Will Shortz

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Insert the same letter in each of them to complete two things in the same category.

Example: Shots Skit --> Shorts, Skirt

1. FIE SEEN
2. MONEY SUNK
3. ETHER PALMS
4. BARE ALLEY
5. PARS SOFA
6. CURING WRESTING
7. MONTAGE CAPLET

On-air challenge:

Today's theme is ... HOT! I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters H-O-T. You give me a fourth word that can precede each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Example: Helmet Oven Tank (starting with G) --> GAS (gas helmet, gas oven, gas tank)

[Each of the following answers is 4 letters long:]

1. Hose Opal Truck (starting with F)

2. Hook Oil Tail (F)

3. Held Organ Towel (H)

4. Haste Office Time (P)

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word contains the consecutive letters A-I somewhere within it. Change the order to I-A and you'll get a new word that answers the second clue.

Ex. Train travel / Iranian money --> RAIL, RIAL

Sunday Puzzle: Just So

Jun 24, 2018

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "Just So." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initials S-O.

Ex. Eye, ear, or nose --> SENSORY ORGAN

1. Breakfast dish made with eggs and potatoes, often with some onions and peppers

2. Midway between noon and midnight

3. Person regarded only in terms of their attractiveness, not as a person

4. "The Young and the Restless" or "The Bold and the Beautiful"

5. Chemical compound with the symbol Na2O

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a world capital. I'm going to give you two words. Change the last letter of each word to a new letter so the result, reading left to right, names the capital.

Ex. CARD CAP --> Caracas

1. BET JINX

2. BUDS PESO

3. NAB ROBE

4. PRO TORIC

5. KINK HASP

6. TRIM OLD

7. DAMP SCUM

8. KHAN TOUR

On-air challenge: I've brought a game of Categories based on the word BEACH. For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters B-E-A-C-H. For example, if the category were "Girls' Names," you might say Betty, Emma, Abigail, Chloe, and Hannah. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Parts of the Human Body

2. Things Commonly Consumed at Breakfast

3. Varieties of Cheese

4. Countries in Central and South America

On-air challenge: Every answer today involves a familiar three-word phrase in which the middle word is "to." I'll give you the end of the phrase. You tell me the start. Your answer will always have exactly four letters.

Sunday Puzzle: Yo!

May 27, 2018

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is titled "Yo!" Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in Y and the second word starts with O.

Ex. Colonel or major general ---> ARMY OFFICER
1. What antiperspirant helps prevent
2. In basketball, a high pass caught by a leaping teammate who dunks the ball before landing
3. Group conducted by a conductor
4. The nose, as a senser of smell
5. Johnson & Johnson product rubbed on the skin to keep it smooth
6. Nine squared

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a popular advertising slogan, past or present. I'm going to give you two words. The first is an anagram of one of the words in the slogan. The second is one of the other words in the slogan. You tell me the slogan.

Example: PEEKS GOING --> It keeps going ... and going ... and going [Energizer]
1. PANS CRACKLE
2. SALT DROP
3. T-SHIRT OBEY
4. NIGHTS BETTER
5. STONED NOBODY
6. THAWS WALLET
7. MINUETS FIFTEEN
8. FRINGE GOOD
9. SKIS BEGINS

On-air challenge: Change one letter in each word to get a familiar boy's name.

Ex. ALIAS --> ELIAS
1. STEWARD
2. LEOPARD
3. LUSHER
4. CORDON
5. TREMOR
6. THRONE
7. HERALD
8. QUINCE
9. ENROLL
10. TIBIAS
11. CHEATER
12. FOR RENT
For the last one, think of two different answers, which change different letters in the word
13 & 14. BARON

On-air challenge: The theme of this week's puzzle is Indiana. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends -IN and the second word starts D-.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase. The first word has 7 letters. Drop the first and last letters and you'll get a 5-letter word that completes the phrase.

Example: Coffee drink with less zing --> FLATTER LATTE

1. Investigating Batman's sidekick

2. Scheduling a course on Caesar's language

3. Opposed to profits

4. Autumn bloom along the Atlantic coast

5. Supervise poetry

6. Quick TV excerpts of solar and lunar events

7. Uneasy feeling for a rapper

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a major-league baseball team. You tell me what they are from their anagrams.

Example: SCARY – C --> (Tampa Bay) Rays

1. SCUBA – A

2. STEAM – A

3. DRESS – S

4. DESPAIR – I

5. AGAINST – A

6. ADVERBS – D

7. COSTARS – C

8. RESTING – N

9. SEALING – I

10. STOCKIER – T

11. MINERALS – E

12. WIRETAPS – W

13. EARRINGS – I

14. THEISTICAL – I

15. NONSPATIAL – P

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar simile, like "sly as a fox" or "sharp as a tack." I'm going to give you rhymes for the first and last words. You tell me the similes.

Example: Dry as a flight --> High as a Kite
1. Dizzy as a flea
2. Green as a thistle
3. Near as a smell
4. Scrappy as a lamb
5. Tight as a tether
6. Bad as a batter
7. Mute as a glutton
8. Sweet as a grin
9. Lazy as a goon
10. Split as a griddle
11. Dead as a suite
12. Flat as a wig
13. Scarred as a block

Editor's note on April 2, 2018: If you've listened to the audio, you may have figured it out quickly: Part of this broadcast was an April Fools' joke. We hope you enjoyed it.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase in which the first word starts DE- and the second word sounds like the first one without the DE-.

Example: Chooses teams --> DECIDES SIDES

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Drop a letter from the first word to name a category of things. And drop a letter from the second word to name something in that category.

Example: FURY STABLE --> FUR & SABLE

1. THREE POPULAR

2. MENTAL CROPPER

3. INSPECT MOUTH

4. STATUE MARINE

5. STOOL LOATHE

6. SPLICE STAGE

7. SHOVE PLUMP

8. DONG COLLIDE

9. BOAST CLUTTER

10. METAL LAUNCH

11. DRIVER TIMBER

12. GERM RUGBY

On-air challenge: Today I've brought a game of categories based on the word OSCAR. For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters O-S-C-A-R. For example, if the category were "U.S. States," you might say Ohio, South Dakota, Colorado, Alabama, and Rhode Island. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Things Seen in a Kitchen (other than food)

2. Ways to Say "Yes"

3. Islands

4. Parts of a Newspaper

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some crossword clues for six-letter words. The last word in each clue will rhyme with its answer.

Ex. Traveling theater group --> TROUPE
1. Opposite of smaller
2. Heavenly body with a ring pattern
3. Attire for many sports
4. Aimlessly go yonder
5. Proceed in a hurry
6. Food like cheddars or bries
7. One engaged in a medieval fight
8. Chatter
9. Teammate of Dasher and Prancer
10. Sport in which a player might act as a blocker
11. Quality of food to savor

On-air challenge: For each word, drop the first letter and rearrange those that remain to name part of the human body.

Ex. VOTE --> TOE

1. OGLE
2. PINCH
3. BONES
4. DECAF
5. KNISH
6. ITCHES
7. ROTORS
8. GATHER
9. PITSAW
10. EIGHTH
11. SLIPUP
12. DRIVEL
13. OUTGONE
14. EARWORM
15. RELATION
16. HAMBONED

On-air challenge: Every answer is a three-syllable word or name in which the middle syllable is accented and pronounced "sigh."

Ex. Sharp and clear-thinking --> INCISIVE

1. Matthew, John or Judas Iscariot

2. God of the sea, in Greek myth

3. Figure out, as a secret message

4. Music or dance performance that a parent might sit through

5. Making up one's mind

6. Not just throw trash away

7. Kind of trading that's illegal

8. Painful inflammation around joints

9. Front tooth

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some four-letter words. For each one, add one letter in front and one letter in back to complete a familiar six-letter word. No proper names are allowed, and you can't add an "s" or "d" at the end of a five-letter word to get the six-letter one.

Example: LANE --> PLANET

1. MOOT
2. HANG
3. WENT
4. NIGH
5. TREE
6. REFI
7. BRAD
8. AWES
9. ONTO
10. CRAW
11. ISLE
12. REST
13. PLAN
14. PONY
15. AFAR

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. Reverse the last two letters of the first word to get the second word.

Example: Aristocratic / Prestigious annual prize --> NOBLE, NOBEL

1. Squiggle over a Spanish "n" / Like a bathroom floor

2. Move along slowly / Thin pancake

3. Variety of grape for wine-making / Spotted horse

4. Something that's 90 degrees on a square / Heavenly figure

5. Bread-making need / Irish poet who wrote "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"

6. English county / More timid

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you three 5-letter words. You give me a fourth 5-letter word that can precede each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar 2-word phrase.

For example: slide tower melon --> water (as in waterslide, water tower, watermelon)

On-air challenge: This is my annual "New Names in the News Quiz." I'll name some people and things you had probably never heard of until 2017 but that sprang to prominence during the past 12 months. You tell me who or what they are.

1. Doug Jones
2. Gal Gadot
3. Anthony Scaramucci
4. Jack Phillips
5. Emmerson Mnangagwa
6. Tom Steyer
7. Salvator Mundi

On-air answers:

On-air challenge: NPR stands for National Public Radio, of course. But the letters N-P-R are also the initials of "nail polish remover." I'm going to give you clues to some other three-word names and phrases whose initials stand for better-known things.

1. I.C.C. (Interstate Commerce Commission) — Basic purchase at Dairy Queen
2. S.L.R. (Single-Lens Reflex) — Waterway past Montreal and Quebec
3. N.F.L. (National Football League) — Principle that an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words and phrases. Each one conceals the name of a world capital in left to right order, although not in consecutive letters. Every answer has exactly 5 letters.

Example: STOCK SYMBOL --> TOKYO
1. SERIOUSLY
2. PARTISAN
3. COCK-AND-BULL
4. HUMANOID
5. MINISKIRT
6. SOUTH AFRICA

Last week's challenge: The name of what vehicle, spelled backward, becomes phonetically a four-word phrase identifying another vehicle?

On-air challenge: Change one letter in each word to name something to eat.
Ex. STEAL --> STEAK
1. BREAK
2. BUDGE
3. ROUST
4. BARON
5. FILED
6. DUMBO
7. LIVEN
8. PRUDE
9. PASTY
10. CHILD
11. BUTLER
12. TICKLE
13. BOOKIE
14. POODLE
15. CLEESE
16. BUTTON
17. RAN OUT
18. DELISH

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. Reverse the last four letters of the answer to the first clue to get the word that answers the second clue.

Ex. Part of a flower / Flat dish --> PETAL, PLATE
1. Apportion / Coral island
2. Distress signal shot into the air / Wild, as an animal
3. Rugged / Many-headed serpent of myth
4. Nosy person / Implement for eating soup
5. Call the wrong telephone number / Lost
6. Fragility / Place to order a sandwich to go

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a famous person whose last name is the name of a well-known U.S. city.

Example: Actress who played Samantha on Bewitched [Ala.] —> ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY

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