Initial Impressions In this game, we'll ask you about some of them, and give you hints by imagining that their first initial is related to their chosen profession.

Initial Impressions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/438902773/439025335" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

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 with me is our house musician, Jonathan Coulton, and puzzle guru, Greg Pliska. And we're about to talk initial impressions with Tony Gale and Matthew Woolsey.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Matt, did you ever want to change your name from Matthew? It's a solid name, but I don't know.

MATT WOOLSEY: Growing up, I knew a kid named Moonbeam and so I was sort of enamored by that for a while. I grew up in Northern California so...

EISENBERG: So were you like, that's a great name?

WOOLSEY: Yeah. I mean, when you're like, 8 years old, there's nothing cooler than somebody named Moonbeam.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

WOOLSEY: Now I - it would be, like, awkward in meetings and things.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: How about you, Tony? Ever wanted to change your name?

TONY GALE: Not my first name. I've considered changing my last name back to what my grandfather changed our name from, which was Guluzza (ph).

EISENBERG: Guluzza.

GALE: Yeah. Although, my dad tells me I pronounce it wrong every time.

EISENBERG: Oh. Do you know how he says that you should be pronouncing it?

GALE: Well, I keep thinking I'm pronouncing it right, but...

EISENBERG: So it's that thing where you go, Guluzza, and he's like Guluzza, and you're like, Guluzza, and he's, Guluzza - and you just say the same thing back?

GALE: Yeah, pretty much.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right. Well, this game is all about famous people whose name starts with an initial. It's as simple as that. But we've also re-imagined what the initial might actually stand for. So puzzle guru Greg Pliska, give these fine people an example.

GREG PLISKA, BYLINE: I'm happy to. So Matt and Tony, if I said, this legendary FBI director's first initial stands for justice, your answer would be J. Edgar Hoover.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: The winner will move on to our final round at the end of the show.

EISENBERG: This science-fiction author and Scientology founder's first initial stands for lackluster, which also describes the box office receipts of "Battlefield Earth."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Matthew.

WOOLSEY: L. Ron Hubbard.

EISENBERG: You are right.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: The first initial of this R & B singer-songwriter stands for a word that describes anyone who actually believes he can fly, ridiculous.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Matthew.

WOOLSEY: R. Kelly.

COULTON: R. Kelly is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Like the cry heard in the magical land of Oz, this children's author's first initial is short for lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Tony.

GALE: L. Frank Baum?

EISENBERG: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And the L - do you know what the L stands for? You don't have to.

GALE: No idea.

EISENBERG: Lyman. Yeah, I'd shorten that.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: I thought that was, like, an ingredient in Sprite.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: He loved Sprite.

EISENBERG: He loved Sprite. Considering how his short stories end, the first initial of this writer's pen name appropriately stands for oh, the irony.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Matthew.

WOOLSEY: O. Henry.

COULTON: O. Henry. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This spooky movie director may have gotten the idea for his most famous line of dialogue from what his first initial stands for, my eyes see dead people.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Matthew.

WOOLSEY: M. Night Shyamalan.

EISENBERG: Yeah, all of it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Even the last name was perfect.

COULTON: I know. He didn't hesitate at all.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: It's kind of suspicious, frankly, man.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Dumb it down a little, OK?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: This (laughter) this Oscar-winning actor's first initial stands for furiously frustrated, like his character, Salieri, was by Mozart in "Amadeus."

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Tony.

GALE: F. Murray Abraham?

COULTON: You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Great movie - soundtrack is OK.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This is your last question. Though he was born Sean Combs, the initial of this rapper-producer's best known nickname stands for periodic name-changer.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Matthew.

WOOLSEY: P. Diddy?

EISENBERG: Yes, that's right.

(APPLAUSE)

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

PLISKA: Well, they both did very well, but Matthew, you will be joining us in the final round at the end of the show. Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.