Ask Me Another
8:09 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Compound Fractures

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 10:31 am

Compound words combine shorter ones, like "milkshake." The answers in this game seem compound, but aren't: you get a floor covering ("carpet") by combining a vehicle (car) with the family dog (pet).

Heard in Episode 319: Two Can Slay That Game

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Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Welcome back to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR and WNYC's hour of trivia puzzles and word games. I'm Ophira Eisenberg and let's say hello to Jenny Klein (ph) and James Van Aken.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: James, you work at the Statue of Liberty?

JAMES VAN AKEN: Yes, I do. I'm the audio tour site manager there. It's pretty cool. I get to take a boat to work. It's like living on Staten Island without having to live on Staten Island.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Jenny, you are a law clerk at a courthouse.

JENNY KLEIN: That's correct.

EISENBERG: What kind of law are you dealing with mostly?

KLEIN: It's everything.

EISENBERG: Everything.

KLEIN: It's a federal court so any kind of case that can come into federal court.

EISENBERG: Do you take a boat to work?

KLEIN: No.

EISENBERG: No, not yet.

VAN AKEN: That's a shame.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This game is called Compound Fractures, which means it's time for a nerdy word game.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: It's a little nerdy. As you know, compound words are formed by combining two words like dragonfly or milkshake. But sometimes words only look like they're compound words. Puzzle guru John Chaneski, this might be a good time for an example.

JOHN CHANESKI: Sure. If we said this floor covering is formed by combing a common vehicle with the family dog, the answer would be carpet, which is the word car plus pet.

COULTON: That is not, of course, the derivation of the word carpet.

CHANESKI: No.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: So we're looking for the full word. OK. This place where you can pick apples is formed by combining a Dungeons & Dragons monster with a word meaning difficult.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: James.

VAN AKEN: Or-chard. Orchard.

COULTON: Orchard is correct. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This synonym for look for is formed by combining a liquor distilled from sugar cane with a kind of sorcerer or wizard.

CHANESKI: It's the kind of liquor you might add to Coke to make a Cuba Libre.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: James.

VAN AKEN: Rummage.

EISENBERG: Rummage, exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This word meaning disease is formed by combining a folksy term for mother plus a synonym for woman.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jenny.

KLEIN: Malady.

COULTON: Malady. That's right. Ma and lady.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: This classy word for outstanding is formed by combining a slang term for a replacement teacher with a green citrus fruit.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: James.

VAN AKEN: Sublime.

EISENBERG: Sublime is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: This word meaning a shortage is formed by combining the mark left over from a healed wound with a big town or municipality.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: James.

VAN AKEN: Scarcity.

COULTON: Yes. Or scar city.

(APPLAUSE)

VAN AKEN: I don't want to live in scar city.

EISENBERG: I don't want to - but it sounds like kind of a tough guy threat like, we'll see you in scar city. Right, like it sound like - yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: You're going to take the express bus to scar city.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Exactly. These microscopic organisms eaten by many marine organisms are formed by combining something a pirate might ask you to walk on with a unit of measure.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jenny.

KLEIN: Plankton.

EISENBERG: Plankton, exactly.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I like that this says a pirate might ask you to walk on. They're very nice about it. They're always very like...

KLEIN: Just a request.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly.

COULTON: This type of allegory or fable is formed by combining a good golf score with a word meaning competent to do something.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Jenny.

KLEIN: Parable.

COULTON: Parable is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right, this is your last clue. This person who can read minds is formed by combining the name of a South Korean pop singer with the French word for fancy.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: James.

VAN AKEN: Psychic.

EISENBERG: Exactly, psychic.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Psy and chic. That was a good one. John Chaneski, how did our contestants do?

CHANESKI: Our Compound Fractures winner is James.

EISENBERG: Big hand for Jenny and James.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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