This, That, Or The Other II

Can you tell the difference between a Harry Potter spell, a prescription drug, and a piece of IKEA furniture? Puzzle guru John Chaneski proves that the task is harder than you think. Expelliarmus!

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER. NPR's show for those of us who have way too much information floating around in your heads. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg and with us is our resident puzzle expert. A man who was born a puzzle, raised a riddle and now is just questionable.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: John Chaneski.

JOHN CHANESKI: Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Thank you. Thank you.

EISENBERG: All right. We have our new contestants. Standing in front of me is Jesse Perlstein. Welcome Jesse.

(APPLAUSE)

JESSE PERLSTEIN: Hi.

EISENBERG: Jesse, you're an artist, teacher and musician?

PERLSTEIN: Hmm.

EISENBERG: Braggy. A little braggy.

(LAUGHTER)

PERLSTEIN: Whatever.

EISENBERG: My producers told me that you were recently in China.

PERLSTEIN: Yeah, I was living there.

EISENBERG: You were living there? For how long?

PERLSTEIN: Yeah, like eight months.

EISENBERG: Eight months?

PERLSTEIN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: And you DJed out there?

PERLSTEIN: Yeah I DJed a little bit, taught, voice recorded. Got kicked out for a while and then had to come back in through Hong Kong.

EISENBERG: Oh, braggy once again.

PERLSTEIN: No.

(LAUGHTER)

PERLSTEIN: I - No - Yeah, OK maybe.

EISENBERG: The audience wants to know what you got kicked out for.

PERLSTEIN: Oh, I just lost my job and lost my visa and had to flee.

EISENBERG: Oh, you know the use...

PERLSTEIN: Yeah, this just happens over there.

EISENBERG: Exactly. Boring. Well welcome. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.

PERLSTEIN: Thank you.

EISENBERG: And I'm going to say your name the best I can't.

ALESSANDRO ECHEVARRIA: That's fine.

EISENBERG: Alessandro.

ECHEVARRIA: Yes. Close enough.

EISENBERG: Echevarria? No. Say it for me.

(LAUGHTER)

ECHEVARRIA: Alessandro Echevarria.

EISENBERG: OK. Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Echevarria. Alessandro Echevarria. I fall in love with that every time I butcher it. I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

ECHEVARRIA: It's quite fine.

EISENBERG: But you're from Italy.

ECHEVARRIA: Yes.

EISENBERG: That's why you have that name.

(LAUGHTER)

ECHEVARRIA: Half. Half of the name.

EISENBERG: Half of the name. Half of the name.

ECHEVARRIA: Yes.

EISENBERG: And you're a movie nut. You're into - You love - watch movies all the time?

ECHEVARRIA: Yeah a lot - I have a lot of free time because I'm a freelancer.

EISENBERG: You have a lot of free...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I think that's called not working.

ECHEVARRIA: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Well you guys are going to have a lot of fun with - This is one of our classic games that we love playing. It's called This, That Or The Other. And in this game we read out a list of items and you have to tell us, which of three categories they fall under. OK? Sounds very easy right?

PERLSTEIN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah it's not.

PERLSTEIN: It's easy right?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right.

PERLSTEIN: You tricked me.

EISENBERG: John, why don't you tell us what the categories are?

CHANESKI: Well, today's categories are: prescription drugs, Harry Potter spells...

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: ...and IKEA products.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Lots of words that sound like English in a blender. OK? For example, Ophira, Zetia. Is that a prescription drug, Harry Potter spell or IKEA product?

EISENBERG: I would say Zetia is a Harry Potter spell.

CHANESKI: No. It is a popular cholesterol medicine. Zetia.

EISENBERG: Oh.

CHANESKI: Right. OK players, we're going to go back and forth between the two of you, so there's no ringing in. Whoever gets more correct, moves onto our Ask Me One More, final round. Ready?

PERLSTEIN: Yes.

ECHEVARRIA: Yeah.

CHANESKI: OK. Alessandro first. Cymbalta

ECHEVARRIA: That is a prescription drug.

CHANESKI: That is a drug, very good.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Nice. Jesse? Billy.

PERLSTEIN: Drug.

CHANESKI: No, it's not a drug.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: What kind of drug is...

PERLSTEIN: Should be. It really should be.

EISENBERG: It should be.

CHANESKI: Alessandro, you can take it, you can tell us. No points for it.

ECHEVARRIA: It is an IKEA bookcase.

CHANESKI: It is an IKEA bookcase. Yes it is.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: How many of you have a Billy in your house? Yeah.

EISENBERG: It is the only constant in my life, that Billy bookcase. People come and go, but Billy's there to stay.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Billy stays. Alessandro.

ECHEVARRIA: Yes.

CHANESKI: Expelliarmus.

ECHEVARRIA: Is a Harry Potter spell.

CHANESKI: Yes. It's a Harry Potter Spell.

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: He said that super fast.

CHANESKI: Jesse. Risperdal.

PERLSTEIN: Drug.

CHANESKI: That's a drug, yes.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: It's, it's an antipsychotic. Very good.

EISENBERG: Risperdal is an anti - It stops you from whispering to dolls.

CHANESKI: Whispering to dolls, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

PERLSTEIN: I need that.

CHANESKI: Alessandro. Lumos.

ECHEVARRIA: That is an IKEA product?

CHANESKI: No.

ECHEVARRIA: No. Oh.

CHANESKI: That creates a beam of light from a wand's tip. That's a Harry Potter spell.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Yeah. Jesse. Nox.

PERLSTEIN: A drug?

CHANESKI: No. That counteracts the Lumos spell by creating...

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: ...darkness. It turns off lights. Sorry.

EISENBERG: I guess they - Couldn't you just use, off?

PERLSTEIN: Shame.

CHANESKI: Yeah. I'll use that clapper on that. Pretty much works for me.

EISENBERG: The clap.

CHANESKI: Alessandro. Ektorp.

ECHEVARRIA: That sounds like a drug.

CHANESKI: No, it's a line of sofas and love seats from IKEA.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: But you make a good point. I mean, how comfy does an Ektorp sound?

ECHEVARRIA: Sounds like a fun drug.

(LAUGHTER)

ECHEVARRIA: Not very.

EISENBERG: It sounds like it's criss-crossing lasers or something.

PERLSTEIN: Sounds alive.

CHANESKI: Jesse. Effexor.

PERLSTEIN: Drug.

CHANESKI: That's a drug.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Tried it.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Alessandro, Confringo. Confringo.

ECHEVARRIA: I'm going to go for Harry Potter spell?

CHANESKI: Yes, it's a Harry Potter spell. It causes objects to explode into flame, so.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Tried it.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Don't want that to be a drug. OK. Jesse, Ivar.

PERLSTEIN: IKEA?

CHANESKI: It is a modular shelving system.

PERLSTEIN: Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Yes, very good... Alessandro. Signum.

ECHEVARRIA: IKEA?

CHANESKI: A line of desk organizers. Very good. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Jesse.

EISENBERG: I know. It's very gratifying to get it right isn't it? You're like yeah, I got it, IKEA.

CHANESKI: Protego. Protego.

PERLSTEIN: Oh, that's Harry Potter.

CHANESKI: Yeah, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

PERLSTEIN: I knew that one.

EISENBERG: Can I ask you how - why are you so sure about that one?

PERLSTEIN: Because, like Hermione always shouts it. All the time.

(LAUGHTER)

PERLSTEIN: All the time.

EISENBERG: What does it do?

PERLSTEIN: It's like a protective barrier thing, I think.

EISENBERG: I love Jesse.

CHANESKI: It causes hexes and curses.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: It causes hexes and curses to rebound back at the attacker.

PERLSTEIN: That's what I meant.

CHANESKI: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah. You're right.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Alessandro. Norden. Norden.

ECHEVARRIA: I was at IKEA recently and I remember seeing it.

CHANESKI: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Yes. Very good. Norden. A line of dining tables. Chairs.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Jesse. Langlock.

PERLSTEIN: Oh. Harry Potter.

CHANESKI: Yes.

EISENBERG: Yes.

PERLSTEIN: Yes.

CHANESKI: It causes the victim's tongue to cleave to the roof of their mouth. We have to go to a tiebreaker. Get your hands...

EISENBERG: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Whoa.

CHANESKI: Get your hands near your bells gentlemen.

EISENBERG: Very exciting.

CHANESKI: Nasum. Alessandro.

ECHEVARRIA: I just rang, I have no idea. Harry Potter?

(LAUGHTER)

ECHEVARRIA: I'm going to go with Harry Potter.

CHANESKI: It's a strategy. It's not Harry Potter.

PERLSTEIN: Drug.

(LAUGHTER)

ECHEVARRIA: It has to be. It totally is.

CHANESKI: You didn't have a strategy for this. No. It's a woven storage basket from IKEA.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Wow. We still have a tiebreaker, do you guys fist fight or?

PERLSTEIN: Yeah, I think - Yes.

CHANESKI: I'll find another one.

EISENBERG: You're going to write a question right now.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Keep your hands ready. And here we go with our tiebreaker: Enbrel. Jesse.

PERLSTEIN: Drug.

CHANESKI: Drug is correct.

PERLSTEIN: Yeah.

CHANESKI: Jesse got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations Jesse. You'll be moving onto our final Ask Me One More round. How about another hand for Alessandro. A fantastic contestant.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We're looking for a few people in our radio audience, who would like to come play some games in a future show. So if you think you have what it takes, find us on Facebook or Twitter at NPR ASK ME ANOTHER or you can send us an old-fashioned email. Remember those from the yesteryear?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: At askmeanother@npr.org. We'll send you a quiz and find out if you have the right stuff.

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