Words In Words

Jan 27, 2017
Originally published on July 21, 2017 7:30 am

What would you get if Scrabble hooked up with a Russian nesting doll? That's what contestants figure out in this game where every answer is a multisyllabic word, followed by a word found inside that word. If we said, "My science experiment may or may not include an electronically charged particle," the answer would be "optional ion" because the word "optional" contains the word "ion."

Heard on Zazie Beetz: Atlanta In Brooklyn

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Your next game is what happened after Scrabble hooked up with a Russian nesting doll. Nicole, if you could hook up with any game, what game would you choose?

NICOLE SCHERMERHORN: Guess Who?

EISENBERG: Guess Who?

(LAUGHTER)

SCHERMERHORN: I like options.

JOHN CHANESKI: Whoa (laughter) yeah.

JONATHAN COULTON: Get a wide range, I guess, yeah.

EISENBERG: Beautiful.

SCHERMERHORN: Glasses, beards, you know, the whole thing.

EISENBERG: Yeah, sure. Laurie, if you could hook up with any game, what game would you choose?

LAURIE BOEDER: Password.

EISENBERG: Password. And why is that?

BOEDER: I don't know. It's just kind of a fun, old-school game, and we like playing it with friends after dinner.

EISENBERG: All right.

COULTON: Oh.

EISENBERG: Yeah. I got what you're saying, Ice Storm.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I know.

COULTON: You shocked Laurie.

EISENBERG: Sorry, Laurie. So we've got a word game for you called Words In Words. The answer to every question is a multi-syllabic word followed by a word found in that word. So for an example, let's go to our puzzle guru, John Chaneski.

CHANESKI: If I said my science experiment may or may not include an electrically charged particle, you'd answer optional ion. The word optional contains the word ion.

EISENBERG: Yep.

SCHERMERHORN: Whoa.

EISENBERG: Yeah, we recognize this is impossible.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So buzz in to answer, and John Chaneski is standing by to offer any hints if you need them. Laurie, you won the last game, so win this and you're going to the final round. Nicole, you need to win this or you'll be closer to loser.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. Here we go. I painted a mural of Kurt Cobain's band on the side of my box-like vehicle to express my true inner self.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: Nirvana van.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

SCHERMERHORN: Well done.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: People who design and build machines or structures need to kickback every once in a while with this beverage distilled from juniper berries.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Laurie.

BOEDER: Engineers gin.

EISENBERG: Yes, that works perfectly, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Need to retrieve a nickel-plated robot? Might I suggest attracting its metal using a special trapping device you'd also use to catch butterflies.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: Magnet net or magnetic net.

EISENBERG: Magnetic net, yes, exactly, well done.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: OK. What makes a fish lucky? If it's albacore or ahi, it just needs to avoid ending up in my lunch.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: Fortunate tuna.

EISENBERG: That's right, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Oh, God, the crowd is, like, having different reactions to this game.

COULTON: It's an unsettling game. That's why.

EISENBERG: The lost city of Machu Picchu has been found, but that's only the beginning of the cloak-and-dagger secrecy of this South American mountain range.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Laurie.

BOEDER: Andes - I buzzed in too soon.

EISENBERG: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: You can - you can have a second to talk it out.

BOEDER: Cloak and dagger - the candid Andes - no.

CHANESKI: No. Let's see if Nicole can get it. Any ideas?

BOEDER: You got it.

SCHERMERHORN: No.

EISENBERG: No, we were looking for a clandestine Andes.

BOEDER: Oh.

SCHERMERHORN: Oh.

EISENBERG: I know. The hills are alive, but they are not talking.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. This is your last clue. Do you like a range of options for getting stabbed in the back? Choose from a variety of treacheries arranged on a flat, shallow serving platter.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Laurie.

BOEDER: Betrayal tray.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yeah. All right. Puzzle guru John Chaneski, how did our contestants do?

CHANESKI: Well, in that one, Nicole won, so now we are tied again and must go to a tiebreaker game.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: I'll give you a category. You go back and forth naming things that fall into that category. First contestant to mess up by giving a wrong answer, repeating an answer or taking too long is eliminated. Buzz in to answer first. Here's your category. Name the 10 federal holidays.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CHANESKI: Laurie.

BOEDER: Martin Luther King Day.

CHANESKI: Martin Luther King's birthday, yes - Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: New Year's Day.

CHANESKI: New Year's Day, yes.

BOEDER: Columbus Day.

CHANESKI: Columbus Day is correct - Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: Thanksgiving Day.

CHANESKI: Thanksgiving Day is right - Laurie.

BOEDER: President's Day.

CHANESKI: Presidents Day is correct - Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: Memorial Day.

CHANESKI: Memorial Day is right - Laurie.

BOEDER: Labor Day.

CHANESKI: Labor Day is right - Nicole.

SCHERMERHORN: Flag Day.

CHANESKI: Not Flag Day, I'm sorry. Laurie, that means you are our winner. Sorry to see you go, Nicole. Laurie, congrats. You're moving on to the final round.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: The rest of the holidays were Christmas Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day.

EISENBERG: It's settled. Our finalists are Evan and Laurie. They'll face off in our final round at the end of the show. If you notice the word test is conveniently located in the word contestant, come play our games on stage. Go to amatickets.org and find out how. Coming up, we're getting post-global. I, Ophira Eisenberg, will talk to Zazie Beetz from the television show "Atlanta" about German culture. And that is one of the coolest things I have ever said. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and you're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.