Any Questions?

Fridays, 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 phrase CB RADIO USERS. Drop one letter and you can rearrange the result to spell the nickname of an NFL team and the nickname of a Major League Baseball team. What are the words?

Answer: If you drop the O, you can spell RAIDERS and CUBS.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: "SNL FIVE-TIMERS"

On-air questions: On October 11, 1975, NBC's Saturday Night debuted. Hosted by George Carlin and featuring musical performances by Billy Preston and Janis Ian, that first show is the first of 873 episodes aired from Studio 8H in New York City's Rockefeller Center. The March 26, 1977 episode was the first one broadcast under the name Saturday Night Live, which was now available because of the cancellation of Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell, which had been cancelled by ABC the year before. To commemorate the debut of Saturday Night Live, this week I've brought five questions about a five associated with the show: the group of people who have hosted the show at least five times, known as the Five-Timers Club.

1. Actress Candice Bergen was the first woman to host Saturday Night Live, appearing on a November, 1975, episode. She became the first woman to join the Five-Timers Club when she hosted on May 19, 1990, two days before she appeared as the title character in the finale of the second season of what sitcom?
2. The most recent actor to join the Five-Timers Club is Jonah Hill, who hit the mark in November of 2018. Hill was scheduled to host in November of 2007, but his episode, along with seven others, were cancelled because of what event announced by the Writers Guild of America earlier that month?
3. In November of 1982, actress Drew Barrymore became the youngest person to host SNL (she was seven years old at the time), a distinction she still holds as of 2019. Barrymore entered the Five-Timers Club with her 2007 hosting appearance, and two years later she hosted for a sixth time to mark the occasion of her directorial debut of what film starring Ellen Page as a teenager who joins a roller derby team?
4. Hosting for the first time in October of 2011, actress Melissa McCarthy became a member of the Five-Timers Club on May 11, 2017. McCarthy first rose to television prominence with her portrayal of Sookie St. James, the chef at the Independence Inn in Stars Hollow, Connecticut, which is owned by her best friend Lorelai on what comedy/drama series?
5. What member of the Five-Timers Club also appeared as the musical guest on three of the shows he hosted, performing such songs as "Señorita", "Cry Me A River", and "Suit & Tie"?

Extra credit

1. Steve Martin was one of two hosts entered the Five-Timers Club within two years of their first hosting appearances. His first episode on October 23, 1976, was recorded in Brooklyn, due to Studio 8H being used for coverage for what event taking place the following month?
2. What singer/songwriter was accepted into the Five-Timers Club due to his numerous appearances as a musical guest, despite his only having hosted four times, including one episode in 1987 during which a U.S. senator that shares his name joined him during the monologue?

This week's challenge: Start with the phrase FIVE-TIME HOST. Add a letter and you can rearrange the result to spell a five-letter word for someone a lawyer might prosecute in court and a seven-letter word for things that lawyers use as part of their case against someone in court. What are the words?

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? #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

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark Black Friday with a quiz about business.

Last week's challenge
The Gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the Southwest. Rearrange the letters in Gila monster to come up with a two-word phrase that describes Any Questions?'s audience. The first word has five letters. The second has six.
Answer: The phrase is SMART LEGION.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: BUSINESS

Albany, NY – Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus switch seats for a quiz about New Mexico.

Albany, NY – Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel and WAMC's Ian Pickus switch seats for a quiz about New Mexico.

Last week's challenge

Begin with the four-letter name of a drink. Add the consecutive letters XI (as in the Roman numeral for eleven) somewhere in that name, and you'll get an adjective describing something that might make you want a drink. What is the drink and what is the adjective?

Answer: The drink is TANG, and the adjective is TAXING.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: New Mexico

Albany, NY – This week's quiz goes to 11 as WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate November 11, 2011 and the 11th installment of the show.

Last week's challenge

Take the nickname of an NFL team. Move the fifth letter to the second position, and the result will name things often seen on a football uniform. What is the team and what are the things?

Answer: The team is the New Orleans SAINTS, and following the directions will spell STAINS.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: THE NUMBER 11

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus is relieved as resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel throws him a softball with a quiz about sports.

Last week's challenge

Think of a well-known landmark in England. Remove all the repeated letters from its name, and the remaining five letters can be rearranged to name something that some old buildings are reported to have. What is the landmark and what is the thing?

Answer: The landmark is STONEHENGE, and the non-repeated letters can be rearranged to spell GHOST.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: SPORTS

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark the 125th anniversary of the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty with a show about landmarks.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase NUMERICAL ORDER. Change one letter, then rearrange the result to get three words that can describe a number. What are they?

Answer: If you change the C to a P, you can rearrange the letters to spell ROUND, REAL, and PRIME.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: LANDMARKS

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the World Series with a quiz about series.

Last week's challenge

Start with the two-word name of a U. S. city, where the first word is a color. If you change the fifth letter of the second word to a "D," you'll get a new word that names some colorful things. What is the city and what are the things?

Answer: The city is WHITE PLAINS (New York). Changing the N in PLAINS to a D spells PLAIDS.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: SERIES

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate fall foliage season with a quiz about colors.

Last week's challenge

Start with the name of a recent U. S. senator. The first letter of the first name plus the first three letters of the last name, taken in order, spell a popular website. Who is the senator and what is the website?

Answer: The senator is EVAN BAYH, and taking the appropriate letters spells EBAY.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: COLORS

13 points per correct answer)

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the birthday of legendary Albany mayor Erastus Corning with a show about politics and government.

Last week's challenge

Think of a 7-letter word containing the consecutive letters IS that means "to leave alone." Replace the IS with TO, and the result will spell a two-word phrase you might say to someone you're leaving behind. What is the word and what is the phrase?

Answer: The word is ISOLATE, which (after following the directions) becomes "TOO LATE!"

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a stroll down SAT memory lane with a show about analogies.

Last week's challenge

Begin with the phrase "LITERARY HACK." Change one letter, then rearrange the result to spell the name of a famous Vermonter. Who is it?

Answer: If you change one of the Rs to a P, you can rearrange the letters to spell PATRICK LEAHY, the name of the current senior Senator from Vermont.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: ANALOGIES

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the Green Mountain state during this week's show.

Last week's challenge

Take the two-word name of a current TV show where both of the words start with the same letter. Rearrange the letters of the second word, then insert them as a group into the first word. The result will spell an activity that takes place at the Culinary Institute of America. What is the show and what is the activity?

Answer: The show is BREAKING BAD.

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel undertake an alliterative quiz.

Last week's challenge:

Think of a famous person with the initials "M.D." Drop those initials, then rearrange the remaining letters to spell the name of a cartoon character. Who is the person and who is the character?

Answer: The person is Matt Damon, and the character is Atom Ant.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: REPEATED INITIALS

Albany, NY – WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark the end of summer with a labor-intensive show.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase SCIENCE LAB. Change one letter, then rearrange the result to name something a student might bring to class. What is this thing?
Answer: If you change the B to a P, you can rearrange the result to spell PENCIL CASE.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: DOCTORS

On-air questions: Each correct answer contains the word DOCTOR. (13 points per correct answer)

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