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 phrase BREAK THE ICE. Change one letter to a G and you can rearrange the result to spell a three-word phrase (3, 4, 4) that you might say to someone who is walking away from you. What is it?

Answer: If you change the I to a G, you can spell GET BACK HERE.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: FAMOUS ST. JOHNS

On-air questions: On June 24, 1604, Samuel de Champlain reached the mouth of a 400-mile river that discharges into the Bay of Fundy. He named it the St. John River, after John the Baptist, whose feast day is June 24th. Nicknamed "the Rhine of North America," the St. John River forms part of the border between the U.S. and Canada in two places along its length. To commemorate the naming of the St. John River, today our quiz is about other famous St. Johns.

1. St. John the Apostle, according to Christian tradition, is the author of five books in the New Testament: the Gospel of John, the three Epistles of John (often referred to as First, Second, and Third John) and what book, also known as "The Apocalypse of John"?
2. Saint John, along with Saint Thomas and Saint Croix are the three main constituent parts of what U.S. territory, located in the Caribbean Sea some 40 miles east of Puerto Rico and just west of their British counterparts?
3. Actress Jill St. John, perhaps best known for her performance as Tiffany Case, the Bond Girl in 1971's Diamonds are Forever, also appeared in the first two episodes of the 1960s Batman TV series as Molly, the female companion to what "questionable" villain?
4. In February of 2012, the women's basketball team from St. John's University in New York City ended the 99-game home court winning streak of which perennial powerhouse team when they defeated them 57-56?
5. Hypericum perforatum, a flowering plant often used as a treatment for depression, is more commonly known as what?

Extra credit

1. St. John Publications, a comic book publisher from 1947 to 1958, acquired the licenses to publish comics based on many popular cartoon characters including what rodent, famous for coming "to save the day"?
2. Located on Amsterdam Avenue in the Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York City, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine is mentioned in what 1987 Suzanne Vega hit a cappella song, in which she sings of hearing "the bells of the cathedral"?

This week's challenge
Start with the phrase SAINT JOHN. Change one letter to a D and you can rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (four letters, five letters) for what people might do before praying. What is the phrase?

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 answerers, 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.

Any Questions? #33

Apr 13, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #32

Apr 6, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #31

Mar 30, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #30

Mar 23, 2012

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.

Any Questions? #24

Feb 9, 2012

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.

ANSWER: DINER and HEIST

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: THE ELEMENTS

Any Questions? #23

Feb 3, 2012

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.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: Al PACINO

Any Questions? #22

Jan 27, 2012

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.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: _____ AND _____

Any Questions? #21

Jan 20, 2012

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?

Any Questions? #20

Jan 13, 2012
Britannica

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?

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the arrival of 2012 with a quiz about all things new.

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel offer an Any Questions? clearance sale.

Last week's challenge
A customer pays for $13.59 worth of groceries with a $50 bill. The cashier counts out the change, then remarks, "Huh, that's interesting." The customer, upon receiving the change, replies, "You're right. That is interesting." So, what's so interesting?

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are all about the Benjamins on this week's currency show.

Last week's challenge

Take the last name of a famous cartoon family. If you change the first letter to a W, you can rearrange the result to spell one of the nicknames for a place where many cartoons have been produced. What is the last name and what is the nickname?

Answer: The family's last name is FLINTSTONE, and the nickname is TINSELTOWN.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: U.S. CURRENCY

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel get serious about cartoons.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase APPLE STORE. Rearrange these ten letters to spell two names you might see in a supermarket checkout line. What are they?

Answer: The names are STAR and PEOPLE.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: CARTOONS

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel undertake a very un-P.C. quiz.

Last week's challenge
Take a seven-letter language term ending in M. Drop that M, then rearrange the remaining letters to spell something to write with. What is the term and what is the thing?

Answer: The term is ACRONYM, and the thing is a CRAYON.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: I'M A "MAC"

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel open the book on a literary quiz.

Last week's challenge

Start with the six-letter name of a national corporation. The name begins with an A, and if you drop that A, you can rearrange the remaining letters to spell the name of a national store chain. What names are these?

Answer: The corporation is AMTRAK and the store chain is KMART.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: LITERATURE

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark Black Friday with a quiz about business.

Last week's challenge
The Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the Southwest. Rearrange the letters in Gila monster to come up with a two-word phrase that describes Any Questions?'s audience. The first word has five letters. The second has six.
Answer: The phrase is SMART LEGION.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: BUSINESS

Albany, NY – Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus switch seats for a quiz about New Mexico.

Albany, NY – Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus switch seats for a quiz about New Mexico.

Last week's challenge

Begin with the four-letter name of a drink. Add the consecutive letters XI (as in the Roman numeral for eleven) somewhere in that name, and you'll get an adjective describing something that might make you want a drink. What is the drink and what is the adjective?

Answer: The drink is TANG, and the adjective is TAXING.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: New Mexico

Albany, NY – This week's quiz goes to 11 as WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate November 11, 2011 and the 11th installment of the show.

Last week's challenge

Take the nickname of an NFL team. Move the fifth letter to the second position, and the result will name things often seen on a football uniform. What is the team and what are the things?

Answer: The team is the New Orleans SAINTS, and following the directions will spell STAINS.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: THE NUMBER 11

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus is relieved as resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel throws him a softball with a quiz about sports.

Last week's challenge

Think of a well-known landmark in England. Remove all the repeated letters from its name, and the remaining five letters can be rearranged to name something that some old buildings are reported to have. What is the landmark and what is the thing?

Answer: The landmark is STONEHENGE, and the non-repeated letters can be rearranged to spell GHOST.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: SPORTS

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