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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.
Last week's challenge
Start with the name of New Zealand's capital, WELLINGTON. If you change one letter to an R, you can rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (four letters in the first word, six letters in the second that names something that isn't fun for a person who hates cold weather. What is it?
Answer: If you change one of the Ls to an R, you can spell LONG WINTER.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: MOVIES SET AT CHRISTMASTIME
On-air questions: On December 20, 1946, the film It's a Wonderful Life premiered at the Globe Theatre in New York City. It opened to mixed reviews, but was nominated for five Academy Awards (It lost all five, four of them to The Best Years of Our Lives.) To commemorate It's a Wonderful Life's premiere, our quiz this week is about other films set during Christmastime.
1. As a Christmas gift, a father gives his son a furry creature named Gizmo, who comes with three rules: don't expose it to bright light, don't get it wet, and don't feed it after midnight. In what 1984 film are all three of these rules (eventually) broken?
2. The 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut, starring Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise, features a Christmas tree in almost every scene. It was the final film directed by what Oscar-winning director?
3. In The Muppet Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens is played by Gonzo (who narrates the story), Tiny Tim is played by Kermit’s nephew Robin, and Ebeneezer Scrooge is played by what English actor?
4. On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the sixth film in the James Bond franchise, takes place largely in the Swiss Alps and stars Telly Savalas as villain Ernst Blofeld. The film marks the only appearance as James Bond by what Australian actor?
5. The fourth installment in what movie franchise, released in 1985, finds the title character (played by Sylvester Stallone) boxing Ivan Drago in Russia on Christmas Day?
1. In what 1992 Tim Burton film does Michael Keaton say, "You know, mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it," to which Michelle Pfeiffer replies, "But a kiss can be even deadlier...if you mean it"?
2. In the 1994 film The Ref, Judy Davis' character insists that everyone wear a wreath of candles on their heads during Christmas dinner. This custom is often seen in ceremonies honoring what Italian saint, whose feast day is December 13?
This week's challenge
Start with the last names of two of the stars of It's a Wonderful Life: STEWART and REED. Rearrange these eleven letters to spell a five-letter word that names something you need to live, and a six-letter word that names a place that doesn't have it. 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.