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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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun November 13, 2011

A Four-Letter Word For Capital City

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a world capital. You'll be given a four-letter word. The first two letters are the first two letters of the city's name, and the last two are the last two letters of the country's name. For example, if you were given "loin," the answer would be London, Great Britain.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun November 6, 2011

Two Words Enter, One Meaning Leaves

On-Air Challenge: You will be given a five-letter word and seven-letter word. Rearrange the letters of one of these words to get a synonym of the other. For example, if you are given "alloy" and "devoted," the answer would be "loyal," which is an anagram of "alloy."

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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun October 30, 2011

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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Sunday Puzzle
12:01 am
Sun October 23, 2011

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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