Audio Rebus

Mar 31, 2017
Originally published on April 11, 2017 2:27 pm

Lend us your ears! Ask Me Another adds a twist to the classic rebus, which is a puzzle where words are replaced by pictures. In this game, contestants hear rebuses made of sound effects and must guess what phrase they create.

Heard on Josh Groban And Lucas Steele: Double Your Pleasure

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

If your main problem with radio is all of those words, you'll love our next audio quiz, which is made up entirely of sound effects. Graceann, you're getting your cat taxidermied. Can you tell me why you decided to do this with your cat?

GRACEANN DORSE: He was gorgeous, so I didn't want to cremate him 'cause I just couldn't stand the thought of him just going up into smoke. And I live in New York, so I have no piece of land to bury him in...

EISENBERG: This is true.

DORSE: ...You know, so taxidermy.

EISENBERG: Have you received your pet back from the taxidermist?

DORSE: No, this taxidermist is so good that there is a queue of pets in line that he's not even going to work on my cat until about July. So my cat is in a freezer in Ohio right now.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Must be awesome to be that guy's neighbor.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Eric, you work as a commercial litigator, entertainment and theater lawyer and adjunct professor at Columbia Law School.

ERIC ASKANASE: Yes.

EISENBERG: How can one person do all these things?

ASKANASE: Very carefully.

EISENBERG: Very carefully?

ASKANASE: I teach one day a week.

EISENBERG: OK.

ASKANASE: And it's a legal writing course, so that takes up a limited amount of time. And litigation, when I have cases, I go. And I have trials where I do things. And then the entertainment part, I help people who are actually musical theater writers, producers - I help them do the agreements with each other. And sometimes one thing turns into the other. If, you know, people don't get along, they always need a litigator.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Fantastic. Let's go to your next game, an Audio Rebus, where sounds plus sounds equals fun. A rebus is a puzzle where words are replaced by pictures. But since this is radio, and we don't have pictures, we're going to play rebuses made from sound effects. Cecil Baldwin, can you talk us through an example?

CECIL BALDWIN: Sure. See if you can decode this concept that you learned about in science class...

(SOUNDBITE OF STATIC)

BALDWIN: ...Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELECTRICITY)

BALDWIN: So that was the sound effect of static plus the sound effect of electricity, so static electricity.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Interesting. OK, Graceann, you won the last game, so you win this, you'll go to the Final Round. Eric, you need to win this or Julian will follow you around playing this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR")

EISENBERG: If I were you, I would aim to lose.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, let's get to the game. Here's your first one. This is a classic car.

(SOUNDBITE OF THUNDER)

EISENBERG: Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD CHIRPING)

EISENBERG: Eric.

ASKANASE: Thunderbird.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: OK, here's your next one. This is a controversial oil pipeline.

(SOUNDBITE OF KEYS JINGLING)

EISENBERG: Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF DIAL TONE)

EISENBERG: Arguably, two antiquated sounds.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Eric.

ASKANASE: I should know better, but I think it's just the ringtone pipeline.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I'm sorry, that is incorrect. Graceann, can you steal?

DORSE: Keystone?

EISENBERG: Keystone pipeline, all right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I kind of liked that you said that, Eric. All right, this is a three-parter. It's a famous, crotchety literary character's catchphrase.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHEEP BLEATING)

EISENBERG: Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF HUMMING)

EISENBERG: Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF CRICKETS CHIRPING)

EISENBERG: Hey, puzzle guru, Cecil Baldwin, can you give them a hint?

BALDWIN: Sure. It's said by the character from "A Christmas Carol."

(BELL RINGING)

EISENBERG: Eric.

ASKANASE: Bah humbug?

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

ASKANASE: Oh, OK.

EISENBERG: All right. This is something an audiophile might own.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "U-571")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) Dive, dive, dive.

EISENBERG: Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOG BARKING)

EISENBERG: Graceann.

DORSE: Subwoofer.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That submarine sound is from the movie "U-571." All right, this is your last clue. Are you happy? Mixed messages.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. This is a facial accessory.

(SOUNDBITE OF SNIFFLING)

EISENBERG: Plus.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE RINGING)

EISENBERG: Eric.

ASKANASE: Nose ring.

EISENBERG: Nose ring is correct, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: OK, puzzle guru Cecil Baldwin, how did our contestants do?

BALDWIN: Eric, you won that game, so we're going to a quick game three.

(APPLAUSE)

BALDWIN: I'm going to give you a category, and you'll go back and forth naming things that fall into that category. And the first contestant to mess up will be eliminated. Name the seven dwarfs from the movie "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BALDWIN: Graceann to start off.

DORSE: Sleepy.

BALDWIN: Correct. Eric?

ASKANASE: Dopey.

BALDWIN: Dopey. Graceann?

DORSE: Sneezy.

BALDWIN: Sneezy. Eric?

ASKANASE: Grumpy.

BALDWIN: Grumpy. Graceann?

DORSE: Oh, Doc.

BALDWIN: Yes. There we go.

(APPLAUSE)

BALDWIN: Back to you, Eric.

ASKANASE: Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey - friendly?

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Unfortunately, no, there was no friendly. The last two remaining were bashful and happy. Eric, we're sorry to see you go. Graceann, you're headed to the final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Coming up, we'll find out who will face off against Graceann in our Final Round at the end of the show, and we'll talk to Josh Groban and Lukas Steele, who star in a Broadway musical based on the book "War And Peace." And we'll find out who plays war and who plays peace. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.