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Lightning Fill In The Blank


Now it's time for our final game, Lightning Fill In The Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as they can. Each correct answer is now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

BILL KURTIS: Josh and Negin each have three. P.J. has two.

SAGAL: Oh, my gosh. That means, P.J., you are up first.

PJ O'ROURKE: All righty.

SAGAL: The clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the Pentagon released pictures from the raid that killed Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, former leader of blank.


SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: As protests continued into their second week, the president of blank canceled two planned...

O'ROURKE: Chile. Chile.



SAGAL: On Wednesday, a doctor reported that blank's autopsy was more consistent with homicide than suicide.

O'ROURKE: Oh, that Epstein guy.

SAGAL: Yeah, Jeffrey Epstein.


SAGAL: For Halloween this year, Mitt Romney's grandson son dressed as blank.

O'ROURKE: Hillary Clinton.

SAGAL: No, Pierre Delecto.


SAGAL: On Monday, the CDC reported that most deaths linked to blank involved THC products...

SAGAL: Vaping. Vaping. Vaping.

SAGAL: ...Not - yes, vaping - not nicotine.


SAGAL: A man in Australia who needed help breaking up with his girlfriend asked his mom to call her...


SAGAL: ...And blank.

O'ROURKE: Invite her to that shark dinner.


SAGAL: No. He told her to call his girlfriend and tell her that he was dead.


SAGAL: The couple's relationship had started to go downhill when the man borrowed 500 bucks from his girlfriend, couldn't pay her back, so he did the honest and honorable thing and asked his mom for help faking his own death. It's right in line with that classic breakup excuse, it's not you, I'm dead.


JOSH GONDELMAN: Just ask your mom for the money...

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. It seems weird, but...

GONDELMAN: ...If you're going to go to those lengths.

SAGAL: And apparently it took a year for her to discover this. She actually went to the restaurant where he had worked, and he was still working there, which brings up the question...

O'ROURKE: Must have scared the hell out of her (laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah, I know. Which brings up the question, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother calls saying, oh, your boyfriend's dead - Australian accent - your boyfriend's dead. And she goes, oh. Yeah.

GONDELMAN: I guess we're square is what she's saying.

SAGAL: Yeah.

O'ROURKE: That relationship wasn't going anyplace anyway.

SAGAL: Yeah, I guess so. Bill, how did P.J. do on our quiz?

KURTIS: He did pretty good - four right, eight more points, total of 10, which puts him in the lead.

SAGAL: All right, very good.

O'ROURKE: Very temporarily (laughter).

SAGAL: Well, Josh has elected to go last. So, Negin, you're up next.


SAGAL: Please fill in the blank. On Tuesday, lawmakers in the U.K. approved snap elections to break an impasse over blank.

FARSAD: Brexit.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Monday, a court in blank ruled that the state's congressional maps were unconstitutional.

FARSAD: North Carolina.

SAGAL: Very good.


SAGAL: This week, social media site blank announced it was banning all political ads.

FARSAD: Twitter.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: On Tuesday, a judge temporarily blocked an Alabama law banning nearly all blanks.

FARSAD: Abortions.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, security cameras caught a man wearing blank stealing money from a laundromat.

FARSAD: Oh, wearing a dog costume.

SAGAL: No, he wore a shirt that said it's not a crime unless you get caught.


SAGAL: On Monday, standup comedian blank was awarded the Mark Twain Award for comedy.

FARSAD: I don't know.

SAGAL: It's Dave Chappelle.

FARSAD: Oh, Dave Chappelle.

SAGAL: A suspicious package that shut down...


SAGAL: ...A New York train station was determined by investigators to be a blank.

FARSAD: A fun package.

SAGAL: No, it was a box containing a device to help people call in suspicious packages.


SAGAL: After seeing this box sitting there by the side of the station near the wall, a commuter ran to a nearby MTA Help Point system - these are devices set around stations that let you contact police about suspicious packages - called it in. Police evacuated the station, cautiously opened the box, revealing a new MTA Help Point system unit.


GONDELMAN: These are amazing.

O'ROURKE: That's the best.

GONDELMAN: That means you don't even have to plug them in for them to work.

SAGAL: It just works. It's amazing. Bill, how did Negin do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She got four right for eight more points, total of 11. Negin is now in the lead.

SAGAL: All right, so how many then does Josh Gondelman need to win his first game with us?

KURTIS: Well, four to tie, five to win.

SAGAL: All right, Josh, here we go. This is for the game. On Wednesday, House Democrats asked former National Security adviser blank to testify in the impeachment inquiry.


SAGAL: No, John Bolton.

GONDELMAN: Oh, right.

SAGAL: On Tuesday, the blank voted to allow college athletes to profit...


SAGAL: ...Off their name, image and likeness. Right.


SAGAL: This week, strong winds hastened the growth of the blanks threatening California.

GONDELMAN: Wildfires.



SAGAL: For the third time this year, the blank cut short-term interest rates.

GONDELMAN: Federal Reserve.

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: This week, a government employee in a small South Carolina town says he was fired because the mayor disapproved of blank.

GONDELMAN: His hairstyle.

SAGAL: No, of a call he made during a kickball game. This week, NBC Universal said it was releasing former employees from nondisclosure agreements relating to blank.

GONDELMAN: "The Apprentice."



GONDELMAN: Just some wishful thinking.

SAGAL: We wish. Sexual harassment. On Tuesday, HBO announced it would not be going forward with one of the planned prequels to blank.

GONDELMAN: "Game Of Thrones."

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: McDonald's of Portugal has apologized for a new...


SAGAL: ...Commercial promoting its strawberry ice cream dessert with the slogan blank.

GONDELMAN: Sundae Bloody Sundae.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.


O'ROURKE: Woo, good.



SAGAL: Of course, they thought they were just making a cool Halloween reference to the U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday," but they forgot the song is about Bloody Sunday in northern Ireland, where more than a dozen people were killed. And that's not cool, unlike McDonald's McFlurry, a delicious ice cream treat.


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

KURTIS: He got five right, 10 more points, a total of 13. The rookie wins.


SAGAL: Congratulations. Well done.

FARSAD: You get nothing.

SAGAL: Nothing at all.

GONDELMAN: Exactly what my heart feels like I deserve. **** Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.