Don't Be So Possessive

Jun 30, 2017
Originally published on November 10, 2017 10:13 am

Take ownership of this tough word game, where the S of a famous person's last name is moved to the end of their first name to make a possessive phrase. For example, if we said that this star of Obvious Child is always tardy, the answer would be, "Jenny's Late," from Jenny Slate.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Want our next special guest to play for you? Follow ASK ME ANOTHER on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Now, possession is nine-tenths of the law, but it's ten-tenths of our next game. So let's meet our contestants. First up, Rachel Martin on buzzer number one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You're a federal public defender.

RACHEL MARTIN: Yes, I am.

EISENBERG: Welcome.

MARTIN: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

MARTIN: And this is a lot more nerve-wracking than court, I just want to say.

EISENBERG: Really?

MARTIN: Yes.

EISENBERG: I take that as a compliment. But also that freaks me out about the people that you're defending. Your opponent is Daniella DiLacqua Noel on buzzer number two.

(SOUNDBITE OF TWO BELLS)

EISENBERG: You're a high school teacher in New York City.

DANIELLA DILACQUA NOEL: Yes, I am.

EISENBERG: Welcome.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Is this more nerve-wracking than being a high school teacher?

DILACQUA NOEL: It's about the same right now.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Interesting. OK, remember Rachel and Daniella, the first of you who wins two of our games will move on to the final round at the end of the show. Let's go to your first game. Rachel, what's a grammatical error people make that you cannot stand?

MARTIN: I think people misuse because and since a lot. So since should be for time and because should be for a reason.

EISENBERG: For why? Yeah, that that's a good one. Daniella, what's the common grammatical error you can't stand?

DILACQUA NOEL: Mine is more about pronunciation. So I went to Catholic school, and I learned that the word is offen - not off-ten (ph). And I don't like that it is publicly acceptable to say off-ten now. It's offen.

EISENBERG: Daniella, I'm not going to agree with you on this one. No, everyone hold your applau (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Could we not assume it might be a regional pronunciation thing?

DILACQUA NOEL: Nope. Everything in the Philadelphia region where I grew up is correct.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I got it. OK. That's good by me. I often get that wrong. But...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So first we have a word game called Don't Be So Possessive. You're going to take famous people whose last names begin with the letter S. You are going to move the S to the end of their first name to turn them into possessives. I know it sounds so easy. But just for fun, let's get an example from our puzzle guru Cecil Baldwin.

CECIL BALDWIN: So if we gave you the clue, it's a sea bird belonging to the radio host who starred in "Private Parts," you'd answer, Howard's tern because a tern, as we all know, is a kind of bird that lives near water.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: Elementary.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And here we go. Here's your first one, the musical "Pitch" sung by the director of "Platoon" and "Natural Born Killers."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rachel.

MARTIN: Oliver's tone.

EISENBERG: Yes, indeed. Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

BALDWIN: The Scrabble pieces and porcelain floor coverings owned by the star of "Save The Last Dance" and "10 Things I Hate About You."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BALDWIN: Daniella.

DILACQUA NOEL: Julia's tile.

EISENBERG: You have it almost perfect. Can you just say it again?

DILACQUA NOEL: Oh, Julia's tiles.

EISENBERG: Yes, thank you.

BALDWIN: Oh, there you go.

EISENBERG: Yes, well done. Yeah. Yeah, she's got more than one tile. She's got everything.

The public green areas frequented by the author of "The Notebook."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rachel.

MARTIN: Nicholas's Park - oh.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: The audience is not saying the answer at all. But they...

MARTIN: (Laughter) Can I try again?

EISENBERG: You can try again.

MARTIN: Nicholas's parks.

EISENBERG: That is correct. Yes, Nicholas's Parks.

(APPLAUSE)

MARTIN: All those S's get very confusing.

EISENBERG: Yes, Nicholas Sparks, Nicholas's parks - more public places to cry, that's what I say.

(LAUGHTER)

BALDWIN: A traditional Hawaiian dance performed by the man who was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins for 25 years.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Well, you can piece together some of this. So give them the clue one more time.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

DILACQUA NOEL: Oh, I got it. I got it.

EISENBERG: Oh, oh - Daniella.

BALDWIN: Daniella.

DILACQUA NOEL: It's Don's hula.

BALDWIN: Correct.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done. You just shattered so many conceptions about public radio.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: The righteous fury of the pioneering sex educator who opened America's first birth control clinic in 1916.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Daniella.

DILACQUA NOEL: Margaret's anger.

EISENBERG: Yes, that is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

BALDWIN: The favorite fruit of the pop star who's saying "Oops!... I Did It Again."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BALDWIN: Rachel.

MARTIN: Britney's pears.

BALDWIN: Correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue. What the star of "Mr. Robot" and "Pump Up The Volume" might say to you as he runs out the door.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Rachel.

MARTIN: Christian's later.

EISENBERG: That's right. Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

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

BALDWIN: Rachel, well done, you are one step closer to the final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Do you know the difference between its and it's? If you do, you should be a contestant on our show. Go to amatickets.org.

Coming up, if you prefer Garfunkel to Simon, Oates to Hall, Punk to Daft, then you'll love Julian Velard's musical puzzle about sidekicks. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.