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Breakfast Cereal Haiku


You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER, answering questions since 2012. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and with me is puzzler extraordinaire Noah Tarnow.


NOAH TARNOW: Hello. Thank you, Ophira.

EISENBERG: Hi, thank you. Thank you for being a puzzler extraordinaire.

TARNOW: You're welcome. I worked hard to get here today.

EISENBERG: I know, I don't use that lightly, either. Sometimes I just say puzzle good guy.


EISENBERG: You know, extraordinaire's a big deal.

TARNOW: Extraordinaire. Okay, good.

EISENBERG: Shall we meet our contestants?

TARNOW: I would love to meet our contestants.

EISENBERG: Let's meet our contestants, everybody. We have Adam Hussein.



EISENBERG: And Karla Devries.



EISENBERG: Hello. So Karla, I am told through my intense research department that you work at the Met Museum. That is my favorite job on the planet that I can imagine.

DEVRIES: I do, yes.

EISENBERG: That - so what do you do at the Met?

DEVRIES: I work on the jewelry that goes in the gift shop.

EISENBERG: Oh, nice.

DEVRIES: Yeah, fun.

EISENBERG: It was like ooh, what's your discount? Yeah.

DEVRIES: Yeah, it's good.

EISENBERG: And what's your favorite thing about working at the Met? Any - do you get to go behind the scenes or...

DEVRIES: I do, lots of behind the scenes. I've gotten to touch real artwork, very exciting.

EISENBERG: I thought you're not supposed to do that.

DEVRIES: Yeah, you're not. But behind the scenes, everyone's touching things, yeah.

EISENBERG: You can do whatever you want. Everyone's like, licking?



EISENBERG: Have you ever licked Van Gogh's ear before? It's amazing. All right, well, I'm so excited to have you here, Karla. Welcome.

DEVRIES: Thank you.

EISENBERG: And Adam Hussein. Hello, Adam.


EISENBERG: Now I'm really into this idea that you have a crazy hobby.

HUSSEIN: I do. I do aerial dance, so we...

EISENBERG: There was a gasp in the crowd. What?


HUSSEIN: There's a workout space in Bushwick, called House of Yes, where I go. And it's a three-stories-high ceiling, and we attach fabric to the ceiling and climb up. It's a great workout and occasionally, I get to fall from the top, rolling down and dancing up there.

EISENBERG: So, you fall down from the fabric and then dance up?

HUSSEIN: Somewhat connected to it, not just let go.

EISENBERG: That sounds crazy. Do you have a special move; like, that's the Adam Hussein move?

HUSSEIN: Yes, the double-ankle drop.

EISENBERG: Oh yeah, yeah, I'm familiar.


HUSSEIN: You just - you wrap both your ankles together, and you just sort of let go, like you were on a bungee cord, but you're just sort of snapping back.

EISENBERG: Wow, that sounds insane.

HUSSEIN: It's a lot of fun.

EISENBERG: Yeah, I guess so. Well good, you guys are - you're risk takers, which makes you good quiz people, especially for this next quiz, because it is about haikus - or has to do with haikus.

TARNOW: So Adam and Karla, I don't know if either of you have ever studied at a Shinto Buddhist temple in Japan.



TARNOW: But if you have, it might come in handy, because this game is called breakfast cereal haiku. If you know - or if you don't know, a haiku is a classic Japanese-style poem of three lines, exactly 17 syllables: five, seven and five.

Now, I am going to read to you some haiku about various breakfast cereals. For each one, all you have to do is name the cereal brand. For example, trio of spokes-imps, a most loquacious breakfast when you pour on milk. Ophira?



EISENBERG: That would be Rice Krispies.

TARNOW: That would be Rice Krispies.

EISENBERG: Who doesn't know their spokes-imps?

TARNOW: Who doesn't know their spokes-imps?

EISENBERG: Snap, Crackle and Pop.

TARNOW: Who doesn't know what loquacious means? So, basically, that's it. Contestants ring in when, or if, you know the answer. Whoever gets more right moves onto our Ask Me One More final round. All right, here we go. A scoop of dried fruits, a second scoop of dried fruits, plus digestive flakes.


TARNOW: I believe it was Karla.

DEVRIES: Raisin Bran?

TARNOW: Raisin Bran is correct, well done.


TARNOW: All right, next one, yellow, pillow-shaped, spokesperson from the high seas, rubs the palate raw.


TARNOW: Yes, Karla again.


DEVRIES: Captain Crunch?

TARNOW: I'm going to give it to you. It's Cap'n Crunch.

DEVRIES: Oh, Cap'n.

TARNOW: But we will give you Captain Crunch.

DEVRIES: I was trying to enunciate.


TARNOW: He's not really a captain.


TARNOW: The next one. Petite crunchy rings, flavored with insect products, plus edible seeds.


TARNOW: Was it Karla, Ophira?

EISENBERG: It was Adam.

TARNOW: It was Adam this time. Adam?

HUSSEIN: Honey Nut Cheerios.

TARNOW: Honey Nut Cheerios, yes. It's a honey of an o.


TARNOW: Not ordinary, and the symbol for thousand, hawked to dieters.


TARNOW: Yes, Adam?

HUSSEIN: Special K?

TARNOW: Special K, indeed.


TARNOW: Fiend in a black cape...



TARNOW: I want to see if Karla can get this.

DEVRIES: Count Chocula?

TARNOW: Count Chocula is right.


TARNOW: That one's not quite a haiku. It's a hai; just the first lines.


TARNOW: All right, based on candy bar...


TARNOW: Really?

EISENBERG: That was Adam.


HUSSEIN: Reese's Peanut Butter Crunch?

TARNOW: It's not really what it's called, but we're going to give it to you.

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah?

TARNOW: Yeah. Reese's Puffs, they are called. We will give it to you.


TARNOW: Based on candy bar, chocolate and jelly's pal.

EISENBERG: All right, I should mention right now that the score is tied.

TARNOW: It is tied.

EISENBERG: When it comes to cereals, we know what's going on.


EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: We have a cereal situation here.


TARNOW: Scary neon hues. Green, and some weird shade of orange. What fruit looks like this?


TARNOW: Karla?

DEVRIES: Apple Jacks?

TARNOW: Apple Jacks is right.


TARNOW: That means, in a very close game, Karla wins.

EISENBERG: Karla. Yeah, Karla, congratulations.


TARNOW: Well done.

EISENBERG: What a tight game. Adam, fantastic work.

HUSSEIN: Thank you.

EISENBERG: Well done Karla, you'll be moving on to our final elimination round, Ask Me One More, at the end of the show. Thank you guys so much, great game.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.