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Lightning Fill In The Blank

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now onto 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 he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?

BILL KURTIS: Maeve and Roxanne each have two, and Adam has four. Look out.

SAGAL: Oh, my God. Well, we flipped a coin, and Maeve has elected to go first. So the clock will start when I begin your first question. Fill in the blank. On Wednesday, the White House ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from blank.

MAEVE HIGGINS: From Syria.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a federal judge blocked Trump's restriction on migrants seeking blank.

HIGGINS: Asylum.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Tuesday, the governor of Arizona appointed Martha McSally to fill blank's Senate seat.

HIGGINS: What? Is that a real name?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Martha McSally is, in fact, a real name.

HIGGINS: Is going to fill a Senate seat.

SAGAL: Yes.

HIGGINS: Oh, I'm just trying to think of names that rhyme with hers, but that is not how it works.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, that's not it. There are a lot of criteria for the Senate, but that's not one of them.

HIGGINS: Yeah, oh, John McCain.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: John McCain, yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Following his comments on immigration, Fox News host blank was dropped by over 20 advertisers.

HIGGINS: Little Tucker Carlson.

SAGAL: Little Tucker Carlson.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: A cat in Canada who just wanted to sit inside a box...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...Got more than it bargained for when it ended up blanking.

HIGGINS: Something happened to it.

SAGAL: Yes, what happened to it?

HIGGINS: A dog came into the box.

SAGAL: No, it got sealed up and was shipped over 700 miles away.

HIGGINS: Oh, my gods.

SAGAL: The cat's owner was shipping some tire rims from Nova Scotia to Montreal when the cat thought, box? I love boxes. Climbed in without anybody noticing - box was sealed, shipped. The cat was eventually found by a delivery driver 700 miles away who noticed that the rims smelled a little like a litter box.

HIGGINS: Oh, my gods.

SAGAL: The woman was overjoyed to get her cat back until she opened the box, and the cat jumped out and said, I will have my vengeance, human, in this life...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...Or the next.

HIGGINS: What an adorable - like, you're just working in a car tire...

SAGAL: Yeah.

HIGGINS: ...Place or something. And then you get a kitten.

SAGAL: Yeah.

HIGGINS: It's amazing.

SAGAL: It's a Christmas...

HIGGINS: You know what? We should all put more cats in boxes.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Maeve do on our quiz?

KURTIS: She got four right, eight more points - total of 10. And for right now, she has the lead.

SAGAL: All right.

HIGGINS: Winning.

(APPLAUSE)

ADAM FELBER: Yes, winning - #winning.

SAGAL: Roxanne, you're up next. Fill in the blank. On Thursday, President Trump announced that Defense Secretary blank would step down in February.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Mattis.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: After allegations that it misused funds, the blank Foundation agreed to close this week.

ROBERTS: The Trump Foundation.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, officials in blank said they wouldn't denuclearize until the U.S. removed its own nuclear threat.

ROBERTS: North Korea.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Tuesday, the Trump administration banned the sale and use of blanks.

ROBERTS: Bump stocks.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a special holiday report in the Tampa Bay Times revealed it would cost $1 billion to blank.

ROBERTS: To buy all the things in "Santa Baby."

SAGAL: You're exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

HIGGINS: Wow.

SAGAL: According to a recent study, there's been a 10 percent increase in high schoolers who blank.

ROBERTS: Who vape?

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, streaming video site blank removed 58 million videos that were deemed to have hateful or offensive content.

ROBERTS: I believe that's YouTube.

SAGAL: It was.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act filed by a government watchdog group...

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: ...This week, the CIA was forced to release top-secret documents pertaining to blank.

ROBERTS: Spy movies?

SAGAL: No, otters.

ROBERTS: Otters.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBERTS: Wait, how many documents?

SAGAL: It's called a dossier on the otter and sounds like a fifth-grade science project written by Christopher Steele.

FELBER: (Laughter).

SAGAL: And it pretty much is. It's broken into sections like, what is an otter? And how does an otter move? And otter do's and don'ts - and contains plenty of facts about an otter's diet and daily habits and a wild story about a group of otter prostitutes at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, how did Roxanne do on our quiz?

KURTIS: Got within one - seven right, 14 more points - 16 and the lead.

SAGAL: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: How many, then, does Adam need to win this game?

KURTIS: Well, six to tie, and seven to win.

SAGAL: Here we go, Adam. This is for the game, Adam. Fill in the blank. On Thursday, the House approved a sweeping bill overhauling the blank.

FELBER: Criminal justice system.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Sunday, U.N. negotiators agreed to universal limits on blank.

FELBER: Carbon emissions.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, it was announced that Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the blank, would leave by the end of the year.

FELBER: Interior.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: On Wednesday, the Fed approved the fourth blank of 2018.

FELBER: Rate hike.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: This week, a woman wound up in trouble with the law after her kids were found home alone blanking.

FELBER: Watching "Home Alone."

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: According to a new study, the average American is getting blanker, but not taller.

FELBER: Fatter.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: Best known as the star of "Laverne & Shirley" and director of the movies "Big" and "A League Of Their Own," blank passed away at age 75.

FELBER: Penny Marshall.

SAGAL: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The Sun newspaper sounded an alarm this week with a story that claimed blank were found hiding out under a blank.

FELBER: Elves were found hiding out under a tree.

SAGAL: No, The Sun newspaper reported that mutant sharks were found hiding out under an underwater volcano.

ROBERTS: With the otters, probably.

FELBER: Oh, I did read that one.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: We always knew that life imitated art. We just had no idea that life considered "Sharknado" art.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Mutant sharks have evolved to live in the harsh conditions beneath a volcano that's just about to explode. This is the phase of global warming that climatologists refer to as, come on, Earth, you're just messing with us now.

(LAUGHTER)

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

KURTIS: You know, thank God that he didn't transfer that point...

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: ...Because he got seven right, 14 more points and a total of 18 and the win.

SAGAL: Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.