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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Welcome back to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR and WNYC's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia. And this week, we are sampling some of our favorite food theme games. I'm here with singer-sous chef Jonathan Coulton.

JONATHAN COULTON: I usually say, singer-songwriter, but that is fine. I actually am very good at chopping vegetables - FYI.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah?

COULTON: Oh, yeah.

EISENBERG: How are you with sauces?

COULTON: I'm okay with sauces. I am better with - my knife skills are pretty good, though.

EISENBERG: Real...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: If you - it sounds creepier than I intended.

EISENBERG: It does sound creepier.

COULTON: Yeah. We're about to serve you a delicious amuse-bouche.

EISENBERG: Oh.

COULTON: Our next game Sounds Delicious. In fact, that's what it's called; that's the name of the game.

EISENBERG: Oh, it Sounds Delicious.

COULTON: No. Yeah. The name of the game is Sounds Delicious with puzzle guru Greg Pliska.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This next game is called Sound Delicious. And when I think of delicious, I think music game. Right, Jonathan?

COULTON: Yes. Yes, you do. That's because you know me, if there's one thing I love as much as music, it's food.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: And if there's another thing, it's songs about food. And if there were a third thing, it would be games about songs about food.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I dream about games about songs about food.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: And apparently, I love a lot of things; those are just three of them.

EISENBERG: OK. Well, you're going to love our next two contestants: Denise Huth and Ryan Fanelli.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Denise and Ryan, you have a lot in common. You both share a profession. You're both high school chemistry teachers and you both share a bed.

DENISE HUTH: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

RYAN FANELLI: That we do.

EISENBERG: OK. Boyfriend-girlfriend? Live together?

HUTH: Yes.

FANELLI: We do live together, yes.

EISENBERG: All right. So who in - how long have you've been living together?

FANELLI: A couple months.

EISENBERG: Denise, how's it going?

HUTH: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Uh-huh. Uh-uh. What is one improvement you'd like to give Ryan over the radio?

FANELLI: Oh, man.

(LAUGHTER)

HUTH: I think he should learn to use the Swiffer.

EISENBERG: Whoa.

AUDIENCE: Whoa.

COULTON: And so it begins.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Ryan, get out of there, man. Get out of there.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Ryan, I would ask what's one thing you would give Denise, but I don't think you have any requests.

FANELLI: It does matter anyway.

EISENBERG: That's right. Oh, you're going to be fine.

COULTON: Well, in this game, you two lovers will be mashing up songs that feature foods in their titles with the names of actual foods. So first, I'm going to play part of a song then Ophira will give you a clue to a food. You will need to remember both the title of the song and the food, and then combine them.

You are confused because this is confusing.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I'm going to give you an example right now. Here how it works.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Cheeseburger in paradise, heaven on earth with an onion slice. Not too particular, not too precise. I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise.

EISENBERG: And then I'm going to give you a food clue: A pretty cool basic building block of a salad. So when you combine the song title, with the food, the answer is obviously, cheeseburger in paradiceburg lettuce.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK. Each clue is going to take about 25 minutes to answer.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We have granola bars and bananas.

COULTON: Yeah, that's right.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This is what they call a driveway moment, if you have very long driveway. I know, your brains are exploding right now. Just remember, in every answer the title of the song will come first and then the food will be added at the end at a certain Slavic pivot point.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Forget it. You're...

FANELLI: It's fulcrum.

COULTON: You're doomed; it's not going to work.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: The song and the food will overlap in some way. Everybody's going to have a great time.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Here we go. Here's your first song.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) I know a guy who's tough but sweet. He's so fine he can't be beat. He's got everything that I desire. Set the summer sun on fire. I want this thing.

EISENBERG: And here's your food clue: A Halloween confection that's kind of tastes like wax.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Denise.

HUTH: I want candy corn?

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: Yeah. See.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: And we were so worried.

EISENBERG: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Living is easy with eyes closed. Misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out. It doesn't matter much to me. Let me take you down 'cause I'm going to...

EISENBERG: Here's your food clue: Around breakfast, bread with a hole in it that incorporates all the flavors in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ryan.

FANELLI: Strawberry fields for everything bagel.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Go, Ryan.

EISENBERG: Brilliant. Feeling pretty good right now, both of you.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of this fruit. Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of this fruit. These fruits come from a can. They were put there by a man in a factory downtown.

EISENBERG: Food clue. It's a dish that's features a type of mollusk found on land - French land, specifically.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ryan.

FANELLI: Peach escargot?

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Love is like a bomb, baby, c'mon get it on. Livin' like a lover with a radar phone. Lookin' like a tramp, like a video vamp. Demolition woman, can I be your man? Hey-hey. Take a bottle, shake it up. Break the bubble, break it up.

EISENBERG: This soy-based broth is typically served before sushi.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: They are thinking.

FANELLI: Oh.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Ryan.

FANELLI: Is it pour some sugar on some Miso soup?

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: All right. This is your last clue.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Called my baby, Jonathan Coulton. Tell you why. Because he's sweeter than an apple pie. And when he does his shaky rockin' dance, man I haven't got a chance. I call him Jonathan Coulton, Jonathan Coulton, oh Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Jonathan Coulton, Jonathan Coulton, oh Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Jonathan Coulton, Jonathan Coulton, oh Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. Jonathan Coulton.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Thanks, everybody.

EISENBERG: Here's your food clue. This bite-sized fried seafood dish is popular at Red Lobster.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Denise.

HUTH: Lollipopcorn shrimp?

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru, Greg Pliska.

GREG PLISKA: Ryan is our winner.

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Ryan.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You are going to our final round coming at the end of the show. They hugged, didn't they?

COULTON: See, they still love each other. That's wonderful.

EISENBERG: They still love each other.

(LAUGHTER)

PLISKA: He's going out to buy a Swiffer right now.

COULTON: That's right.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: When it comes to really hard games, like the souffle of the puzzle world, it's definitely an anagram game.

COULTON: That's the true test of any puzzler. And honestly, either you've got it or you don't.

EISENBERG: That's right. It never gets easier, except that we thought that maybe it would be easier if we did them about food.

COULTON: No, it's not any easier.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: No, it's not. But when you do it right, you feel very full. But let's see how our contestant Blake Olmstead and Mark Kujawski fair along with puzzle guru John Chaneski.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: well, our next game is called Crisp Game Arenas. And now, I've learned something. That is when the title of the game doesn't make any sense, it's because we're talking about anagrams. That's right, in this case, crisp game arenas is what you get when you rearrange the letters to make recipe anagrams. You both are smiling, which means that you're ready.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So, contestants, in this game you have to identify the culinary dish based on its anagram. As a hint, we'll give you a list of its main ingredients. For example, if we said ski trip secretaries made of marshmallows, rice cereal and butter, you would say, oh, of course, rice krispie treats. Good luck; you're going to need it. Nasal comics, made with clams, lemon juice, breadcrumbs and bacon.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark?

MARK KUJAWSKI: Clams casino.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: A conceited truffle made with flat pasta, parmesan cheese and butter. A flat pasta, parmesan cheese...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Blake?

BLAKE OLMSTEAD: Fettuccini Alfredo.

EISENBERG: Yes, indeed, it is.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Very gratifying coming up with these answers isn't it, right?

OLMSTEAD: Oh, yeah.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it feels intense. A ham I lack a nitsack, made with chicken, tomatoes and yogurt.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark?

KUJAWSKI: Chicken Tikki Marsala.

JOHN CHANESKI: I say we take it, yes.

EISENBERG: I say we're going to take it.

CHANESKI: Chicken Tikka Masala.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Doh, no neck crucible, made with chicken breast, ham and Swiss cheese.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark.

KUJAWSKI: Chicken cordon bleu.

EISENBERG: Chicken cordon bleu is correct. This is one of my favorite phrases. Senile zit wrench.

CHANESKI: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Benign elf towel, beef tenderloin, mushrooms and puff pastry.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark?

KUJAWSKI: I can picture it.

OLMSTEAD: Describe it to me.

KUJAWSKI: My mother made it last Christmas. She's going to kill me.

EISENBERG: Blake wants you to give him all the details.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: How about if it told you that this dish defeated Napoleon?

EISENBERG: Or is a city in New Zealand.

KUJAWSKI: What, beef...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

KUJAWSKI: Beef Wellington.

EISENBERG: Beef Wellington.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations, Mark, you are going to be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) I can cook a little, but it's not a lot to shout about. It's kind of mean cuisine, so I eat out. Hey, they know me at the Greek, and the chicken, the Italian and the Indian too. They all say, here comes that sad American man again. What are we going to do?

(Singing) Well, you can put me in the table, in the corner, in the back, unless you got one in a telephone booth. I'm here and I'm alone again. It's sad, but it's the truth. No, I'm not expecting anyone. Is that beyond belief? Give me a table. Take away the candle. Never mind the aperitif.

(Singing) I can cook a little, but it's not a lot to shout about. It's kind of mean cuisine, so I eat out.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We all have heard of that thing that you're supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day. But most of us don't do it. Lucky for you, listening to this next game, a final round based around aquatic terminology, sort of jobs is one of those glasses.

COULTON: And I know some of you out there are listening very closely to the show and taking notes as you go. I just want to warn you, don't be alarmed when you hear some different contestant voices. This is a favorite episode and we are giving you a taste from several different shows. Puzzle guru John Chaneski these contestants in our Ask Me More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, we are going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from "We Hate Bagginses" Bruce Schwarzs. From "What Month Is It Anyway," Saul Hymes. From "Justin Time Impressions" Rich Steeves. From "Common Denominators" Annalee Fannon and from "The Disney Wrongbook," Jason Samuels.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru John Chaneski, can you please crown our winner?

CHANESKI: This final round is called "Waterlogged." In this round, every correct answer will be a word, phrase or proper noun that contains the name of a body of water or waterway. For example, if we said, she starred in the John Waters movie "Hairspray" before becoming a TV talk show host, you would say, Ricki Lake.

Remember, every answer contains the name of some sort of body of water or waterway. Here we go. Bruce, in 1971, Starbucks opened its first coffee house in this Pacific Northwest city.

BRUCE SCHWARTZ: Seattle?

CHANESKI: Seattle is correct, yes. Saul, he directed all three "Transformers" movies.

SAUL HYMES: Michael Bay.

CHANESKI: Michael Bay is right.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Rich, this company makes the Cran-energy cranberry juice drink.

RICH STEEVES: Oceanspray.

CHANESKI: Oceanspray's right. Annalee, James Van Der Beek played the title character on this WB teen drama series.

ANNALEE FANNON: "Dawson's Creek."

CHANESKI: That's right, "Dawson's Creek."

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Jason, this actor who starred in the movie "Stand By Me" had a brother named Joaquin.

JASON SAMUELS: River Phoenix.

CHANESKI: Yes. River Phoenix. Bruce, you do this with your remote control when there's nothing good on TV. Three seconds.

SCHWARTZ: Channel surf.

CHANESKI: Yes, channel surf. Got it in, good. Saul, known in medicine as the auditory meatus, you'll often find a lot of wax in it.

HYMES: The external ear canal.

CHANESKI: Ear canal is right, very good. Very good, doctor. Thank you. Doctor, doctor, thank you, doctor.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: The external ear canal.

CHANESKI: The external, yes. Not to be confused with any other ear canal.

COULTON: Show-off.

(LAUGHTER)

CHANESKI: Rich, this legendary comedian hosts Fashion Police on "E!"

STEEVES: Uh...

CHANESKI: Three seconds. Rich, step aside for now. Let's see if Annalee knows. And Annalee, this legendary comedian hosts Fashion Police on "E!" Three seconds. Annalee, step aside. Let's see if Jason knows it. Jason.

SAMUELS: Joan Rivers.

CHANESKI: Joan Rivers is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: We have to say goodbye to Annalee and Rich. All right. Bruce, this thoroughbred was the subject of a bestselling nonfiction book and a 2003 film starring Tobey McGuire and Jeff Bridges.

SCHWARTZ: "Seabiscuit."

CHANESKI: "Seabiscuit" is right. Saul, it's the school that Slater, Zach and Skreech attended on "Saved By The Bell."

HYMES: Bayside High.

CHANESKI: Yes, Bayside High School.

(APPLAUSE)

CHANESKI: Wow. Jason, this outdoor sports magazine is sometimes abbreviated as F&S. Three seconds. Jason, step aside. Let's see if Bruce knows what it is. F&S, Bruce?

SCHWARTZ: Field & Stream.

CHANESKI: Field & Stream is right. Thank you, Jason. We're down to two. We're down to Bruce and Saul and it's Saul's turn. Saul, to commemorate an infamous event in American history, this day is observed every December 7th. Three seconds. Step aside, Saul. Let's see if Bruce knows it. Bruce, do you know?

SCHWARTZ: Pearl Harbor Day.

CHANESKI: Pearl Harbor Day. And yes, Bruce, you are our grand winner. Way to go. Thank you, Saul.

(APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

EISENBERG: Stick a fork in us because we're done. That's all the time we have for this favorites episode. But if you're hungry for more, you can join us for a game anytime, anyplace, by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes or you can find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Our house musician was Jonathan Coulton.

PLISKA: Hey, his name anagrams to, Thou Jolt A Cannon.

EISENBERG: Our puzzle gurus were, John Chaneski, Noah Tarno(ph). Mary Tobler and Greg Pliska. Our puzzle editor is Art Chung.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Narc Thug.

EISENBERG: With additional puzzle writing by Noah Tarno(ph), Karen Laurie(ph), Josiah Madigan(ph), James Ramsey and Kyle Beakley(ph). ASK ME ANOTHER is produced by Jessie Baker.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Jab Seekers.

EISENBERG: Josh Roguson(ph).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Rhinos(ph) Jogso(ph).

EISENBERG: John Asanti(ph).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Pat Nogene(ph).

EISENBERG: Eleanor Kagan.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And Orange Lake.

EISENBERG: And our intern, Annabelle Bacon.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And Abba Klone(ph).

EISENBERG: Along with Portia Robertson Migas(ph) and Eric Newsome(ph). We are recorded by Paul Ruest(ph), Damon Whitimore(ph), Norico(ph) Acabe(ph) and David Herkin. We'd like to thank our home in Brooklyn, New York, the Bell House.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hot Hill Blues.

EISENBERG: And our production partner, WNYC. I am Her Ripe Begonias.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Ophira Eisenberg.

EISENBERG: And this was ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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