Will Shortz

On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-syllable compound word, in which the vowel in each half is a short "I."

Example: Person who spends as little money as possible --> SKINFLINT
1. Slang for a football
2. What Don Quixote tilted against
3. Make tiny criticisms
4. Bit of makeup in a tube
5. Article for measuring the amount of oil in an engine
6. Tiny, tiny hole
7. Important person, informally
8. Stupid person, informally
9. Person or thing holding everything together

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words and phrases. Each one conceals the name of a 5-letter country in left-to-right order, but not in consecutive letters. You name the country.

Example: CONCEPTUAL --> NEPAL
1. CHILDREN
2. VITALITY
3. ASPIRATION
4. SAMOVAR
5. CHAIN SAW
6. SUNDANCE
7. SYMMETRICAL
8. RIGHT-HAND MAN
9. PLAY IT BY EAR

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two 4-letter words. The first word can be found in consecutive letters inside the first name of a famous person (past or present). The second word can be found in consecutive letters inside that person's last name.

Example: POLE PART --> NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

1. WILL PEAR

2. AVID TERM

3. LIVE HARD

4. WINS HILL

5. ELSE LINT

6. THAN HORN

7. ROVE ELAN

Sunday Puzzle: TBA

Sep 16, 2018

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is "to be announced." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with T — and the second word starts BA — .

Example: Pool of water in front of the Jefferson Memorial --> TIDAL BASIN

1. Container for refuse

2. Home of the Rays in major-league baseball

3. Something Serena or Venus Williams hits

4. Subject of a treaty limiting the development of nuclear weapons

5. Moistening device when cooking Thanksgiving dinner

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words that rhyme. Each word has one syllable. You tell me another one-syllable word that rhymes with my two and that fits between my two words alphabetically.

Example: West Zest --> WREST

1. Own Pone

2. Jack Lack

3. Rule Spool

4. Hare Lair

5. Gash Hash

6. Reach Speech

7. Char Far

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences, leaving off the last two words. Add an "L" at the front of the first word, and phonetically you'll get the second word, which completes the sentence.

Example: If you drive about 30 miles up the coast from Boston, you'll wind up _____ _____. --> IN LYNN

1. I will sell my buildings in the Midwest, South and West, but I want my buildings in the _____ _____.

2. When the doctor arrived with the blood-sucking creatures, the patient screamed at _____ _____.

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is geographical. I'm going to give you some words and phrases. In each one, change two consecutive letters to name a country.

Example: SUDDEN --> SWEDEN

1. FRAPPE

2. GREEDY

3. ALGEBRA

4. CANARY

5. SIROCCO

6. BARGAIN

7. SERENA

8. JOBMAN

9. MALADY

10. SENSUAL

11. CAME UPON

On-air challenge: Every answer is a madeup two-word phrase. Add the letter F in front of the first word to get the second word to answer the clue.

Example: Less than usual stream of water --> low flow

1. Entire autumn

2. More unusual stuff that cattle eat

3. More aged container of office papers

4. Employs electrical safeguards

5. Arranges hot dogs in order of quality

6. Exposes oneself to the chances of being searched for weapons

7. Doesn't have any publicity agents, informally

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Rearrange the letters in each of them to make another word. Then think of a familiar saying or proverb that contains both those words.

Example: CHEAT GOD --> TEACH and DOG --> You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

1. KOOL PALE
2. EMIT VASES
3. TOP NERVE
4. THROW HUBS
5. DEAL MORE
6. FOAL NEON
7. HATES SWEAT
8 . TOW SHADE

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Think of a word that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The last letter of my first word will start your answer, and the last letter of your answer will start the second word.

Example: Landing ____ Ratio --> GEAR (landing gear, gear ratio)

1. Bus ____ Payment

2. Ranch ____ Drill

3. Wedding ____ Tag

4. Sewer ____ Trap

5. Magic ____ Tack

6. Crossing ____ Dog

7. Lens ____ Dating

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase in which the first word has a long-I sound. Change the long-I to a long-A sound and phonetically you'll get the second word in the phrase.

Example: An awful covering for the face --> VILE VEIL

1. Precipitation along a German river

2. Smart methods

3. Cornrows on a woman who's about to get married

[Note: The words in each of the following answers have two syllables:]

4. One who looks at Old Faithful

5. Turncoat who's more hackneyed

On-air challenge: Every answer today is part of the human body. I'm going to give you some words. Drop the first letter and rearrange those that remain to name the body part.

Example: MARE --> EAR

1. CRAM

2. OGLE

3. POET

4. PINCH

5. CLAMP

6. ZONES

7. SHADE

8. KNISH

9. PITSAW

10. BATHER

11. DRIVEL

12. ETCHES

13. OUTGONE

14. RESCRIPT

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

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