Any Questions?

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

Last week's challenge: Name actor and musician Jack Black’s comedic band. Rearrange the letters in this band’s name and you can spell a 10-letter word for some things that are sought on college campuses. What are they?

Answer: The band is TENACIOUS D, and you can rearrange those letters to spell EDUCATIONS.


On-air questions: It's the final Friday of the year, which means, once again, it's time for our annual Any Questions? clearance sale. This week, we'll empty out the trivia tote bags and use up some leftover questions from categories we did during 2014. As always, no refunds will be given as all sales are final.

1. [#128: Units of Time] What is the common name for the feast day celebrated by the Catholic Church on November 1st, and which was established after the number of martyrs became so large that a separate feast day couldn't be assigned to each one?
2. [#137: Breakfast Cereals] Beginning in 1971, General Mills introduced five cereals collectively referred to as the Monster Cereals. The group included Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy. Name any two of the other three.
3. [#139: License Plates] In part to aid in identifying them in an emergency, all fifty states allow amateur radio operators to display what on their license plates instead of a standard-issue plate number?
4. [#150: 1864] Chronicling the travels of German professor Otto Lidenbrock, Journey to the Center of the Earth is an 1864 novel, and the third in a series of 54 novels called the Extraordinary Journeys, by what French author?  
5. [#164: Nobel Peace Prize] Since the Nobel Peace Prize was first given out in 1901, there have been 20 years in which it was not awarded. Nine of those years occurred between 1914 and 1918, and between 1939 and 1943, during what two events?

Extra Credit

1. [#133: Circles] "The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end" is the opening line to "Circles," an essay by whom, published in 1841, the same year as the author's essay "Self-Reliance"?
2. [#158: Groups of Four] Broflovski, Marsh, and McCormick are the last names of three members of a famous foursome on television. What last name completes the group?

This week's challenge

Start with the two-word name of a show you hear on WAMC. Replace the initial consonant sound of the first word with a "sh" sound, and phonetically, you'll get the last name of a person you hear on WAMC. What is the show and who is the person?

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
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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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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