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.

Sunday Puzzle: 5-To-7

Aug 25, 2019

On-air challenge: For each 5-letter word, add two letters at the end to complete a common, uncapitalized 7-letter word that is unrelated in meaning to the first one.

Example: UNCLE --> UNCLEAN or UNCLEAR

1. EXTRA

2. SURGE

3. MARSH

4. PLACE

5. SHELL

6. BLANK

7. INFER

8. INTER

9. COMMA

10. COLON

11. WHIST

12. FINES

13. MAXIM

14. AGAIN

15. VIOLA

16. DISCO

17. PLATE

18. BREAD

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with only one name — either because they literally had only one name or because they are generally known by one name. I'll give you anagrams. You name the people.

Example: USUAL - U Biblical king --> SAUL

1. VIDEO - E Roman poet

2. CHROME - C Greek poet

3. LEADER - R Singer

4. SHAKEN - N Singer

5. TITANIC - C Italian artist

6. PEARL ASH - S Painter

7. OPTICIAN - I Native American leader

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar phrase in the form of ___ and ___ in which the first word starts with the letter C. I'll give you the last word of the phrase, you tell me the missing first word.

Example: PASTE --> CUT

1. MOUSE

2. ROBBERS

3. SAUCER

4. TIE

5. BULL

6. CARRY

7. ALE

8. PUNISHMENT

9. DAGGER

10. UNUSUAL

11. EFFECT

12. WHEY

13. WESTERN

14. BURN

15. GOWN

16. SUGAR

17. RELEASE

18. POLLUX

19. DRIVER

On-air challenge: I'm going to read you some sentences. Each sentence has two blanks. The word that goes in the first blank starts GR-. Change the GR- to CR- and phonetically you'll get a new word that goes in the second blank to complete the sentence.

For example: At brunch I put ______ jelly on top of my ______. GRAPE, CREPE

1. Folding my bus ticket to Athens, ______, left a permanent ______ in it.

2. At school I always put off studying sentence structure until the last minute, so you might call me a ______ ______.

Sunday Puzzle: High C's

Jul 28, 2019

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle is called "High C's." Every answer is a word or name with the accented syllable "see" (in any spelling) somewhere inside it.

Example: Neighborhood in Los Angeles next to Sherman Oaks --> ENCINO

1. Place in ancient Rome where gladiators fought

2. Pill used in medical tests that has no medical effect

3. Resident of Nashville or Memphis

4. The noun that a pronoun refers back to

5. Like some hairlines and tides

6. Classic Notre Dame football coach Ara

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