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.

On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-syllable compound word, in which the vowel in each half is a short "I."

Example: Person who spends as little money as possible --> SKINFLINT
1. Slang for a football
2. What Don Quixote tilted against
3. Make tiny criticisms
4. Bit of makeup in a tube
5. Article for measuring the amount of oil in an engine
6. Tiny, tiny hole
7. Important person, informally
8. Stupid person, informally
9. Person or thing holding everything together

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words and phrases. Each one conceals the name of a 5-letter country in left-to-right order, but not in consecutive letters. You name the country.

Example: CONCEPTUAL --> NEPAL
1. CHILDREN
2. VITALITY
3. ASPIRATION
4. SAMOVAR
5. CHAIN SAW
6. SUNDANCE
7. SYMMETRICAL
8. RIGHT-HAND MAN
9. PLAY IT BY EAR

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two 4-letter words. The first word can be found in consecutive letters inside the first name of a famous person (past or present). The second word can be found in consecutive letters inside that person's last name.

Example: POLE PART --> NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

1. WILL PEAR

2. AVID TERM

3. LIVE HARD

4. WINS HILL

5. ELSE LINT

6. THAN HORN

7. ROVE ELAN

Sunday Puzzle: TBA

Sep 16, 2018

On-air challenge: The theme of today's puzzle is "to be announced." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with T — and the second word starts BA — .

Example: Pool of water in front of the Jefferson Memorial --> TIDAL BASIN

1. Container for refuse

2. Home of the Rays in major-league baseball

3. Something Serena or Venus Williams hits

4. Subject of a treaty limiting the development of nuclear weapons

5. Moistening device when cooking Thanksgiving dinner

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words that rhyme. Each word has one syllable. You tell me another one-syllable word that rhymes with my two and that fits between my two words alphabetically.

Example: West Zest --> WREST

1. Own Pone

2. Jack Lack

3. Rule Spool

4. Hare Lair

5. Gash Hash

6. Reach Speech

7. Char Far

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences, leaving off the last two words. Add an "L" at the front of the first word, and phonetically you'll get the second word, which completes the sentence.

Example: If you drive about 30 miles up the coast from Boston, you'll wind up _____ _____. --> IN LYNN

1. I will sell my buildings in the Midwest, South and West, but I want my buildings in the _____ _____.

2. When the doctor arrived with the blood-sucking creatures, the patient screamed at _____ _____.

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is geographical. I'm going to give you some words and phrases. In each one, change two consecutive letters to name a country.

Example: SUDDEN --> SWEDEN

1. FRAPPE

2. GREEDY

3. ALGEBRA

4. CANARY

5. SIROCCO

6. BARGAIN

7. SERENA

8. JOBMAN

9. MALADY

10. SENSUAL

11. CAME UPON

On-air challenge: Every answer is a madeup two-word phrase. Add the letter F in front of the first word to get the second word to answer the clue.

Example: Less than usual stream of water --> low flow

1. Entire autumn

2. More unusual stuff that cattle eat

3. More aged container of office papers

4. Employs electrical safeguards

5. Arranges hot dogs in order of quality

6. Exposes oneself to the chances of being searched for weapons

7. Doesn't have any publicity agents, informally

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Rearrange the letters in each of them to make another word. Then think of a familiar saying or proverb that contains both those words.

Example: CHEAT GOD --> TEACH and DOG --> You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

1. KOOL PALE
2. EMIT VASES
3. TOP NERVE
4. THROW HUBS
5. DEAL MORE
6. FOAL NEON
7. HATES SWEAT
8 . TOW SHADE

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you two words. Think of a word that can follow the first one and precede the second one, in each case to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The last letter of my first word will start your answer, and the last letter of your answer will start the second word.

Example: Landing ____ Ratio --> GEAR (landing gear, gear ratio)

1. Bus ____ Payment

2. Ranch ____ Drill

3. Wedding ____ Tag

4. Sewer ____ Trap

5. Magic ____ Tack

6. Crossing ____ Dog

7. Lens ____ Dating

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