Flip It And Reverse It

Aug 22, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2015 1:33 pm

The Missy Elliott song "Work it" is actually about word games. Hear us out: Her lyrics, which command us to "flip it and reverse it," could also be applied to movie, book and TV show titles. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg describes a re-imagined pop culture premise, and you must flip and reverse the order of the words in its title.

After the game, house musician Jonathan Coulton covers the Elvis Costello tune, "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror."

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Let's welcome our first two contestants, Meredith Heil and Matt Ragan.


EISENBERG: If you guys could travel in time - you have a time machine; already this is exciting - and you can travel to any period in history, any generation, where would you? Meredith?

MEREDITH HEIL: I'd say Prohibition.


HEIL: I think I could start something crazy.

EISENBERG: I like that. You just want to go back where there was less freedom.

HEIL: Yeah. You know, I need an obstacle.


EISENBERG: You like a challenge.

HEIL: I like a challenge.

EISENBERG: That's perfect.

HEIL: That's why I'm here.

EISENBERG: That's perfect. Matt?

MATT RAGAN: I think I'd try and go back and keep my grandparents from meeting just to see if it does make everything blow up.

EISENBERG: Oh. You got self-esteem problems, Matt.


EISENBERG: Well, in this first game you are going to follow the lead of the Missy Elliot chorus: Flip it and reverse it. Because if you listen very carefully to that song, it is about word games. Every answer is a famous title or phrase backwards. Puzzle guru Art Chung, do you have an example?

ART CHUNG: I do, Ophira. If we said it's a popular '90s sitcom about a sports writer who realizes his newfound appreciation for his wife, his parents, and even his ginormous brother, that would be "Raymond Loves Everybody" or "Everybody Loves Raymond" backwards.

EISENBERG: Contestants, ring in when you know the answer, and the winner will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. George Clooney starred in this long-running television medical drama where doctors reply to each other's emails.



EISENBERG: "RE" is correct.


EISENBERG: Oh, the episode when they reply all. That was a 911. A golf course made entirely of breakfast food is the setting of this classic Dr. Seuss book which stars Am I Sam.


EISENBERG: Meredith?

HEIL: "Ham Green and Eggs"? Wait. That doesn't make any sense at all.


HEIL: "Ham and Eggs Green."

CHUNG: That's correct.

EISENBERG: There you go.


EISENBERG: Right now we have a tie. This Lynyrd Skynyrd hit song is a favorite among ornithophobes.


EISENBERG: Meredith?

HEIL: "Alabama Home Sweet"?


HEIL: Am I screwing everything up?

EISENBERG: You're not screwing everything up. That's just wrong.


EISENBERG: But you didn't screw anything up.

HEIL: Fair enough. Fair enough.

EISENBERG: You're totally on the right track.



RAGAN: "Bird Free."

EISENBERG: "Bird Free." That's right.


EISENBERG: In this classic arcade game, the player uses a joystick to divert funds from a misogynist political action committee. This is some high concept stuff we're working on here.


EISENBERG: Meredith?

HEIL: Mario Super Pack?


CHUNG: That sounds like an awesome game, by the way.

EISENBERG: I like it. No, that is not what we're looking for in this case. Matt? Classic arcade game. The player uses a joystick to divert funds of a misogynistic political action committee.


EISENBERG: Meredith, we can't have you answer again.

HEIL: Oh, sorry.




RAGAN: Man Pac Ms.

HEIL: We'll take Man Pac.

EISENBERG: Yeah, we'll take it. We'll take it. Yes. Man Pac was what we were going with but we'll take Ms. as well because you're right, it's misogynist. Right, exactly. I understand what you're saying. Yep.


EISENBERG: Right. The ghosts are the misogynists, which you would expect from Inky and Blinky and Pinky? Come on. In the last film of this Pixar trilogy, Woody and Buzz Light Year ride the elevator to the top floor of Barbie's enormous dream house.



RAGAN: "Three Story Toy."

EISENBERG: "Three Story Toy."


EISENBERG: And this is your final question. This reality show hosted by Heidi Klum follows a bunch of engineers building an airplane landing strip.


EISENBERG: Meredith.

HEIL: "Model Top Next America." I think my brain's backwards.

EISENBERG: No, that's OK. That is - we're just looking - yes. That is a reality show but not with Heidi Klum.


EISENBERG: Matt for the steal? Nope. OK. Anyone out there?


EISENBERG: "Runway Project." Where Heidi Klum, instead of auf wiedersehen says bon voyage.

HEIL: I just thought of that.


HEIL: Yeah.

EISENBERG: OK. Art, how did our contestants do?

HEIL: Well, it was a bit of a tough game but Matt's our winner.


EISENBERG: Matt, congratulations. You'll be moving on to our Ask Me One More final round. Meredith, thank you so much. I want to give Meredith a huge round of applause. Excellent contestant.


EISENBERG: And how about now we have a little Jonathan Coulton?


JONATHAN COULTON: (singing) One day you're going to have to face the deep, dark truth within and it's going to tell you things that I still love you too much to say. The sky was just a purple bruise, the ground was iron. You fell all around the town until you looked the same. The same eyes, the same lips, the same laugh from your tongue trips. Deep, dark, deep dark truthful mirror. Deep, dark, deep, dark truthful mirror.


EISENBERG: Jonathan Coulton.

COULTON: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.