Will Shortz

NPR's Puzzlemaster Will Shortz has appeared on Weekend Edition Sunday since the program's start in 1987. He's also the crossword editor of The New York Times, the former editor of Games magazine, and the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (since 1978).

Will sold his first puzzle professionally when he was 14 — to Venture, a denominational youth magazine. At 16 he became a regular contributor to Dell puzzle publications. He is the only person in the world to hold a college degree in Enigmatology, the study of puzzles, which he earned from Indiana University in 1974.

Born in 1952 and raised on an Arabian horse farm in Indiana, Will now lives near New York City in a Tudor-style house filled with books and Arts and Crafts furniture. When he's not at work, he enjoys bicycling, movies, reading, travel, and collecting antique puzzle books and magazines.

Sunday Puzzle: Yo!

56 minutes ago

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is titled "Yo!" Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in Y and the second word starts with O.

Ex. Colonel or major general ---> ARMY OFFICER
1. What antiperspirant helps prevent
2. In basketball, a high pass caught by a leaping teammate who dunks the ball before landing
3. Group conducted by a conductor
4. The nose, as a senser of smell
5. Johnson & Johnson product rubbed on the skin to keep it smooth
6. Nine squared

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a popular advertising slogan, past or present. I'm going to give you two words. The first is an anagram of one of the words in the slogan. The second is one of the other words in the slogan. You tell me the slogan.

Example: PEEKS GOING --> It keeps going ... and going ... and going [Energizer]
1. PANS CRACKLE
2. SALT DROP
3. T-SHIRT OBEY
4. NIGHTS BETTER
5. STONED NOBODY
6. THAWS WALLET
7. MINUETS FIFTEEN
8. FRINGE GOOD
9. SKIS BEGINS

On-air challenge: Change one letter in each word to get a familiar boy's name.

Ex. ALIAS --> ELIAS
1. STEWARD
2. LEOPARD
3. LUSHER
4. CORDON
5. TREMOR
6. THRONE
7. HERALD
8. QUINCE
9. ENROLL
10. TIBIAS
11. CHEATER
12. FOR RENT
For the last one, think of two different answers, which change different letters in the word
13 & 14. BARON

On-air challenge: The theme of this week's puzzle is Indiana. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends -IN and the second word starts D-.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made-up two-word phrase. The first word has 7 letters. Drop the first and last letters and you'll get a 5-letter word that completes the phrase.

Example: Coffee drink with less zing --> FLATTER LATTE

1. Investigating Batman's sidekick

2. Scheduling a course on Caesar's language

3. Opposed to profits

4. Autumn bloom along the Atlantic coast

5. Supervise poetry

6. Quick TV excerpts of solar and lunar events

7. Uneasy feeling for a rapper

On-air challenge: Every answer today is the name of a major-league baseball team. You tell me what they are from their anagrams.

Example: SCARY – C --> (Tampa Bay) Rays

1. SCUBA – A

2. STEAM – A

3. DRESS – S

4. DESPAIR – I

5. AGAINST – A

6. ADVERBS – D

7. COSTARS – C

8. RESTING – N

9. SEALING – I

10. STOCKIER – T

11. MINERALS – E

12. WIRETAPS – W

13. EARRINGS – I

14. THEISTICAL – I

15. NONSPATIAL – P

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar simile, like "sly as a fox" or "sharp as a tack." I'm going to give you rhymes for the first and last words. You tell me the similes.

Example: Dry as a flight --> High as a Kite
1. Dizzy as a flea
2. Green as a thistle
3. Near as a smell
4. Scrappy as a lamb
5. Tight as a tether
6. Bad as a batter
7. Mute as a glutton
8. Sweet as a grin
9. Lazy as a goon
10. Split as a griddle
11. Dead as a suite
12. Flat as a wig
13. Scarred as a block

Editor's note on April 2, 2018: If you've listened to the audio, you may have figured it out quickly: Part of this broadcast was an April Fools' joke. We hope you enjoyed it.

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase in which the first word starts DE- and the second word sounds like the first one without the DE-.

Example: Chooses teams --> DECIDES SIDES

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Drop a letter from the first word to name a category of things. And drop a letter from the second word to name something in that category.

Example: FURY STABLE --> FUR & SABLE

1. THREE POPULAR

2. MENTAL CROPPER

3. INSPECT MOUTH

4. STATUE MARINE

5. STOOL LOATHE

6. SPLICE STAGE

7. SHOVE PLUMP

8. DONG COLLIDE

9. BOAST CLUTTER

10. METAL LAUNCH

11. DRIVER TIMBER

12. GERM RUGBY

On-air challenge: Today I've brought a game of categories based on the word OSCAR. For each category I give, name something in it starting with each of the letters O-S-C-A-R. For example, if the category were "U.S. States," you might say Ohio, South Dakota, Colorado, Alabama, and Rhode Island. Any answer that works is OK, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Things Seen in a Kitchen (other than food)

2. Ways to Say "Yes"

3. Islands

4. Parts of a Newspaper

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some crossword clues for six-letter words. The last word in each clue will rhyme with its answer.

Ex. Traveling theater group --> TROUPE
1. Opposite of smaller
2. Heavenly body with a ring pattern
3. Attire for many sports
4. Aimlessly go yonder
5. Proceed in a hurry
6. Food like cheddars or bries
7. One engaged in a medieval fight
8. Chatter
9. Teammate of Dasher and Prancer
10. Sport in which a player might act as a blocker
11. Quality of food to savor

On-air challenge: For each word, drop the first letter and rearrange those that remain to name part of the human body.

Ex. VOTE --> TOE

1. OGLE
2. PINCH
3. BONES
4. DECAF
5. KNISH
6. ITCHES
7. ROTORS
8. GATHER
9. PITSAW
10. EIGHTH
11. SLIPUP
12. DRIVEL
13. OUTGONE
14. EARWORM
15. RELATION
16. HAMBONED

On-air challenge: Every answer is a three-syllable word or name in which the middle syllable is accented and pronounced "sigh."

Ex. Sharp and clear-thinking --> INCISIVE

1. Matthew, John or Judas Iscariot

2. God of the sea, in Greek myth

3. Figure out, as a secret message

4. Music or dance performance that a parent might sit through

5. Making up one's mind

6. Not just throw trash away

7. Kind of trading that's illegal

8. Painful inflammation around joints

9. Front tooth

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some four-letter words. For each one, add one letter in front and one letter in back to complete a familiar six-letter word. No proper names are allowed, and you can't add an "s" or "d" at the end of a five-letter word to get the six-letter one.

Example: LANE --> PLANET

1. MOOT
2. HANG
3. WENT
4. NIGH
5. TREE
6. REFI
7. BRAD
8. AWES
9. ONTO
10. CRAW
11. ISLE
12. REST
13. PLAN
14. PONY
15. AFAR

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