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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 askmeanother@npr.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.

(APPLAUSE)

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.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I like that. Oh, that's the only place where there's a landline. Am I right?

KOTLER: Exactly.

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.

KOTLER: OK.

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...

(LAUGHTER)

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.

KOTLER: Pecks.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Put an X in alendar to get a great man who is Aristotle's most famous student.

KOTLER: Alexander.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

KOTLER: Alexander the Great.

(APPLAUSE)

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: Exactly.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Put an X in mico and you get the home of the world's largest population of Spanish speakers.

KOTLER: Mexico.

EISENBERG: Yes, indeedy.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Put an X in stant to get an old timey device used in celestial navigation.

KOTLER: Sextant.

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.

KOTLER: Texas.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hillary, not only did you get enough right, you got them all right.

KOTLER: Yay.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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.

(LAUGHTER)

KOTLER: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Thanks so much for playing with us.

KOTLER: Thank you for having me on.

EISENBERG: OK. See you later, Hillary.

(APPLAUSE)

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.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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