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Episode 1530

Mrs. Astor’s Horse

“What has a head like a cat, feet like a cat, a tail like a cat, but isn’t a cat?” Answer: a kitten! A 1948 children’s joke book has lots of these to share with kids. Plus: an easy explanation for the difference between...

A Pick’ll Do

A pickle inspired this week’s puzzle from Quiz Guy John Chaneski. He was thinking about the fact that if you need something to help you strum a guitar, a “pickle do just fine,” the word pickle sounding, of course, like an...

Episode 1514

Space Cadet

We have books for language-lovers and recommendations for history buffs. • How did the word boondoggle come to denote a wasteful project? The answer involves the Boy Scouts, a baby, a craft project, and a city council meeting. • Instead of reversing...

Episode 1510

Cootie Shot

Perfect sentences and slang that tickles your mind! A new book of writing advice says a good sentence “imposes a logic on the world’s weirdness” and pares away options for meaning, word by word. • Your musician friend may refer to...

It’s A Lop Op Word Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski delivers a take-off quiz in which each clue references a word which, when the first letter is removed, leaves another word also suggested by the clue. In this case, the initial letters of the first clues will be either K or L...