Allusionist 62: In Crypt, Decrypt

Crossword-solving is often a solitary activity - over breakfast; on the train; on the loo... But a few times a year, crossword puzzle enthusiasts gather in their hundreds to compete to be the fastest, most accurate crossword-solver.

This episode comes to you from a church basement on the Upper East Side of New York City, wherein takes place America's second largest crossword puzzle tournament: Lollapuzzoola.

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Allusionist 61: In Your Hand

"It's sort of frozen body language; that's what handwriting analysis is about."

Since it caught on a couple of hundred years ago, graphology - analysing handwriting to deduce characteristics of the writer - has struggled to be taken seriously as a practice. But undoubtedly, there are things about ourselves that we can't help but reveal in our handwriting.

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Allusionist 60: Zillions

They look like numbers. They sound like numbers. You kinda know they are numbers. But they're not actually numbers. Linguistic anthropologist Stephen Chrisomalis explains what's going on with indefinite hyperbolic numerals like 'zillion', 'squillion' and 'kajillion'.

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