10:17pm Sep 09, 2015

Punchable Face. Exploding Head Syndrome. Whole Body Transplant. Can you tell which of these Wikipedia pages is fake? Yeah, we didn't think so. But, like our contestants, you'll have a great time trying!

Heard in Sutton Foster: Really, Anything Goes

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Let's welcome our next two contestants, Risto Filippi and Sean Pflueger.


EISENBERG: Do either of you have your own Wiki page, Sean?


EISENBERG: No, Risto? All right, Risto, if you had your Wiki page, what would the first sentence of your Wiki page read describing you?

RISTO FILIPPI: It would say brain MRI research scientist, probably.

EISENBERG: And what kind of researcher?


EISENBERG: Yeah, what does that mean? Oh, brain MRI.

FILIPPI: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

EISENBERG: Oh, I - you said it so quickly because you're used to saying words like that really quickly.



EISENBERG: I never have to say brain and MRI together yet.

FILIPPI: Yeah, yeah.

EISENBERG: All right.

FILIPPI: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: That's what you do. How is it?

FILIPPI: I find it interesting.


FILIPPI: But if I show my wife one of my research papers, it's not intelligible. The English words in the title...


FILIPPI: ...Are incomprehensible.

EISENBERG: What's a standard title?

FILIPPI: Diffuse intense imaging and sort of septo-optic dysplasia among children.



FILIPPI: Tell me about it.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it's all...

FILIPPI: It's really hot stuff.

EISENBERG: It is. It's almost poetry. It is almost poetry. Sean, what would be the first line of your Wiki page?

PFLUEGER: It would be opera singer, composer and nonprofit worker.

EISENBERG: In that order, exactly, yeah.

PFLUEGER: Well, that's the fun order.

EISENBERG: Yeah, opera singer.


EISENBERG: What is your favorite opera to sing?

PFLUEGER: Well, I love the "Marriage Of Figaro," but I wrote my own opera.

EISENBERG: Oh, nice.

PFLUEGER: It's like - so I wrote a great part for myself.

EISENBERG: That's good, smart.


JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: So for this game, we're going to test your Wiki smarts. For each question, we're going to give you the titles of three Wikipedia pages, one of which has been totally made up by us. Puzzle guru Greg Pliska, how about an example?

GREG PLISKA, BYLINE: Of course. Here are three sample Wiki pages - list of animals with fraudulent diplomas, list of famous German cats, or list of fictional bears. Obviously, the fake one is the list of famous German cats because that would be ridiculous.


EISENBERG: Although, there is kitler.



COULTON: What is kitler?

EISENBERG: That's kittens or - and cats that look like Hitler.

COULTON: Oh, that's - I'm glad they've been collected in one place. That's good.


PLISKA: Ring in when you know the answer or, I guess, pretend you know the answer 'cause, who knows, these are all crazy. Remember, you are picking the fake one, and if you get it wrong, your opponent will have a chance to steal from the remaining two choices. Here we go - punchable face, exploding head syndrome, whole body transplant.


COULTON: Sean, a very decisive ring in.

PFLUEGER: What was the first one?


COULTON: Punchable face.

PFLUEGER: Punchable face, that's the one I thought.

COULTON: Yeah, you're correct. That's totally fake.


EISENBERG: Everyone has their own list of that. It's not like a Wiki list.

COULTON: Yeah, you know, you don't need to go to the Internet for that. You know.

EISENBERG: It's a personal thing.

COULTON: It's a personal decision.

EISENBERG: A punchable face is in the eye of the puncher.


COULTON: Here is your next one - topics that cannot be thought about, list of premature obituaries, lists of lists of lists.



PFLUEGER: Lists of lists of lists?

COULTON: I'm sorry. That's real, Sean.


COULTON: Risto, do you want to steal? The two remaining choices are topics that cannot be thought about and list of premature obituaries.

FILIPPI: The first one.

COULTON: Topics that cannot be thought about, that is correct. That is the fake one.


COULTON: Calculator spelling, thumb twiddling, fake whistling.



PFLUEGER: Thumb twiddling?

COULTON: No, I'm sorry. That is real. Risto, what do you think?

FILIPPI: I think the calculating is real, and it's the second one?

COULTON: The fake whistling?

FILIPPI: The fake whistling is not real.

COULTON: That's correct. Fake whistling is fake.


COULTON: OK, hotel toilet paper folding, toilet paper orientation, toilet paper bunching technique.



PFLUEGER: Toilet paper bunching technique.

COULTON: You're right.


COULTON: That is fake. Homosexuality in the Batman franchise...


COULTON: ...Batman songs, Batman airport.



PFLUEGER: Batman airport.

COULTON: Sorry, that is real.


COULTON: I'll explain in a moment. Risto, it's either homosexuality in the Batman franchise or Batman songs.

FILIPPI: But there are Batman songs.


FILIPPI: I'll say A is wrong.

COULTON: No, it's Batman songs is the fake one.

FILIPPI: But how could that be the right answer?

COULTON: It's not a - there's no article. I'm not saying there aren't any Batman songs in the world. I will also confess that probably Batman airport is an airport in Turkey, and I probably pronounced it wrong to fool you.


COULTON: It probably is pronounced Baht-mahn (ph).

EISENBERG: Baht-mahn.

COULTON: But I wasn't going to say homosexuality in the Baht-mahn franchise.


COULTON: All right, you'll be relieved to hear that this is your last question. List of Las Vegas casinos that never opened, list of fictional island nations, list of people who did not become U.S. president.


COULTON: Sean. Angrily, Sean dings in.



PFLUEGER: Las Vegas casinos.

COULTON: No, that is real. Risto, list of fictional island nations or list of people who did not become U.S. president?

FILIPPI: C is wrong.

COULTON: That's correct. C is wrong. List of people who did not become U.S. president would be a very long list.


EISENBERG: I like that they're both totally mad.

COULTON: Yeah, they're pretty furious.


COULTON: That had very little to do with trivia. I'll give you that. Greg Pliska, how did our contestants do?

PLISKA: Well, it was very close, but Risto has emerged as our winner, and we'll see you again in the final round.


EISENBERG: Coming up, I'll talk to our VIP triple threat, Sutton Foster, and find out after singing, dancing and acting what she's fourth-best at. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER.

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