Uncle Bob's Puzzle Corner

Fit for Four

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Welcome to Fit for Four puzzles. Each challenge is depicted by a wheel. Each wheel contains 4 words that have been separated from a single word that completes four compound or hyphenated words, or familiar two-word phrases. To solve you must find that word.

The solution word may precede or follow each clue word. Many answers will satisfy two or three of the clues, but any solution must connect with all four. These words and phrases may have nothing else in common, so successful solvers will think of multiple contexts for the four clue words. These puzzles can be tackled solo, but also they have proven to work well in a group of four or more people putting heads together.

An easy challenge might present “bug, flower, stand, inflatable,” leading to the solution “bed.” Bed bug, flower bed, bed stand, and inflatable bed are the combinations I had in mind. A more difficult puzzle might give the clues “to, take, over, strong,” having “hold” as the answer.

Beware of my minor obfuscations. Finding bean, ball, and head in a circle might create an unhelpful mind set. Are these clues tied to baseball? The fourth clue “apple” helps steer us in new directions. Let’s try food. Butterball, as in turkey, apple butter, and butter bean get us close, but what about head. Well, you may have found this one to be a head-butter, and that seals the deal. Butter is the answer.

Whether you are solving alone or with a party full of folks, I hope you enjoy sussing out the enigmatic associations. It’s not a wild thing from the wild kingdom. There is no need to go hog wild or to go running wild with these – just have fun. -Uncle Bob Mead

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