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Sunday Puzzle: Idioms for the eclipse

Sunday Puzzle
Sunday Puzzle

On-air challenge: Tomorrow many Americans will be traveling to view the total eclipse, which, as you know, is when the moon passes in front of the sun, casting its shadow on the Earth. Today's puzzle answers are all idiomatic phrases that include either the sun or the moon — I'll give you a clue, you tell me what the phrase is.

For example, if I gave you the definition "Try to attain something extremely difficult; set one's goals high" you'd give me the phrase "Shoot for the moon."

  1. Very rarely
  2. Everything's been done before
  3. Take advantage of an opportunity while it is available
  4. Extremely happy
  5. To do something overly ambitious that can lead to one's downfall

Last week's challenge: The English language developed in a patriarchal society, so many words in our language were traditionally assumed to be male, and turned into female versions by adding a prefix or suffix. Waiter and waitress, comedian and comedienne — those are just two examples of the many stereotypically "male" words that become new "female words" by adding a suffix.

There is a common English word that works the opposite way, where the uninflected form is used generally for women and to which we add a two-letter suffix for the male form. What is that word?

Challenge answer: Widower

Winner: Rich Foss of Lake Forest, Illinois

This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Steve Baggish of Arlington, Massachusetts. Think of a nine-letter word naming a kind of tool that is mentioned in the Bible. Remove the second and sixth letters and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell two new words that are included in a well known biblical passage and are related to the area in which the tool is used. What are the three words?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to the challenge, submit it here by Thursday, April 11th at 3 p.m. ET. Listeners whose answers are selected win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: include a phone number where we can reach you.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Greg Pliska
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).

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