Any Questions?

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

Last week's challenge: Start with an adjective you could use to describe Pope Francis. Rearrange this nine-letter word and you can spell a fruit. What are the words?

Answer: The adjective is ARGENTINE, and the fruit is a TANGERINE.


On-air questions: Observed annually on March 20, UN French Language Day is one of six days established by UNESCO, each one promoting a different one of the UN's six official working languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. (Loyal listeners will remember we talked about International Mother Language Day back in show #130, which is related to these six language days.) To commemorate UN French Language Day, this week our quiz is about French words and phrases that are commonly used in English.

1. Literally translated as "apart from the main work," what do we call food that is eaten before the main courses of a meal or during a reception or cocktail party, usually without the use of cutlery?
2. Meaning "to speak the truth," and originally referring to an oath taken by jurors, what name do we give to the process in the U.S. legal system by which attorneys question expert witnesses about their qualifications before testifying in court, or by which potential jurors are asked about their backgrounds and biases?
3. Meaning "let them do," what phrase refers to an economic system in which private transactions are free from unnecessary governmental restrictions (except those that maintain property rights), and was developed in the 18th century by economists including Adam Smith?
4. From the French for "foot on the ground," what name do we give to a small apartment or other residence located away from a person's primary home, which is used on a temporary basis not as a vacation home, but often by commuters or those working in a city for an extended but limited period of time?
5. Translated as "blow of state," what do we call the sudden and illegal overthrow of a government by a small group with the intent of replacing those in power with a new ruling body?

Extra Credit

1. Meaning "according to the menu," what phrase do we use to describe the process of ordering individual items from a menu (as opposed to a prix fixe model), or the process of selecting individual goods or services rather than in a pre-packaged format?
2. Translated as "water of life," by what name do we know a distilled beverage (often brandy) made from fruit other than grapes, and similar to the German-style Schnapps?

This week's challenge

Start with the phrase FLEUR DE LIS. Change one letter to an S and you can spell the two-word name for things (5,5) that aren't seen in math classes that much anymore. What are they?

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
7:16 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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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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