Lightning Fill In The Blank

Dec 20, 2014
Originally published on December 20, 2014 10:27 am
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Now on to our final game, "Lightning Fill In The Blank." Each of our players now has 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can - each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: Roxanne has 4, Maz 3, Paula 2.

SAGAL: Paula, you're in third place. You're up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Tuesday, Taliban militants incited international outrage by attacking a public high school in Pakistan.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Despite the fact that the Russian economy is in crisis, a recent poll shows that blank still is 81 percent approval rating.




SAGAL: A Kentucky woman was arrested for shoplifting while attending an event called blank.

POUNDSTONE: People Against Shoplifting.

SAGAL: No. It was called Shop with a Cop. On Wednesday, Norman Bridwell, the creator Clifford the Big Red blank, passed away at age 86.

POUNDSTONE: Oh, the big Red Dog.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.


SAGAL: With a pair free throws in a game on Sunday, Kobe Bryant surpassed blank on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

POUNDSTONE: Michael Jordan.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: A Florida man was arrested for shoplifting while attending an event called blank.

POUNDSTONE: Shop with a cop.

SAGAL: In fact, yes, although it was a completely different Shop with a Cop event.



SAGAL: Every year around Christmas, Wal-Mart holds its annual Shop with a Cop event, where they invite...

POUNDSTONE: Why would anyone shop with a cop?

SAGAL: Well, the idea is that the police officers come in and they walk around and they shop for kids in need. Unfortunately, this is apparently also the day Wal-Mart holds their Shoplift with a Store Full of Cops event, where people try to shove X-box games down their pants in full view of the police. Bill, how did Paula do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She got six right for 12 more points. She has a total of 14 and the lead.

SAGAL: All right. Well done, Paula.


SAGAL: Maz, you're up next, fill in the blank.


SAGAL: For the first time since he was arraigned in 2013, the blank bombing suspect appeared publicly in court.

JOBRANI: Boston.

SAGAL: Right, Boston Marathon.


SAGAL: The U.N. narrowly reached an agreement this week that would require all member nations to reduce their blank omissions.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Before ending their session for the year, the Senate confirmed a Dr. Vivek Murphey as the new blank.

JOBRANI: Attorney General - I mean, you know, the health thing.

SAGAL: Which would be called...

JOBRANI: C. Everett Koop...

SAGAL: Who was the...

JOBRANI: Secretary - I'm blanking right now. Health and human resources.


SAGAL: Surgeon General.

JOBRANI: That's it.

SAGAL: A new report from the Department of Labor shows that blank claims remain at a 14-year low.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Two would-be carjackers in Florida had to run away empty-handed after realizing blank.

JOBRANI: That there was nothing to be robbed.

SAGAL: That neither of them could drive a stick shift. Lou Reed, Green Day and Joan Jett were among those named as 2015 inductees to the blank.

JOBRANI: Hall of Fame - Rock and Roll.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: With over 90 percent of the vote, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was the recipient of this year's blank.

JOBRANI: Heisman.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Animal lovers and junior high boys were saddened this week to learn that the rare blank turtle in Australia is endangered.

JOBRANI: The rare blank turtle in Australia. That would be the big, big turtle.


SAGAL: No, it's the rare butt-breathing turtle.

JOBRANI: Ah yes.


SAGAL: The habitat of the Australian white-throated snapping turtle is being damaged and that's making a tough existence even tougher. For one, this turtle breaths through its butt. For two, no one calls it white-throated snapping turtle. He's like come on guys, my name's Chad.


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

KURTIS: Well, he got five write for 10 more points. And that means a total of 13, but Paula still has the lead.

SAGAL: All right, so how many then does Roxanne need to win?

KURTIS: Five to tie, six to win for Roxanne.

SAGAL: Roxanne's eyes narrow. She paints those Maori tattoos on her face. She does her haka...


SAGAL: ...And we're ready to go.

ROBERTS: I'm going to just...

SAGAL: This for the game, Roxanne. After a 16-hour siege, police stormed a cafe to end a hostage situation in blank.

ROBERTS: Sydney.

SAGAL: Right


SAGAL: A federal court in Pennsylvania declared that some of President Obama's executive actions on blank were unconstitutional.

ROBERTS: On immigration.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Health officials in Sierra Leone announced they would soon be going door-to-door looking for cases of blank.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: After receiving the results of a study that warned of significant health and environmental risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo banned blanking in the state of New York.

ROBERTS: Fracking.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: A Nebraska man was suspected of driving under the influence when was spotted blanking.


ROBERTS: Driving naked wearing reindeer antlers.

SAGAL: Close. He was driving a car with four flat tires and all of the air bags deployed.


SAGAL: Thursday night marked the final episode of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" spinoff blank.

ROBERTS: "The Colbert Report."

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Beyonce, Jay Z and Justin Timberlake were among the celebrities on hand to celebrate blank's 25th birthday.

ROBERTS: Taylor Swift.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: A plumber in Texas got unexpected advertising for his business when his old truck showed up on TV being used by blank.

ROBERTS: In Texas.

SAGAL: In Texas. Well, he's in Texas.

ROBERTS: George W. Bush.

SAGAL: No, the truck was being used by a jihadist group in Syria.


SAGAL: Turns out in addition to spreading Sharia law and a new caliphate, the Ansar al-Deen Front are also advancing the cause of Mark's-1 Plumbing of Texas City, Texas.


SAGAL: That's, I guess, why they didn't erase the company logo and phone number from the truck before they used it to tote around a machine gun on TV. The plumber himself says he has no idea how his used truck ended up in Syria. He doesn't appreciate the angry calls. And that one guy in Damascus with a clogged toilet should probably find somebody local.


SAGAL: Bill, did Roxanne do well enough to win?

KURTIS: She got six right for 12 more points. A total of 16, which means she's the champion.

ROBERTS: There she is.

SAGAL: There she is.


SAGAL: In just a minute, we're going to ask our panelists to predict who will be appointed ambassador to Cuba, our first ambassador to Cuba since the '50s and why? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.