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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10:01pm

Sat September 3, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

The End Is The Beginning

On-Air Challenge: In a chosen category, name something else in the same category in which the last two letters of Will's word are the first two letters of the answer. Example: for TUBA, the answer might be BASSOON, because TUBA is a musical instrument ending in BA, and BA is the start of BASSOON.

Last Week's Challenge from listener Ed Pegg Jr.: Rearrange the twelve letters of the words "AIR CUSHIONED" to name a person in the media, first and last names.

Answer: "Audio Cornish"

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4:41pm

Sat August 20, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

Lest We Forget

On-Air Challenge: Every word is a compound word, or a familiar two-word phrase or name, with the consecutive letters L — E — S — T. Specifically, the first word ends in L-E and second part starts with S-T. For example, "activity in a seminary." The answer would be "BibLE STudy."

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10:01pm

Sat August 13, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

Finding The Ends

On-Air Challenge: Will brings a twist to an old game of categories. He gives some categories, and for each one, the listeners name something in it that ends in the letters E,N,D, and S. For example, if the category is boy's names, the answer could be Luk(e), Aaro(n), Davi(d), and Jame(s).

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6:14pm

Sat August 6, 2011
Games & Humor

Race To The Top

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with T-O and the second word starts with P. For example, given, "a person who is responsible for organizing a series of live concerts," the answer would be "tour promoter."

Last Week's Challenge: Name a famous person from America's past who has four letters in his or her first name and five letters in the last. Take a homophone of the last name, move it to the front. The result phonetically would be something a woman might write. What is it?

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6:13pm

Sat July 30, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

Hey, How About A Roll In The Hay?

On-Air Challenge: Each answer is a pair of homophones, which are words that sound alike but are spelled differently. You are given two words: One would precede one of the homophones, the other would follow the other, to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given the words "hay" and "jumper," the answer would be "bale" as in "hay bale" and "bail" as in "bail jumper."

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