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Palindrome Thunderdome

Mar 15, 2019
Originally published on March 15, 2019 12:10 pm

A trivia game that will make you say "ah, ha"! In this tricky final round, every answer is a two-word palindrome.

Head on Aparna Nancherla: Introvert Goes 'Corporate'

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

It is time to crown our big winner. Let's bring back our finalists - Adrienne Clermont, who wants you to know that med school is pass/fail, but don't worry about it, and Stephen Powell, who says once you knit, you can't quit.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Adrienne and Stephen, your final round is called Palindrome Thunderdome. Every answer is a two-word phrase that is a palindrome, meaning it is the same spelled forwards and backwards. For example, if I said a deity plus a canine, you'd answer god-dog. Our big winner will receive an ASK ME ANOTHER Rubik's Cube signed by Aparna Nancherla. We rolled a 20-sided die backstage, and Stephen is going first. Here we go. Stephen, it's a Mexican food in a folded tortilla plus a feline.

STEPHEN POWELL: Taco cat.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's a man-made, chlorinated body of water, plus the shape of Toucan Sam's cereal.

ADRIENNE CLERMONT: Pool loop.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Stephen, it is the first word in the title of the 1988 Miyazaki film "Blank Neighbor Totoro" (ph), plus a place where you exercise.

POWELL: My gym.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's a spinning toy, plus the name of George W. Bush's springer spaniel.

CLERMONT: Pop pot.

EISENBERG: I'm sorry. That is incorrect. The answer is top spot. Jonathan Coulton, how are our contestants doing?

JONATHAN COULTON: Stephen is in the lead 2-1.

EISENBERG: Stephen, it's a place where trash is taken, plus wet dirt.

POWELL: Dump mud.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's the Latin word for therefore, plus the type of creature Shrek is.

CLERMONT: Ergo ogre.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Stephen, it's Italian for love, plus Italian for Rome.

POWELL: (Vocalizing) Amore Roma

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's the first name of retired basketball player Rodman, plus what you did if you broke one of the Ten Commandments.

CLERMONT: So the second part is sin.

(LAUGHTER)

CLERMONT: So I guess backwards, that's Nis (ph). But I wonder if there's a letter I'm missing there.

EISENBERG: Three seconds.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUZZER)

EISENBERG: We were looking for Dennis sinned.

CLERMONT: Whoa.

POWELL: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: We're at the halfway point of our questions. How are things going, Jonathan?

COULTON: Stephen is in the lead 4-2.

EISENBERG: Stephen, it's a word for isolated, plus a brand-name acetaminophen pill.

POWELL: Epinephrine forlorn.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Close.

COULTON: Epinephrine forlorn.

EISENBERG: We were looking for lonely TYLENOL.

POWELL: Oh.

CLERMONT: Now that's tricky.

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's a South American pack animal, plus there's a famously large one of these in Bloomington, Minn.

CLERMONT: I'm thinking about llamas. Llama mall.

EISENBERG: There you go. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. OK.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Stephen, it's a word for intelligent, plus the team that lost the 2019 Super Bowl.

POWELL: The smart Rams.

EISENBERG: That's correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

POWELL: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's a dangerous feat performed by an actor's double, plus what Planters sells.

CLERMONT: Stunt nuts.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Stephen, it's a word for malevolent, plus a pitted fruit often pressed into oil.

POWELL: An evil olive.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Ophira, here's the situation.

EISENBERG: Oh, thank you, Jonathan. What's the situation?

COULTON: Stephen is in the lead 6-4. Adrienne, if you get this question wrong, he will win the game.

EISENBERG: Adrienne...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: It's the last name of French fashion designer Christian, plus what R2-D2 is.

CLERMONT: Dior droid.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: There's now one question left for each of you. Stephen, you're in the lead. If you get this question right, you win.

EISENBERG: Stephen, it's a word for something that's acidic and sharp-tasting, plus a small fly.

POWELL: Tart rat.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's pretty good, I'm going to say.

POWELL: Sorry.

EISENBERG: So the answer is tangy nat.

POWELL: Tangy.

COULTON: So it's now 6-5. Stephen is in the lead. Adrienne, if you answer this question correctly, you will force a tiebreaker.

EISENBERG: Adrienne, it's an African antelope, also known as a wildebeest, plus a word for animal excrement.

CLERMONT: Gnu dung, starting with a G.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Really good. OK, we are down to a tiebreaker. Grab your buzzers. Here's your tiebreaking question. It's a contest to see who can reach the finish line first, plus an automobile.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Stephen.

POWELL: Racecar.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Congratulations. Well done, Adrienne - so great. And congratulations, Stephen. That's our show. ASK ME ANOTHER's house musician is Jonathan Coulton.

COULTON: Hey, my name anagrams to thou jolt a cannon.

EISENBERG: Our puzzles were written by Camilla Franklin, Carol Lee, Scott Ross and Emily Winter, with additional material by Cara Weinberger. Our senior supervising producer is Rachel Neel. ASK ME ANOTHER is produced by Mike Katzif, Travis Larchuk, Kiara Powell (ph), Nancy Zechow (ph), Rommel Wood and our intern Sean Goal (ph), along with Steve Nelson and Anya Grundmann. We were recorded by Rick Kwan, Noriko Okabe, ValveTone recordings and Ari Debenellos (ph). We'd like to thank our home in Brooklyn, N.Y., The Bell House...

COULTON: Hot heel blues.

EISENBERG: ...And our production partner WNYC. I'm her ripe begonias.

COULTON: Ophira Eisenberg.

EISENBERG: And this was ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.