Any Questions?

Friday at 6:25 p.m. on Northeast Report Late Edition

Last week's challenge: Start with the phrase ONE-FIFTY. Change one letter to a J and you can rearrange the result to spell two four-letter men's names. What are they?

Answer: If you change the I to a J, you can spell JEFF and TONY.


On-air questions: It’s guest answerer time again! Walter Hickey is the lead lifestyle writer for ESPN's FiveThirtyEight, a site that uses data and statistics to cover the news. A proud resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, Hickey writes about entertainment, food, culture and other completely frivolous things. Since Walter works for FiveThirtyEight, we thought we'd find out just how much he knows about that number, or at least parts of it. Each correct answer this week will contain either FIVE, THIRTY, or EIGHT.

1. Nominated for five Academy Awards in 2013, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Jessica Chastain, what war movie was billed as "the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man?"
2. Subtitled "The Children's Crusade", what novel tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a soldier who was a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, randomly travels in time, and believes he was held captive in an alien zoo?
3. "It’s a metaphor for the future…the fact that we’re so close to something that’s not tangible" is how actor Jared Leto explains the name of the band for which he is the lead singer. What band is it?
4. Comprised of the majority and minority leaders from both the House and the Senate, along with the chairs and minority ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, what colloquial term is used for the group that is briefed on classified intelligence matters?
5. Founded in 1986 and ranked first in the Best Burger category in the 2011 Zagat Fast Food Survey, what restaurant chain’s name is a reference to founder Jerry Murrell and his sons Ben, Chad, Matt, and Jim?

Extra Credit

1. Based on a 1963 book of the same name, what 1988 film directed by John Sayles and starring John Cusack dramatizes Major League Baseball’s Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the 1919 World Series?
2. What rank was awarded to Omar Bradley upon his appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to remedy the fact that his subordinate, Douglas MacArthur, would have outranked him?

This week's challenge

Start with the name of our special guest WALTER HICKEY. Change one letter to a C and you can spell a two-word phrase (seven letters, five letters) that names something a delusional person might need. What is it?

About Any Questions?

WAMC's Friday quiz segment, Any Questions?, puts news director Ian Pickus in the hot seat, as he and listeners field questions from resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel. Nothnagel is Associate Professor of mathematics at The Culinary Institute of America, and a crossword constructor for the New York Times and Games Magazine, among other venues. Often, Mike and Ian switch seats or feature guest answers, such as Will Shortz, Liane Hansen, John Flansburgh and Mike Doughty.

Any Questions? airs Friday during Northeast Report Late Edition on WAMC. 

Local Host(s): 
Mike Nothnagel and Ian Pickus


Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Any Questions? #32

Why is this episode different from all other episodes?

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel slave through a pyramid of questions to celebrate Passover.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase QUESTION JAR. Rearrange these eleven letters to spell a word that follows the word "hip" in a familiar two-word phrase, and another word that means, in a way, the opposite of "hip." What are the words?
Answer: The words are JOINT and SQUARE.

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Any Questions?
9:59 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Any Questions? #31

Former Soul Coughing frontman and acclaimed solo artist Mike Doughty stopped by to play

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel say yes and also yes to having acclaimed musician Mike Doughty stop by the studio to play.

Last week's challenge

Take the name of an author commonly known by his first and middle initials. Drop the "e" from his name, then rearrange the result to name a type of character that frequently appears in his books. Who is the author and what is the type of character?

Answer: The author is A.A. MILNE, and the type of character is an ANIMAL.

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Any Questions?
7:14 am
Fri March 23, 2012

Any Questions? #30

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel somehow waited until the 30th week for their initial show.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase THE IDES OF MARCH. Drop one letter, then rearrange the remaining 13 letters to spell a place that baseball players want to get to, and a phrase describing how they might arrive there. What is the place and what is the phrase?

Answer: Baseball players want to get HOME, and they might get there HEAD FIRST.

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Any Questions?
5:58 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Any Questions? #24

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to stay within their element as they tackle the periodic table.

Last week's challenge

Start with the name of Al Pacino's 1999 film THE INSIDER. Rearrange the letters to name two five-letter films in which Pacino does not appear.



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Any Questions?
1:51 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Any Questions? #23

Al Pacino

Albany, NY – Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel is on the hot seat once again this week, as WAMC's Ian Pickus makes him an offer he can't refuse: a quiz about Al Pacino.

Last week's challenge

Rearrange the nine letters in the word AMPERSAND to spell the name of something you can take, and what you might have while you're taking one. What are these things?

Answer: You can have DREAMS while taking a NAP.


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Any Questions?
7:09 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Any Questions? #22

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel fill in some blanks.

Last week's challenge
Think of a place associated with the White House (4 letters in the first word, 6 letters in the second). Drop the S from this name, and the remaining nine letters can be rearranged to spell the last names of two people who ran against each other for U.S. president. What is the place and who are the people?

Answer: The place is the ROSE GARDEN, and the people are GORE and NADER.


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Any Questions?
7:54 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Any Questions? #21

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel undertake a presidential quiz to commemorate inauguration day, which usually falls on January 20th.

Last week's challenge

Take the name of a well-known person in the entertainment industry whose last name ends with a Z (7 letters in the first name, 4 letters in the second). Change the Z to an I, then rearrange the result to spell two forms of entertainment. What are they?

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Any Questions?
4:33 am
Fri January 13, 2012

Any Questions? #20

Will Shortz

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome a special guest to play this week's show: NPR puzzlemaster and New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz, appropriately the first guest solver in Any Questions? history.

Last week's challenge

Begin with the word RESOLUTION. Add a letter, then rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (3 letters in the first word, 8 letters in the second) that names things someone might want to break free from in the new year. What are these things?

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Any Questions?
8:07 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Any Questions? #19

The \"new\" year is here

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the arrival of 2012 with a quiz about all things new.

Any Questions?
7:41 am
Thu December 29, 2011

Any Questions? #18

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel offer an Any Questions? clearance sale.

Last week's challenge
A customer pays for $13.59 worth of groceries with a $50 bill. The cashier counts out the change, then remarks, "Huh, that's interesting." The customer, upon receiving the change, replies, "You're right. That is interesting." So, what's so interesting?

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