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 March 3, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

A Puzzling Grab Bag Of Phrases

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Today's puzzle is a grab bag. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with B-A and the second word starts with G.

Last Week's Challenge: Name a bird. Change its second letter to an E to get the first name of a famous actor. Then name the female of that bird, and double one of its letters. You'll get the last name of this actor. What are the birds, and who is the actor?

Answer: The birds are "swan" and "pen," and the actor is "Sean Penn."

Read more

10:01pm

Sat February 25, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

And The Best Picture Oscar Goes To ...

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a film that won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Identify the films from their anagrams.

Last Week's Challenge: What is the longest common English word you can spell by taking the beginning letters of consecutive states in order as you travel through them? Puzzlemaster Will Shortz's answer has eight letters, but maybe you can top that.

Puzzlemaster's Answer: "Millions," which consists of the beginning letters of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Read more

10:01pm

Sat February 18, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

Two States Enter, One Four-Letter Word Leaves

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer consists of two adjoining U.S. states. Each clue is a four-letter word formed by one or more letters starting one of the state names plus one or more letters starting the other state name. For example, given "mist," the answer would be "Mississippi" and "Tennessee," or "Missouri" and "Tennessee."

Read more

10:01pm

Sat February 11, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

Hey, I've Got Five On It!

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a familiar three-word phrase, name or title in which each word has five letters — for example, "Royal Opera House."

Last Week's Challenge: Name an animal. Add the letters "A" and "T," and rearrange the result to name another animal. These are both animals that might be found in a zoo, and the last letter of the first animal is the first letter of the last one.

Answer: If you add "A" and "T" to "gorilla," you can rearrange the letters to spell "alligator."

Read more

10:01pm

Sat February 4, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Anti-Tic

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Each clue contains at least one seven-letter word. Rearrange the letters in that word to answer the clue.

Read more

Pages