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Cannibal Sandwich, Anyone?

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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 first aired Nov. 8, 2010.

Clever Crossword Clues

 Grant shares some diabolically clever crossword clues. Have at ’em: Hula hoop? (3 letters). A city in Czechoslovakia? (Four letters). Want to try more? Check out the clues at Clever Clue of the Month and The New York Times Cute Clues.

Regional Cannibal Sandwich

 Hankering for a cannibal sandwich? An Appleton, Wisconsin, 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.

Cotton Candy Homophone

 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.

Literary Character Quiz

 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.

More Crossword Clues

 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.”

A Little Hoarse

 Martha relates a story from a listener in Valdosta, Georgia, about her four-year-old’s misunderstanding of a homophone in her expression “a little hoarse.”

Unicode 6

 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.

Non-Native Speaker Idioms

 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.”

Two Crazy Crossword Clues

 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”?

This episode is hosted by Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and produced by Stefanie Levine.

Photo by Scott Anderson. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Music Used in the Episode

Sock MonkeyThe Sugarman 3Sugar’s BoogalooDesco Records
Hippy Skippy Moon StrutMighty Show StoppersHippy Skippy Moon StrutFreestyle Records
Three Little WordsWillis Jackson and Jack McDuffTogether Again!Prestige Records, Inc
Coffee ProviderThe New MastersoundsKeb Darge Presents: The New MastersoundsOne Note Records
InsurrectionThe Soul Jazz OrchestraFreedom No Go DieFunk Manchu Records
Be YourselfThe New MastersoundsBe YourselfOne Note Records
To’ GetherWillis Jackson and Jack McDuffTogether Again!Prestige Records, Inc
65 Bars and a Taste of SoulThe Watts 103rd Street Rhythm BandTogetherWarner Brothers
Let’s Call The Whole Thing OffElla Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Song Book Verve

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