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Sunday Puzzle: Stuck in the middle

Sunday Puzzle
Sunday Puzzle

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "Middle C" — just like last week, but a completely different puzzle. I'll give you two words. You give me a word starting with C that can follow my first word and precede the second one, in each case to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Ex. White / Bone --> COLLAR (white collar, collarbone)

1. Smart / Cutter

2. Cottage / Steak

3. Climate / Machine

4. Kitty / Stone

5. Boston / Sense

6. Shag / Bagger

Last week's challenge: Last week's challenge came from listener Jay Feldman, of Davis, Calif. What three common five-letter nicknames — one girl's, two boys' — have the same last four letters and alphabetically consecutive initial letters. Or to put it another way... Think of three common five-letter nicknames — one girl's, two boys' — that have alphabetically consecutive initial letters and the same last four letters. What common nicknames are these?

Challenge answer: Jenny, Kenny, Lenny.

Winner: Michael Haggans from Guilford, CT.

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Keith Rode, of Woodland, Calif. Name a state capital. Take the last two letters of the city's name and the first two letters of its state's name. Then rearrange these letters to name an activity closely associated with this city. What is it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here by Thursday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you.

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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).