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Episode 1521

Spill the Tea

If someone urges you to spill the tea, they probably don’t want you tipping over a hot beverage. Originally, the tea here was the letter T, as in “truth.” To spill the T means to “pass along truthful information.” Plus...

Episode 1604

Snookums and Snicklefritz

A new book about how animals perceive their environment reveals immense worlds beyond our own. A bee can see ultraviolet light, catfish have taste buds all over their bodies, and manatees use highly sensitive lips to examine nearby objects. Also...

Rank and File

Alex from Columbia, Missouri, wonders about rank and file, meaning “the members of the body of an organization as opposed to its leaders.” In 12th-century France, the words renc or ranc referred to a row of soldiers. The word file means...

Three of the Same Letter Quiz

Our multi-talented Quiz Guy Greg Pliska, served as musical composer for the television documentary Flying Monsters 3-D. That experience inspired him to create a puzzle using phrases that have the same letter appearing three times in a row. For...

Skid Row

Why do we call a run-down area skid row? Here’s a picture of a skid road from Out West, vol. 19, ed. Charles F. Lummis, 1902, Out West Company, Los Angeles This is part of a complete episode.

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