OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Do you love ASK ME ANOTHER? Are you one of those fancy people with a landline? Or do you know someone with one? Then we want to hear from you. To be a phone contestant - wait, wait, don't call, but write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter or Facebook. And speaking of which, we have a caller on the line. Hello, caller.
HILLARY ANNE KOTLER: Hello. This is Hillary Kotler from Columbia, Maryland.
EISENBERG: Hello, Hillary. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.
KOTLER: Thank you. Thank you.
EISENBERG: So what's going on right now in Columbia?
KOTLER: Actually, I'm not there. I'm in New Carrollton at my office.
EISENBERG: Oh. Got it. So you're a bit of a liar.
EISENBERG: I like that. Oh, that's the only place where there's a landline. Am I right?
EISENBERG: We've got you after hours in the office. Well, I'm very happy that you called. And I hear that you come from a long line of people who do crossword in pen. Am I right?
KOTLER: Yes. My maternal grandfather did the crossword puzzle of, I think, the New York Times - it may have only been the New York Daily News - in pen and I've inherited that.
EISENBERG: Excellent. OK, great. Because we've cooked up a little word game for you. Would you like to play?
KOTLER: I would.
EISENBERG: Hillary, this game is called X Marks the Spot. We've removed the X sound in various words and phrases and your job is to put the X back based on our clue. For example, if we said put an X in hagon to get a six-sided geometric shape you would answer hexagon.
EISENBERG: Got it? And if you get enough right, Hillary, we'll send you an ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's Cube.
KOTLER: Oh, great. My husband will love that. He's got mad Rubik's Cube skills.
EISENBERG: Mad Rubik's Cube...
EISENBERG: I can understand the attraction.
JONATHAN COULTON: The sign of a wasted youth right there.
EISENBERG: Here we go. Put an X in pe to get muscles somewhere between the head and the abs.
EISENBERG: That is correct.
EISENBERG: Put an X in alendar to get a great man who is Aristotle's most famous student.
KOTLER: Alexander the Great.
EISENBERG: Did you know that his second best student's name was Stan?
KOTLER: I did not know that.
EISENBERG: Yeah. Yeah, Stan was just the Pretty Good.
KOTLER: Stan was the man.
EISENBERG: Stan was the man. That's right, Hillary.
COULTON: You know my friends Alexander the Great and Stan the Man, don't you?
EISENBERG: Put an X in mico and you get the home of the world's largest population of Spanish speakers.
EISENBERG: Yes, indeedy.
EISENBERG: Put an X in stant to get an old timey device used in celestial navigation.
EISENBERG: Yes, indeed. That was the hard one. Well done. And here's your final clue. Put an X in tas to get a place you don't want to mess with.
EISENBERG: Hillary, not only did you get enough right, you got them all right.
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EISENBERG: So we are going to send you an ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's Cube. And we're going to let you leave your job.
KOTLER: Thank you.
EISENBERG: Thanks so much for playing with us.
KOTLER: Thank you for having me on.
EISENBERG: OK. See you later, Hillary.
EISENBERG: Coming up, we'll put our visiting songstress Nellie McKay in the puzzle hot seat. So stay tuned. This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER.
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