NPR logo Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! Daily News Quiz

Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! Daily News Quiz

Try your hand at NPR's oddly informative online news quiz — with new questions every weekday.


From NPR and Chicago Public Radio, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: Thank you, everybody. Thanks so much. We've got a great show for you today, we really do. We're going to talk some baseball with ESPN's Buster Olney.

But first, last week we talked about the advantages of the old-fashioned postal service, which we referred to - in a loving way - as quote, snail mail. Well, as it turns out, postal workers really don't like that term.


SAGAL: In fact, we got an email, one of many, from a listener named Mailman Mike.


SAGAL: And Mailman Mike says, quote: Please be careful not to use such language in the future. And remember, we know where you live.


SAGAL: Well, you don't know where we live, but you know our phone number. Give us a call. It's 1-888-Wait Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924. It's time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

M: Hi, this is Neil Guffsman from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

SAGAL: Hey, Neil, how are you?

M: Great, and you?

SAGAL: I am not bad. Lancaster, that's Amish country, right?

M: It is.

SAGAL: It is. And what do you do there?

M: I actually work at a museum and library in Philadelphia. I take the train back and forth.

SAGAL: I see. You're a commuter. What kind of museum is it?

M: It's a museum of the history of chemistry, all the way back to alchemy.


SAGAL: Wow. A museum about the history of chemistry.

M: Yes.

M: Does it have my D in it?


SAGAL: Neil, welcome to the show. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First, say hello to the man behind everything you might find at, Mr. Tom Bodett.

M: Hi, Tom.

M: Hey, Neil, how are you?


M: Great.

SAGAL: Also, a comedienne performing at the Fargo Theater in Fargo, North Dakota, on May 8th; her CD "I Heart Jokes" is out now for those who can't get to Fargo, Paula Poundstone.


M: Hi, Paula.

M: Hey, Neil.

SAGAL: And finally, he's a humorist and the author, most recently, of "Driving Like Crazy," Mr. P.J. O'Rourke.


M: Hello, P.J.

M: Hi, how are you doing?

M: Great.

SAGAL: So, Neil, welcome to the show. You're - of course - going to play "Who's Carl This Time?" Carl Kasell, right here, is going to read you three quotations from the week's news. Your job, correctly identify or explain just two of them. Do that, you win our prize: Carl's voice on your home answering machine. Ready to go?

M: Ready to go.

SAGAL: All right. Here is your first quote.

KASELL: I hate Iceland. I hate Iceland.


SAGAL: That was a drunk Scottish guy, as you can tell, who stumbled into a British TV segment being filmed at an airport. Why did this stranded traveler express his hate for Iceland?

M: Because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland that grounded him.

SAGAL: Exactly right, the volcano in Iceland.

M: Now, spell it.

M: Yeah, no, just say it.


M: We tried. We tried earlier this week. We all practiced and instead, we're just going to call it the volcano.


SAGAL: I think the lesson of the past week, though, is do not screw with Iceland. I mean, they're tiny. They're underpopulated. And since their financial crisis, they're surviving on home-caught sardines and lichen. But as they proved this week, they can mess you up.


M: I've really been promoting the idea that the Iceland people have done this on purpose.

SAGAL: How so?

M: I don't know. I just feel that no one has ever really hated Iceland before.


SAGAL: We wanted to get in on that.

M: And it's negative attention, and I think they're going to find themselves isolated.


SAGAL: There's a lot of - have you noticed there's a lot of anti-Icelandic sentiment sweeping this country. We now have an iced-tea party movement.


SAGAL: They're burning Bjork albums. They're referring to ice cream as freedom cream.


SAGAL: Neil, here is your next quote.

KASELL: I would look pretty good in one of those black robes. I taught American history, and we studied the Constitution of the United States. The rest should be on Google.

SAGAL: That was Beth Beggs of the Lake Country Sun newspaper from Texas, saying why she would be the ideal person to fill what vacant post - or soon-to-be vacant post?

M: The vacancy on the Supreme Court.

SAGAL: Exactly right, the Supreme Court justice. This week, the president convened a meeting at the White House with senior Republican and Democratic senators to discuss his possible pick to replace Justice Stevens. It went like this: The president says, well, I was thinking of picking - and the Republicans interrupt. They say, we hate her.


SAGAL: And the president says, what makes you think it's a woman? And the Republicans say: OK, we hate him. We think the president, by the way, I mean, they're going to get him no matter what he does. So we think the president should nominate Mitch McConnell, just so we can watch Mitch McConnell run to the Senate floor and denounce Mitch McConnell as being out of touch with the American mainstream.


M: I did my sixth grade specialty report on the Supreme Court.

SAGAL: Did you?

M: Yes. And I'm not saying that qualifies me.


M: But you know what? Here's what I knew at the end of my work - that there were nine people on the Supreme Court.

SAGAL: Wow. What month of your research did you figure that out in?

M: Towards the end.

SAGAL: Towards the end.


SAGAL: Here, Neil, is your last quote.

KASELL: For anyone who has ever lost a cell phone, remember this: It could be worse.

SAGAL: That was the New York Times, remarking on somebody who'd left the prototype for the next what in a Northern California bar?

M: The Apple Corporation lost a prototype iPhone.

SAGAL: Yes, they did, the new iPhone. Hey, we've all been there.


SAGAL: Everybody's gotten drunk and lost their phone. But it's one thing to misplace your Hello Kitty-themed Nokia, and quite another to lose the top-secret prototype for the next iPhone. That's what happened. Somebody found the misplaced gadget in a bar and almost immediately, pictures of it were all over the Internet.

Some said it was a hoax, cleverly engineered by Apple to generate buzz. The idea is that - just even - they even went so far to sell the scam as actually beheading the employee who left it in the bar.


M: I think it was a scam. You don't?

SAGAL: You do?

M: Yeah, because nobody just does anything straightforward anymore.


M: But if you were really trolling for geeks, there's a bar...


M: ...where you leave the iPhone, I mean, wouldn't you leave it at the World of Warcraft store or something?

SAGAL: Exactly. I guess so.

M: So that...


M: Yeah, no, I think it was, because we're talking about it.

M: Yeah, I leaned forward into my screen when I saw the picture of it, oh, look, there it is. I'm an Apple early adopter, I'll admit. I preordered my iPad. It still hasn't come, by the way. That may also be a scam. I've not seen an iPad in nature yet. As far as I know, they're all just an illusion, like everything else.

SAGAL: Right.

M: I still can't even say that name.



SAGAL: Carl, how did Neil do on our quiz?

KASELL: Neil was perfect, Peter. Neil, you had three correct answers, so you win our prize.

SAGAL: Well done, Neil. Congratulations. Thanks for playing.


M: Thanks so much.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

M: Bye-bye.

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