State the State

Jul 8, 2016
Originally published on March 10, 2017 9:18 am

Contestants guess which U.S. state we're talking about based on a list of clues. Jell-O is the official snack of what state?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

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This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, here with puzzle guru Art Chung and house musician Jonathan Coulton.


EISENBERG: Let's meet our next two contestants. Joey DeGrandis, you work as a marketing PR writer for a tech firm and you have highly superior autobiographical memory.

JOEY DEGRANDIS: Sounds fancier than it is.

EISENBERG: OK. So for those of us who don't know, what is that?

DEGRANDIS: So if you give me your birthday, I will tell you the day of the week. And I can also - like, if you give me a random day, I can say something that I was doing on that day.

EISENBERG: Really? So if I say, OK, I don't know, March 20, 2002.

DEGRANDIS: It's not NPR appropriate.


EISENBERG: Has this ability ever helped you in life in a way that was remarkable?

DEGRANDIS: Well, I stood in Times Square once to get money - for the ability to be clear. I said if you give me a dollar...


DEGRANDIS: ...For every date that I get right...


DEGRANDIS: ...That was the way I advertised my ability. And a woman from Philly said I can't date you. I live in Philly. And I said, no, like, calendar days, you know (laughter)?

EISENBERG: Yeah. How much money did you make?

DEGRANDIS: Seven dollars.


EISENBERG: Your opponent is Dave Parsons. You were an Air Force pilot. Now you're a middle school science teacher. And you keep strange animals in your classroom.

DAVE PARSONS: They're not strange - got a tarantula, we've got water turtles. We breed mice for genetic experiments and...

EISENBERG: How lovely (laughter).

PARSONS: We have a king snake and I also have a colony of bearded dragons that - well, we don't breed them. They do that themselves on a pretty regular basis, so...

EISENBERG: This sounds kind of like the best science class of all time.


EISENBERG: You must be very popular.

PARSONS: I am with the kids.

EISENBERG: You are with the kids, not with the parents.


EISENBERG: How about the school board? All right, very good.



EISENBERG: You're going to play a game called State The State. I'm going to read you a list of clues associated with the U.S. state and you can buzz in to interrupt me at any time to guess the state I'm hinting at. But be careful. If you guess incorrectly, your opponent will get to hear additional clues and therefore have an advantage. And the winner will move on to our final round at the end of the show. Here we go.

The first telegraph message was received here. The message read - who hath God wrought. The response - new telegraph, who dis (ph)?


EISENBERG: No guesses. How about this? It's where you can go to a football game and meet the school mascot, Bill, who is an actual goat. It's where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write...


EISENBERG: ..."The Star-Spangled Banner" - Dave.

PARSONS: Maryland.

EISENBERG: Maryland is correct, yes.


EISENBERG: Pretty good. All right, here's your next question. It's where Jack and Ennis smooched in "Brokeback Mountain."


EISENBERG: Joey - bold move.

DEGRANDIS: Oh, right, yeah, we had three other clues.

EISENBERG: Yeah, but that's OK.

DEGRANDIS: Can I unbuzz (ph)?



DEGRANDIS: I'm going to say Colorado.

EISENBERG: Colorado. Good guess but not what we were looking for but an excellent guess. All right, let's see if you can get it, Dave. It's the first state that gave women the right to vote. I know a lot of women got excited.


EISENBERG: If you like your personal space, good news, this is the least populated state. And if you're into bison - who isn't - there's a big one on this state's flag.

PARSONS: Wyoming.

EISENBERG: Wyoming is correct, yes.


EISENBERG: OK, here's your next clue. Are you a morning person? Supposedly this state's Cadillac Mountain is the first place to see the sun rise...


EISENBERG: ...In the continental United States - Dave.


EISENBERG: Maine is correct, yes.


EISENBERG: All right. Here's your next clue. People in this state consume so much Jell-O it's the official state snack. There's a town in the middle of the state called Lavan, which is naval backwards. It's like the state's belly button.


EISENBERG: It's the state that brought us the Osmonds.

PARSONS: Oh, Lord.




EISENBERG: Utah is correct, yes.


EISENBERG: All right, this is your last clue. If your relationship ended thanks to a heated game of Pictionary, blame this state where it was invented. Cinnabon was founded here as well. If you like high, rotating restaurants, this is the place to be. It's the state that gave birth to grunge music.



DEGRANDIS: Washington.

EISENBERG: Washington is correct, yes.


EISENBERG: All right, puzzle guru Art Chung, how did our contestants do?

ART CHUNG: What a fun game. Congratulations to Dave. You're moving on to the final round.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.