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Episode 1527

Had the Radish

Your first name is very personal, but what if you don’t like it? For some people, changing their name works out great but for others it may create more problems than it solves. And: at least three towns in the U.S. were christened with names...

Episode 1629

Orange Pigs

What do you call a segment of an orange? These juicy pieces of fruit go by lots of different names, including section, wedge, and carpel. But they’re also called pegs or even pigs! The stringy parts of a banana also have a surprising name...

Aged Worm Word Game Two

Rearranging letters as anagrams can be an entertaining aged worm (or word game). For example, you can switch around the letters in listen to make the word silent. Dormitory can be rearranged to form dirty room, and Morse codemakes here come dots. An...

Episode 1525

Niblings and Nieflings

How do actors bring Shakespeare’s lines to life so that modern audiences immediately understand the text? One way is to emphasize the names of people and places at certain points. That technique is called billboarding. And: Anyone for an...

Episode 1627

Takes All Kinds

Crossword puzzles are a marvelous mental workout. A delightful new book about them shares plenty of crossword lore and puzzle-solving tips. Also, performers who tell each other break a leg aren’t really hoping someone gets hurt. The phrase...