your last one. It's appropriate for this puzzle. Tao heaps T-A-O H-E-A-P-S.

LIDDLE: What's the first word again?

SHORTZ: Tao T-A-O as in Taoism.


SHORTZ: All right. What letter do you think you change in T-A-O?

LIDDLE: Probably the A.

SHORTZ: That's correct.

LIDDLE: Two...

SHORTZ: Yes. And change the P.

LIDDLE: I'm drawing a blank on that one.

CORNISH: Oh, is it...

SHORTZ: This was appropriate for you and Audie working together on this.

LIDDLE: Two heads are better than one.

SHORTZ: There you go.

CORNISH: Great job, Jim.

LIDDLE: Thanks.

CORNISH: For playing our puzzle today, you're going to get the Weekend Edition lapel pin, as well as puzzle books and games. You can read all about it at And Jim, which member station do you listen to?


CORNISH: That's WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut.

Jim Liddle, thanks for playing the puzzle this week.

LIDDLE: My pleasure.

CORNISH: And, Will, what is our challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Monti Montgomery of Washington, D.C. Name a style of music. Change the middle letter to a B, as in boy, and you'll name a style of cooking. And there are several ways to spell the cooking style, but this answer is one of them. What is the style of music and what's the style of cooking?

So again, a style of music, change the middle letter to a B and you'll name a style of cooking. What's the style of music and what's the style of cooking?

CORNISH: When you have the answer, go to our website, and click on the Submit Your Answer link - just one entry per person, please. And our deadline for entries is Thursday, December 8th at 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. If you're the winner we'll give you a call, and you'll get to play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle-master, Will Shortz.

Thanks so much, Will.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Audie.

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