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Lightning Fill In The Blank

Feb 3, 2018
Originally published on February 3, 2018 8:08 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

It's now on to our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer now worth 2 points.

Bill, can you give us the score?

BILL KURTIS: Sure can. Paula and Tom each have

two and Helen, you have 3.

SAGAL: All right. Well...

HELEN HONG: Sweet.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Whew, baby.

(APPLAUSE)

HONG: Yeah.

SAGAL: Nicely done. So we flipped a coin, and Tom has elected to go first. So Tom, fill in the blank.

On Wednesday, Janet Yellen presided over her last meeting as the head of the blank.

TOM BODETT: The Fed.

SAGAL: Right. Federal Reserve.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Following the conviction of Larry Nassar, the entire board of the blank announced plans to resign.

BODETT: Olympic gymnastics committee.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Thursday, Poland's Senate passed a controversial bill making it illegal to blame the country for crimes committed by blank.

BODETT: Oh, the Nazis.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport lifted the Olympic ban against 28 athletes from blank accused of doping.

BODETT: Russia.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After losing their editor-in-chief, the Los Angeles Times suffered another blow on Tuesday when the paper blanked.

BODETT: It fell out of the back of a truck.

SAGAL: No. When the paper...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Misspelled Los Angeles.

HONG: What?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This week, Canada unveiled a new version of their national anthem that is blank.

BODETT: Gender neutral.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Winning album of the year, song of the year and record of the year, blank swept the Grammy Awards on Sunday.

BODETT: Bruno Mars.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: During cleanup work following the recent flooding, officials in New Orleans...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...Discovered that the city's sewers were clogged with blank.

BODETT: Those beads, the...

SAGAL: Exactly.

BODETT: Right.

SAGAL: In fact, 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

HONG: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: During the massive cleanup, which ended this week, officials discovered that in addition to Bourbon Street being a disgusting, bead-soaked sewer, New Orleans had an actual disgusting bead-soaked sewer. Despite vowing that no such thing would ever happen again, officials say they're not hopeful. I mean, nobody wants to be the guy at Mardi Gras yelling, hey, guys. Let's try not to litter.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Tom do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He set a high bar. He got 7 out of 8 right.

SAGAL: Wow, that was awesome.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, Tom, nice.

KURTIS: Fourteen more points...

(APPLAUSE)

KURTIS: ...Total of 16 and the lead.

SAGAL: All right. Paula, you're up next. Fill in the blank.

On Monday, the White House announced it would not impose new sanctions against blank.

POUNDSTONE: Russia.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, it was revealed that the employee behind a missile alert in blank really thought an attack was incoming.

POUNDSTONE: Hawaii.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After robbing a bank in Canada, suspects were caught by police just 30 minutes later when they used their getaway car to blank.

POUNDSTONE: Order fast food.

SAGAL: Yes...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...At a Tim Hortons drive-thru.

POUNDSTONE: That's right.

HONG: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: This week, VW fired their chief lobbyist after it was revealed they had tested the effects of blank on humans and monkeys.

POUNDSTONE: Carbon monoxide or something.

SAGAL: Yeah, good enough - diesel emissions.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Monday, Ingvar Kamprad, the creator of do-it-yourself furniture store blank, passed away at 91.

POUNDSTONE: Ikea - and they're still trying to build the coffin.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Right.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Looks like some of the screws are missing.

SAGAL: Yeah. This week, a malfunctioning bathroom forced a Norwegian Air flight...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...To make an emergency landing despite the fact that blank.

POUNDSTONE: They had 60 plumbers on the flight.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

HONG: What?

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: And I'm not even going to dock you because you got the number wrong. It was actually 84 plumbers.

POUNDSTONE: Oh.

HONG: What?

POUNDSTONE: Jeez.

SAGAL: It was a flight from Oslo to Munich, and the pilot got on the intercom to inform the 84 plumbers onboard - along with other passengers - that they had to turn around due to a broken toilet. These plumbers were on the way to a trade conference, and there was nothing they could do, in part because you have to be outside of the plane to fix the bathroom...

POUNDSTONE: Yeah.

SAGAL: ...And also because the plumbers said they would love to help, but the only opening in their schedules was next week Thursday...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Between the hours of 10 to 5.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Paula do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Paula, you got six right - 12 more points - 14 is 2 short of Tom.

SAGAL: How many, then, does Helen need to win?

KURTIS: Seven to win.

SAGAL: All right, Helen - tall order. Here we go. On Tuesday, Andrew McCabe, the embattled deputy director of the blank, announced he was stepping down.

HONG: FBI.

SAGAL: Right. This week...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: ...Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan announced plans to form a new blank company.

HONG: Health care.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Wednesday, the National Transit Safety Board (ph) said it would investigate the Amtrak train that crashed into a blank while carrying dozens of Republican congressman.

HONG: Garbage truck.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Trump's head of the blank, stepped down over potential conflicts of interest.

HONG: Oh, CDC?

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: According to new rankings released this week, Florida is the worst state in the U.S. when it comes to blank.

HONG: Absolutely everything.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week...

(LAUGHTER)

HONG: What?

(APPLAUSE)

BODETT: That's right (laughter).

HONG: I was just being snarky.

SAGAL: I know. This week, a new study found that this year's blank vaccine was less than 20 percent effective against the H3N2 strain.

HONG: Flu.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Following legalization, San Francisco's DA announced plans to throw out thousands of criminal convictions for blank spanning back decades.

HONG: Marijuana.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Two metal detector enthusiasts in England were stunned...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...When the 50 Roman gold coins they found turned out to be blank.

HONG: Fake - not metal.

SAGAL: No. They were really metal, but they were also props from a TV show about metal detector enthusiasts.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Oh, jeez.

SAGAL: These two guys thought they had found their biggest haul yet when their metal detector turned up 50 gold coins buried on a neighbor's farm. They estimated the find to be worth a quarter million dollars but soon discovered that their ancient Roman coins were just props from a BBC show about a pair of hapless metal detector enthusiasts.

HONG: Oh, man.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HONG: Tease.

SAGAL: I know. The two say they're not disappointed, though, especially considering that 50 fake gold coins is literally the most valuable thing that anyone has ever found...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...With a metal detector.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, did Helen do well enough to win? She did well.

KURTIS: Very well - seven right, 14 more points. And 17 gives her the win.

HONG: Yes.

SAGAL: Yay, Helen Hong.

(APPLAUSE)

HONG: Oh, my gosh. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.