Ready for some crazy crossword clues? The hosts discuss some clever ones, like “hula hoop?” (3 letters). Also, is the correct term jury-rigged or jerry-rigged? Why are Marines called gyrenes? When someone points out the obvious, do you say “duh!” or do you say “no duh”? And what, pray tell, is in a cannibal sandwich?
This episode originally aired Nov. 8, 2010.
Download the MP3 here (25.2 MB).
Hankering for a cannibal sandwich? An Appleton, Wisc., woman has fond memories of raw ground round steak on top of rye bread, topped with salt, pepper, and onion. She wonders if it’s a regional dish.
When someone points out the blindingly obvious, a listener might respond with “duh!” There are other options, too, including no duh!, doy!, and der! Grant creates an online survey to find out which terms people tend to use.
If you’re not yet old enough to understand homophones, you can wind up with some funny misunderstandings. Martha shares a listener’s story about avoiding cotton candy as a child, fearing that it was literally made of cotton.
Quiz Guy John Chaneski has a literature quiz based on descriptions of characters in novels.
Something that’s repaired in a makeshift, haphazard fashion, is said to be jury-rigged. Martha discusses the expression’s likely nautical origin and Grant tells how a different term, jerry-built, led to the variation jerry-rigged.
Crazy crossword clues, Round 2: “Letters from your parents”? (3 letters) and “Sound elicited by an electric can opener” (5 letters).
An officer from Camp Pendleton is curious about gyrene, a slang term for “Marine.” Grant says it may derive from the Greek word for “tadpole.”
Martha relates a story from a listener in Valdosta, Ga., about her four-year-old’s misunderstanding of a homophone.
Need to type something in Linear B or Mayan? Want to make Japanese emoticons? Now you can. Grant explains why the release of Unicode 6 has many typescript aficionados doing the happy dance.
When speakers of foreign languages try to adapt their own idioms into English, the results can be poetic, if not downright puzzling. A Dallas listener shares some favorite examples from his Italian-born wife, including “I can put my hand to the fire,” and “The watermelon isn’t always red on the inside.”
Crazy crossword clues, Round 3: Cover of the Bible? (2 words). Source of relief? (7 letters).
When did the word slick become a positive word meaning “cool” or “excellent”?