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To Solve This Puzzle Let's Do Some Math, 5 Plus 2 Equals?


On-air challenge: For each five-letter word, insert two letters between the first and second letters to make a familiar seven-letter word.

For example: Elate ---> Emulate

Last week's challenge: Here's an unusual challenge from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. What is the most consecutive points a tennis player can lose and still win a best-of-five-sets match? There's no trick. It's a straightforward question. The modern tennis tiebreaker rule does not come into play.

Answer: Challenge answer: 76.

Winner: David Lefkowitz of Los Angeles.

Next week's challenge: Name a famous actor — seven-letter first name, four-letter last name. Take four consecutive letters from the first name and three consecutive letters from the last name. These seven letters, in order from left to right, will name something that's often packed nowadays when taking a trip. What is it?

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, June 9 at 3 p.m. ET.

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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).