Will Shortz

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a famous person whose first initial and last name, in order, spell a word. For example, take Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence. The B of Benjamin + his last name spells BRUSH. I'll give you clues to the parts. You give me the names.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. The letters in the first word appear in left-to-right order, although not consecutively, in a state capital. The letters in the second word appear in left-to-right order in that capital's state.

Example: Scant, Corn --> Sacramento, California
1. Annals, Aryan
2. Singed, Lois
3. Alas, Ford
4. Saul, Mines
5. Boon, Assets
6. Motor, Lama
7. Mason, Coin
8. Prince, Resand

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. For each one, change one letter to two new letters to name a country.

Example. Belle --> Belize

1. Fence
2. Grace
3. Brawl
4. No Say
5. Polar
6. Debark
7. Brunt
8. Mondo
9. Malaria
10. Panda (three different answers)

Puzzle: Fast And Famous

Jul 19, 2020

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. The first letter is the initial of a famous person's first name. The remaining letters can be rearranged to get the person's last name. I'll give you categories if you need them.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words that contain the consecutive letters I-T. For each word, change the I-T to two new letters to make a new word.

Example: TITULAR --> TUBULAR
1. IGNITE
2. COMMIT
3. CITRUS
4. EXCITE
5. CITRIC
6. INVITE
7. FINITE
8. MARITAL
9. EXPLOIT
10. SMITTEN
11. BACKBITE

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase in which the only consonants are H and T — repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Example: Eighth letter of the Greek alphabet --> THETA

1. Canine or molar

2. Give a share of one's income to the church

3. Lake straddling the California/Nevada border

4. Country sharing a border with the Dominican Republic

5. Island paradise in the South Pacific

6. Giggle sound

7. Tract of land with low-growing shrubs

8. Kind of yoga

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Three consecutive words somewhere in each sentence are the first three words of a familiar proverb or saying. Tell me what it is.

Example: My parents went to the restaurant at 5 p.m. to get the early bird special. --> The early bird catches the worm.

1. The queen attends every royal function, so her absence makes the crowd concerned.

2. The cows with two heads are the big attraction at the carnival.

3. A nice Scottish lad is what a miss is looking for.

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some words. For each one, change the initial consonant or consonants to a new consonant or new consonants to get a new word that looks like it should rhyme with the original but doesn't. Every answer is unique.

Example: Cord --> Word
1. Howl
2. Golf
3. Brave
4. Fork
5. Paste
6. Toad
7. Gasp
8. Green
9. Pooch
10. Goose

On-air challenge: This is a followup puzzle to last week's "Lost ID's." It's called "Replacement ID's." I'm going to give you some words. Each word contains the consecutive letters I-D somewhere in it. Change the I-D to two new letters to get a new familiar word.

Example: Stride --> Stroke or Strafe
1. Fidget
2. Ideate
3. Bridal
4. Rancid
5. Fiddle
6. Afraid (hyph.)
7. Collide
8. Provide
9. Humidity
10. Consider

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is "Lost ID's." I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word has the consecutive letters I-D somewhere in it. Drop the I-D and what's left will spell a new word that answers the second clue.

Example: Opposite of narrowest / Direction for sunsets --> Widest, west
1. End of the workweek / Disorderly fight
2. Box for cigars / Jokes and such
3. Partition / One jumping in a pool
4. Mints that are said to be "curiously strong" / Voices below sopranos

On-air challenge: I'm going to name two things that are in the same category. And that category is itself part of another category, which I'll also name. You tell me the category in the middle.

Example: Volkswagen, Chrysler/Rock groups -->(The) Cars
1. Robin, Finch/Hitchcock movies
2. Seven, 100/Books of the Bible
3. Hip hip hooray!, Go team!/Sitcoms
4. Merlin, Harry Potter/N.B.A. teams
5. Mary, Elizabeth/Boroughs of New York City
6. Amazon, Nile/Female comedians
7. Roasted, Salted/Comic strips

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word, name, or phrase in which the only consonants are L and T — repeated as often as necessary. All the other letters are vowels.

Example: Add up --> TOTAL
1. Opposite of big
2. Coffee made with hot steamed milk
3. Name, as of a book or movie
4. Dole out
5. Sweepstakes game
6. "For rent" sign (2 wds.)
7. Lavatory
8. Place to insert an electric plug
9. No-holds-barred (hyph.)
10. Prevaricate (3 wds.)
11. Excite the imagination
12. Snitch

On-air challenge: In honor of Mother's Day, every answer today is a word that ends in the letters "MA." I'll give you an anagram of the letters that precede MA. You tell me the words.

Ex. GOD --> Dogma
1. ARK
2. OAR
3. LAPS
4. GIST
5. NICE
6. HATS
7. LIMED
8. RADIO
9. CHAIRS
10. EARLDOM

On-air challenge: I've brought a game of categories based on the word "maybe." For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters M-A-Y-B-E.

For example, if the category were "chemical elements," you might say mercury, argon, yttrium, barium and erbium. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Animals in zoos
2. Four-letter boy's names
3. Place names in Canada
4. Colors
5. Things to consume at breakfast

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence ends in "_____ to _____." Put two homophones in the blanks to complete it.

Example: The bicycle salesman had an innovative new _____ to _____. --> PEDAL, PEDDLE

1. The thieves prowling around the Pittsburgh mill were looking for some _____ to _____.

2. To prepare the dough for the oven, the baker will first _____ to _____.

3. Since my foot surgery, my toes have gotten better, but I still have to wait for my _____ to _____.

Pages