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You've Got To 'Comb' Together To Solve This One

Sunday Puzzle.
Sunday Puzzle.

On-air challenge:Today I've brought a game of categories based on the word COMBS. You probably know how this works. I'm going to give you a series of categories. For each one, name something in it starting with each of the letters C-O-M-B-S.

For example, if the category were "Three-Syllable Boys' Names," you might say Christopher, Oliver, Mathias, Benjamin and Sebastian. Any answer that works is fine, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Musical instruments

2. Cities in Florida

3. Wild mammals in America

4. Shakespeare characters

5. People and things seen in a church

Last week's challenge: Take the first and last names of a famous comedian. The first three letters of the first name and the first letter of the last name, in order, spell the name of a god in mythology. The fourth letter of the first name and the second through fourth letters of the last name, in order, spell the name of another god. Who's the comedian, and what gods are these?

Puzzle answer: Martin Short --> Mars, Thor

Puzzle winner: Michael Konopka of Akron, Ohio

Next week's challenge, from Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, Calif.:

This week's challenge is unusual. The numbers 5,000, 8,000, and 9,000 share a property that only five integers altogether have. Identify the property and the two other integers that have 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, Jan. 19, at 3 p.m. ET.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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).