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.

Pages

10:01pm

Sat April 7, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

A Mix-Up At The Music Fest

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a popular music group, past or present. You'll be given clues in which two letters in the group's name have been changed. For example, given "The Bench Boss," the answer would be "The Beach Boys," after changing the N in "Bench" to an A and the first S of "Boss" to a Y.

Read more

10:01pm

Sat March 31, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

Testing Your Wits With Knowledge Of Spirits

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:33 pm

On-Air Challenge: Today's challenges are from an old English book called Lateral Thinking Puzzles by Hannah Robson and Nick Hoare. They all have a drinking theme, and they'll test your wits.

Read more

6:41pm

Sat March 24, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

Don't Be Lax With Your Answers

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer today is a word or phrase containing the consecutive letters A-X. You'll be given clues and anagrams to the answers.

Last Week's Challenge: Take the phrase "no sweat." Using only these seven letters, and repeating them as often as necessary, can you make a familiar four-word phrase? It's 15 letters long. What is it?

Answer: The phrase is "waste not, want not."

Winner: Alison Haskins of Oxford, Ohio

Read more

10:01pm

Sat March 17, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

If I Were An Animal, I'd Be An Alpaca

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Name something in a given category where the last two letters of the category's name are the first two letters of your answer. For example, given "U.S. state," the answer would be either "Texas" or "Tennessee."

Last Week's Challenge: The answer is a two-word name. Inside this name are the consecutive letters I-L-E-H. Remove these four letters, and the remaining letters in order will name something commonly found inside the original thing with the two-word name. What is it?

Read more

10:01pm

Sat March 10, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

This Puzzle Gets Cracked When Opposites Attract

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer consists of two words that are opposites. You are given rhymes for the words, and you give the opposites.

Last Week's Challenge from listener Toby Gottfried of Santa Ana, Calif.: Take the trees hemlock, myrtle, oak and pine. Rearrange the letters in their names to get four other trees, with one letter left over. What trees are they?

Answer: The trees are "elm," "hickory," "lemon," and "teak," with the letter P left over.

Winner: Tim Moon from Bethany, Ill.

Read more

Pages