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Any Questions #494: "Crossword Clues No. 4"

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WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the first virtual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name ANDERSON COOPER. Change one letter to a W and you can rearrange the result to spell a five letter-word for a type of performance and a two-word phrase (six letters, three letters) that names a place that is a good spot from which to watch that performance. What is the word and what is the phrase?
Answer: If you change one of the Ns to a W, you can spell OPERA and SECOND ROW.

On-air questions: This week is the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. The event is directed by New York Times crossword editor and Weekend Edition puzzlemaster Will Shortz, and this year’s tournament – the 43rd ACPT – is the first to be completely online. To commemorate the first virtual ACPT, I've brought some crossword clues. I'll give you three clues that have appeared in the New York Times crossword and you tell me what word they have all clued. As a hint, each correct answer will be a six-letter word beginning with O, as in "online".
1. Kitchen gadget / First game of the season / Part of a concert that many people impatiently sit through
2. Alternative / Offensive football play / Moonroof or racing stripes, maybe
3. Ancestry / Source / Where the x and y axes meet
4. Fat guy in shorts / Stone in Hollywood / Twist-filled Broadway musical?
5. National color of the Netherlands / Like Tennessee Avenue and New York Avenue, on a Monopoly board / County name in California, Florida and New York

Extra credit
1. Good place to vent / Juice source / Bargain hunter’s destination
2. Totally dominating / Renter’s dream, perhaps / Holding

This week's challenge
Start with two of the five answers to today’s questions. (Which two is for you to figure out.) Change one letter to a C and you can rearrange the result to spell the seven-letter name of an African country and the five-letter name of an African river. What are they?

On-air questions

1. Opener
2. Option
3. Origin
4. Oliver
5. Orange

Extra credit
1. Outlet
2. Owning


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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