(The National Puzzlers’ League prides itself on being able to solve all kinds of puzzles. Especially “flats”, described by the group’s Enigma magazine as “puzzles in verse form that have proven over our 130-plus years to provide endless opportunities for creativity and continuous solving enjoyment.” In each verse of the two modified flats below, one word is boldface and a second word — just one letter different from the first — has been replaced by the word SECOND. Your job is to determine the missing SECOND words – using clues provided by the verses. The title of each flat tells you which letter has been changed; the number in parentheses tells you how many letters the word has. Solutions are at the bottom.)
FIRST–LETTER CHANGE (6)
The National Puzzlers’ League, we’ve heard,
Will gather in Austin today.
Solving puzzles – mathematic and word
They’d SECOND spend time that way.
FOURTH-LETTER CHANGE (8)
After decoding the random anagram
And reading rebuses galore
SECOND on Texas beef or ham
May be their hardest chore.
ƃuıpıɔǝp (ᄅ ɹǝɥʇɐɹ (Ɩ
Anchor’s note: Why not use puzzles to write about a puzzlers’ convention? — L.W.