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Turning Phrases: White Whale, Baby...

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz quizzes one of our listeners, and has a challenge for everyone at home.

Challenge from Oct. 9:

From Ed Pegg Jr.: In a standard 4 by 4 magic square you arrange the digits from one to sixteen so each row, column and corner digital totals 34. This is a multiplication magic square: Arrange sixteen numbers in a four by four square so that the product of each row, column and corner to corner diagonal is 5,040. You can use any numbers you want. But they have to be whole numbers and you can’t repeat a number in the square. (And as a hint: The number in the upper left corner is 42.)

Answer: There were many possible answers to last week's puzzle:

Here’s one of them:

42 10 3 4

12 1 30 14

5 21 8 6

2 24 7 15

Winner: Steve Wersan from Ridgecrest, Calif. He listens to Weekend Edition on member station KNPR in Las Vegas.

Challenge from Oct. 16:

This week's challenge comes from Mike Rice, a writer/ producer for the TV show The Simpsons.

Take the phrase "baby barb" -- it has the same cryptogram as Alan Alda. That is, the four B's in "baby barb" are in the same position as the A’s in Alan Alda.

The two A's in "baby barb" are in the same position as the "L's" in Alan Alda, and so on.

The puzzle: Name a famous TV personality whose name has the same cryptogram pattern as "words work."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Will Shortz
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).