Will Shortz

On-air challenge: The theme of this puzzle is P, B & J. I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters P, B and J. You give me a fourth word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Example: Parking, Back, Job --> LOT (parking lot, back lot, job lot)

Starting with three-letter answers:

1. Penalty, Boom, Juke

2. Power, Buzz, Jig

3. Present, Birth, Judgment

4. Pill, Bed, Jitter

Now four-letter answers:

5. Perp, Board, Jay

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase in which the only consonants are P and R — repeated as often as necessary. The other letters are all vowels.

Example: More mature, as fruit --> RIPER
1. What beats rock but loses to scissors in a children's game
2. Musician with a flute
3. Partner of salt
4. Fix, as an appliance
5. Brand of bottled water
6. Open grassland, as in Kansas and Nebraska
7. Like reasoning by theoretical deduction (2 words)
8. Come into view again

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you pairs of incomplete phrases. Put the same word in each blank to complete them. Every answer is a four-letter word.
Ex. ___ of wolves / ___ of cigarettes --> PACK
1. ___ of sale / ___ of rights
2. ___ of arms / ___ of paint
3. ___ of thought / ___ of scrimmage
4. ___ of fire / ___ of wax
5. ___ of thumb / ___ of law
6. ___ of mouth / ___ of God
7. ___ of hands / ___ of force
8. ___ of Africa / ___ of plenty
9. ___ of paper / ___ of the tongue

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence conceals the name of a state capital in consecutive letters. You name the capitals.

Example: Check the chart for details. --> HARTFORD
1. You can't rent only one trailer.
2. How does golf rank for television?
3. That's not too pleasant a feeling.
4. Dad prepared flapjacks once.
5. The numeral eight comes before nine.
6. We fly to Zurich Monday.
7. Are you and Eric on cordial terms?
8. I wanna polish off dinner.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some six-letter words. For each one, change one of the consonants to a vowel to make another familiar six-letter word.

Example: DEFECT --> DEFEAT

On-air challenge: Every answer to this puzzle is a word or name that has the accented syllable "lee" (in any spelling) somewhere inside it.

Example: Expungement --> DELETION

1. City in Ohio sometimes called "holy"

2. Supreme Court justice Samuel

3. Pledge of ___

4. Opposite of an atheist

5. Island off the coast of California

6. Resident of California's largest city

7. One-named "Queen of Tejano Music"

8. Italian film director Federico

9. Leonardo da Vinci painting (two words)

On-air challenge: Here are words from categories. Each thing is next-to-last in its category alphabetically. You name the only other thing in the category that comes after mine alphabetically.

1. Two

2. Sleepy

3. Queens

4. Zambia

5. Swans a-swimming

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase in which you switch the first and third letters of the first word to get the second word.

Example: Trick that is certain to work --> Sure Ruse

1. Final bit of table seasoning

2. Dangerous dog along Rome's river

3. Dish of mashed-up food that costs one unit of Indian currency

4. Combination of fruits — one that's yellow and sour, the other that's large and has seeds

5. Metalworker with a torch who is more lascivious

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is titled "Low and Inside." Every answer is a word or name that has the syllable "low" somewhere inside it (not at the start or the end). The "low" syllable is always accented.

Example: Like the U.S. before 1776 >> COLONIAL

1. Greeting in Hawaii

2. House speaker Nancy

3. Tennis star Martina

4. Spanish city that hosted the 1992 Olympics

5. Powerful land in ancient Mesopotamia

6. Everyday sandwich meat

7. Sounding pleasant to the ear, as music

8. Informal, as speech

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a famous person whose first initial and last name, in order, spell a word. For example, take Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence. The B of Benjamin + his last name spells BRUSH. I'll give you clues to the parts. You give me the names.