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.

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10:03pm

Sat May 12, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

You Two, Move To The Back Of The Line

Originally published on Sat May 26, 2012 7:21 pm

On-Air Challenge: The word "mother" has a surprising property. If you move the first two letters to the end, you get "thermo," the prefix for "heat." Every answer today is another six-letter word that, when you move the first two letters to the end, you get another word or phrase.

Last Week's Challenge from listener Gary Witkin of Newark, Del.: Using only the six letters of the name "Bronte," repeating them as often as necessary, spell a familiar six-word phrase. What is it?

Answer: "To be or not to be"

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4:17am

Sun May 6, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

Brave Sir Robin Ran Away, But The Puzzle Is Still OK

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 4:11 pm

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On-Air Challenge: You'll be given a series of categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters of the word "robin." For example, given the category "two-syllable boys' names," the answers could be "Roger," "Omar," "Barry," "Isaac" and "Neville."

Last Week's Challenge: Name the capital of a country that, when said out loud, sounds like a three-word phrase. This phrase might describe the reason why the police did not catch a barefoot thief. What is the capital, and what is the reason?

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10:03pm

Sat April 28, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

To Cross This Puzzle Safely, Look Left And Right

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 4:11 pm

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On-Air Challenge: Every answer today is a familiar three-word phrase in which the second word is "and" and the first word starts with the letter L. You'll be given the last word of the phrase, and you must identify the first word, starting with "L." For example, given "master," the answer would be "lord," as in "lord and master."

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10:03pm

Sat April 21, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

A Puzzle Worthy Of Don Draper

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 2:23 pm

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On-Air Challenge: You'll be given classic advertising slogans and catch phrases in which the letters of the last word are scrambled. First, unscramble the word. Then name the product or company that is the advertiser. For example, given "Get a piece of the cork," the answer would be "Get a piece of the rock," which is a slogan of the Prudential Insurance Company.

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10:01pm

Sat April 14, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

A Challenge That Is Initially Famous

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 2:23 pm

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On-Air Challenge: You'll be given a two- or three-word description of a famous person. The initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person.

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