WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome Ben Zimmer to the show.
Last week's challenge
Start with the name of the Montana town GREAT FALLS. Change one letter to a U and you can rearrange the result to spell a four-letter word that names something every state has and a six-letter word that tells what you can do to that thing. What is the thing and what can you do to it?
Answer: If you change the R to a U, you can spell FLAG and SALUTE.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: BIG BEN
On-air questions: It's guest answerer time again. Ben Zimmer is a linguist, lexicographer, and word nut. He is the executive producer of vocabulary.com and visualthesaurus.com, two websites for language lovers.
For the Wall Street Journal, he writes a weekly language column, "Word on the Street." Let's see how much he knows about something that shares his name. This week our questions are about an iconic London landmark: Big Ben.
1. Contrary to popular belief, Big Ben is not the clock tower itself, but the bell in the tower. The tower itself was renamed in 2012 in honor of whose Diamond Jubilee?
2. "England Swings," a 1965 hit song featuring the lyrics "Westminster Abbey / The tower of Big Ben / The rosy red cheeks of the little children," was written and performed by what singer, who hit No. 1 later that year with "King of the Road"?
3. In the 1985 film National Lampoon's European Vacation, the Griswold family finds itself stuck in a traffic circle – sorry, roundabout – and the father points out Big Ben and Parliament every time they pass them. Who plays the father in the film?
4. What Virginia Woolf novel uses the chiming of Big Ben as a recurring device throughout the story, and provides the connection between the three main characters in the 2002 film The Hours?
5. On December 31, 1962, heavy snow accumulated on the clock's hands, and the pendulum detached from the clockwork mechanism. This caused Big Ben to do what 10minutes late?
1. Big Ben was the largest bell in the British Isles until 1881, when a larger bell was cast. This larger bell currently hangs in what other London landmark?
2. A 13th strike of Big Ben is used in the James Bond movie Thunderball to indicate the British government has given into demands made by what criminal organization?
This week's challenge
Start with the phrase BELL TOWER. Rearrange the letters to spell a six-letter word you might see above a knob on a stereo, and a three-letter word that means, in a way, the opposite of the first word. What words are they?
1. Queen Elizabeth II
2. Roger Miller
3. Chevy Chase
4. Mrs. Dalloway
5. Chime in the new year
1. St. Paul's Cathedral