Untwisted Tongue Twisters

Sep 29, 2017

We threw a throng of common tongue twisters through a thesaurus to toss together this thrilling task. Can you guess the tongue-twisting phrase from its literal description?

Heard On Melissa Joan Hart And Amy Seimetz: Multi Multi-Hyphenates

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Hey, Jonathan.

JONATHAN COULTON: Hi, Ophira.

EISENBERG: So today, we have a quiz about the Nickelodeon show "Double Dare." So millennial game show nostalgia speed round. What show challenged kids to assemble a statue in the shrine of the silver monkey?

COULTON: That was "Legends Of The Hidden Temple."

EISENBERG: Yes. What was the kid's version of "Jeopardy" called?

COULTON: They called it "Jep!"

EISENBERG: Unfortunately, yeah.

COULTON: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: What show challenged a high-schooler to do a dangerous science project for a cash prize?

COULTON: Oh, that was "Breaking Bad."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from The Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Thank you, Jonathan. We have a great show for you. Four brilliant contestants are here to play our nerdy games. They're backstage, comparing homerooms. But only one will be our big winner. And our guests are two talented actors and directors, Amy Seimetz and Melissa Joan Hart. You know Melissa from the teen series "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch." So on that show, she could magically conjure up an outfit, any outfit that she wanted. And guess what? As a teenager, I actually had that ability, too. It's called shoplifting.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But like Sabrina in Episode 35, I also had my power stripped from me. Thanks a lot, security guards at Contempo Casuals.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Our first game is about tongue twisters. We'll find out if our contestants know why Fuzzy Wuzzy has no hair. So let's meet them. First up, Susannah Page-Katz on buzzer number one.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You bust people who commit internet fraud.

SUSANNAH PAGE-KATZ: That's right.

EISENBERG: Welcome. Your opponent is Ayelet Brinn bring on buzzer number two.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: You're getting your Ph.D. in Jewish-American history. Welcome.

AYELET BRINN: Thanks for having me.

EISENBERG: Susannah and Ayelet, the first of you who wins two of our games will go on to our final round. So let's start with a word game called Untwisted Tongue Twisters. We threw a throng of common tongue twisters through a thesaurus. You are going to ring in and guess the original tongue twister.

COULTON: For example, if I said crimson cowhide, flaxen cowhide, you would answer red leather, yellow leather.

EISENBERG: Here we go. That woman runs a business near the ocean where she peddles a selection of mollusk exoskeletons.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ayelet.

BRINN: She sells seashells by the seashore?

EISENBERG: That is correct, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So that tongue twister is actually based on a real woman. According to Forbes, her name is Mary Anning from Dorset in the U.K. As a child in the early 1800s, she sold fossils to help support her family. All right.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's a less fun version of...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah. She went on to be a great paleontologist. Yeah.

COULTON: Well, that's good.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

COULTON: That ended well.

EISENBERG: Starting with the seashell thing.

COULTON: That's good.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: A man whose family name represents wind instrument players collected eight quarts of vegetables submerged in brine.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ayelet.

BRINN: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled - Peter piker picked a peck...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's all right. You got it. Keep going.

BRINN: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

COULTON: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: These are tongue twisters. We're allowed to have some twisted tongues when we say tongue twisters.

BRINN: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Yeah. That's the whole point of them. That makes them fun.

COULTON: That's right.

EISENBERG: I'm yelling. You're yelling. Everyone's yelling to receive a frozen dairy dessert.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ayelet.

BRINN: I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream?

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That's the slogan for my family, without the ice cream part.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: What is the quantity of tree material that a groundhog might throw, on the condition that a groundhog is indeed capable of throwing said tree material?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ayelet.

BRINN: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

COULTON: Yeah, you got it. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: A jury member from the countryside, also a fictional film within the "30 Rock" universe.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ayelet.

BRINN: The rural juror?

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I love that the pop culture knowledge needed for the show is not only films but films that are fictional films...

COULTON: Yeah.

EISENBERG: ...Within other television series.

COULTON: That's right (laughter).

It's a spice often paired with sugar, plus a word that means the same thing as another word...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...He said cryptically.

EISENBERG: Should we go to puzzle guru Greg Pliska for a hint?

GREG PLISKA: Absolutely. It's a spice that you would pair with sugar on toast, perhaps, or...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Susannah.

PAGE-KATZ: Something about cinnamon. But I don't know what (laughter).

PLISKA: Or a word that means the same thing as another word.

PAGE-KATZ: A cinnamon synonym?

PLISKA: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Well done.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is your last clue. How do you tell the difference between each of those women on broomsticks casting spells?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ayelet.

BRINN: Which witch?

EISENBERG: Give me just a little...

BRINN: Which witch is which?

EISENBERG: There. That's good, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right. Puzzle guru Greg Pliska, how did our contestants do?

PLISKA: Ayelet, well done. You're one step closer to the final round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.