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Hidden Ants: Phrases with A-N-T

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home.

Challenge from May 29

This challenge involves a four-letter word square. Write down these four words, one under the other: SAGA, OPAL, FELL, and TRAY. The results spell four different words vertically: SOFT, APER, GALA, ALLY. This square contains three "L's" and no plurals, or verbs formed by adding "S". The challenge is to create a similar square with as many "L's" as possible, and no plurals or verbs formed by adding "S". And our reference for acceptable words will be Merriam-Webster's eleventh Collegiate Dictionary.

Answer: Will's best answer has 7 "L's" containing these words: LILLY, ALOE, MILL, and BALL. Coming down the row, they make LAMB, ILIA, LOLL and YELL..

This week's winner: Phil Goldberg, from Nashville, Tenn. He listens to Weekend Edition on member station WPLN in Nashville, Tenn.

Challenge from June 5

This week's challenge is from Paul Doering, from Rochester, N.Y. Name two fruits, and say their names out loud. They sound like a two-word phrase meaning "today." What is the phrase?

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz has appeared on Weekend Edition Sunday since the program's start in 1987. He's also the crossword editor of The New York Times, the former editor of Games magazine, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (since 1978).