Any Questions?

Friday at 6:25 p.m. on Northeast Report Late Edition
  • Hosted by Ian Pickus
  • Local Host Mike Nothnagel and Ian Pickus

Last week's challenge: Start with the last names of two women who have been honored with the title of dame: ANDREWS and RIGG. Change one letter to an A (not the one that's there, of course) and you can spell a five-letter word that names something both women have received, and a six-letter word that describes one of the women. What are the words?

Answer: If you change one of the Gs to an A, you can spell AWARD and SINGER.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

On-air questions: On May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building in New York City was officially opened when President Herbert Hoover pressed a button in Washington, D.C., and switched on the building's lights. (Ironically, the first time that tower lights were used atop the building was to signal Franklin Roosevelt's victory over Hoover in the 1932 presidential election.) To commemorate its opening, this week our quiz is about the Empire State Building.

1. After a centipede bites through its stem, the title fruit of the 1961 book James and the Giant Peach rolls off the Cliffs of Dover, is flown across the Atlantic by hundreds of seagulls, and is impaled on the antenna of the Empire State Building. What children's author wrote this series of events?
2. The colored lights atop the Empire State Building are often chosen to commemorate holidays, special events, or other noteworthy occasions. On February 1, 2015, the lights were used as a "virtual scoreboard" as they changed colors to reflect which team was currently winning what sporting event?
3. According to an urban legend, a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building would be traveling so fast when it hit the ground that it would embed itself in the sidewalk. This theory was debunked by showing that the penny's terminal velocity wouldn't be nearly fast enough, if the updrafts and lower floors didn't prevent it from hitting the ground at all on a 2003 episode of what Discovery Channel series?
4. Filmed from the 41st floor of the Time-Life Building between 8:06 p.m. on July 25 and 2:42 a.m. on July 26, 1964, Empire is a silent black-and-white movie consisting entirely of a single stationary shot of the Empire State Building. The film was directed and produced by what pioneering American pop artist?
5. Two days after the death of actress Fay Wray in August of 2004, the Empire State Building stood in complete darkness for 15 minutes. While her acting career spanned some 57 years, Wray is perhaps best known for her role in what 1933 movie, which features a climactic scene atop the Empire State Building?

Extra Credit

1. Along with models of other notable buildings, there is a 7.6-foot-tall model of the Empire State Building on display at the National Building Museum. The model is constructed from 12,000 what?
2. The Empire State Building is currently the fifth-tallest building in the United States. Two of the four taller buildings are also in New York City, while the other two are in what city?

This week's challenge

Start with the phrase EMPIRE STATE. Change one letter to an N, and you can rearrange the letters to spell a two-word phrase (seven letters, four letters) for a measurement standard used at the Empire State building. 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. 

Any Questions? #43

Jun 22, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome an actual professional to play this week: former Weekend Edition host Liane Hansen, who knows a little something about radio quizzes.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name JAMIE LEE CURTIS. Change one letter to a P, then rearrange the result to spell three beverages. What are they?
Answer: If you change the M to a P, you can spell ALE, JUICE, and SPRITE.

Any Questions? #42

Jun 15, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel spend three minutes wishing they had longer names.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase AIRSTRIP ONE. Rearrange these 11 letters to spell the name of a process you need to do to survive. What is it?

Answer: The process is RESPIRATION.

Any Questions? #41

Jun 8, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the publication of a George Orwell classic with another dystopian show.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name PAT BOONE. Change one letter to a C, then rearrange the result to spell two things many superheroes wear. What are they?
Answer: The things are a BOOT and a CAPE.

Any Questions? #40

Jun 1, 2012

June 1 is many things, but most importantly, it's the birthday of resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel, who takes a break from the confetti cake to play this week's show with WAMC's Ian Pickus.

LAST WEEK'S CHALLENGE: Think of a six-letter word that names a person you'd be happy to see if you were lost in the woods. Add ST to the beginning, and you'll get a new word that names a person you probably wouldn't be happy to see if you were lost in the woods. Who are the people?
Answer: The people are a RANGER and a STRANGER.

Any Questions? #39

May 25, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #38

May 18, 2012

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.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: OLD AGE AND SUCCESSFUL ELDERS

Any Questions? #37

May 11, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #36

May 4, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #35

Apr 27, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #34

Apr 20, 2012

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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