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Lightning Fill In The Blank


Now to our final game, Lighting Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can - each correct answer worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

BILL KURTIS: Peter has one, Tom and Shelby have two.

PESCA: OK, Peter you are in third place and you're up first. The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank - after the blizzard that hit Washington over the weekend, the only members of the Senate to show up to work on Tuesday were blank.

PETER GROSZ: Hammered. No, they were pages.

PESCA: They were women.

GROSZ: Women.

PESCA: This Friday marked the start of U.N.-brokered peace talks between the government and opposition leaders in blank.

GROSZ: Syria.

PESCA: Yes. Despite an early rally this week, by Wednesday blank was once again below $30 a barrel.

GROSZ: Price of oil.

PESCA: Yes. During his trip to the Vatican this week, blank asked the Pope to pray for him.

GROSZ: Rouhani.

PESCA: Yes. McDonald's customers are complaining that the restaurant's new mozzarella sticks were just blank.

GROSZ: Mozzarella paper.

PESCA: Close, but they were just sticks without any mozzarella in them. On Tuesday, widespread criticism followed the announcement that British actor Joseph Fiennes would be playing blank in an upcoming movie.

GROSZ: Ray Fiennes.


PESCA: Michael Jackson.

GROSZ: Oh, right.

PESCA: This week, Ben & Jerry's revealed a new flavor inspired by blank.

GROSZ: Bernie Sanders.

PESCA: Yes, indeed. Police in Amsterdam, responding to screams of agony coming from an apartment, kicked down the door and found blank.

GROSZ: Bernie Sanders.


KURTIS: For gout.

SHELBY FERO: For gout.

PESCA: It was an opera singer rehearsing. Police kicked the door in expecting to find a woman in distress. Instead, they found the occupant wearing headphones with the volume turned all the way up, rehearsing for his latest opera. The policemen would just laugh it off, but as they always say, it's not over 'til the fat lady in internal affairs files form 116(b) detailing destruction of citizen property. Bill, how did Peter do?

KURTIS: He did pretty good. He got four right - eight more points, total of nine right now. He is clearly in the lead.

GROSZ: Thank you, Bill.

PESCA: All right.


PESCA: We flipped a coin. Tom has elected to go last, so Shelby, you're up next. Fill in the blank - the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday they would be keeping blanks unchanged.

FERO: Interest rates?

PESCA: That is correct.


PESCA: On Thursday, Michigan's senate approved $28 million spending bill to combat blank's water crisis.

FERO: Flint.



PESCA: On Thursday, NASA marked the 30th anniversary of the blank.

FERO: The Challenger explosion.



PESCA: This week, officers made five arrests relating to the escape of three inmates from a prison in blank.

FERO: Oh, I want to say Anaheim - is it San Antonio, though?

PESCA: You could go a larger geographic region.

FERO: Is it California?

PESCA: Yes, California is correct.


PESCA: We'll take that. Apple announced this week that sales of the blank were the slowest they've been since the product's launch in 2007.

FERO: The I - oh, iPhone?



PESCA: On Sunday, the Denver Broncos defeated the blanks to secure a spot in the Super Bowl.

FERO: The Patriots.

PESCA: Yes, that is correct.


PESCA: A thief in Denmark who attempted to dispose of a stolen safe by throwing it into a lake was foiled when blank.

FERO: It was too heavy to lift.

PESCA: When the lake was completely frozen, so the safe just sat on top.


PESCA: According to Danish police, who we should point out are police from Denmark, not a group of crime-fighting pastries...


PESCA: ...The thief must have failed to break into the safe and then decided to dispose of it in the lake, hoping all evidence of the crime would quickly sink to the bottom. Unfortunately, it did not break the ice. It just sat there on top. While the thief did get arrested, the safe pulled off a triple Salchow that even the French judges gave a 10.


PESCA: OK, Bill, how did Shelby do?

KURTIS: Shelby got six right - 12 more points. She is in the lead with 14.

PESCA: OK, so what...

FERO: Hello.

PESCA: How many does Tom need to win, in that case?

KURTIS: Tom needs six to tie, seven to win.

PESCA: OK, Tom Bodett - this is for the game. Fill in the blank - this week, federal officials arrested many of the militia members occupying a wildlife refuge in blank.

TOM BODETT: In Oregon.



PESCA: On Wednesday, President Obama called for urgent action to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne blank virus.

BODETT: The Zika virus.



PESCA: On Monday, a Texas grand jury indicted the pair behind the string of videos falsely accusing blank of organ harvesting.

BODETT: Planned Parenthood.

PESCA: Correct.


PESCA: This week, lawmakers in Denmark approved a law allowing authorities to confiscate the valuables from blank to help cover expenses.

BODETT: The refugees.

PESCA: Yes, yes - the asylum-seekers.


PESCA: Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis vowed to play in the Super Bowl despite blank.

BODETT: Besides being cut from the team.

PESCA: Despite having a broken arm. When a drunk Uber passenger in Florida told his driver he might throw up, the driver came to his aid by blanking.

BODETT: He handed him the see-and-say that was laying on the floor and said push cow.


PESCA: By pulling a gun on him and telling him to get out of his car.


BODETT: That would work as well.

PESCA: Yeah. The first rule of being an Uber driver is if you're going to kidnap someone, do it off the clock. And the second rule is always keep your car puke-free. That's what Patrick McDonald was trying to do when his passenger told him to pull over because he was going to throw up. McDonald obliged but when the passenger asked him to continue the trip, McDonald fulfilled the lifelong dream of all Uber drivers by pulling a gun and telling the passenger to get out of the car. McDonald was later arrested, but said he'd gladly spend the rest of his life in prison to keep his precious 2004 Ford Focus clean.


PESCA: Bill, did Tom do well enough to win?

KURTIS: He got four right - eight more points, total of 10. But that means Shelby with 14 is the champion.


PESCA: In just a minute, we'll ask our panelists, now that we're talking about a flat earth again, what's the next outdated belief that'll show up in pop culture? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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