Will Shortz

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. Reverse the last four letters of the answer to the first clue to get the word that answers the second clue.

Ex. Part of a flower / Flat dish --> PETAL, PLATE
1. Apportion / Coral island
2. Distress signal shot into the air / Wild, as an animal
3. Rugged / Many-headed serpent of myth
4. Nosy person / Implement for eating soup
5. Call the wrong telephone number / Lost
6. Fragility / Place to order a sandwich to go

On-air challenge: Every answer is a compound word with two hyphens in which the part in the middle has two letters.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues to some 8-letter words. Each word contains a doubled letter. Drop that doubled letter, and the remaining letters in order will spell a 6-letter word that answers the second clue.

On-air challenge:

I'm going to give you clues for some 5-letter words. Switch the 2nd and 4th letters to make a new word that answers the second clue.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. The first word starts with the letter "A" and is accented on the second syllable. Reverse the order of the syllables and phonetically you'll get the second word.

On-Air Challenge: This puzzle is called "Artful." You will get clues for two words. Insert the letters A-R-T consecutively somewhere inside the first word to get the second one.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you three 5-letter words. You tell me a 5-letter word that can precede each of mine to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

Ex. DRAFT HOUSE RIDER --> Rough (rough draft, rough-house, Rough Rider)

1. GLASS SLIDE MELON
2. TIGER TRAIL TOWEL
3. COUNT DONOR SPORT
4. SENSE POWER LAUGH
5. GIANT PEACE THUMB
6. SHIFT SHIRT STAND
7. SALAD PUNCH FLIES
8. TEASE POKER STEAK
9. STORY ORDER RANGE
10. SAUCE CIDER STORE
11. BLANK GUARD TAKEN

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a made up two-word phrase, in which the first word has six letters. Its last three letters spell the second word that will complete the phrase.

For Example: Scurrying insect whose appearance has been affected by radiation --> MUTANT ANT

On-air challenge: Today I've brought a game of categories based on the word COMBS. You probably know how this works. I'm going to give you a series of categories. For each one, name something in it starting with each of the letters C-O-M-B-S.

For example, if the category were "Three-Syllable Boys' Names," you might say Christopher, Oliver, Mathias, Benjamin and Sebastian. Any answer that works is fine, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Musical instruments

2. Cities in Florida

3. Wild mammals in America

On-air challenge: Every year around this time, I do a year-end news quiz — usually on names that sprang into the news during the previous 12 months. Since 2016 broke the mold in so many ways, I decided to break the mold with my year-end quiz. Here are some notable quotes from the previous 12 months. Who said them?

  1. "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters."
  2. "When they go low, we go high."

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