OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
JONATHAN COULTON: Hey, Ophira.
EISENBERG: Today on ASK ME ANOTHER, we're playing a game where you have to guess if a museum we describe is real or fake. So speed round - real or fake? - there is a museum in Pittsburgh where you can play air hockey against a robot.
COULTON: Yeah, that sounds real.
EISENBERG: Next, how about a museum in San Jose that has a virtual reality simulator where you can fly like a bird above New York City?
COULTON: Yeah - sounds real to me.
EISENBERG: Yep, indeed it is. And here's the last one. There's an art museum where visitors politely appreciate the art instead of taking selfies with it.
COULTON: (Laughter) That's fake.
COULTON: Yeah, that's totally fake.
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COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from the Bell House in beautiful Brooklyn, N.Y., it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host Ophira Eisenberg.
EISENBERG: Thank you, Jonathan. We've got a great show for you. Four brilliant contestants are backstage talking in 280 characters. They're here to play our nerdy games, but only one will be our big winner. And our special guest today is Mozhan Marno from the NBC series "The Blacklist," where she plays Samar Navabi, a FBI operative with a shadowy past. Mozhan also does a lot of voice work including a character in the video game Skyrim. Turns out actually a lot of celebrities have appeared in video games. Kristen Bell is in Assassin's Creed. Elijah Wood is the voice of Spyro the Dragon. And I gotta tell you, I got in on it, too. I don't mean to brag, but I am the voice of the rectangle in Pong.
EISENBERG: Yes, I dated the ball for a little while, but it didn't work out. It was a rebound relationship.
EISENBERG: Our first two contestants will play a game about museums or, as I like to call them, culturally acceptable hoarder houses. Let's meet them. First up, Giacomo Santangelo on buzzer No. 1.
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GIACOMO SANTANGELO: You're an economics professor at Fordham University. Welcome.
SANTANGELO: It's good to be here.
EISENBERG: Your opponent is Mihail Etropolski on buzzer No. 2.
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EISENBERG: You hit people with swords for a living, by which I mean you're a fencing instructor. Welcome.
MIHAIL ETROPOLSKI: Thank you very much. I'm happy to be here.
EISENBERG: Giacomo and Mihail, the first of you who wins two of our games will go on to our final round. Let's start with a guessing game called Closed Mondays. Jonathan and I will give you the name and description of a museum. You just need to tell us if it's real or made up. We're going to go back and forth. So no need to buzz in.
Here we go. Giacomo, say aloha on your way in and out of the Museum of Hawaiian Shirts in Honolulu with over 35,000 colorful shirts in its collection including signed pieces from Weird Al Yankovic - real or fake?
EISENBERG: Oh, I'm sorry. That is fake. It sounds so cheap and easy to put together.
COULTON: Mihail, tour our delicious, curated meat exhibits at the Spam Museum in Austin, Minn. The Spam Museum features Spam-bassadors handing out free samples of Spam.
COULTON: Real or fake?
COULTON: No, that's real. That's a real museum.
EISENBERG: I hope everyone's rethinking their career choices knowing now that you could be a Spam-bassador...
EISENBERG: ...That that is a possibility.
COULTON: It might be too late if you haven't gone to the right schools.
EISENBERG: Giacomo, yodelayheehoo, yodelayhee-you at the Museum of Yodeling in Interlaken, Switzerland - real or fake?
EISENBERG: I'm sorry. That is fake.
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Aw.
EISENBERG: Come on. What's going to be in the Museum of Yodeling?
SANTANGELO: Some Ricola candy.
EISENBERG: Ricola candy - it's just an advertisement for Ricola, really - the Ricola Museum of Yodeling.
COULTON: (Laughter) Mihail, hitch yourself to Chattanooga, Tenn., and the International Towing Museum, honoring tow trucks and the people who operate them - real or fake?
ETROPOLSKI: Oh, come on.
ETROPOLSKI: Well, they - they're pretty big on their trains down there, right? So I don't know if they want to honor trucks. I'm going to say fake.
COULTON: No, that's real.
UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: Oh.
EISENBERG: I know. I know. I know.
COULTON: The full name of the museum is the Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame.
EISENBERG: Here are your last clues. Giacomo, tired of museums that only display good art? - no problem. Visit the Museum of Bad Art in Boston - real or fake?
EISENBERG: I know.
EISENBERG: Yes, that is real.
EISENBERG: The paintings include Blue Lady With iPod and...
EISENBERG: ...Spewing Rubik's Cubes. A Yelp review did say it wasn't bad enough. You can't win.
COULTON: Mihail, if you love museums, you will love-love the museum-museum in Oslo. The collection houses blueprints, artifacts and scale models of the world's greatest museums. So you can see the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the Prado in less than an hour - real or fake?
COULTON: Sorry. That is fake.
ETROPOLSKI: Oh, no.
EISENBERG: Yeah, I know.
ETROPOLSKI: It's great idea for a museum. And I would totally go, but it is fake.
EISENBERG: Yeah, it's also called the Internet.
COULTON: Yeah, that's right.
COULTON: Puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?
ART CHUNG: It was a close game. Giacomo - well done - you're one step closer to our final round.
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