WCBE

Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure

On-air challenge: Every answer today consists of two people, either real or fictional, whose last names are anagrams of each other.

Steve Martin is a comedian, a playwright, an author, an art collector, an actor, a Grammy-winning banjo player, a composer and, as we all know, a "wild and crazy guy."

So we've decided to ask him three questions about the most mundane and dull guys we could find: the speakers at London's Boring Conference, which we read about in the Wall Street Journal.

On-air challenge: For each given category, name something in the category where the first letter is also the first letter of the category. For example, given "Military Ranks," you would say "Major."

Last week's challenge: Name a geographical location in two words — nine letters altogether — that, when spoken aloud, sounds roughly like four letters of the alphabet. What is it?

Answer: Aegean Sea; Indian Cay

Winner: Terry Thacker, Greenville, S.C.

A Brand-New Word

Apr 12, 2013

On-air challenge: Every answer is a well-known commercial name that spells a regular word or name backward. Identify the brands. For example, given "laundry detergent" and "work in a magazine office," the answer would be "tide" and "edit."

Last week's challenge: Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, and rearrange all seven letters. You will name something else you probably use every day. This seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they?

You tell us. Is this man real or animated?

On-air challenge: You'll be given clues for some five-letter words. In each case, the letters of the answer can be found consecutively somewhere inside the clue. For example, given "Some teenagers' language," the answer would be "slang"(hidden inside "teenagerS' LANGuage").

People of all ages have been passing the time playing Angry Birds on their mobile devices. Now Rovio, the company that created the best-selling app, is offering fans a new cartoon series based on the game, which has so far been downloaded 1.7 billion times.

The concept behind Angry Birds is extremely simple: There are these colorful cartoon birds that are angry because some green pigs are after their eggs. Players of the digital game use slingshots to catapult the birds — who don't fly — to destroy structures hiding the pigs.

From A To Z

Mar 11, 2013

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word containing an A and a Z. Given anagrams of the remaining letters, name the word. For example, given "leg," the answer would be "glaze".

Last week's challenge: Eight people are seated at a circular table. Each person gets up and sits down again — either in the same chair or in the chair immediately to the left or right of the one they were in. How many different ways can the eight people be re-seated?

Answer: 49

Sandwich Monday: Chicken And Waffles

Mar 6, 2013

Chicken and waffles is a great dish — nobody would deny that, except for chickens. But it's not always the easiest thing to eat. You've got bones to deal with, plus sticky syrup, and worst of all, finite stomach capacity. Chicago restaurant Bel 50 has a solution: a boneless fried-chicken sandwich, on waffle bread.* Also in there: apple slaw and honey mustard glaze.

Ian: It looks like my breakfast ate my lunch.

When Sony recently announced details on the upcoming release of the PlayStation 4, it prompted a new round of hand-wringing about the future of console gaming.

Sales of games on the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 have dropped precipitously in recent years as mobile gaming — on smartphones and tablets — has become more popular. Advance word is that the PS4 will integrate certain mobile and social media functions, and some are speculating whether this is the end for standalone, full-featured console systems.

How's this for a tough assignment?

A group of Italian researchers forced 21 surgical residents to play video games on a Nintendo Wii for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Whew!

Then the researchers had the residents perform a simulated keyhole surgery. They found that the gamers performed significantly better than another group of residents who didn't undergo this grueling video game training.

On-air challenge: In honor of Presidents Day, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president. You will be given a word or phrase that is a president's last name with two letters changed. You name the president. For example, given "Carpet," the answer would be "Carter."

Sandwich Monday: Fish McBites

Feb 25, 2013

The McDonald's menu is a sacred document, like the Constitution. You can't just add things willy-nilly. It took hard work and sacrifice to add the Fourth Amendment, the McRib, and the Twenty-third Amendment, the Snack Wrap. Now, a new item called Fish McBites seeks ratification.

Miles: Fish McBites — for the bottom feeder in all of us.

Ian: I can't wait to wash this down with McDonald's new Chumrock Shake.

Violent video games have been a small part of the national conversation about gun violence in recent weeks. The big question: Does violence in games make people more violent in the real world?

The answer is unclear, but one thing is obvious: Violence sells games. The most popular video game franchise is Call of Duty, a war game where killing is the goal.

Singer Erykah Badu Plays Not My Job

Feb 11, 2013

This week, Wait Wait comes to you from the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Turns out, singer Erykah Badu was a student at the high school for the performing arts directly across the street. We're guessing she used to gaze across the street and say to herself: "Someday I'm going to be in a theater that's not yet built, performing on a public radio news quiz." And today, that dream comes true.

Sharpen Your Wits (And Your Pencils)

Feb 8, 2013

"Shake it like a polar bear ninja!" If you suspect that these are not the correct lyrics to Outkast's "Hey Ya!", then this week's game of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) is for you. We'll also visit the world of late-night infomercials and root for our favorite gluttonous, envious, lustful basketball team--the Phoenix Sins. Plus, V.I.P. David Rees teaches us how to sharpen pencils the artisanal way.

We live in an age of great marriages: William and Kate, Kim and Kanye (oh, wait, she's still married to this guy), Kim and The Next One. Best of all, though, is "The Mac" from Cheesie's, in Chicago. The sandwich weds a classic Grilled Cheese with Mac N' Cheese, in one easy to absorb package.

Ian: I honestly feel like we're five years away from never again having to use the word "or" in America.

On-air challenge: In recognition of the Super Bowl, the key word is "yards." You will be given some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters Y, A, R, D and S. For example, if the category were "Girls' Names," you might say Yvonne, Alice, Rachel, Donna and Sally.

Astronaut Mae Jemison Plays Not My Job

Feb 4, 2013

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to fly in space when she served as a science mission specialist. We've invited Jemison to play a game called "Excuse me? When do we get to the Southwest terminal?" Jemison has flown in the space shuttle Endeavour, so we thought we'd ask her questions about a sometimes more unpredictable vehicle ... the airport shuttle.

"An early spring for you and me," is this year's prediction from Punxsutawney Phil, the premiere Groundhog Day forecaster.

With an estimated 35,000 spectators watching him Saturday morning, the groundhog — or as he is known to his followers, "the seer of seers" — did not see his shadow.

So A Girl Walks Into A Bar...

Feb 1, 2013

This week's versatile V.I.P. has had spells as an author, an ordained minister, a fortuneteller, and a bartender — which serves her well during a delectable drinking game. And with quizzes covering highfalutin children's literature, crossbred celebrities and a geologist's favorite Queen song, this week's contestants show a little versatility, too.

Tech Guru Guy Kawasaki Plays Not My Job

Jan 28, 2013

Thirty years ago, Guy Kawasaki went to work for a computer company that was trying to change the business with a product named after a fruit. Since helping launch the Macintosh computer, Kawasaki has been a venture capitalist, an author and a business consultant.

Melinda Gates Plays Not My Job

Jan 23, 2013

Back in the early 1990s, Melinda French was a rising star at a software company when the boss asked her out on a date. This was complicated because he was her boss, and frankly, he was kind of a nerd. But they fell in love and got married, and decided to raise a family, retire from the business, and in their spare time give away more money to charity than anyone else in the history of the world.

The Names Of The Game

Jan 23, 2013

On-air challenge: You will be given the first names of two famous people, past or present. The first person's last name, when you drop the initial letter, becomes the second person's last name. For example, given "Harold" and "Kingsley," the answer would be "Harold Ramis" and "Kingsley Amis."

Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar, unhyphenated, eight-letter words that contain the letters A, B, C, D, E and F, plus two others, in any order. What words are these?

Answer: feedback; boldface

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle celebrates ringing in the new year. Take the letters Y-E-A-R. Add one letter and scramble to make a new word that answers the clue. For example, by adding the letter B to Y-E-A-R, with the clue "maker of aspirin," the answer would be "Bayer."

UPDATED: 4:50 p.m. Looking for a little weekend reading? The Food and Drug Administration has just the thing. On Friday, the agency released two proposed rules designed to boost the safety of the nation's food supply, encompassing hundreds of pages.

Sir Peter Westmacott Plays Not My Job

Jan 2, 2013

This segment was originally broadcast on Aug. 24, 2012.

We do what damage we can on this show, but it's not often we get the chance to cause a real international incident. So we're very excited that Sir Peter Westmacott, Great Britain's ambassador to the U.S., has agreed to play our game called "No homework, extended naps and eight hours of recess!"

On-air challenge: This week is the annual "new names in the news" quiz. You're given some names that you probably never heard of before 2012, but who made news during the past 12 months. You say who they are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker and Tim Goodman, who were players on previous year-end quizzes.

Christmas means time for family, presents, cookies and of course, holiday traffic. All over the country, traffic cops are working overtime to keep the roads safe for last-minute shoppers.

For nearly 30 years, Tony Lepore has worked as one of those cops in Providence, R.I. But he doesn't just beckon, wave and blow a whistle; he dances — and he's got some serious moves.

Fred Armisen is a cast member on Saturday Night Live, a star and writer of Portlandia on IFC, a former drummer in a bunch of punk rock bands, and for a while, the world's preeminent Barack Obama imitator.

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