Comparatively Speaking This game is about nouns that only seem like comparative adjectives because they end in the letters i-e-r. A high chest of drawers with a delicate whipped texture might be a "chiffon-ier chiffonier."

Comparatively Speaking

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR and WNYC's hour of trivia, puzzles and word games. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and coming up, we'll put VIP Lewis Black back in the puzzle hot seat. But first, our next two contestants are right here. Say hello to Amanda Lee Darby and Mark Gilliam.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This game is called Comparatively Speaking. Jonathan...

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Yes.

EISENBERG: ...You know that a comparative adjective is a word used to compare two things, such as I am smarter than a puzzle guru...

GREG PLISKA, BYLINE: I'm sorry?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...Or you are hairier than me. But that's 'cause I work hard at it.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Amanda, Mark, if you were to compare yourself to the average person - whatever you would classify as the average person - what comparative adjective would you use? Like, I am this-ier than that person. Mark?

MARK GILLIAM: I would say I'm less patient.

EISENBERG: Impatient, good. Amanda?

AMANDA LEE DARBY: More well-read.

EISENBERG: More well-read.

AUDIENCE: (Jeering).

EISENBERG: Wow.

GILLIAM: I like her answer. That's good for me, too.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's good, OK. How about you, Jonathan?

COULTON: I would say I am NPR-ier than most of my friends.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: (Laughter) NPR-ier?

COULTON: Yeah, NPR-ier.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) All right, OK.

COULTON: Mostly 'cause I'm hosting on this show here, so...

EISENBERG: Sure, yeah, yeah. I like that you call it hosting. That is not what you're doing.

AUDIENCE: (Jeering).

COULTON: I couldn't think of a verb for one-man house band.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's fine.

COULTON: This game is actually about nouns and proper nouns that only seem like they are comparative adjectives because they happen to end with the letters I-E-R. So we will describe the noun and the adjective that it resembles, and you will give us the resulting phrase - right, puzzle guru Greg Pliska, how about an example?

PLISKA: Of course. If I asked what you might call a high chest of drawers with a more delicate whipped texture, you would of course reply a chiffon-ier chiffonier.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So just like the kind of words you use in your everyday conversation.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Amanda, how's that reading paying off about now?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Just remember, in each question, the noun we're looking for ends in I-E-R. Let's give it a shot. A chef who specializes in Bechamel and hollandaise and does so with a lot more sass.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Amanda?

DARBY: A sauce-ier saucier.

EISENBERG: Exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: A mountain outside Seattle that has more precipitation.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda?

DARBY: A rain-ier Rainier.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: You got it.

EISENBERG: A casino dealer who has a louder, barking cough.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Mark?

GILLIAM: A croup-ier croupier.

EISENBERG: Croup-ier croupier, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: A city in Morocco with a much more pungent flavor.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda?

DARBY: Now I think I have the wrong country - an algae-ier Algiers.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Laughter) No, that's a good - that is incorrect. I'm sorry. Mark, do you want to guess?

GILLIAM: I got nothing.

COULTON: What is it, everybody?

AUDIENCE: A tang-ier Tangier.

GILLIAM: Oh.

COULTON: A tang-ier Tangier. They've been promising us that for a long time.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: A Xerox machine that is more like a policeman...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: ...Or woman. Amanda?

DARBY: A cop-ier copier.

EISENBERG: A cop-ier copier, exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: A candy maker who possesses a richer cocoa flavor.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Amanda?

DARBY: A chocolate-ier chocolatier.

COULTON: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nice. All right, this is your last question. A legendary French jeweler and watchmaker that is more like a hand-pushed vehicle.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Amanda?

DARBY: A cart-ier Cartier.

EISENBERG: A cart-ier Cartier.

(APPLAUSE)

GILLIAM: You are just faster than me.

EISENBERG: Puzzle guru Greg Pliska, how'd our contestants do?

PLISKA: Well, Mark, you got all the questions about casino gambling.

(LAUGHTER)

PLISKA: And Amanda, you are our winner. We'll see you in our Ask Me One More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

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