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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Welcome back to ASK ME ANOTHER NPR and WNYC's hour of trivia, puzzles and word games. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and let's say hello to Alexia Koritz and Marlene Moxness.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Alexia, you wrote your law school admission essay on competitive eating?

ALEXIA KORITZ: Yes I did.

EISENBERG: What does that - amazing - and did you get in?

KORITZ: Yes I did.

EISENBERG: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: What does competitive eating have to do with the law?

KORITZ: Sure. Sure. So the prompt was to write 250 words on any subject of your choosing, so competitive eating.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. So you about your...

KORITZ: I argued that competitive eating was a sport.

EISENBERG: Yes.

KORITZ: Operating from first principles as what is a sport? Competitive.

EISENBERG: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm.

KORITZ: There's rules.

EISENBERG: There's rules.

KORITZ: There's training.

EISENBERG: Tons of training.

KORITZ: Mm-hmm. Yeah. It's - competitive eating is shown on ESPN.

EISENBERG: It is.

(LAUGHTER)

KORITZ: It's indicative of a sport.

JONATHAN COULTON: End of essay. Period.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Done.

KORITZ: And now I'm a lawyer.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Marlene, you're joining us from Boston?

MARLENE MOXNESS: Yes.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Woo hoo.

EISENBERG: Nice to have you.

MOXNESS: Thank you.

EISENBERG: You teach and science to high school students.

(APPLAUSE)

MOXNESS: I do.

EISENBERG: Thanks to that.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, you are the - I don't understand this - you'll have to explain - the iron chef of the school lunch.

MOXNESS: Yes. I work in a public school and so obviously, our lunches are delicious and nutritionally balanced.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: TM, yes.

MOXNESS: And we get all the leftovers. And it feels like - it feels weird to just throw quasi perfectly good food away. And so we try and transform it into other more delicious hopefully, editable things.

EISENBERG: Yuck.

MOXNESS: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

MOXNESS: Some days are better than others.

EISENBERG: All right. This game is called Every End Is A New Beginning. And you can tell that it's something that you would hear from a puzzle guru because they're always throwing out little bits of wisdom. Right, guru?

ART CHUNG: Well, most of our mantras are really like palindromes, like a man, a plan, a canal - Panama.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That's your mantra?

CHUNG: When I'm in Panama.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: When you're in Panama. For those specific times. All right. Well, we're going to turn to our second spiritual leader, Jonathan Coulton to run this game.

COULTON: Yes. The answer is within you.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: In this game, we are going to ask you to give us a word that appears in two common phrases. It is the last word of one and phrase in the first of the other. So non-spiritual guru, Art Chung, would you give us an example?

CHUNG: Sure. If you are in Panama and I said log fever, you would answer cabin because it completes to phrases - log cabin and cabin fever.

KORITZ: I see what you did there.

CHUNG: There you go.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: To be clear, don't be thrown by the Panama thing.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Nothing to do with it. So we are looking for that single word that appears at the end of one phrase, the beginning of another. When you ring in, tell us the word and the two phrases they form. And you can feel free to talk it out. OK. Poison league.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Alexia.

KORITZ: Ivy. Poison ivy.

COULTON: That's right.

KORITZ: Poison ivy, Ivy League.

COULTON: Poison ivy and Ivy League.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Elbow monkey.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Marlene.

MOXNESS: Elbow grease monkey.

COULTON: That's right. Grease right in the middle.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Between elbow and monkey lies grease.

(LAUGHTER)

MOXNESS: Slides better.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So the elbow slides around on the monkey? Huh.

COULTON: Walking ringer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Marlene.

MOXNESS: Walking dead ringer.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Party magnetism. I have this.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Marlene.

MOXNESS: Animal.

COULTON: That's right, party animal, animal magnetism.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Hot cross of steel.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Alexia.

KORITZ: Buns.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Buns is correct. Bite the bunny.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Alexia.

KORITZ: Bullet.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: I'm curious to know what the phrases are.

(LAUGHTER)

KORITZ: Not suitable for radio.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Fair enough. Marlene, do you have a guess?

MOXNESS: Now I'm just thinking about master building again. But I...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Yeah.

MOXNESS: I think it's dust bunny. Right?

COULTON: It is. Yes.

MOXNESS: Bite the dust bunny.

COULTON: Bite the dust and dust bunny. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: French cousins.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Marlene.

(LAUGHTER)

MOXNESS: Now I feel weird that I know this, but French kissing cousins.

COULTON: That's right. French kissing and kissing cousins. Yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This is your last clue. Whole ball of poetic.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Alexia.

KORITZ: Wax.

COULTON: Wax is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Art Chung, how did we do?

CHUNG: It was a close game, but Marlene is our winner.

EISENBERG: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Thanks, Marlene. We'll see you again at our Ask Me One More final round.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST")

QUEEN: (Singing) All right.

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