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 October 29, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

Putting The Name Back In The Fame

On-Air Challenge: You will be given the name of a famous person without the first and last letters of their first and last names. Determine the missing letters to add onto the name. For example, if you are given "err row," the answer would be "Jerry Brown."

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10:01pm

Sat October 22, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

Sometimes You've Got To Find The Right Word

On-Air Challenge: You'll be given three words. Name the fourth word that, when added to each of these words, creates a familiar two-word phrase. The answer will rhyme with one of the three words. For example, if you're given "boob," "inner" and "test," the fourth word would be "tube."

Last Week's Challenge: Think of a familiar two-word rhyming phrase that starts with the letter F, like "fat cat." Change the F to a G and you'll get another familiar two-word rhyming phrase. What are these phrases?

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10:01pm

Sat October 15, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

A Puzzle Riddled With Objects

On-Air Challenge: Identify the objects described in a series of riddles from A New Collection of Riddles by Jesse Cochran.

Last Week's Challenge From Listener Sandy Weisz: Name something that is part of a group of 12. Change the first letter to the next letter of the alphabet to name something that is part of a group of nine. What are these things?

Answer: "Cancer" is one of the 12 astrological signs, and "Dancer" is one of Santa Claus' nine reindeer, including Rudolph.

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10:01pm

Sat October 8, 2011
Sunday Puzzle

A Highly Logical Christopher Columbus

On-Air Challenge: Identify errors of fact, logic and grammar in a short essay on Christopher Columbus.

Last Week's Challenge: Think of a common one-word entrée and dessert. When you insert the name of the entrée into the dessert's name, it will read as a certain meal. Name the entrée, dessert and meal.

Answer: The entrée "lamb" can be inserted into the dessert "cake" to make "clambake."

Winner: Tony DeCusatis from Wayne, Pa.

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10:01pm

Sat October 1, 2011
Games & Humor

A Supreme Court Order

On-Air Challenge: In honor of the start of the Supreme Court's new term, think of five words related to a given category whose first letters spell out "court." For example, if the category was girls' names, the answers could be (C)onnie, (O)lga, (U)ma, (R)achel and (T)ina.

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