Any Questions?

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

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 outlets. 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.

Last week's challenge: Start with the words CENTER and MIDDLE. Change one letter to an A and you can rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (seven letters, five letters) that a client might text to his stock broker to tell him not to make a transaction. What is the phrase?

Answer: If you change the M to an A, you can spell DECLINE TRADE.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: MIRACLES

On-air questions: On February 24, 1980 in Lake Placid, New York, the U.S. Olympic men's ice hockey team defeated the team from Finland 4-2 to take home the gold medal. Two days earlier, the U.S. came from behind to beat the team from the Soviet Union in a game famously known as the "Miracle on Ice". The defending gold medalists were up 3-2 after the second period, but the U.S. scored twice in the final period and won the game. The Miracle on Ice was named in 1999 by Sports Illustrated the top sports moment of the 20th century. To commemorate that iconic sports moment, this week our quiz is about miracles.

1. What product, first introduced at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, was developed by Kraft as a blend of mayonnaise and salad dressing, and was named for the emulsifying machine which combined its ingredients?
2. Its original version premiered on the anthology TV series Playhouse 90 in 1957. It was adapted into a 1959 Broadway play, a 1962 film – for which its two stars, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, both won Academy Awards – a 1979 TV movie, and a 2000 film. What is the title of this work?
3. In the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, a man named Kris Kringle complains about the intoxication of the Santa in the Thanksgiving Day parade, and is convinced to take his place. Based on his performance, Kringle is hired to play Santa in the flagship store – located on 34th Street – of what retailer?
4. They formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1955 as The Five Chimes, later became The Matadors, and in December of 1960, the singing group most famously known as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles became the first Motown act to appear on what popular weekly music and dance show?
5. Miracles, a 1947 nonfiction book that argues that before one can determine if miracles have occurred, one must resolve the question of whether miracles can occur in principle, was written by what author, three years after his novel The Screwtape Letters and three years before The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?

Extra credit

1. Earning its nickname because of the unlikeliness of its rise to prominence in the city, a section of Wilshire Boulevard nicknamed the "Miracle Mile" features numerous museums, theaters, and stores, and runs near the La Brea Tar Pits in what city?
2. "Miracle Man" is the second track on the 1977 debut album My Aim is True by what singer/songwriter?

This week's challenge
Start with the phrase IT'S A MIRACLE. Change one letter to a B and you can rearrange the result to spell the two-word name (seven letters, four letters) of something often eaten in Indian restaurants. 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 outlets. 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 #48

Jul 27, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel zoom in for a show about famous photos.

Last week's challenge
Think of two words that each name a unit of volume (one has six letters, the other has four). Change one letter to an R, then rearrange the result to name things that have lots of measurements on them. What are the units and what are the things?

Answer: The units are BUSHEL and PINT. If you change the H to an R, you can rearrange the letters to spell BLUEPRINTS.

Any Questions #47

Jul 20, 2012

Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel spends this week's show seeing how WAMC's Ian Pickus measures up.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase BLACK TIE. Rearrange these eight letters to spell two four-letter synonyms. What are they?
Answer: The synonyms are BEAT and LICK.

Any Questions? #46

Jul 13, 2012

Call it a Black Sabbath: WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have their darkest show yet.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name SAINT PAUL. Change one letter, then rearrange the result to spell the name of a famous ship. What is it?
Answer: If you change the P to an I, you can spell LUSITANIA.

Any Questions? #45

Jul 6, 2012
http://www.twinsdigest.com/2010/02/page/2/

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel venture to the land of 10,000 trivia questions with a quiz about Minnesota.

Last week's challenge
Think of a 1960s number-one hit song whose title starts with the word LOVE. Rearrange the letters in the other two words in the title to spell something a band might record. What is the song and what is the thing?
Answer: The song is “LOVE ME DO,” and the thing is a DEMO.

Any Questions? #44

Jun 29, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel offer a serious, sobering look at pop music's famous love songs.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name LIANE HANSEN. Drop one letter, then rearrange the remaining 10 letters to spell two one-word movie titles. What are they? (As a hint, one movie is from the 1950s, and the other is from the 1970s.)
Answer: If you drop an N, you can spell SHANE and ALIEN.

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

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