Any Questions?

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

Last week's challenge: Start with a six-letter word ending in M that means "tattle". Replace the M with IT and the result will spell a three-word phrase that might describe someone who gets tattled on. What is the word and what is the phrase?



On-air questions: On this date in 2005, longtime Tonight Show host Johnny Carson died at age 79.  Carson had had a mostly quiet retirement after stepping down as host after 30 years on the air, but reportedly still sent jokes to David Letterman on occasion. And since 2015 will be a year of change in late night television, today’s show is all about late night.

1. Since the Tonight Show began in 1954, there have been only six hosts.  Who had the shortest tenure, with just 146 episodes?
2. Which former Montana State basketball player and ESPN anchor has hosted both Comedy Central’s Daily Show and the Late Late Show on CBS?
3. Which current host of NBC’s Late Night, who had a different job in the same building for 12 years, said “the trickiest part of this job the first week was just figuring out what to do with my hands?”
4. “New Rules” is typically the closing segment on the late night show hosted by which comedian, who has hosted shows on Comedy Central, ABC and his current HBO?
5. Which late night host, who is shedding a character but gaining a new network show this year, appeared in a filmed version of Stephen Sondheim’s Company?

Extra Credit

1. Chevy Chase, Joan Rivers and Wanda Sykes all had short-lived late night shows for which network?
2. Several episodes of Louie CK’s FX series dealt with his preparation for an audition to replace David Letterman. Which idiosyncratic filmmaker trained Louie for the audition?

This week's challenge

Start with the name of a powerful late night television executive at NBC. Rearrange the letters in this person’s name and you can spell a two-word phrase (4,9) that describes what a wayward sailor might be looking for.  What is the phrase? 

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
7:10 am
Fri May 25, 2012

Any Questions? #39

Can we keep him? Can we?

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have finally copped to their holier-than-though attitude with this week's show.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase OLD PEOPLE. Using only the letters in those words, but not all of them, you can spell the name shared by 13 people who also shared a job. What is the name and what is the job?
Answer: Following the directions, you can spell LEO, the name of 13 people who were POPE. Bonus fact: Pope XIII was the oldest pope.

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Arts & Culture
7:04 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Any Questions? #38

The ghost of George Burns looks down on this week's show

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a quiz about accomplished elders.

Last week's challenge

Take the five-letter name of a famous computer. If you read it backwards, you'll get the last name of a famous actor. What is the computer and who is the actor?

ANSWER: The famous computer is ENIAC, and the actor is Michael CAINE.


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Arts & Culture
7:16 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Any Questions? #37

How meta is this? You've logged on to our website to hear a quiz about famous computers. Also: a wormhole just opened up.

Last week's challenge
Think of a seven-letter word for an area often seen adjacent to a racetrack. Change the middle letter to an L, and the result will name something often used to keep an area secure. What is the area and what is the thing?
Answer: The area is a PADDOCK, and the thing is a PADLOCK.

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Arts & Culture
7:30 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Any Questions? #36

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have mixed some mint juleps and studied the lyrics of "My Old Kentucky Home" in anticipation of this week's show, an ode to the Kentucky Derby and horse racing.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name "Babe Ruth." Change one letter to an "s", then rearrange the result to spell a thing and a person, both of which you might see at a ballpark. What are they?
Answer: The thing is a BAT and the person is an USHER.

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Arts & Culture
10:53 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Any Questions? #35

Last week's challenge
Think of an 11-letter adjective beginning with U that describes a person who isn't getting all that he or she needs. Drop the first R from this word, and you'll get another adjective that describes something given to a person who shouldn't be getting it. What are these adjectives?
Answer: The adjectives are UNDERSERVED and UNDESERVED.

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Arts & Culture
9:45 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Any Questions? #34

Fenway turns 100

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark a special anniversary with a show about Boston.

Last week's challenge
Think of two words that are each used to mark the first space on a game board. Add an E, then rearrange the letters to spell the eight-letter name of a popular board game. What are the words, and what is the game?
Answer: The words are START and GO, and if you follow the directions, you can spell STRATEGO.

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Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Any Questions? #33

It's a trap!

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel roll the dice and pass go en route to a show about board games.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase SEDER PLATE. Rearrange these ten letters to spell two things you can do to a bicycle. What are they?
Answer: You can PEDAL and STEER a bicycle.

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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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