Cop To It Get ready for the ultimate Sting operation: We rewrote songs by The Police to be about famous cop shows.
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Cop To It

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Cop To It

Cop To It

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JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton here with puzzle guru Greg Pliska. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Before the break, we met our contestants Amanda and Kristy. Next, we'll play music parody game where you have the right to remain silent. But if you do, you'll lose.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Let's check in with our contestants. So Amanda, this is your fifth year teaching the third grade.

AMANDA GILLIGAN: That is correct.

EISENBERG: What is particularly great about the third grade?

GILLIGAN: I think it's just, like, the sense of humor that kids bring every day and, like, just a wonderful openness. Like, they're completely unfiltered. Like, they get an answer right - I was teaching, you know, division the other day and just - they jump up. And they're like, oh my gosh. I get it. It's just the opposite of multiplication. And, you know, for us - yeah. Absolutely. We get that. But for seeing, like, just that unbridled joy when they connect to a subject...

EISENBERG: They put something together.

GILLIGAN: Yeah. It's pretty amazing.

EISENBERG: Now, how would you categorize their sense of humor?

GILLIGAN: If they can give me an answer that makes me laugh, they generally will get full credit. For example, I teach the three states of matter. And on their final test, it says, you know, name three gases. And inevitably every year, the answer fart will be on the test. And that will get correct response from me.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK, very good. Kristy, why are you known as the puzzle lady by the kids at work?

KRISTY CHAMPIGNON: I have like a series of woodblock puzzles in my office that I really like aesthetically. They just look really nice. But I don't have good parietal senses so I can't actually stick the puzzles back together. So they are just strictly ornamental. But the kids like to take them and try to figure them out. But I - I'm like very cautious because then if they take them apart and they can't put them back together, I certainly cannot put them back together. So they've actually used it as something they feel proud of in having achieved. Like, oh, I did the first block puzzle. I'm allowed to move up to the next ones...

EISENBERG: That's hilarious.

CHAMPIGNON: ...Because they have to prove they're able to put them back together because I am woefully unable.

EISENBERG: Your next game is a music parody called Cop To It. Kristy, you won the last game. So you win this, and you're in the final round. Amanda, you need to win this. Or we're going to slap on the pink, furry handcuffs. That's right everybody things are about to get weird. All right? Or maybe back to normal.

COULTON: We rewrote songs by The Police to make them about cop shows.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Just ring in to tell me what TV show I'm singing about. And if you get that right, for a bonus point, you can tell me the Police song that I'm parodying. Here we go. (Singing) If you like Jan Hammer as much as me, if you've got Crockett's coolness or Tubbs' ennui, grab your pastel T-shirt and white sport coat. And we'll run down a drug lord on my speedboat.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda.

GILLIGAN: "Miami Vice."

COULTON: "Miami Vice" is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

GILLIGAN: Little Black Sun - Little Black Spot On The Sun Today?

COULTON: That is one of the lyrics. But that is not the title the song. It is called "King Of Pain."

GILLIGAN: All right.

COULTON: All right. OK. (Singing) Two cop dudes involved in an undercover sting. Assignment is clear now to stop a new drug ring. Just like that old Fox show from which it took a page, they're students in high school secretly twice that age.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda.

GILLIGAN: "21 Jump Street."

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: And Amanda, for a bonus point, can you name the song?

GILLIGAN: "Don't Stand So Close To Me."

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.

(SOUNBDITE OF MUSIC)

COULTON: (Singing) Tough cops - celebrate the silent and strong male - some alcohols kind of a super bro with guns in jail. Tough cops - Jimmy Smits, Rick Schroder on the trail. Risque for the '90s - we all had to look at Sipowicz's tail.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda.

GILLIGAN: "NYPD Blue."

COULTON: Yeah, you got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song?

GILLIGAN: That would be "Roxanne."

COULTON: Yeah, that's right. (Singing) Idris Elba's true profession is where he channels his aggression. When he's extracting your confession, London crime is his obsession.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda.

GILLIGAN: "Sherlock?"

COULTON: No, that's a good guess. But that's not the answer. Kristy, do you know what it is?

CHAMPIGNON: "Elementary?"

COULTON: Oh, no. I'm sorry. What we were looking for was "Luther," a BBC show. Nobody has an opportunity to not name the song for a bonus point. The name of the song is dee, doo, doo, doo, dee, da, da, da. Thank you, police.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: OK. Here we go. This is your last clue. (Singing, playing guitar) Every DUI...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...(Singing, playing guitar) Every shirtless guy...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...(Singing, playing guitar) Every dude who's high. This is real - no lie - when they come for you.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) Every blurred-out face...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...(Singing, playing guitar) Every high-speed chase, every burned-out place. Cameras help their case when they come for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda.

GILLIGAN: "Cops."

COULTON: "Cops" is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: There is a bonus point for you if you can name the song.

GILLIGAN: "I'll Be Watching You?" Oh, no. I mean "Every Breath You Take."

COULTON: "Every Breath You Take" is the answer.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Greg Pliska, how did they do?

GREG PLISKA: Amanda is the winner of that game.

(APPLAUSE)

PLISKA: And that means you have each won one game. So we will go on to a quick Game 3. Now, how this works is I give you a category. You'll go back and forth, naming things that fall into that category. And the first contestant to mess up will be eliminated. You buzz in to answer first. Here's your category. Name the seven components of a Big Mac, according to the famous McDonald's jingle.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PLISKA: Kristy.

CHAMPIGNON: Sesame-seed bun.

PLISKA: Yes. Amanda.

GILLIGAN: Two all-beef patties.

PLISKA: Yes. Kristy.

CHAMPIGNON: Special sauce.

PLISKA: Yes. Amanda.

GILLIGAN: Lettuce.

PLISKA: Kristy.

(LAUGHTER)

PLISKA: Three seconds.

CHAMPIGNON: Tomato?

PLISKA: No, I'm sorry. That is incorrect.

(CHEERING)

PLISKA: Very good, though. The missing ingredients were cheese, pickles and onions. You can't put a tomato on there. It gets all mushy, and nobody likes it. Kristy, we are sorry to see you go. Amanda, congratulations. You're headed to the final round.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SEARCHING FOR A NEW DAY")

SHARON JONES: (Singing) Searching for a new day. Some peace of mind is going to come my way.

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