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Mystery Guest

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 11:11am

Our Mystery Guest is Lauren Singer who decided to change her life in a radical way while she was in college. Ophira Eisenberg and guest musician Julian Velard ask yes or no questions to figure it out.

(Image credit: Mike Katzif/NPR)

Ménage À Trois

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:34am

They say two is company and three's a crowd, but these treasured trios prove that saying wrong. Contestants must guess the collective name given to a particular trio.

Roy Wood Jr.: Puzzle Banger After Banger

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:34am

Comedian and Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr. shares the struggles of raising his son in a world with racism and $9 smoothies. Then we quiz him on his favorite pastime—jigsaw puzzles!

(Image credit: Mike Katzif/NPR)

A Bech-delicate Balance

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:34am

In this game, contestants guess the names of the surprising bro-y films that happen to pass the Bechdel test.

This That Or The Other

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:34am

In this week's edition of This That or the Other, poetry meets mystery meets...alt rock. Are these the titles of poems by Robert Frost, Nancy Drew books, or the name of alternative rock bands?

Celebrity Name Combos

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 10:34am

Contestants must guess the phrase created by combining the last names of celebrities.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Legion' And 'Planet Earth 2'

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 8:30am

On this week's show, TV critic Alan Sepinwall joins the table to talk about two new shows: FX's 'Legion' and the follow-up to the BBC's beloved 'Planet Earth.'

(Image credit: Chris Large/FX)

Nature's Ready For Her Close-Up: 'Planet Earth II' Returns In Ultra High-Def

Fri, 02/17/2017 - 3:59am

The original BBC series was one of the first blockbuster high-definition TV shows. A decade later, drones and light-weight steady cams give viewers a front-row view of nature's majesty and fragility.

(Image credit: Emma Napper/BBC America)

2 High School Teachers Throw Punches And Crude Jokes In 'Fist Fight'

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 4:00pm

Charlie Day and Ice Cube lead a great cast, but this comedy, filled with cruel pranks and retrograde notions of masculinity, "leaves a sour aftertaste," says critic Scott Tobias.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture)

'A Cure For Wellness' Needs A Dose Of Originality

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 4:00pm

Director Gore Verbinski leans on tried-and-true horror visuals to provide this film, set in a sinister Alpine spa, with its scares. But at 2 1/2 hours, patient fatigue sets in early.

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

'The Great Wall' Isn't, Particularly

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 4:00pm

This visually impressive, narratively muddy, pseudo-historic monster movie disappoints. "It's bonkers in theory, but prosaic in execution," says critic Mark Jenkins.

(Image credit: Jasin Boland /Universal Pictures)

Book Review: '300 Arguments,' Sarah Manguso

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 3:31pm

Poetry reviewer Tess Taylor declares Sarah Manguso's new book, 300 Arguments, is poetry, not essays — or is it?

'Manchester By The Sea' Director Probes The Drama Of Grief

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 2:17pm

Kenneth Lonergan's new film is about a janitor, crippled by guilt and grief, who returns to his hometown after the death of his brother. Originally broadcast Nov. 30, 2016.

In 'Moonlight,' Actor Mahershala Ali Found Characters He Recognized

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 1:45pm

Ali has earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Juan, a drug dealer who becomes an unlikely father figure to a boy who is being bullied at school and neglected at home.

(Image credit: David Bornfriend/A24)

'Ghachar Ghochar' Presents A Fretful Vision Of Indian Class Anxiety

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 1:07pm

The narrator of Vivek Shanbhag's new novel once lived a lower-class subsistence in Bangalore. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Ghachar Ghochar embodies the "fear of falling into economic and moral ruin."

(Image credit: Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

Meet Freda DeKnight, A 'Hidden Figure' And Titan Of African-American Food

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 11:55am

DeKnight was Ebony's first food editor and author of a best-selling African-American cookbook in the '40s. Her recipes presented a vision of black America that was often invisible in mainstream media.

(Image credit: Sierra Nicole Rhoden/Chicago Tribune)

Do Not Pass Go: Interview With The Monopoly Thimble

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:47am

Monopoly is dumping one of its traditional game pieces: the thimble. We reached the thimble for a completely imaginary conversation about obsolescence.

(Image credit: Steven Senne/AP)

WATCH: Is This Proust? Scholars Say They've Finally Found Author On Film

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 9:15am

The French novelist Marcel Proust is regularly listed among the greatest writers of the 20th century. But how did the man move? A professor says the answer is on a wedding film over 110 years old.

(Image credit: Le Point/Screenshot by NPR)

Peter S. Beagle Finds Magic In 'Calabria'

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 6:00am

Beagle has spent his career writing about unicorns — and he returns to that enclosed garden with In Calabria, the tale of a grouchy farmer who finds a pregnant unicorn investigating his fields.

(Image credit: Art Resource)

Zach Galifianakis Says 'Baskets' Isn't For Everyone, 'And That Was The Point'

Thu, 02/16/2017 - 3:41am

The comic plays a clown school dropout who finds work with a rodeo. He describes the show as "a weird mix" of drama and comedy. "It's an acquired taste," he says.

(Image credit: Frank Ockenfels/FX)

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