For more puzzles, visit the National Puzzlers' League at
The Enigma, the monthly publication of the National Puzzlers' League, is the members' “battleground,” where they challenge and entertain each other with their word games.
The puzzles below appeared in past issues of The Enigma and are reprinted by permission.
Most puzzles in The Enigma are in verse. In each verse, one or more words are missing, replaced by words like “ONE” and “TWO.” The title tells you what kind of answer you need.
Fifth-letter change (6 letters)
When Felix gets a whiff of ONE,
You see him jump and run,
But still, before the day is through,
He's curled up for a TWO.
Answer: ONE is "catnip." By changing the fifth letter, you get TWO, or "catnap."
1. Beheadment (6, 5 letters). A word becomes a new one when its
first letter is removed (example: factor, actor).
They followed the stream as it FIRST through the wood,
Staying as much in the shade as they could.
A splash, and a swimmer then came into sight.
"He's SECOND!" one Girl Scout cried out in delight.
2. Curtailment (7, 6). A word becomes a new one when its last
letter is removed (example: aspiring, aspirin).
"Cleopatra," if it's true
that opposites attract,
Could be called the ONE of TWO
By known historic fact.
3. Deletion (9, 8). A word becomes a new one when an interior
letter is removed (example: simile, smile).
So the jury finally TWO that czar of crime?
And a jury trial is ONE? High bloody time.
4. Deletion (5, 4).
One year fat, one year lean.
Never anywhere between.
Diet changes every day;
Either ONE or TWO, I say.