Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure
9:12 am
Mon April 29, 2013

As You Know, Puzzles Are A Pastime

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 6:40 pm

On-air challenge: For each given category, name something in the category where the first letter is also the first letter of the category. For example, given "Military Ranks," you would say "Major."

Last week's challenge: Name a geographical location in two words — nine letters altogether — that, when spoken aloud, sounds roughly like four letters of the alphabet. What is it?

Answer: Aegean Sea; Indian Cay

Winner: Terry Thacker, Greenville, S.C.

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Games + Leisure
10:01 am
Fri April 12, 2013

A Brand-New Word

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 11:08 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a well-known commercial name that spells a regular word or name backward. Identify the brands. For example, given "laundry detergent" and "work in a magazine office," the answer would be "tide" and "edit."

Last week's challenge: Name something in four letters that you use every day. Add the letters O, H and M, and rearrange all seven letters. You will name something else you probably use every day. This seven-letter thing is usually found near the four-letter thing. What are they?

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The Two-Way
11:44 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Is It Real? With New Technology Has Activision Crossed The 'Uncanny Valley'?

An animated character from Activision.
Activision

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 12:29 pm

You tell us. Is this man real or animated?

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Games + Leisure
2:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Finding The Answers Within

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 8:05 am

On-air challenge: You'll be given clues for some five-letter words. In each case, the letters of the answer can be found consecutively somewhere inside the clue. For example, given "Some teenagers' language," the answer would be "slang"(hidden inside "teenagerS' LANGuage").

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Pop Culture
2:20 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Angry Birds TV, Coming To A Mobile Screen Near You

A scene from the upcoming animated series based on the popular game Angry Birds. The show will be distributed to existing users of the digital game.
Rovio

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 11:57 am

People of all ages have been passing the time playing Angry Birds on their mobile devices. Now Rovio, the company that created the best-selling app, is offering fans a new cartoon series based on the game, which has so far been downloaded 1.7 billion times.

The concept behind Angry Birds is extremely simple: There are these colorful cartoon birds that are angry because some green pigs are after their eggs. Players of the digital game use slingshots to catapult the birds — who don't fly — to destroy structures hiding the pigs.

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Games + Leisure
12:49 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

From A To Z

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 11:20 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a word containing an A and a Z. Given anagrams of the remaining letters, name the word. For example, given "leg," the answer would be "glaze".

Last week's challenge: Eight people are seated at a circular table. Each person gets up and sits down again — either in the same chair or in the chair immediately to the left or right of the one they were in. How many different ways can the eight people be re-seated?

Answer: 49

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Games + Leisure
1:23 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Chicken And Waffles

A look within
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 2:22 pm

Chicken and waffles is a great dish — nobody would deny that, except for chickens. But it's not always the easiest thing to eat. You've got bones to deal with, plus sticky syrup, and worst of all, finite stomach capacity. Chicago restaurant Bel 50 has a solution: a boneless fried-chicken sandwich, on waffle bread.* Also in there: apple slaw and honey mustard glaze.

Ian: It looks like my breakfast ate my lunch.

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Games + Leisure
2:26 pm
Sat March 2, 2013

'Tomb Raider' Makes The Case For Old-Fashioned Console Gaming

The Tomb Raider video game franchise started in 1996. The latest version of the game starring Lara Croft (a character played by Angelina Jolie in film adaptations) is being released Tuesday.
Courtesy of Square Enix

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 3:28 pm

When Sony recently announced details on the upcoming release of the PlayStation 4, it prompted a new round of hand-wringing about the future of console gaming.

Sales of games on the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 have dropped precipitously in recent years as mobile gaming — on smartphones and tablets — has become more popular. Advance word is that the PS4 will integrate certain mobile and social media functions, and some are speculating whether this is the end for standalone, full-featured console systems.

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Games + Leisure
1:09 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Nintendo Wii Helped Budding Surgeons Move To Head Of The Class

Kid, you might just have a future as a surgeon.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 5:34 pm

How's this for a tough assignment?

A group of Italian researchers forced 21 surgical residents to play video games on a Nintendo Wii for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Whew!

Then the researchers had the residents perform a simulated keyhole surgery. They found that the gamers performed significantly better than another group of residents who didn't undergo this grueling video game training.

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Games + Leisure
11:53 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Dear Mr. President, What's Your Name?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 12:14 am

On-air challenge: In honor of Presidents Day, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president. You will be given a word or phrase that is a president's last name with two letters changed. You name the president. For example, given "Carpet," the answer would be "Carter."

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Games + Leisure
2:24 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Fish McBites

Two Fish McBites, which are not the Chicken of the Sea.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 2:22 pm

The McDonald's menu is a sacred document, like the Constitution. You can't just add things willy-nilly. It took hard work and sacrifice to add the Fourth Amendment, the McRib, and the Twenty-third Amendment, the Snack Wrap. Now, a new item called Fish McBites seeks ratification.

Miles: Fish McBites — for the bottom feeder in all of us.

Ian: I can't wait to wash this down with McDonald's new Chumrock Shake.

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Games + Leisure
4:11 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Video Game Violence: Why Do We Like It, And What's It Doing To Us?

A typical scene from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the latest in the series of wildly popular video games.
Activision

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:57 am

Violent video games have been a small part of the national conversation about gun violence in recent weeks. The big question: Does violence in games make people more violent in the real world?

The answer is unclear, but one thing is obvious: Violence sells games. The most popular video game franchise is Call of Duty, a war game where killing is the goal.

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Games + Leisure
1:34 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Singer Erykah Badu Plays Not My Job

Karl Walter Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 5:47 pm

This week, Wait Wait comes to you from the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District. Turns out, singer Erykah Badu was a student at the high school for the performing arts directly across the street. We're guessing she used to gaze across the street and say to herself: "Someday I'm going to be in a theater that's not yet built, performing on a public radio news quiz." And today, that dream comes true.

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Games + Leisure
10:24 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Sharpen Your Wits (And Your Pencils)

Guest musician John Roderick, of the band The Long Winters, addresses the crowd at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:43 pm

"Shake it like a polar bear ninja!" If you suspect that these are not the correct lyrics to Outkast's "Hey Ya!", then this week's game of mondegreens (misheard lyrics) is for you. We'll also visit the world of late-night infomercials and root for our favorite gluttonous, envious, lustful basketball team--the Phoenix Sins. Plus, V.I.P. David Rees teaches us how to sharpen pencils the artisanal way.

Games + Leisure
3:34 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Grilled Cheese With Mac N' Cheese

The Mac.
NPR

We live in an age of great marriages: William and Kate, Kim and Kanye (oh, wait, she's still married to this guy), Kim and The Next One. Best of all, though, is "The Mac" from Cheesie's, in Chicago. The sandwich weds a classic Grilled Cheese with Mac N' Cheese, in one easy to absorb package.

Ian: I honestly feel like we're five years away from never again having to use the word "or" in America.

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Games + Leisure
10:02 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Tackle 'Yards' To Make A Touchdown

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:24 am

On-air challenge: In recognition of the Super Bowl, the key word is "yards." You will be given some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters Y, A, R, D and S. For example, if the category were "Girls' Names," you might say Yvonne, Alice, Rachel, Donna and Sally.

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Games + Leisure
10:01 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Astronaut Mae Jemison Plays Not My Job

NASA

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 10:53 am

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to fly in space when she served as a science mission specialist. We've invited Jemison to play a game called "Excuse me? When do we get to the Southwest terminal?" Jemison has flown in the space shuttle Endeavour, so we thought we'd ask her questions about a sometimes more unpredictable vehicle ... the airport shuttle.

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Games + Leisure
10:45 am
Sat February 2, 2013

Spring Is Nigh! Punxsutawney Phil Predicts An Early End To Winter

Punxsutawney Phil climbs on the shoulder of handler John Griffiths. The groundhog did not see his shadow during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 6:42 am

"An early spring for you and me," is this year's prediction from Punxsutawney Phil, the premiere Groundhog Day forecaster.

With an estimated 35,000 spectators watching him Saturday morning, the groundhog — or as he is known to his followers, "the seer of seers" — did not see his shadow.

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Games + Leisure
11:07 am
Fri February 1, 2013

So A Girl Walks Into A Bar...

Ask Me Another audience members enjoy some potent potables from The Bell House's esteemed bartenders.
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:43 pm

This week's versatile V.I.P. has had spells as an author, an ordained minister, a fortuneteller, and a bartender — which serves her well during a delectable drinking game. And with quizzes covering highfalutin children's literature, crossbred celebrities and a geologist's favorite Queen song, this week's contestants show a little versatility, too.

Games + Leisure
8:45 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Tech Guru Guy Kawasaki Plays Not My Job

Courtesy Guy Kawasaki

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 11:01 am

Thirty years ago, Guy Kawasaki went to work for a computer company that was trying to change the business with a product named after a fruit. Since helping launch the Macintosh computer, Kawasaki has been a venture capitalist, an author and a business consultant.

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