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Any Questions #414: "AMERICAN" As Trivia

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with an all-American show. Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase COLOR SCHEME. Rearrange the letters to spell a two-word phrase (five letters, six letters) for an action you might do after you're finished browsing the internet. What is the phrase?
Answer: You might CLOSE CHROME.

On-air questions: On August 2, 1973, American Graffiti premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland. Released in the U.S. nine days later, the film chronicles the adventures of a group of teenagers – played by Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, and Mackenzie Phillips, among many others – during the course of a single night in central California in 1962. The second film to be directed by George Lucas, American Graffiti has far out-earned its $777,000 budget, grossing some $200 million in box office and home video sales. It was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to The Sting. To commemorate the premiere of American Graffiti, this week our questions are about other things that start with the word "American."

1. In American Sign Language, a closed fist with the pinky extended symbolizes the letter "i", extending the index and middle fingers forms the letter "v", and extending the index, middle, and ring fingers forms what letter?
2. The 1973 song "American Tune", originally released on an album called There Goes Rhymin' Simon, was one of eight songs from the solo catalogue of Paul Simon that he and Art Garfunkel performed in September of 1981 as part of a concert held in, and whose proceeds went toward the development and maintenance of, what New York City landmark?
3. Two figures – a daughter and her father, modeled after the artist's sister and dentist – stand in front of a white farmhouse while the father holds a pitchfork in what 1930 painting by Grant Wood?
4. What television show premiered in March of 1950 on WFIL-TV in Philadelphia with local radio DJ Bob Horn as the original host, some seven years before it was picked up nationally, now hosted by Dick Clark, who had pitched the show to ABC the year before?
5. What name comes next in this chronological list: Citation, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed?

Extra credit
1. What U.S. territory located in Oceania is comprised of five islands – Tutuila, Aunu'u, Ofu, Olosega, and Ta‘? – and two atolls called Swains Island and Rose Atoll?
2. Among the many real-life figures name-checked in the 1971 song "American Pie", who is the only person referred to by his full name?

This week's challenge
Start with the phrase AMERICAN TUNE. Change one letter to a P and you can spell a seven-letter word for a shade of red and a five-letter word for a shade of brown. What are the words?

On-air questions

1. W
2. Central Park
3. American Gothic
4. American Bandstand
5. American Pharoah

Extra credit
1. American Samoa
2. James Dean


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.