Any Questions? | WAMC

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 THE OLYMPICS. Change one letter to an S and you can rearrange the result to spell a five-letter word that names small things seen in Las Vegas and a six-letter word that names large things seen in Las Vegas. What are the words?

Answer: If you change the Y to an S, you can spell CHIPS and MOTELS.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: "1981"

On-air questions: You may have heard us celebrating an important milestone on the radio today. Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the modern iteration of WAMC as an independent entity, and we got to hear some vintage clips from the archive this morning on the Roundtable. In honor of this milestone, today I’ll ask you about other things that happened in 1981.

1. The first few minutes of what new network featured “You Better Run” by Pat Benetar, “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders, “History Never Repeats” by Split Enz and “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard” by Albany’s own Blotto?
2. Speaking on January 20th, who said “the business of our nation goes forward, later adding, “In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various levels of government.”
3. Although his total of 56 stolen bases was about half his total from the year before due to the strike-shortened season, what then-Oakland Athletics outfielder led the league in steals for the second of 12 times in a playing career that lasted until 2003?
4. Nominated for Best Picture at the 1981 Academy Awards, where it lost to “Ordinary People,” what black and white biopic marked the first of four films by Martin Scorsese teaming Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci?
5. Run for the first time in 1981, what road race route now passes The Shard, Tower Bridge, and Elizabeth Tower?

Extra credit1. A woman who had formerly been an Arizona state senator and a Maricopa County Superior Court judge was named to what federal position in July 1981?
2. Whose July 1981 wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral attracted 3,500 guests and more than half a million spectators?
 

This week's challenge: Start with the name of a car first introduced in 1981 and closely associated with the 1980s. Rearrange the letters and you can spell the name of an evergreen shrub. 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? #59

Oct 12, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel take a trip to the great white way.

Last week's challenge

Of the 129 Saturday Night Live cast members (as of May 2012), only two have names that can form a “before and after.” That is, the last name of one is the first name of another. Who are the actors? (As a hint, these two actors weren't cast members at the same time, but they have starred in movies together.)

Any Questions? #58

Oct 5, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel embark on a trivial pursuit of happiness with a Before and After show.

Last week's challenge
Think of two five-letter synonyms for “stupid person.” One starts with D, and the other starts with I. Drop one letter, and you can rearrange the remaining nine letters to spell a process that a stupid person probably isn't very good at. What are the synonyms and what is the process?

Answer: The synonyms are DUNCE and IDIOT. If you drop an I, you can spell DEDUCTION.

Any Questions #57

Sep 28, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel finally cut to the heart of their show: this week's quiz is all about stupid questions.

Last week's challenge
Take the first name of a well-known political leader. Remove the vowels from this person's name and you'll be left with the organization the person runs. Who is it and what is the organization?
Answer: The political leader is REINCE Priebus, and the organization is the RNC.

Any Questions #56

Sep 21, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch sides this week for a quiz about historical figures (and quasi-historical figures) who also switched sides.

Last week's challenge: Start with the phrase SUPREME COURT. Rearrange these 12 letters to spell a two-word phrase (eight letters in the first word, four letters in the second) that names someone who's technologically savvy. Who is it?

Answer: The person is a COMPUTER USER.

Any Questions #55

Sep 14, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel don their finest black robes for a show about famous court cases.

Last week's challenge
Think of a two-word phrase (five letters in the first word, two letters in the second) that might describe something that's had mistakes removed from it. The first word starts with an F, and if you replace that F with an M, you'll get a new two-word phrase that describes someone who might make mistakes. What are the phrases?
Answer: The phrases are FIXED UP and MIXED UP.

Any Questions #54

Sep 7, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel kick off season two of the little quiz program that could.

Last week's challenge
Take the three-word title of a hit song by the Beatles. Rearrange the letters to spell two things you can wear. What is the song and what are the things?
Answer: The song is LET IT BE, and the things are a BELT and a TIE.

Any Questions #53

Aug 31, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel wrap up the first season of the show with a segment all about The Beatles.

Last week's challenge
Think of the eight-letter brand name of a popular snack food beginning with P. If you change one letter to an S, you can rearrange the result to spell another word beginning with P that names certain types of beverages. What is the brand name and what are the beverages?
Answer: The brand name is PRINGLES, and if you change the G to an S, you can spell PILSNERS.

Any Questions #52

Aug 24, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have the munchies for purely wholesome reasons.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name of the musician and producer BRIAN ENO. Change one letter to a T, then rearrange the result to spell a certain type of singer. What is it?
Answer: If you change one of the Ns, you can spell BARITONE.

Any Questions #51

Aug 17, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are all about the Brians this week.

Last week's challenge
Gold is the traditional gift for a 50th anniversary, so here's a challenge inspired by that: Think of a 5-letter word beginning with P that describes something flat. Add AU (as in the chemical symbol for gold) to the end of this word, and you'll get another word that describes something flat. What are the words?

Answer: The words are PLATE and PLATEAU.

Any Questions #50

Aug 10, 2012

Time flies when you're having trivia: WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark their 50th show.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name of the explorer LEIF ERICSON. Change one letter to a D, then rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (five letters in the first word, six letters in the second) that names a person you might take a road trip with. Who is it?
Answer: If you change an I to a D, you can spell CLOSE FRIEND.

Any Questions #49

Aug 3, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel boldly go where no quiz segments have gone before: to the realm of exploration.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name ANSEL ADAMS. Add a letter, then rearrange the letters to spell the names of three things you might see in a photograph of a beach.
Answer: If you add a P, you can spell PALM, SAND, and SEA.

Any Questions #48

Jul 27, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel zoom in for a show about famous photos.

Last week's challenge
Think of two words that each name a unit of volume (one has six letters, the other has four). Change one letter to an R, then rearrange the result to name things that have lots of measurements on them. What are the units and what are the things?

Answer: The units are BUSHEL and PINT. If you change the H to an R, you can rearrange the letters to spell BLUEPRINTS.

Any Questions #47

Jul 20, 2012

Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel spends this week's show seeing how WAMC's Ian Pickus measures up.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase BLACK TIE. Rearrange these eight letters to spell two four-letter synonyms. What are they?
Answer: The synonyms are BEAT and LICK.

Any Questions? #46

Jul 13, 2012

Call it a Black Sabbath: WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have their darkest show yet.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name SAINT PAUL. Change one letter, then rearrange the result to spell the name of a famous ship. What is it?
Answer: If you change the P to an I, you can spell LUSITANIA.

Any Questions? #45

Jul 6, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel venture to the land of 10,000 trivia questions with a quiz about Minnesota.

Last week's challenge
Think of a 1960s number-one hit song whose title starts with the word LOVE. Rearrange the letters in the other two words in the title to spell something a band might record. What is the song and what is the thing?
Answer: The song is “LOVE ME DO,” and the thing is a DEMO.

Any Questions? #44

Jun 29, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel offer a serious, sobering look at pop music's famous love songs.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name LIANE HANSEN. Drop one letter, then rearrange the remaining 10 letters to spell two one-word movie titles. What are they? (As a hint, one movie is from the 1950s, and the other is from the 1970s.)
Answer: If you drop an N, you can spell SHANE and ALIEN.

Any Questions? #43

Jun 22, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel welcome an actual professional to play this week: former Weekend Edition host Liane Hansen, who knows a little something about radio quizzes.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name JAMIE LEE CURTIS. Change one letter to a P, then rearrange the result to spell three beverages. What are they?
Answer: If you change the M to a P, you can spell ALE, JUICE, and SPRITE.

Any Questions? #42

Jun 15, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel spend three minutes wishing they had longer names.

Last week's challenge

Start with the phrase AIRSTRIP ONE. Rearrange these 11 letters to spell the name of a process you need to do to survive. What is it?

Answer: The process is RESPIRATION.

Any Questions? #41

Jun 8, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate the publication of a George Orwell classic with another dystopian show.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name PAT BOONE. Change one letter to a C, then rearrange the result to spell two things many superheroes wear. What are they?
Answer: The things are a BOOT and a CAPE.

Any Questions? #40

Jun 1, 2012

June 1 is many things, but most importantly, it's the birthday of resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel, who takes a break from the confetti cake to play this week's show with WAMC's Ian Pickus.

LAST WEEK'S CHALLENGE: Think of a six-letter word that names a person you'd be happy to see if you were lost in the woods. Add ST to the beginning, and you'll get a new word that names a person you probably wouldn't be happy to see if you were lost in the woods. Who are the people?
Answer: The people are a RANGER and a STRANGER.

Any Questions? #39

May 25, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have finally copped to their holier-than-though attitude with this week's show.

Last week's challenge
Start with the phrase OLD PEOPLE. Using only the letters in those words, but not all of them, you can spell the name shared by 13 people who also shared a job. What is the name and what is the job?
Answer: Following the directions, you can spell LEO, the name of 13 people who were POPE. Bonus fact: Pope XIII was the oldest pope.

Any Questions? #38

May 18, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a quiz about accomplished elders.

Last week's challenge

Take the five-letter name of a famous computer. If you read it backwards, you'll get the last name of a famous actor. What is the computer and who is the actor?

ANSWER: The famous computer is ENIAC, and the actor is Michael CAINE.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: OLD AGE AND SUCCESSFUL ELDERS

Any Questions? #37

May 11, 2012

How meta is this? You've logged on to our website to hear a quiz about famous computers. Also: a wormhole just opened up.

Last week's challenge
Think of a seven-letter word for an area often seen adjacent to a racetrack. Change the middle letter to an L, and the result will name something often used to keep an area secure. What is the area and what is the thing?
Answer: The area is a PADDOCK, and the thing is a PADLOCK.

Any Questions? #36

May 4, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have mixed some mint juleps and studied the lyrics of "My Old Kentucky Home" in anticipation of this week's show, an ode to the Kentucky Derby and horse racing.

Last week's challenge
Start with the name "Babe Ruth." Change one letter to an "s", then rearrange the result to spell a thing and a person, both of which you might see at a ballpark. What are they?
Answer: The thing is a BAT and the person is an USHER.

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 / WAMC

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.

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