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Any Questions #306 - "51"

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel head to Area 51 for this week's show.

Last week's challenge
Start with the term NAMING RIGHTS. Rearrange the letters and you can spell a 12-letter word that is a synonym for restricting. As a hint, this word is probably familiar for sports fans. What is the word?

On-air questions: On July 7, 1947, a foreman working on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico confided in the sheriff of Roswell that he may have found the debris from a flying saucer. The next day, the Roswell Daily Record reported on the incident in a story headlined “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region”. The debris was supposedly transported to a highly-classified detachment of Edwards Air Force Base known as Area 51. Located in Lincoln County, Nevada, Area 51 has long been the focus of conspiracy theories about the Roswell crash and other UFO-related topics. We’ll try to avoid conspiracy theories about this show with a quiz about the number 51.

1. Over the years, the phrase “51st state” has referred to many geographical entities that have either seriously or facetiously considered U.S. statehood. Among those places are Washington, D.C.; Guam; and what Caribbean island that has held two referendums on statehood and has been a U.S. territory since Spain ceded control in 1898?
2. “Fifty-One” is the title of the fourth episode of the fifth season of the TV series Breaking Bad. Part of the episode takes place at a birthday party, and the episode’s title is the age the party’s guest of honor – the main character of the series – turns on that day. Who is celebrating their fifty-first birthday?
3. “Highway 51,” a song written by blues pianist Curtis Jones, is a track on the 1962 self-titled debut album by what singer/songwriter, who would three years later release an album with a title that name checks US Highway 61?
4. The song “Non-Stop” closes out Act One of the Broadway musical Hamilton. In it, Aaron Burr exclaims “Hamilton wrote the other 51!” His statement refers to Hamilton’s part of a joint writing project with John Jay and James Madison consisting of eighty-five essays promoting ratification of the U.S. Constitution that is commonly referred to by what collective name?
5. An X-ray taken in 1952 by a PhD student working under the supervision of chemist Rosalind Franklin, nicknamed “Photo 51,” was shown to molecular biologist James Watson (without Franklin’s knowledge). The photograph became instrumental in the development of the structure of what?

Extra credit
1. Doc Hudson, a 1951 Hudson Hornet with the license plate 51HHMD, is voiced by actor Paul Newman in the first and third installments of what animated film series?
2. The Major League Baseball player who has (to date) worn jersey number 51 for the most years is what Hall-of-Fame pitcher, who played most of his 22 seasons in the majors with the Seattle Mariners and the Arizona Diamondbacks?

This week's challenge
Start with the phrase UFO SIGHTING. Change one letter to a C and you can rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (eight letters, three letters) for something you might have if you're suffering from a chest cold. What is it?

On-air questions

1. Puerto Rico
2. Walter White
3. Bob Dylan
4. The Federalist Papers
5. DNA

Extra credit
1. Cars
2. Randy Johnson


A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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