Cinema Synonyms, Holiday Edition

Dec 17, 2013
Originally published on December 17, 2013 11:20 pm

In this final round, puzzle guru Art Chung re-titles other holiday films with some less festive words. The titles have been rewritten as synonyms of the original titles. For example, The Section of a Contract About the Spanish Word for Saint is the rewritten title for The Santa Clause. (It should be noted that we are using "synonym" quite loosely.)

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Now to put the star on the top of our tree. Let's bring back the winners from all of our former games. From 'Twas the Night Before This Day, Victoria Wong. From Don't Forget the Lah-rics, Karen Sloan. From What's That Sound, Julia Lunetta. From The Chris in Christmas, Kim Rayford. And from Traditional Holiday Traditions, A. J. Jacobs.


EISENBERG: Puzzle guru Art Chung, would you like to lead this final round?

ART CHUNG: I would. Ophira, this final round is called Cinema Synonyms Holiday Edition. We've taken our trusty thesaurus to rewrite the titles of famous holiday films. You have to tell us the original title. For example, if I said a holiday with singer Barry or actress Betty you would answer "White Christmas." We're going to play this spelling bee style so one wrong answer and you're out. You'll only have a few seconds to give us an answer.

Remember, the clues will be synonyms of famous holiday films though in some cases we're using the term synonyms quite loosely.


CHUNG: Here we go. Victoria, what a fantastic existence.

VICTORIA WONG: "Love, Actually"?

CHUNG: No, I'm sorry. Step aside. Karen, what a fantastic existence.

KAREN SLOAN: George Bailey.

CHUNG: Three seconds.

SLOAN: Um...

CHUNG: I'm sorry. You'll have to step aside. Julia, do you know the answer?

JULIA LUNETTA: "It's a Wonderful Life."

CHUNG: That is correct.


CHUNG: I'm sorry. We have to say good-bye to Victoria and Karen. Kim, a wonderful event in Midtown. I'm sorry, your time is up. A.J., do you know the answer?

A.J. JACOBS: I believe it's "Miracle on 34th Street."

CHUNG: That is correct.


CHUNG: Tough game. We are quickly down to two players. Julia, a bad dream in advance of the holiday.

LUNETTA: "A Nightmare Before Christmas."

CHUNG: That is correct.


CHUNG: A. J., an octet of madcap evenings.

JACOBS: "Eight Crazy Nights."

CHUNG: That is right.


CHUNG: Julia, December 31st.

LUNETTA: "New Years Eve."

CHUNG: You got it.


CHUNG: A. J. staying in by one's self.

JACOBS: "Home Alone"?

CHUNG: "Home Alone." You got it.


CHUNG: Julia, a mythical diminutive being in human form endowed with magical powers and given to interfering in human affairs.


CHUNG: You got it.


CHUNG: A. J., the north-south train that makes few stops.

JACOBS: "Polar Express."

CHUNG: You got it.


CHUNG: Julia, crappy Kris Kringle.

LUNETTA: "Bad Santa."

CHUNG: Well done.


CHUNG: A. J., let's convene by the Gateway Arch.

JACOBS: "Meet Me in St. Louis."

CHUNG: I'll meet you in St. Louis.


CHUNG: Julia, the past tense of Ebenezer.

LUNETTA: "Scrooged."

CHUNG: "Scrooged" is right.


CHUNG: A. J., no points in tennis, as a matter of fact.

JACOBS: That's "Love, Actually."

CHUNG: That is "Love, Actually."


CHUNG: Julia, AMC's subcompact cars from the 1970s.

LUNETTA: "Gremlins"?

CHUNG: That's right!


CHUNG: A. J., assorted cashews, pecans, filberts, and almonds.

JACOBS: "Mixed Nuts."

CHUNG: "Mixed Nuts." That's right.


CHUNG: You may ask yourself how many holiday movies are there?


CHUNG: A lot. Julia, the spouse of the diagonally moving chess piece.

LUNETTA: "The Bishop's Wife"?

CHUNG: Yep. That's it.


CHUNG: A. J., one of the world's largest hotel chains.

JACOBS: "Holiday Inn"?

CHUNG: You got it.

JACOBS: I didn't know that was a movie.


CHUNG: You've officially ran out our game so we're...


EISENBERG: You guys, you're too good at this.

CHUNG: You broke our game.


CHUNG: All right. We have to go to a tie-breaker. Your clue is a Yuletide tale.



JACOBS: "A Christmas Story"?

CHUNG: That's right.


EISENBERG: What a final round. A. J., you're our big winner.


EISENBERG: You win a special ASK ME ANOTHER white elephant stocking filled with stuff from the whole staff. Yeah. It includes emu jerky, a Y adapter, breath mints, an old "Farside" collection, a rubber ducky and a few other surprises.


EISENBERG: So happy regifting.


EISENBERG: If you would like to be a contestant on our show, find us on Facebook or Twitter or just look around for NPR ASK ME ANOTHER. And if your family is driving you crazy this holiday season, download our podcast from iTunes, Stitcher, or TuneIn. That's our show. From all of us at ASK ME ANOTHER to all of you, Happy Holidays.

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