The Dictionary Of Dr. Moreau

Just like in the novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, puzzle guru John Chaneski asks contestants to craft horrendous animal hybrids, only with common phrases: combining "sacred cow" and "cow pie," make "sacred cow pie."

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's show for those of us who read dictionaries for fun. Ah, thick Oxford and the beach, what more could anyone want? I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and with me is resident puzzle expert John Chaneski.

JOHN CHANESKI: Hi everyone.

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EISENBERG: And next up on ASK ME ANOTHER, we have Janet Bradlow...

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EISENBERG: ...and Ned Tyrrell.

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EISENBERG: Now Ned, you ... you're a math major or you have a math degree.

NED TYRRELL: Yes, yes.

EISENBERG: Oh that's impressive, I like that, it's a lot of flipping fractions.

TYRRELL: Oh thank you.

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EISENBERG: For years. Now Janet, so you're no stranger to the puzzles.

JANET BRADLOW: No.

EISENBERG: Your mother started you with puzzles in second grade?

BRADLOW: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Evil taskmaster.

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EISENBERG: And then you've participated in puzzle crossword tournaments for a while?

BRADLOW: Yes, since 1978.

EISENBERG: Wow and you were on a three-night Jeopardy run in 2010?

BRADLOW: Yes.

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EISENBERG: And now, of course, the height of it all, ASK ME ANOTHER.

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EISENBERG: All right. This game is called The Dictionary of Dr. Moreau.

CHANESKI: "The Island of Dr. Moreau" is a classic H.G. Wells science fiction novel, in which the doctor experiments on animals, creating horrific hybrids that eventually - spoiler alert - rise up and destroy him.

EISENBERG: Mm-hmm, yes, which is why I don't eat turducken.

CHANESKI: Smart move, smart.

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EISENBERG: Weird.

CHANESKI: In our game, we'll be making hybrids of phrases that have the same animal name in them. For example, if I said, a piece of dung so revered, it can't be criticized, you would tell me that is a sacred cow pie, combining sacred cow and cow pie. You got that?

EISENBERG: No, they're looking at us like, what are you talking about you evil, evil scientists? Remember guys, the animal will be in the middle of the two phrases, it will be at the end of one phrase and the beginning of the other. Whoever gets the most right will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Ready?

BRADLOW: Ready.

EISENBERG: Good.

CHANESKI: Good, here we go. This fast food chain is finger-licking good and infectiously itchy.

EISENBERG: Ned.

CHANESKI: Ned.

TYRRELL: Kentucky Fried Chicken Pox?

CHANESKI: Yes.

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CHANESKI: Auto mechanics like swinging on this playground structure.

EISENBERG: I love the looks of, what could you...

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CHANESKI: Ned.

TYRRELL: Wrench monkey bars?

CHANESKI: No not... Yes Janet.

BRADLOW: Grease monkey bars.

CHANESKI: Grease monkey bars is right.

EISENBERG: Yes.

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CHANESKI: Janet for the steal, very good.

EISENBERG: I know. You kind of helped each other, well done.

CHANESKI: This patriotic animal has earned at least 21 merit badges, including one for premature hair loss. Janet?

BRADLOW: Bald eagle scout.

CHANESKI: Yes, bald eagle scout.

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CHANESKI: Good work. It's a taunt the artist known as Yusuf Islam heard when he refused to enter the haunted house.

TYRRELL: Scaredy Cat Stevens.

CHANESKI: Scaredy Cat Stevens is right.

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EISENBERG: Oh yeah.

CHANESKI: Tight game.

EISENBERG: It's tight, right?

CHANESKI: Just saying it's a tight game. It is tied right now, yes.

EISENBERG: Whoa, OK.

CHANESKI: Let's see what happens with this one. Dr. Seuss' longishly titled book about sexy stockings. You might hear about it in an aquarium. Yes, Ned.

TYRRELL: One fish, two fish, red fish - uh, net stockings.

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CHANESKI: All right, that was very good. I'm going to let you... let you try going through it from the beginning to end, go.

TYRRELL: One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fishnet stockings.

CHANESKI: Yes, very good.

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EISENBERG: That's part of the adult series of Dr. Seuss. Ned, you have won by one point.

CHANESKI: Way to go.

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EISENBERG: Well done.

CHANESKI: Let's hear it for Janet.

EISENBERG: Janet Bradlow, you're an amazing contestant.

CHANESKI: Nice work.

EISENBERG: Thank you so much.

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EISENBERG: Ned, congratulations. You'll be coming back for our final round at the end of the show.

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EISENBERG: All right. Wow, that was an exciting game, John.

CHANESKI: I'm all a-tingle.

EISENBERG: I know, it's very exciting. Oh by the way, can you give the audience a clue as to who our mystery guest is? A second clue.

CHANESKI: Oh sure, yes.

EISENBERG: Yes.

CHANESKI: It's my turn for mystery guest clue.

EISENBERG: Yes it is.

CHANESKI: According to Michael Kors, our mystery guest is, quote, "a modern Noel Coward with a dash of Auntie Mame and Liberace thrown in for good measure," unquote.

EISENBERG: Wow. Looking forward to that coming up.

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