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Natalie Portmantoast

Jun 6, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2015 1:02 pm

Very Important Puzzler Lizz Winstead is a huge fan of the "portmanteau," a word formed by combining two other words, such as "smog" being a combination of "smoke" and "fog." But the ones Lizz makes up are much funnier. In this game, Lizz joins host Ophira Eisenberg to prompt contestants to make their own portmanteaus by combining a famous person's name with a food item.

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Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next two contestants: Dianne Nora and Jim Quinlan.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You are both theater buffs. So Jim, I am going to ask you this: if you could have any playwright write the play about your life...

JIM QUINLAN: Oh, boy.

EISENBERG: Who would you pick?

QUINLAN: Not Edward Albee.

EISENBERG: No.

QUINLAN: Maybe Neil Simon, he's got...

EISENBERG: That's good. Yeah, that's good.

QUINLAN: He's got a comic touch to him.

EISENBERG: Very good. Dianne?

DIANNE NORA: Chekhov.

EISENBERG: Wow, all right.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Kind of deep, I like you. That has nothing to do with the game. I was just curious. Lizz, we know you are a huge word fan. In your essays, you like to make up portmanteaus, which is where you combine two words to make a new word, like smog, which combines smoke and fog.

LIZZ WINSTEAD: I did not make that up.

EISENBERG: No, your words are much funnier, like anticipointment.

WINSTEAD: Yes, anticipointment. That's a really good word. That is when - basically, it happens a lot on those entertainment shows that are on in the evening. Does Tom Cruise have an affair with John Travolta? And then they come from commercial, it's like, no, no, not at all.

(LAUGHTER)

WINSTEAD: Actually, it's not what's happening. And you're like, wow, that anticipointment of that was really intense.

EISENBERG: So you've inspired us to make up our own kind of portmanteaus, and this game is called Natalie Portmantoast.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Because we're asking you to combine a famous figure's name with a food item. Hooray. Puzzle guru Will Hines, can you please give us an example?

WILL HINES: I can. So, contestants, if I said, this star of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" greatly enjoys putting a vinegary condiment on his hot dogs, the answer would be Steve Carellish.

(LAUGHTER)

HINES: Which is Steve Carell plus relish.

EISENBERG: Pickles with sweet satire mixed right in. So, remember, it's the famous person's name first and then the last syllable of the person's name will blend into the food item. Quote the author of the poem "The Raven," make my traditional New Orleans' sandwich on French bread with fried shrimp and oysters.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dianne?

NORA: Edgar Allen Poeboy.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It's a fried dream within a breaded dream.

WINSTEAD: Buried underneath your floorboards.

(LAUGHTER)

WINSTEAD: Though she may dress in raw meat, the flamboyant singer of "Poker Face" favors this cold tomato-based Spanish vegetable soup.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

QUINLAN: Lady Gagazpacho.

(APPLAUSE)

WINSTEAD: Why yes, it is. Well done, Jim.

EISENBERG: After this man wrote the musical "Phantom of the Opera," he celebrated with a tortilla wrap filled with meat, beans and rice.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Jim?

QUINLAN: Andrew Lloyd Webburitto.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yes, that is right. The music of the nachos is a side dish that goes with that.

(LAUGHTER)

WINSTEAD: All right, the number of times a day you can see this actor play Lenny Briscoe on reruns of "Law & Order" is about how many layers there are in this sweet Mediterranean pastry made from phyllo dough and honey.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Dianne?

NORA: Jerry Orbaklava.

EISENBERG: Yes.

WINSTEAD: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nice. This Grammy winner might be the only person who adds black-eyed peas to this fruit salad, made from coconut, pineapple, mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows. Did you have hippie parents, both of you?

QUINLAN: I did not.

NORA: No.

EISENBERG: That's a problem. Health conscious parents?

NORA: Yeah.

QUINLAN: They enjoyed ambrosia.

EISENBERG: They do?

QUINLAN: They do enjoy ambrosia.

EISENBERG: And then would they enjoy any of the song stylings...

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

WINSTEAD: Oh, no.

QUINLAN: Just gave that away.

EISENBERG: You did it. Dianne?

NORA: Will.I.Ambrosia.

(APPLAUSE)

HINES: There's no I in team. There's no I in team.

EISENBERG: They just hugged.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This actor promised Optimus Prime he wouldn't let the decepticons get a hold of the recipe for this French stew made with braised beef in red wine.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

NORA: Shia Labouillon.

WINSTEAD: Marginal.

EISENBERG: Dianne, no, that is incorrect.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

QUINLAN: Shia Laboufet.

WINSTEAD: Shia Labeoufbourguignon.

(APPLAUSE)

NORA: I don't eat meat.

WINSTEAD: Beoufbourguignon.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Dianne doesn't eat meat, so she wants to be excused from the beef questions. Well, Will, how'd it work out?

HINES: It was very close, but our winner is Dianne.

EISENBERG: Dianne, congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: That was a tight game and a hard one. A huge round of applause for these two contestants.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Dianne, you'll be coming back for our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.