Any Questions?

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

Last week's challenge: Start with the name ROBERT FORD. Rearrange the letters to spell a four-letter word beginning with F for a structure an army might build, and a six-letter word beginning with B for where they might build it. What are the words?

Answer: The structure is a FORT, and they might build it on a BORDER.


On-air questions: On April 10, 837, Halley's Comet made its closest approach to the Earth, coming within 3.2 million miles of our planet. Halley's Comet is visible from Earth every 75 or 76 years: it was last seen in February of 1986, and it is predicted to be visible again in July of 2061. (Set your alarms.) In honor of our periodic visitor, this week our quiz is about comets.

1. Comet Geyser is a geothermal feature located in a U.S. national park, in an area of known as Upper Geyser Basin. This area has the highest concentration of geothermal features in the national park, and also includes Old Faithful Geyser. In what national park is Comet Geyser?
2. The Utica Comets are an American Hockey League team that moved to Utica, New York in 2013 after playing as the Peoria Rivermen since 2005. They are currently an affiliate of what British Columbia-based NHL team?
3. Established in 1929, the Comet Trading Company is a fictional company that appears in the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. Marketed to Quidditch players, the company's first product was the Comet 140, which featured the Braking Charm, designed to help players not go offsides or overshoot goals. For what product is the Comet Trading Company best known?
4. The 1920 short story "The Comet" follows Jim and Julia, the lone survivors after a comet hits New York City and release toxic gases. The story was written by what three-initialed African-American author and civil rights activist, perhaps best known for his works The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction In America?
5. On November 12, 2014, the European Space Agency's probe Rosetta and its lander module Philae, as part of its study of Comet 67P, did what for the first time in history?

Extra Credit

1. Portrayed by a golden retriever named Buddy, Comet was part of a litter born to a dog that found its way to the backyard of the Tanners, and was later adopted by the family, in the third season of what sitcom?
2. Comet is one of the eight reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh in the 1823 poem by Clement Moore, familiarly known as "'Twas The Night Before Christmas." What is the actual title of the poem?

This week's challenge

Start with the phrase HALLEY'S COMET. Change one letter to a B and you can rearrange the result to spell a seven-letter word for a part of the body and a five-letter word for where that body part is located. What are the words?

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
7:20 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Any Questions? #40

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.

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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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