Filed Under:

Two Is Company, Three Is A Crowd

Play associated audio

On-air challenge: Given three three-letter words, give a three-letter word that can follow each to complete a familiar six-letter word. None of the words in a set will be related in meaning. For example, given "dam," "man" and "sew," the answer would be "age," which results in "damage," "manage" and "sewage."

Last week's challenge from Sam Loyd: This challenge appeared in a puzzle column in the Woman's Home Companion in January 1913. Draw a square that is four boxes by four boxes per side, containing altogether 16 small boxes and 18 lines (across, down and diagonal). There are 10 ways to have four boxes in a line — four horizontal rows, four vertical columns, plus the two long diagonals. There are also eight other shorter diagonals of two or three squares each. The object is to place markers in 10 of the boxes so that as many of the lines as possible have either two or four markers. What is the maximum number of lines that can have either two or four markers, and how do you do it?

Answer: It is possible for 16 lines to have either two or four markers. Sam Loyd's arrangement includes the first and third boxes of the top row, the seventh and eighth boxes of the second row, all four boxes of the third row, and the 14th and 15th boxes of the bottom row. Any rotation of this answer also works.

Winner: Rob Hardy of Columbus, Miss.

Next week's challenge: Think of two familiar, unhyphenated, eight-letter words that contain the letters A, B, C, D, E and F, plus two others, in any order. What words are these?

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 at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found 'Mad' Magazine, Dies

Money from a job illustrating a Coca-Cola training manual became a springboard for Jack Davis to move from Georgia to New York.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
NPR

At The Democratic Convention, Choreographing A Sea Of Signs

Watch even a few minutes and you're bound to see some synchronized sign-holding — brightly colored placards with slogans like "Stronger Together" waving in the crowd.
NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.