Reverse Spelling Bee

Your brain may ache after this one. For the final round, puzzle guy John Chaneski clues contestants to a certain word; only they must give the answer by spelling it backwards.

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OK everybody; this is what we've all been waiting for. It's time to bring our winners back to play in our quick fire, ultimate death, grand finale, showcase showdown final Ask Me One More Time.


EISENBERG: From I-Tunes, we have April Salazar. From Members Only, Lisa Jones. From Bankable Stars, Leslie Billig. And from Person, Place or Thing, Matt Chrisman. Here they are.


EISENBERG: All right, John, what is the final challenge?

JOHN CHANESKI: Well we call this game Reverse Spelling Bee.


CHANESKI: Yeah, be afraid. In a typical spelling bee, players are told a word to be spelled and can ask for the word's definition. In this game I will read only a definition of the word and ask you to spell the word we're thinking, and you'll have to spell it backwards.

ART CHUNG: Wait a minute, backwards. Backwards, as in S-D-R-A-W-K-A...

CHANESKI: No, sorry, Art, so close. Now players, just like in a regular spelling bee, if you spell the word incorrectly, or if you spell the word other than the word we're looking for, you're knocked out of the game. The next person in line will have a chance to spell the word correctly. And the last person standing will be today's ASK ME ANOTHER grand champion.


CHANESKI: Ready players? Here's the first. We're looking for a six letter word starting with M. The definition is a person lacking magical powers, according to J. K. Rowling.

APRIL SALAZAR: I haven't read any of the Harry Potter's.


EISENBERG: Whoa, whoa, relax everybody. Relax. Stop throwing chairs.

CHANESKI: Leslie, you get a chance to spell this one. Now hang one.


CHANESKI: Hang on. Leslie, can you spell the word backwards?

BILLIG: I also have never seen or read a Harry Potter book.


BILLIG: However...

CHANESKI: However.

BILLIG: ...because of the seepage of popular culture...


BILLIG: ...I believe I know the answer.


BILLIG: And it is E-L-G-G-U-M.

CHANESKI: Yes, that's correct.


CHANESKI: Muggle. Very good. Matt, a six letter word starting with C. The definition: an older woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man.


CHANESKI: That's correct. Cougar.


EISENBERG: Wait a second. Wait a second. Wait a second. That's not how you spell charming backwards.

CHANESKI: Is romance really what cougar's are looking for? I'm just sorry it's...

EISENBERG: Why are you asking me?

CHANESKI: That's the thing.


CHANESKI: I'm s...

Who's next? Lisa.


CHANESKI: This six letter word starts with M and is hyphenated. Oxford's definition: a person closely resembling a smaller or younger version of somebody.


I can only think of a much longer word for that.

CHANESKI: Sorry Lisa, go away, thank you.

JONES: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Thank you, Lisa.


CHANESKI: Leslie, can you spell the word we're looking for?

BILLIG: Well I'm surprised it's in Oxford, but I think it is...

EISENBERG: I love you Leslie.

BILLIG: ...E...


BILLIG: I think it's E-M hyphen I-N-I-M.

CHANESKI: That's right, yeah, Mini-Me. Very good.


CHANESKI: Matt. An eight letter word starting with V. The definition: South African plastic trumpet used by fans during World Cup soccer matches.

EISENBERG: Yes. Yes. The most horrible instrument ever.




CHANESKI: Now hang on a second, Matt, don't go away so soon. Leslie, you must spell this word.


CHANESKI: Yes, Vuvuzela.


CHANESKI: Everyone play your vuvuzelas.

That's pretty good.

EISENBERG: That is great.

CHUNG: No, stop now. Now stop.

CHANESKI: Please stop.

EISENBERG: What a fantastic match. You guys are geniuses. One more hand for Matt Chrisman.


EISENBERG: Did fantastic. And Leslie, you are our big grand prize winner, and here is your prize. Look at this; it's just in this little envelope. It is cheese.


EISENBERG: Yes. It's actually a gift certificate for Murray's Cheese Shop on Bleecker Street in New York city.



EISENBERG: You can spend in the store or online at That's it for ASK ME ANOTHER. We have run out of time.


EISENBERG: But remember you can find us and a bunch of games we didn't get to play today on Facebook and Twitter, just look around for NPR ASK ME ANOTHER.


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