Will Shortz

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some five-letter words. Change the first letter to make a new word that doesn't rhyme with the original.

Ex. Catch --> WATCH
1. Horse
2. Beard
3. Hound
4. Mouth
5. Donor
6. Blown
[Two different answers ...]
7. Lover
[Three different answers ...]
8. Rough

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words and phrases. For each one, change exactly two letters to name a country. Hint: You never have to change the first letter of my word.

Ex. SOLARIA --> SOMALIA
1. ALGEBRA
2. NORMAL
3. TUSKED
4. MEDICS
5. CANARY
6. RUSTIC
7. GRIEVE
8. HANGARS
9. TUNES IN
10. SEVERAL
11. PAPAYA
12. CAME UPON

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some categories. For each one, take the last two letters, reverse them, and use those as the starting letters of something in the category.

Example: Direction --> North
1. U.S. coin
2. Sport with a net
3. City in Texas
4. Sculptor
5. Sign of the zodiac
6. Egyptian queen
7. Sea
8. Historic ship
9 English poet
10. Brand of soap
11. Brand of sneaker
12. Ice-cream flavor (2 wds.)

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Drop one letter in each of them to leave two words that are in the same category of things.

Example: DRILL STAGE --> dill & sage (both herbs)
1. THEN THIRSTY
2. BOOST SHORE
3. LINDEN SATING
4. BUNGLE SHORN
5. JUDGE PESTER
6. CANINES NIECE
7. COUNTY PEARL
8. BRASS TREMBLE
9. LOITER GALLEON
10. LAUNCH SCUPPER

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase in which the only consonants are D and T, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Example: "Same here" --> DITTO

1. Was on a weight-loss regimen
2. Surpassed in accomplishment
3. Cry of achievement
4. Behaved obsequiously
5. Checked the financial records of
6. Having an uneven number of appendages on the foot
7. Insolent manner
8. Obsolete
9. Removed from an article intended for publication

On-air challenge: I'll give you some categories and two things in each one. You name the only other thing in that category that fits between the given two alphabetically.

Example: A brother and a daughter are both members of a family. If I asked, "What member of a family fits between BROTHER and DAUGHTER alphabetically?," you'd say COUSIN

On-air challenge: The four rarest letters in English are J, Q, X, and Z — which together account for less than 1% of all use in the language. I'm going to give you some words. Change a single letter in each one to a J, Q, X, or Z to make a new word.

Example: MANOR --> MAJOR

1. SUITE
2. ENACT
3. INSECT
4. EITHER
5. CONVEY
6. DUALITY

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is a word, name, or phrase in which the only consonants are N and S, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Ex. Squeak and creak --> NOISES
[Starting with six-letter answers ...]
1. Japanese auto manufacturer
2. People who live in China and India
3. Capital of the Bahamas
[Seven letters ...]
4. Jacqueline Kennedy's surname after she remarried
5. Hairstylist Vidal
6. Silly
[More than eight letters ...]

On-air Challenge: I'm going to give you some categories in two words. You name something in each category starting with each initial in the category. Any answer that works is fine.

Ex. Zoo Animals --> Zebra, Anteater

1. Asian Countries
2. Dog Breeds
3. Cabinet Departments
4. Carnival Rides
5. Religious Holidays
6. Nonreligious Holidays
7. Florida Cities
8. [triple:] Foreign Auto Makes

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word, name, or phrase ending on the accented syllable "lay" — in any spelling.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some categories in two words. You name something in each category starting with each initial in the category. Any answer that works is fine.

Ex. Foreign Languages --> French, Lithuanian
1. Zoo Animals
2. Domestic Airlines
3. Clue Weapons
4. Fruit Trees
5. American Poets
6. Mixed Drinks
7. African Nations
8. Australian Cities
9. Chess Pieces
10. Card Games

On-air challenge: Every answer today is an 8-letter word that consists of a 3-letter word inserted inside a 5-letter word. I'll give you a clue to the 3-letter word as well as the 5-letter word itself. You tell me the 8-letter word.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word, name, or phrase in which the only consonants are R and C, repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or name that sounds like it starts with two spoken letters of the alphabet.
Ex. Element #55 --> CESIUM (C-Z-um) or Wanting what other people have --> ENVIOUS (N-V-ous)

1. Degree or SpeedStick product
2. Green insect related to grasshoppers and crickets
3. Pilot
4. San ___, Calif.
5. Brainstorm
6. No person in particular
7. Obsolete, like old-fashioned language
8. Forty-three doubled

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase in which the first word has five letters. Add one letter to the front and another at the end to make a seven-letter word that completes the phrase.

Ex. Decorative piece of needlework that's big enough --> AMPLE SAMPLER

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence hides the name of a U.S. city of seven more more letters. You name the cities.

Ex. The weightlifters are flexing tonight. [Ky.] --> LEXINGTON
1. Is the psychic a good prognosticator? [Ill.]
2. I don't like spoilsports mouthing off. [N.H.]
3. Make me a sandwich Italian-style. [Kan.]
4. Beauty queens rebuff a lot of suitors. [N.Y.]
5. We saved a swami's soul and spirit. [Mont.]
6. Grandma voted for Landon. [Fla.]

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is the name of a TV series past or present. Two consecutive letters in each title have been changed into one letter to spell a new word or phrase. You change one letter back into two to name the series.

Ex. CHESS --> CHEERS

1. FRONDS

2. FULL HOUR

3. NIGHT COAT

4. FRAMER

5. THE WAGONS

6. BATON

7. SOUTH PAW

8. DOCTOR NO

9. LEAKING BAD

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is a five-letter word or name in which the first two letters are the same as the last two.

Ex. Energy or enthusiasm --> VERVE
1. Home of the N.F.L.'s Dolphins

2. Car made in Sweden

3. Latin dance that's also a spicy tomato sauce

4. Vegetable you peel and that can make you cry

5. Companion of the Lone Ranger

6. Eric Clapton's first top 10 hit

7. Give an order to be quiet

8. Sight or hearing, for example

9. Bohemian novelist who wrote "The Metamorphosis"

On-air Challenge: I'm going to name two things. You name something they have in common.

Ex. The eye/ A school --> PUPIL

1. A compass/ A sewing kit

2. A typewriter/ A lock

3. An ear/ Panama

4. A dentist/ A sergeant

5. A baseball diamond/ A still-life scene

6. A place setting/ A road

7. A postal worker/ A knight

8. A ship/ A card game

9. Whiskey/ A mathematical theorem

10. A ballot/ A highway patrol officer

11. A tree/ A dog

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is something — or someone — you might see at a supermarket. Rearrange the given letters to get the answer.

Ex. I SEAL --> AISLE

1. LIED

2. BAR KEY

3. SOUPCON

4. A GERMAN

5. THE CURB

6. CHAMP RAY

7. PRO NIGHTCAPS

On-air Challenge: I'm going to read you some seven-letter words. Each word has the consecutive letters A-T somewhere inside it. Change the A-T to two new letters to make a new word.

Ex. FLATTER --> FLUSTER
1. LATERAL
2. CANTATA
3. HATBAND
4. DOORMAT
5. HATEFUL
6. GESTATE
7. FLATBED
8. RATTLER
9. PEACOAT

On-air Challenge: Here's a "two-part puzzle." Name two things, then tell me something that is part of each of them.

Example: Ex. The eye / A school --> PUPIL
1. An elephant / A car
2. A river / Wall Street
3. An Olympic swimming pool / A poem
4. The leg / A cattle farm
5. A fish / A post office
6. A bird / A legislative agenda
7. A peach / The Indianapolis 500
8. The nose / A ship
9. A plant / A tournament bracket
10. The hand / A tropical island
11. [triple:] A jack-in-the-box / A spa / The year

On-air Challenge: I'm going to read you some clues. The answer to each one is one of the words in the clue with its vowel sound changed.

On-air Challenge: A hardish one today. Every answer is the name of a classic TV game show, past or present. Identify the shows from their anagrams.

Ex. WHOLE FREE FUTON (5,2,7) --> WHEEL OF FORTUNE
1. DOPER JAY (8)
2. DROP SAWS (8)
3. OFF A CRATER (4,6)
4. INNOCENT ACTOR (13)
5. MANY WHISTLE (5,2,4)
6. SHOW ODORS EQUALLY (9,7)

On-air Challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence contains two words that have homophones that are opposites.

Ex. Does Liv Ullmann dye her hair? --> LIVE & DIE (homophones of "Liv" and "dye")

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is a four-letter word that is composed of two consecutive state postal abbreviations.

Ex. Similar --> AKIN [Alaska + Indiana]
1. What a volcano spews
2. Mineral that comes in thin layers
3. Breeze
4. Like moist grass in the morning
5. Stash away
6. Arrived
7. Opera solo
8. Grand party, as a black-tie affair
9. Hotel employee who makes beds
10. Unconscious state
11. Sound of a siren
12. Interoffice note

On-air Challenge: Every answer today is the name of a country. I'm going to give you some words. For each one, change one letter into two letters to name the country.

Ex. BELLE --> BELIZE
1. FENCE
2. BRAWL
3. NO SAY
4. POLAR
5. BRUNT
6. MONDO
7. BELAYS
8. CANAL
9. PANDA (3 answers)

On-air Challenge: Today's puzzle is called "P B & J." I'm going to give you three words starting with the letters P, B and J. You give me a word that can follow each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Example: Parking, Back, Job --> LOT (parking lot, back lot, job lot)

3-letter answers:

1. Penalty, Boom, Juke

2. Power, Buzz, Jig

3. Present, Birth, Judgment

4. Pill, Bed, Jitter

4-letter answers:

5. Paddle, Basket, Jump

On-air Challenge: Today's puzzle is called A++. I'm going to give you clues for two things. Say what they are. Then put the letter "A" at the start to make a word.

Example: Prohibition / Mafia chief --> ABANDON (a + ban + don)

1. Hydroelectric facility / Insect that scurries

2. Old horse / Male sheep

3. Hot dog holder / Waltz or minuet

4. Where a scientist works / Fall flower

5. Untruth / Country or land

6. Colorado ski resort / Skill

On-air Challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each ends in "___ to ___." You fill the blanks with a pair of homophones.

Ex. The bicycle salesman had an innovative new ___ to ___. --> PEDAL to PEDDLE

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