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Sunday Puzzle: Double Down

Sunday Puzzle
Sunday Puzzle

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made-up phrase of two five-letter words that differ only in their vowel.

Ex. Path for heavy vehicles --> TRUCK TRACK
1. Ravine in Holland
2. Dark-colored cube
3. Light-haired person who can't see
4. Viking caregiver
5. Things offered for sale during the third month of the year
6. Jersey that doesn't reach down to the waist
7. Odor that you can barely detect
8. Food for pigs that's just terrific
9. Immediate sound from a duck
[Last one has six-letter words:]
10. Cord that's hard to break

Last week's challenge: This is a two-week creative challenge. The object is to write a sentence using only the letters of any particular U.S. state. You can pick the state and repeat letters as often as necessary. For example:
OREGON --> Roger, go gorge on green eggnog.
NEBRASKA --> Sen. Ben Sasse's sneakers reek. [Note: Ben Sasse is a U.S. senator from Nebraska]
Entries will be judged on originality, sense, naturalness of syntax, humor, and overall elegance. *No more than three sentences per entry, please.*

Winner: The winner of our two-week challenge is Kate Simpson of Kensington, Maryland. Her winning submission:

For West Virginia: In tennis news, a new era starts as Serena is retiring.

Honorable mentions:

Minnesota: NASA insists men on moon missions met no sentient E.T.s. — Stacey Wakeham

Massachusetts: At the museum, esthetes hate the cute statues that amuse the masses. — H.S. Hughes

West Virginia: Serena's stinging tennis serves, never average, win sets. — Joseph Kuperberg

Minnesota: No one tests Nastase in tennis: one set to none. — Emily Simon

Rhode Island: Denise hoarded sand and seashells inside her shoreside diner. — Rawson Scheinberg

Washington: Shania Twain is in town tonight, singing Gaga's hit songs at Santana's San Antonio gig. — Kerry Fowler

Challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Rawson Scheinberg, of Northville, Michigan. Think of an eight-letter noun composed phonetically of two consecutive names traditionally given to girls. Remove the sixth letter and rearrange the result. You'll get an event where you might hear the thing named by the original noun. What words are these?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to the two-week challenge, submit it here by Thursday, August 25 at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners whose answers are selected win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

Corrected: August 25, 2022 at 10:00 PM MDT
The list of honorable mentions has been updated. Two honorable mentions previously posted did not meet the puzzle's criteria.
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).