The Final Drow

Apr 14, 2017
Originally published on October 6, 2017 10:55 am

Rev up your reverse word repository! In this game, contestants hear clues to a well-known phrase with the last word reversed, and try to guess what that word is. For example, if we said, "My roommate is a VILLAIN, but we get along because our motto is LIVE AND LET BLANK," you'd answer, "evil..." which is the word "live" backwards.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Coming up, it's a word game where we learn what happens when you read from right to left. That's right, it's Torah time.

(CHEERING)

EISENBERG: Let's meet our next two contestants. First up, Emma Lowe on buzzer number one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You work for the State Department of Transportation. Welcome.

EMMA LOWE: Thank you. Yes, I do.

EISENBERG: OK, so...

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Emma, you're working with autonomous vehicles. Now, how do you safely put them on the roads? Like, I think of self-driving cars as the end of humanity...

LOWE: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: ...And the machines have won. Is that close?

LOWE: It is close.

EISENBERG: OK.

LOWE: They're winning. But we're still winning, too.

EISENBERG: That sounds...

LOWE: We're winning a little less.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So do you think they're safe? Or do you think we have a long way to go?

LOWE: I think they're safe.

EISENBERG: Really?

LOWE: My boss has been in several. And she has walked away perfectly fine. So...

EISENBERG: But mentally, was she OK?

LOWE: Unclear.

EISENBERG: OK, got it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Your opponent is Josh White on buzzer number two.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

JOSH WHITE: Hello.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome. You own a bakery that received a cease and desist for creating a baked good that was too similar to a cronut.

WHITE: Too similar, and we use the word cronut, and they were not happy with that.

(LAUGHTER)

WHITE: We kept making it and changed the name, and that was enough.

EISENBERG: That was it. So you actually had the guts to throw it out for the first time and just go, yep, cronut.

WHITE: It was close enough in time that it hadn't been trademarked yet. But then we got the letter.

EISENBERG: Oh, right. OK.

WHITE: Yeah.

EISENBERG: And so what is it called now?

WHITE: We called it the Swiss Cro-Creme.

(LAUGHTER)

WHITE: And then winked.

EISENBERG: Right. Remember, Emma and Josh, 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. Jonathan and I will give you clues about a well-known phrase, but the last word in that phrase has been reversed. You have to guess what the reversed word is. And for an example, let's go to our puzzle guru, Art Chung.

ART CHUNG: Sure, easy. For example, if we said my roommate is a villain, but we get along because our motto is live and let blank, you'd answer evil, which is the word live backwards.

EISENBERG: Yeah, so just do it in your head really quickly and yell it out, you know?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's go. Fight addictive behaviors by adopting a dozen animals in this program called 12 blank.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Josh.

WHITE: Alcoholics Anonymous.

(LAUGHTER)

WHITE: A 12-step program.

JONATHAN COULTON: Right but backwards.

EISENBERG: OK, you're going - you're getting there. So I'm going to walk you through it. The program is called 12 blank. So you said...

WHITE: A 12-step program.

EISENBERG: OK, so it's 12...

WHITE: Twelve steps.

CHUNG: Reverse the last word.

EISENBERG: Reverse steps.

WHITE: Twelve SPCA.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK, it's going to come clear right this second. Emma, can you steal?

LOWE: Pets?

EISENBERG: Pets.

WHITE: Oh.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Right.

WHITE: I get it.

EISENBERG: Right. Twelve-step.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: The Rolling Stones ask why meat-based pasta sauces taste so good in their hit song "Brown Blank."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Emma.

LOWE: So it's "Brown Sugar."

COULTON: Uh huh.

LOWE: Sugar reversed...

COULTON: Uh huh.

LOWE: ...Is car - caramel (laughter)?

EISENBERG: Just - all right. I'm going to help you.

COULTON: Just the word sugar.

LOWE: Ragu.

COULTON: Ragus, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: OK, here we go. Here's your next one. Sometimes when things are tough, it's best to stay with the pack-based predator. You know, just go with the blank.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Josh.

WHITE: Go with the wolf.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

WHITE: I get it now.

COULTON: In a world before sonar, the commander of the Nautilus navigated his submarine by interpreting events around him as portents of things to come in "Captain Blank."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Josh.

WHITE: Nemo backwards, so omen.

COULTON: Omen is correct. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Josh's confidence is soaring. He's giving both sides of the answer to show the process.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue.

COULTON: The acne was fine. The rosacea I could tolerate. But these small growths resembling cauliflower are the last blank.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Josh.

WHITE: The last warts.

COULTON: Warts is correct - straw backwards.

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

CHUNG: I feel like we've all had a journey.

EISENBERG: It was a journey.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: Congratulations, Josh. You're one step closer to the final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: If you live on a diet consisting solely of anagrammable foods, such as alphabet cereal and alphabet soup, you probably have rickets. Also, you should be a contestant on our show. Info at amatickets.org. Coming up, do you hear the Liberty Bell ringing in your ears? Well, that's tinnitus. But after the break, our contestants will play a game we wrote just for Philadelphia called What the Bell? I'm Ophira Eisenberg and you're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.