Anagrams For Beginners

May 8, 2020

Comedians Ashley Nicole Black and Chelsea Devantez join forces to unscramble two-word phrases where both words are anagrams of each other.

Heard on D.J. "Shangela" Pierce: Quaran-Queen.

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JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hours of puzzles, word games and making your hand fall asleep so it feels like a stranger is touching your face. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.


I do that every night to fall asleep. Thank you, Jonathan. We're playing games with two great comedians, Ashley Nicole Black and Chelsea Devantez. OK. Ashley, you were doing a podcast for a while before this all happened. Are you thinking about bringing it back?

ASHLEY NICOLE BLACK: It was an advice podcast, and I feel like everybody has the same questions now, so it might not be as varied (laughter).


COULTON: (Laughter).

BLACK: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Chelsea, are you creating new projects in quarantine?

CHELSEA DEVANTEZ: Well, listen, since you've given me this opportunity...


DEVANTEZ: ...I have been reading female celebrity memoirs like crazy. And I've been holding a little book club on my Instagram. And I can highly recommend Jessica Simpson's memoir. Now, I know what you're thinking. No, she's stupid. Chelsea, now I think you're stupid. Well, guess what. It's a phenomenal book, and you should read it and get on my Instagram and join the book club.

EISENBERG: Jessica Simpson, I will say, has the best, most stylish maternity wear.

DEVANTEZ: Well, you know, it's a big part of the book. But Nick Lachey tries to take some of her fashion empire, and she says you got it because I didn't sign a prenup.


COULTON: Oh, wow.

EISENBERG: Ashley, Chelsea, do you want to play another game?



EISENBERG: This game is about anagrams. And that's when you rearrange letters of one word to make another word. Give an example and then we'll figure it out.

COULTON: OK. For example, if I said in Las Vegas, these wagers give you the greatest chance of winning, you would answer best bets.

BLACK: Oh, boy.

COULTON: All right. Two words that are anagrams of each other.

BLACK: This is going - there's going to be some long pauses in this game.


EISENBERG: OK. So it is tricky. But you guys, you got to work together. Here's your first one. And we could talk it out. So whether they like it or not, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen's names both appear in this list of actors from the 2019 film adaptation of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

DEVANTEZ: Judi Dench in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

BLACK: Oh, well, it's cast of "Cats."

EISENBERG: Yeah. "Cats" cast.

DEVANTEZ: (Laughter) I love that we're on the same team.


DEVANTEZ: I do nothing except to watch Ashley get it within milliseconds.


COULTON: All right. Here's the next one. It's the journal where you keep track of how much milk you drink.

DEVANTEZ: Oh, my milk journal. Yes, I do love milk journal quite a bit.

BLACK: A dairy diary.

COULTON: A dairy diary. Yeah. You got it.

DEVANTEZ: Dang, I can't believe she got that.

COULTON: (Laughter).

DEVANTEZ: Well, everyone knows that after you have a glass of milk, you open up your Moleskine. You say I had whole milk today. No, I have not watched the documentaries about cows. I just continue chugging my milk.

EISENBERG: Lactose log, 2020. All right. Can you believe it? I was in my bed working from home, and I spilled champagne on my silky sheets.

DEVANTEZ: Oh. Well, first off, where did you get my diary?


DEVANTEZ: That's an entry I made at 9 a.m. this morning. Thank you for including it and plugging it. Well, Ashley, what have you got?

BLACK: Oh, a satin stain.



EISENBERG: Satin stain.

DEVANTEZ: Wow. Well, now I know the name of my book that...


DEVANTEZ: "Satin Stain," by Chelsea Devantez, "How She Spent Her Pandemic."

BLACK: And there's just a list of milks drank.

COULTON: (Laughter) Even baby sheep need ChapStick, but they call it this.

BLACK: What's a baby sheep?

DEVANTEZ: Oh, sure, like, lamb balm.

COULTON: Yeah, lamb balm. There you go, Chelsea.

DEVANTEZ: Yes, yes, never forget that I also answered one correctly.

BLACK: (Laughter).

COULTON: Chelsea, you just Ashley'd that question.



EISENBERG: Oh, Ashley, Chelsea, you were a great team. Ashley Nicole Black writes and stars in "A Black Lady Sketch Show" on HBO. Chelsea Devantez writes for the ABC comedy series "Bless This Mess." Ashley, Chelsea, thank you so much for joining us on ASK ME ANOTHER.

DEVANTEZ: Thank you for having us.

BLACK: Thanks so much for having us.

EISENBERG: Yeah, it was a pleasure.

DEVANTEZ: It was so fun.

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