Bus driver opens 75-year-old mystery safe

Nick's ESL News Lessons

A printable worksheet for news-based English conversation classes.

Date: 2023/08/15

Difficulty: Elementary A2

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Vocabulary Match

a safe -   - unique
special -   - trays
raised -   - collected
unlocked -   - opened
jewelry -   - a security box
drawers -   - rings, necklaces


Rick Ammazzini, a bus driver from Winnipeg, has a special hobby - he likes to open old safes. He heard about a 75-year-old safe in a bookstore in Baltimore, USA. The store wanted help to open it, so Rick decided to try. He raised $1,300 online for his plane ticket.

When Rick arrived, the safe was hard to open. He spent two days trying. He turned the safe's dial slowly, listening carefully. He asked his friends online for advice. With just 10 minutes left before the store closed on the second day, he unlocked it.

The next morning, Rick and the store owner looked inside the safe. They found only empty drawers, paper clips, and an old paper. There was no money or jewelry, but Rick was happy. He said he had a good time in Baltimore and enjoyed the challenge.


  1. What is Rick's special hobby?
  2. How long did it take Rick to unlock the safe?
  3. What did Rick find inside the safe?


A: Hi Rick, did you manage to open the safe?
B: Yes, after two days of trying, I finally unlocked it!
A: That's great! What did you find inside?
B: Just some empty drawers and paper clips.
A: Well, at least you had a good time, right?
B: Absolutely! I loved the challenge!


  1. Do you have a special hobby? What is it?
  2. Which is harder? Being a safe cracker or a computer hacker?
  3. What would you do if you lost your house key?

Vocabulary Answers

a safe → a security box
special → unique
raised → collected
unlocked → opened
jewelry → rings, necklaces
drawers → trays

Quiz Answers (examples)

  1. His hobby is opening old safes.
  2. It took him two days to unlock the safe.
  3. He found empty drawers, paper clips, and an old paper.

Source Material


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Nick's ESL News Lessons