On-air challenge: This puzzle is something different. Read these statements involving words and names, and figure out if they’re true or not.
1. George Herbert Walker Bush is the only U.S. president with four names in his birth name.
2. Maine is the only one-syllable state name in the U.S.
3. “Chicago” is the only Academy Award-winning “Best Film” whose name is a city.
4. Hawaii is the only U.S. state whose name ends in a double letter.
5. Tin is the only 3-letter element on the periodic table.
Last week’s challenge: This week’s challenge came from listener James Matthews of Little Rock, Ark. To solve it, you might need to crack open an atlas. Take the names of two countries that share a border. Drop the second letter from the second country’s name. The resulting string of letters, in order from left to right, will spell a regular, uncapitalized word. What is it?
Challenge answer: Answer: Mali + Niger —> Malinger
Winner: Ben Huddle of Salem, Va.
This week’s challenge: There is a standard two-letter abbreviation for an English word that has an unusual property: The first letter of the abbreviation is the second letter of the word. And the second letter of the abbreviation does not appear in the word at all. What’s the word, and what’s its abbreviation?
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 by Wednesday, July 3, at 3 p.m. ET.