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Try Your Hand at a Word Puzzle Will Shortz Made for 7x7

Bill Clinton is stuck on him. Jon Stewart can’t get enough. Even former Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina goes gaga over his work. So just who is Will Shortz? Take a look at almost any puzzle book, and chances are you’ll find The New York Times’ longstanding crossword editor’s name on the spine. In addition to his day job, he’s authored or edited more than 400 puzzle books, is founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, and is a regular on-air contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Despite the fact that he can finish The New York Times’ Friday and Saturday puzzles in 15 minutes, Shortz is refreshingly unpretentious. So, if you think you have what it takes to go head-to-head in a brainteasing challenge with the mastermind, head to the Berkeley on Nov. 21 for Cal Performances’ Strictly Speaking discussion. Audience participation required.

In the meantime, try your hand at this puzzle Shortz created just for 7x7 readers. The first person to email the correct answer to us will win four tickets to a Thursday NightLife event at Cal Academy.

Here's the puzzle:

In each pair of seven-letter words to the right, rearrange the letters of one of the words to get a synonym of the other. For example, RAPTURE and TOENAIL would lead to the answer ELATION. Which word is the synonym and which is the anagram is for you to discover

1. DONATOR • TWISTER

2. SINCERE • INGENUE

3. MICRONS • SCARLET

4. HORNETS • ABRIDGE

5. ANXIOUS • TRUFFLE

6. UNNAMED • EARTHLY

7. AUGMENT • GENERAL