Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada
What's the 'w' for in 'answer'?
Well it doesn't stand as difficult to answer, unless one is weighed down by much laziness.
But for those that are interested in an answer: The w is simply for the word swear or a word closely related to it, even though we don't pronounce it anymore.
Here is a note from Etymology on-line:
O.E. andswaru, from and- "against" (see ante-) + -swaru "affirmation," from swerian "to swear," reflecting the original sense of "make a sworn statement rebutting a charge." A common Gmc. compound (cf. O.S. antswor, O.N. andsvar, O.Fris. ondser), implying a P.Gmc. *andswara-. Meaning "a reply to a question," the main modern sense, was in O.E. Answerable "liable to be held responsible" is from 1548. "