Will Shortz | KUER 90.1

Will Shortz

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a famous person whose first initial and last name, in order, spell a word. For example, take Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence. The B of Benjamin + his last name spells BRUSH. I'll give you clues to the parts. You give me the names.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. The letters in the first word appear in left-to-right order, although not consecutively, in a state capital. The letters in the second word appear in left-to-right order in that capital's state.

Example: Scant, Corn --> Sacramento, California
1. Annals, Aryan
2. Singed, Lois
3. Alas, Ford
4. Saul, Mines
5. Boon, Assets
6. Motor, Lama
7. Mason, Coin
8. Prince, Resand

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. For each one, change one letter to two new letters to name a country.

Example. Belle --> Belize

1. Fence
2. Grace
3. Brawl
4. No Say
5. Polar
6. Debark
7. Brunt
8. Mondo
9. Malaria
10. Panda (three different answers)

Puzzle: Fast And Famous

Jul 19, 2020

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. The first letter is the initial of a famous person's first name. The remaining letters can be rearranged to get the person's last name. I'll give you categories if you need them.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words that contain the consecutive letters I-T. For each word, change the I-T to two new letters to make a new word.

Example: TITULAR --> TUBULAR
1. IGNITE
2. COMMIT
3. CITRUS
4. EXCITE
5. CITRIC
6. INVITE
7. FINITE
8. MARITAL
9. EXPLOIT
10. SMITTEN
11. BACKBITE

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase in which the only consonants are H and T — repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Example: Eighth letter of the Greek alphabet --> THETA

1. Canine or molar

2. Give a share of one's income to the church

3. Lake straddling the California/Nevada border

4. Country sharing a border with the Dominican Republic

5. Island paradise in the South Pacific

6. Giggle sound

7. Tract of land with low-growing shrubs

8. Kind of yoga

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Three consecutive words somewhere in each sentence are the first three words of a familiar proverb or saying. Tell me what it is.

Example: My parents went to the restaurant at 5 p.m. to get the early bird special. --> The early bird catches the worm.

1. The queen attends every royal function, so her absence makes the crowd concerned.

2. The cows with two heads are the big attraction at the carnival.

3. A nice Scottish lad is what a miss is looking for.

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some words. For each one, change the initial consonant or consonants to a new consonant or new consonants to get a new word that looks like it should rhyme with the original but doesn't. Every answer is unique.

Example: Cord --> Word
1. Howl
2. Golf
3. Brave
4. Fork
5. Paste
6. Toad
7. Gasp
8. Green
9. Pooch
10. Goose

On-air challenge: This is a followup puzzle to last week's "Lost ID's." It's called "Replacement ID's." I'm going to give you some words. Each word contains the consecutive letters I-D somewhere in it. Change the I-D to two new letters to get a new familiar word.

Example: Stride --> Stroke or Strafe
1. Fidget
2. Ideate
3. Bridal
4. Rancid
5. Fiddle
6. Afraid (hyph.)
7. Collide
8. Provide
9. Humidity
10. Consider

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is "Lost ID's." I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word has the consecutive letters I-D somewhere in it. Drop the I-D and what's left will spell a new word that answers the second clue.

Example: Opposite of narrowest / Direction for sunsets --> Widest, west
1. End of the workweek / Disorderly fight
2. Box for cigars / Jokes and such
3. Partition / One jumping in a pool
4. Mints that are said to be "curiously strong" / Voices below sopranos

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you three 5-letter words. You tell me a 5-letter word that can precede each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Ex. DRAFT HOUSE RIDER --> Rough (rough draft, rough-house, Rough Rider)

1. GLASS SLIDE MELON
2. TIGER TRAIL TOWEL
3. COUNT DONOR SPORT
4. SENSE POWER LAUGH
5. GIANT PEACE THUMB
6. SHIFT SHIRT STAND
7. SALAD PUNCH FLIES
8. TEASE POKER STEAK
9. STORY ORDER RANGE
10. SAUCE CIDER STORE
11. BLANK GUARD TAKEN

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase, in which the first word has six letters. Its last three letters spell the second word that will complete the phrase.

For Example: Scurrying insect whose appearance has been affected by radiation --> MUTANT ANT

On-air challenge: Today I've brought a game of categories based on the word COMBS. You probably know how this works. I'm going to give you a series of categories. For each one, name something in it starting with each of the letters C-O-M-B-S.

For example, if the category were "Three-Syllable Boys' Names," you might say Christopher, Oliver, Mathias, Benjamin and Sebastian. Any answer that works is fine, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Musical instruments

2. Cities in Florida

3. Wild mammals in America

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is giving. I'm going to give you two words. You give each of them a letter — the same letter for each word — in order to complete a familiar two-word phrase.

On-air challenge: Every answer is an anagram of a geographical feature.

For example: PACE --> CAPE.

1. KALE
2. SAME
3. LIES
4. SPAS
5. ROOM
6. ALLOT
7. DEALT
8. CANOE
9. HARMS
10. DIRGE
11. LAPIN
12. RESTED
13. MASTER
14. ARTIST
15. SOFTER
16. NO GOAL
17. SECTIONAL
18. REAL FORCE (2 words)

On-air challenge: We're in the merry month of December. Every answer this week is a two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts DE- and the second word starts C.

For example: Underwater explosive device --> depth charge.

Last week's challenge: This challenge may sound impossible, but there's a good answer. Think of a common two-word phrase, in seven letters, that has two R's in the middle. And "in the middle," means exactly in the middle. What phrase is it?

On-air challenge: Insert the letters A and R into the middle of the first clue to get the answer to the second clue. For example, when given the clues "small argument" and "a tax on imports," the answer would be "tiff" and "tariff."

Last week's challenge, from Ken Stern of Brooklyn, N.Y.: Think of a sign that's frequently seen around this time of year — two words of four letters each. Among these eight letters all five vowels — A, E, I, O and U — appear once each, along with three consonants. What sign is it?

On-air challenge: I'm going to name some categories. For each one, I'll name something in the category that closely follows the name of the category alphabetically.

For example, "states" and "Texas." You tell me the only other thing in the category that fits between these two things alphabetically. In the case of my example, you would say "Tennessee."

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "SuperPACs." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with PA- and the second word starts with C.

For example: Official who oversees a city's green spaces --> PARKS COMMISSIONER.

These Letters Don't LI

Oct 9, 2016

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. Insert the consecutive letters LI somewhere inside the first word to get the second one.

For example: Bit of mischief/Instrument for measuring --> CAPER, CALIPER

Last week's challenge: Name an 11-letter occupation starting with H. If you have the right one, you can rearrange the letters to name two things a worker with this occupation uses — one in six letters and one in five. What occupation is it?

On-air challenge: Every answer this week is a pun on a well-known food brand at a grocery or supermarket.

For example: given the prompt "tiny golf pegs," the right answer is "Wheaties." (Get it? "Wee tees.")

Last week's challenge: Take the words DOES, TOES and SHOES. They all end in the same three letters, but none of them rhyme. What words starting with F, S and G have the same property? The F and S words are four letters long, and the G word is five letters. They all end in the same three letters.

On-air challenge: For the following words starting with the letters S, E and P — as in September — find a word that can precede each to complete a familiar two-word phrase.

For example: system, eclipse, power --> SOLAR (solar system, solar eclipse, solar power).

On-air challenge: Every answer this week is a nine-letter phrase that's a palindrome — in other words, it reads the same both forward and backward.

For example: Certain floor models (4,5) --> some demos.

Last week's challenge, from listener Sandy Stevens of Bandon, Ore.: What one-syllable word in seven letters becomes a four-syllable word by inserting the consecutive letters I-T somewhere inside?

Answer: reigned, reignited.

Winner: Dan Bradshaw of Farmington, Conn.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a familiar 8-letter word. We're going to give you two 3-letter words that are somewhere in it. You tell me the full word.

Ex. WOO + WIN --> WOODWIND

1. VET + AIL
2. LEG + RAM
3. PEN + AGO
4. URN + OAT
5. PIP + ANY
6. NOT + ONE

On-air challenge: Every answer this week is the name of a newspaper comic strip or cartoon, past or present. Identify the funnies from their anagrams.

For example: GOO + P --> POGO.

Last week's challenge from Mike Hinterberg of Loveland, Colo.: Name a creature in nine letters. The name contains a T. Drop the T, and the remaining letters can be rearranged to spell two related modes of transportation. What are they?

Answer: Butterfly --> Lyft, Uber.

On-air challenge: Every answer this week is a phrase in the form "___ and ___." I'll give you rhymes for the two missing words. You complete the phrases.

For example: Lick and lose --> pick and choose.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous singer — first and last names. The last four letters of the first name spelled backward plus the first four letters of the last name spelled forward, read together, in order, name a section of products in a drugstore. What is it?

Answer: Mariah Carey --> hair care.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in "X" and the second starts with "C" (as in XC, the Roman numeral for 90). A friend of mine recently turned 90, and I made this as a birthday gift.

For example: Tailless feline --> MANX CAT.

Last week's challenge, from Sandy Weisz of Chicago: Take the name of a famous musical. Write it in upper- and lowercase letters, as you usually would.

On-air challenge:

Take the category, then name something in it whose first two letters are the last two letters of the category's name.

For example: Author > (George) Orwell.

1. Beatle

2. Disney musical

3. Letter of the Greek alphabet

4. Country in Africa

5. Make of auto

6. Make of automobile

7. An Obama

8. Salad green

9. Racehorse

10. Municipal official

11. Norse explorer

12. Bridge

13. Ocean

14. Best Picture

15. Summer Olympics host

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in the letter -E, and the second word starts GO-.

For example: Something you might say when you're about to take a plunge --> HERE GOES.

Last week's challenge: Name something to eat. Change one letter in it and rearrange the result. You'll name the person who makes this food. Who is it?

Answer: Bread and baker.

Winner: Mary Ann Gaeddert, of Georgetown, Ky.

On-air challenge: Change one letter of each word and rearrange the result to get a new word that can follow it, to complete a common two-word phrase.

For example: FALL ... changing one of the L's to a T --> FLAT: Fall Flat.

Last week's challenge, based on an idea by listener Jon Herman: If PAJAMA represents first, and REBUKE represents second, what nine-letter word can represent third? There are two possible answers, one common and one not so common. Either one will be counted correct.

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