Listen along using one of the methods above, or visit theallusionist.org/2018quiz to find out more about this episode.
This is the Allusionist, in which I, Helen Zaltzman, am putting your linguistic wits to the test with a quiz! Play along at home. Go on, get something to write your answers on and something to write your answers with. Paper and pen or pencil? Classic. Etchasketch? Impractical, but better than scribbling on the wall with your own body fluids. Alternatively, visit theallusionist.org/2018quiz, where there’s an answer sheet right there ready, with little tickable boxes.
While you obtain your writing materials and put on your quizzing bonnet, I’m going to tell you about another bit of Allusionist fun: I have put together a little puzzle booklet, to celebrate Radiotopia’s annual fundraising drive, during which listeners such as you help keep this podcast going and the others in the collective. You print the puzzle booklet at home (or work, if it’s not going to get you into trouble) and you can get the puzzles if you donate ANY amount of money at Radiotopia.fm between now and the end of our 2018 fundraiser. $1 gets you puzzles! $100 gets you puzzles! Same puzzles. Same word-based puzzle joy. The fundraiser concludes on 21 December, so scurry to radiotopia.fm to support this show and to support the rest of our podcast collective - and to get your puzzles.
Here’s a practice question:
HZ: Now, here’s a question from Joe Richman of Radio Diaries.
HZ: Here is the final question of the quiz and here are Jen Poyant and Manoush Zomorodi of Zigzag.
And that’s the quiz! Tot up your scores.
Let me know how you did, at twitter.com/allusionistshow and facebook.com/allusionistshow. You can see all these questions at theallusionist.org/2018quiz. [It’s ok, transcript-readers: you already saw them!]
And if you like the Allusionist, consider becoming a donor at radiotopia.fm, because your contributions not only allowed this show to begin, four years ago, they really do help keep the show afloat financially. It’s been a slightly worrying year or two for me in podcasting; it’s a bit of a gold rush, but oddly that’s made it a tad more difficult for a show like this to survive, because the Allusionist is not about murder, or politics, and it’s not at all sensational; it’s this strange little thing which is about language and how we communicate - which I think it’s important, of course, indeed far more important than I tend to state overtly. But primarily this show is for your entertainment, and to keep you company during a commute, a boring job, a sleepless night, a lonely or stressful time, or whenever, really. It’s just a huge privilege for me that you let me crawl into your brains via your ears, and thanks so much for spending twenty to thirty minutes with me biweekly, or bimonthly - fortnightly, dammit, fortnightly, let’s end the folly.
Anyway, thank you ever so much for making it possible for me to produce this show four years ago and now and, hopefully, in the near future. Radiotopia’s 2018 fundraiser ends on 21 December, so waste no time: head to radiotopia.fm to make a donation, and as aforementioned, ANY amount gets you the exclusive Allusionist puzzle booklet, even just one dollar; if you’re already a donor, just chip in another dollar or whatever to get the puzzles. I think it’s worth a dollar, it’s taken my puzzle-testers at least a couple of hours to finish the booklet so that’s less than one cent per minute of puzzle funtime. There’s a crossword, a wordsearch, some fun with portmanteaus, a fill-in-the-blanks game about scandals ending in -gate. And you can only get the puzzles if you donate between now and 21 December at radiotopia.fm. Again: thank you, and I’m looking forward to spending your money on making more Allusionist in 2019.
To round off 2018, let’s have one more randomly selected word from the dictionary...
hesternal, adj: of yesterday.
Try using it in an email today.
This fundraiser special episode was written and produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Music and noises were provided by Martin Austwick. Thanks to my fellow Topes who appeared, they are good sports and very generous-hearted, and I am very proud and lucky to be in the Radiotopia collective with them. Thanks also to the people of PRX, who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep Radiotopia going.
The Allusionist will return on 23 January 2019, but in the meantime, catch up on all the episodes - this show is full of useful little facts and tidbits to throw into strugglesome conversations that you might be stuck having during the festive period; I am happy to provide this service. All the episodes and transcripts and additional material and the full dictionary entries for the word of the day and a lexicon of every word that’s been discussed on the show and information about events I’m doing and links to Allusional social media: everything is at the show’s forever home theallusionist.org.