Lateral with Tom Scott

Comedy panel game podcast about weird questions with wonderful answers, hosted by Tom Scott.

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Episode 71: The sushi blockbuster

Published 16th February, 2024

Daniel Peake, Lizzy Skrzypiec and Bill Sunderland face questions about bonus bunkers, fitness fanatics and incidental insurance.

HOST: Tom Scott. QUESTION PRODUCER: David Bodycombe. RECORDED AT: The Podcast Studios, Dublin. EDITED BY: Julie Hassett. MUSIC: Karl-Ola Kjellholm ('Private Detective'/'Agrumes', courtesy of ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS: Michael Teasdale, Mitchel van Ham, Andy Johnson, Nathan H., Bruno V.. FORMAT: Pad 26 Limited/Labyrinth Games Ltd. EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: David Bodycombe and Tom Scott.


Transcription by Caption+

Tom:Why do signs saying, "Beware of pickpockets" often encourage pickpockets to hang around those areas?

The answer to that at the end of the show. My name's Tom Scott, and this is Lateral.

On the show, it is the return of the question team. We have three people who spend a lot of their time setting up questions for others.

We start, from Escape This Podcast, Bill Sunderland.
Bill:Hey, I'm back. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to answer some questions.
Tom:So you're with the same folks who were setting questions as last time. How did it feel being a returning person to the show with people who are now usually on your end of things?
Bill:Oh, it's interesting.

The problem is I always do both, because while on the main episodes of Escape This Podcast, I'm behind the scenes, helping the escape room run and being the one with all the answers, I have to do all the playtesting. So I have to play them all first, get them all right, see how— So I'm used to both sides.

And clearly, Daniel and Lizzy are both ...good at answering questions as well, 'cause I think we smashed it last time.
Tom:Also joining us from Murder, She Didn't Write and from being a question producer for multiple TV shows, Lizzy Skrzypiec.
Lizzy:That's correct. Two points to you, Tom. This how we're doing it this time?
Tom:(laughs) Oh, oh, I don't like that. I don't like that.
Tom:That's been Uno reversed on me, and I do not like it!
Tom:How are you doing? It was your first time on the show last time. How are you feeling coming back?
Lizzy:Yeah, I'm glad to be back. I really enjoyed myself. I like that we got lots right, and I'm ignoring the many deviations we took together because they were fun.
Tom:Also joining us is a puzzle editor for The Telegraph and a writer for quiz show Only Connect, Daniel Peake.
Daniel:Good day.
Tom:How was it for you to be on here last time? As a question-answerer instead of a setter?
Daniel:Great fun. I love having lightbulb moments, because normally when you're writing questions, you want people to have that a-ha moment. It is genuinely fun to see other people have it. But to have one myself was absolutely lovely.

The thing with writing questions is you always have the internet at your side, so you just quickly Google and go, "Yes, right, I know the answer to that here." None of that makes it a lot harder.
Tom:Also you stream puzzles on your Twitch stream?
Daniel:I do.
Tom:Do you ever have to quickly do some referencing on the side there to make it work?
Daniel:I may have a second monitor just over there
SFX:(group laughing)
Daniel:for such a thing. Luckily I have a very intelligent chat, which helped me out and I'm very open to having, once I ask for help, the chat helping me out. I do not know everything, and I'm very upfront with the fact that I didn't know everything.
Tom:Setting expectations at exactly the right level for Lateral. So, good luck to all three of you.

...I'm not reading a limerick, David!
Bill:Do a limerick.
SFX:(Lizzy and Daniel laugh)
Bill:Do the limerick.
Tom:David, the producer has written a limerick for the segue into the—

I'm gonna have to... I'm just gonna...
Bill:And Tom's gonna read that limerick.
Tom:I just gonna note that says, "read the limerick."

Now that our guests have been met

They are ready to face the threat

Of my tricky clues

That will make them confused

and test their lateral mindset.

That's... It doesn't even scan! Here's question one.
SFX:(guests wheezing)
Tom:Hungarian composer Franz Liszt could be regarded as one of the world's earliest celebrities. As his fandom grew, why was he eventually forced to buy a dog?

I'll say that again.

Hungarian composer Franz Liszt could be regarded as one of the world's earliest celebrities. As his fandom grew, why was he eventually forced to buy a dog?
Bill:(snickers) Just how you get... It's a Lateral question. It just starts so normal, and then drops off a cliff right at the end.

She goes buying a dog.
Tom:There's a... I love this question, 'cause it's got that punchline at the end.

"Why was he eventually forced... to buy a dog?"
Daniel:What, yes?
Daniel:I mean, we've all done it. Just, you know, go about our daily lives.

"Oh no, I've stubbed me toe. Gotta buy a dog now."
Bill:Oh, I know. It's ridiculous. I'm still feeding this one.
Lizzy:I mean, silly pets. Silly pets are common amongst ...A-Liszt celebrities.
Tom:Ohh! The puns have started. It's...
Lizzy:Oh no.
Tom:What I like is that that was what I call a golf clap pun.

It didn't get a laugh, it just got a... (golf claps) "Oh, oh yeah. well, that's solid."
Bill:"That's a good one. Liszt."
Daniel:I would like to emphasise that I did not applaud. I groaned.
SFX:(others laughing)
Daniel:I would like to have that on record.
Tom:That's the same thing for a pun, Dan! That's the same thing.
Daniel:It was excellent, Lizzy.
Bill:So, I'm bringing back the motif. Let's list everything we know about— That was not a pun by— That was an accident. Let's put on— Let's put it out there—
Tom:We're a video call here, and everyone went, "Has he just...?"
Lizzy:Ooh, no.
Bill:No. Let's put out into the air everything we know about Franz Liszt.
Bill:He could play piano.
Lizzy:Yeah, I was gonna say that composer.
Daniel:I got there first, Lizzy. I know.
Bill:I wanna say he was a little bit before Chopin. Because whenever I listen to Liszt, it's like, oh, this sounds like, it's like Chopin, but not quite as sad. He's not quite as sad. Or is he first?
Daniel:Chopin definitely comes first, 'cause Chopin, Liszt.
Lizzy:Oh, the Chopin Liszt. You've gotta remember what you put on your shopping list.
Daniel:Exactly, yeah.
Tom:Oh my god!
Bill:So, okay, you guys have all this great knowledge. This is what I need, okay.

So Chopin's first, Liszt is just happier.
Daniel:You okay there, Tom?
Tom:Yeah, yeah. I'm coping. I'm coping. It's fine.
Lizzy:I'm sorry. Do you need me to go?
Tom:You're not sorry. That's a blatant lie!
Lizzy:Okay, so if he's a first celebrity, is he getting a bit of fan mail? Or is he having a—
Bill:Have you seen Liszt, by the way? Have you ever seen a pic— There's a reason he should be a celebrity? Gorgeous.
Lizzy:Oh, really?
Bill:He's got Fabio hair. He's wonderful. He just— I'd be a Liszt fan. If I saw him in concert, I'd be like, "Buy a dog! Buy a dog!"
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:With the exception of the buy a dog part, now you're starting to go down the right lines here.
Bill:Okay, Liszt is hot. Liszt has big piano hands. Liszt is not quite as sad as Chopin.
Tom:And Liszt had concerts.
Bill:And Liszt— He was like the André Rieu of his time.
Tom:Ooh... yeah. Yes, I will say absolutely yes.
Lizzy:Who's that? André Rieu?
Bill:He's the violin guy. He does a lot of— He plays violin. Everyone loves him.
Tom:Plays violin, big flowing locks, same kind of, you know...
Tom:Same kind of stage appeal.
Bill:Yeah, big Liszt energy.
SFX:(Tom and Daniel laugh)
Daniel:So, was he so good looking, he needed the distraction of a dog so that people looked at the dog and not him.
Tom:It wasn't a guard dog. So, it wasn't that sort of distraction, but he definitely had crazed fans. And while it wasn't a distraction, Dan, that's vaguely starting to get to the right area.
Bill:Was it a decoy? 'Cause Liszt had lovely flowing blonde hair. He got a golden retriever and he sat it in a chair, and everyone went, "Oh my god, it's Liszt!"

And they ran over. And he could sneak out the back of the concert hall.
Tom:You are surprisingly close.
SFX:(Daniel and Bill laugh)
Tom:It wasn't— again. Not a distraction, not a distraction. But—
Daniel:Was it a lookalike?
Bill:Okay, okay.
Bill:Did the dog play piano?
SFX:(Tom and Daniel laugh)
Bill:(hums Keyboard Cat)
Bill:I think I've done my Liszt facts. You guys can take it home.
Daniel:Was the look of the dog important?
Lizzy:Oh, yes.
Tom:I couldn't tell you what breed it was, but golden retriever's a pretty good guess, yeah.
Bill:What does a dog do?
Daniel:Not very much. Eats, sleeps, poops.
Tom:(laughs) Decoy is actually quite close. Not quite the right word, but stand-in, decoy, something like that, yeah. You've hit pretty much all the big points here.
Daniel:Okay, so what if he's so famous that he now needs to be in more than one place at once? But he can't, he's only... He has to obey the laws of physics.
Lizzy:Are you saying he Daft Punk'd everyone?
Tom:With a dog!
Lizzy:With a dog?
Bill:With a dog.
Daniel:Liszt is not able to play the piano today, but here is his dog.
Tom:Have a think about what the fans might be like. Because we're talking the first mass celebrity.
Bill:Ohh... ohh... ohh! Wait, I have a thought. Do they all want locks of his hair?
Tom:They all want locks of his hair. Talk it through.
Lizzy:Oh my god. The dog's got the same hair as him. He's shaving the dog, or not shaving the dog.
SFX:(group laughing)
Lizzy:(imitates razor) And putting it in envelopes back to fans, is he?
Tom:Yep, yeah.

His fans were fainting, screaming, tearing their clothes to get closer to him on stage. They would clamour for any kind of souvenir. He got requests for locks of his hair.

And rather than saying no, he bought a dog that had similar hair and palmed that off.
Bill:Oh, that's fant— I'm so glad I remembered that Liszt had lovely hair.
Tom:Some people say poodle, pomeranian, something like that. Golden retriever probably wouldn't have the right texture, but it's something like that substitute hair for Liszt.
Lizzy:They must think Liszt stank of wet dog all the time.
SFX:(others laughing)
Tom:I mean, this was not the 20th century, you know?
Bill:Yeah, everybody stank of wet dog back then.
Lizzy:Eau de wet dog, yeah.
Tom:Each of our guests has brought a question with them, and we're gonna start today with Lizzy. Take it away.
Lizzy:An advertising campaign shows a Dacia Duster car with the registration plate 'MI 808 TH'. Similar adverts show cars with different number plates, but with the same property. What is it?

An advertising campaign shows a Dacia Duster car with the registration plate 'MI 808 TH'. Similar adverts show cars with different number plates, but with the same property. What is it?
Tom:Now I'm sorry to say that I know the answer to this one. So Bill and Dan, this one's on you.
Daniel:Okay. Good luck, us.
Bill:Okay. I don't know the answer to this one.
Tom:The Dacia Duster is apparently everyone's car in Iceland that has to go off-road occasionally. It just meets the requirements for being able to go a little bit off-road legally, and it's the cheapest option for that.

So it's the first time driving anywhere I've gone, "There's a lot of one model of car here." Once you started seeing them, with the weird X-shaped tail lights, you go, "Why are there so many of these?"

It's like, oh, because it can technically go off-road when it needs to.
Daniel:It just got good suspension or something then.
Tom:Just a Dacia Duster fact there for you. Sorry.
Daniel:There we go. There we are.
Daniel:I'm gonna assu— Well, it's property. Property.
Bill:Yeah, it's a different licence plate for different cars, but that... lends to them the same property... it seems.

Unless it's a complete red herring, and the licence plates are irrelevant, that would be wrong.

So what does 'MI 808 TH' look like? It looks like 'My 80...'
Bill:My 808.
Daniel:My Bob-th.
Bill:Me Bobth.
Daniel:My Bobth.
Bill:That's it. 'Cause Me Bobth
Daniel:is the person who invented the Dacia Duster? Yes. Yes he is.
Lizzy:Oh my god, you've got it.
SFX:(Tom and Daniel laugh)
Bill:Bloody Me Bobth. Okay.
Daniel:I have a feeling they're just humouring us here.
Lizzy:Yes, you haven't got it. I'm sorry.
Tom:It's actually entirely about 808 sequences. And you've gotta have that—

It's always just got a reference to some particularly historic bit of electronic music. Again, I'm just talking.
Bill:Turn your mic— Get outta here, Tom! You know the answer. You stop mocking us.

We— Daniel, Daniel—
Daniel:Yes, yes.
Bill:We do a lot— Both of us do a lot of puzzles.
Bill:We're very puzzle-focused people. What does 'MI 808 TH' mean? It's got '8th' at the end.
Daniel:May is Bob...
Bill:May Is, yep.
Daniel:To her...
Bill:(gasp) May is Bob. That's it. Alright, Lizzy.
Lizzy:Yep. (laughs)
Bill:Did we get it?
Lizzy:Wrap it up! No, this is— That also wasn't it.
Daniel:Is the fact that it's a Dacia Duster important here?
Lizzy:Not really.
Bill:Ooh. I really expected that to be yes.
Lizzy:Exactly. It's just a widely sold car around the world.
Bill:Okay. So, you have an ad. It gets published with... a car. Let's revise to 'a car'. And it says 'MI 8-zero-8' or '8-oh-8 TH', and then a different ad will have a different license plate, but it's the same.

It's the same in spirit, in essence, in heart.
Daniel:(rimshots on desk)
Bill:You look like you've solved it.
Daniel:I just got it. It was something you said. I don't know what, I wasn't listening, but it was something you said.
SFX:(group laughs heartily)
Daniel:It was the word— It was just— I dunno what it was, but it was just...
Tom:I think it may have been 'around the world' that gave it away to you, Dan. Yes, that would be good.
Lizzy:A little clue.
Tom:(laughs) If this turns out to be wrong, it's gonna be brilliant.
Daniel:So I was— What confused me about this question was why couldn't it be other number plates? 'Cause I thought it had to be this specific number plate, but if it's... but... You and I, Bill, we live in countries where you drive on the left.
Bill:Ooh, yeah.
Daniel:But not everywhere drives on the left. Quite a few places drive on the right. Quite a few.

And so what if you want to make an advert, that will work in both?

And I think that's the key. So it is around the world. So what you could do, I guess... Everything has to be flipped if you want to do it. They drive on the other side of the road, but the steering wheel is also on the other side of the road.

So if you have this number plate, if you flip it...
Bill:Ohh! still looks like a number plate. Because that M—
Bill:Because every— Yeah, every letter has that symmetry that it can rotate across its vertical axis, whatever.
Daniel:Yes, yeah.
Bill:Yeah. M is still M, I is still I, 8-0-8-T. But they'll be in the opposite order.
Daniel:They would, but of course, they're not sort of valid number plates anyway. But they still make a number plate.
Bill:That's so cool!
Daniel:So it still looked like letters. So you couldn't use the number three 'cause it wouldn't look right reversed.
Bill:It'll look like a backwards three.
Daniel:So when you were saying about puzzles, Bill, that's what got me onto it.
Lizzy:I mean, that's exact— And they only drive past McDonald's as well because the big M's the same.
SFX:(group laughing)
Bill:That's it.
Lizzy:But yeah, you got it. The number plate can be flipped left to right for when they swap the advert over for other countries that drive on a different side of the road.
Tom:I'm gonna throw in a Ukranian license plate fact here.
Bill:Go for it.
Tom:Which is that Ukrainian license plates only use letters that appear in both the Roman and Cyrillic alphabets.
Tom:Because they use Cyrillic, but also would like to be able to drive their cars into other European countries.
Daniel:Okay, yeah.
Tom:So they just limit it to those letters.
Tom:Thank you to Red Cree for sending in this question.

When travelling, you might see the text 'NOTHAMMER' underneath an actual hammer. Why?

I'll say that again.

When travelling, you might see the text 'NOTHAMMER' underneath an actual hammer. Why?
Lizzy:Is it cake? I've seen a lot of these.
SFX:(others laughing)
Bill:I've seen that show, yeah.
Lizzy:Is it because it's a cake? Come on now. (laughs)
Bill:We can't move on until you answer the question because I think it's a cake.
Lizzy:You need to let me know if it's a cake.
SFX:(group snickering)
Tom:It is... not cake.
Bill:In fact, just next to it, there's a sign that says, 'not cake' underneath a real cake.
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:Actual cake, right?
Bill:That one's a hammer.
Daniel:Is there a long list of signs of things it's not? Not cat, not dog. Not quantumly entangled cheese.
Bill:I think on a molecular level, everything's quantumly entangled cheese.
Daniel:Oh no, here's a philosophical debate.
Bill:It is a hammer, and it's labelled 'not-hammer'.
Tom:It is a hammer. It's labelled 'NOTHAMMER'.
Bill:Are we playing with homophones? Is it a hammer that you use to measure the speed of a ship? Is it like... It's a not-hammer. It's like, every time you go—
Lizzy:Oh, knot.
Bill:Yeah. You know what, yes, it is.
Bill:That's the answer. Yeah, like a K, or is it like, well, you got a knot. You need to untie it. Don't untie it. Just hammer the knot.
Lizzy:(cackles) When I brush my hair at night, I do the same. Yeah, just bang it all over.
Daniel:It solves the problem.
Daniel:It's not MC Hammer in a way, is it?
SFX:(Tom and Lizzy laugh)
Lizzy:Ironically, MC Hammer wasn't even Scottish.
Bill:Or a hammer.
SFX:(guests laughing)
Lizzy:It's not an art thing?
Tom:It's not an art thing.
Daniel:I think the question said, "When travelling." Did it say, "When travelling"?
Bill:Yeah, where are we travelling?
Daniel:(sighs) I mean, you do occasionally get those little hammers on a train to... But those are hammers. And I don't remember it saying underneath, "Not a hammer."
Tom:It is actually that type of hammer.
Lizzy:Well, well, well.
Bill:'NOTHAMMER.' Does it also say 'do'? Does it say, "Do not hammer"? And it's just...
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:I don't think even our question writers are jerks enough to put something like that in a question. It does just say, 'NOTHAMMER'.
Bill:'N-O—' Does 'N-O-T' stand for something?

Nn-something, something, something. There's three words there.

I couldn't swing— string three words together. It's 2 am, and I couldn't string three words together. So someone else will have to do that for me.
Tom:Thank you for being awake on Australian hours for our European recorded podcast.
Daniel:It's a strange sign to have underneath something that is clearly a hammer.
Daniel:Because it's confusing.
Tom:Mm, not sure it is confusing.
Daniel:It's confused me.
Bill:Well, Tom... Are we in a place? Are we in a place where 'not' is referencing something local? Like it we're on the—

Like 'Not' is a company that runs the buses in Finland.
Lizzy:Oh, Nottingham. It's not 'Nottingham Hammer', is it?
Bill:It's a Nottingham Hammer!
Tom:It's a Nottinghammer.
SFX:(guests cheering)

(group laughing)
Tom:Now you're starting to get a little bit closer.

Travelling is more about where you are. It's nothing to do with Nottingham.
Lizzy:Oh, okay.
Tom:But... you're right to pick up on travelling.
Daniel:Normally it's the sort of hammer that you only use in an emergency. Sort of if there's been a train...
Tom:Yes, it's exactly that kind of hammer.
Bill:Is 'not' Estonian for 'emergency'?
Tom:Yeah, it's not Estonia, but you're pretty much there.
Tom:'Nothammer' – one word – is the German for 'emergency hammer'.
Bill:Ohh! It's a bloody nothammer.
Tom:It's a nothammer.
Bill:It was a nothammer! We said it was gonna be a nothammer, and it was!
SFX:(group laughing)
Daniel:This hurts my head.
Tom:Simple as that, yeah. In German, 'not' means 'distress'. So, 'emergency hammer' as we'd say. It would be a 'distress hammer'. It would be a 'nothammer'.
Daniel:I would argue all hammers are distress hammers.
SFX:(others crack up)
Tom:I don't like the implications of that statement.
Bill:I just have an image now of a German ship... lost at sea, and it sends out 'Mayday', and everyone gets really concerned. He goes, "Not!"

"Oh, okay. We'll leave you alone."
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:Dan, over to you for the next question.
Daniel:A 1999 film features a prominent scene inspired by a collection of Japanese sushi recipes. Despite the text being extremely prominent, no viewers noticed this at the time, or even years later. Why?

A 1999 film features a prominent scene inspired by a collection of Japanese sushi recipes. Despite the text being extremely prominent, no viewers noticed this at the time, or even years later. Why?
Lizzy:Well, I tell you one film that was out in 1999 that I'm pretty sure it is.

Is it The Matrix from 1999? Was that the Matrix year?
Tom:Ooh. Oh, oh, it's the... It's the digital rain.
Bill:(imitates dripping)
Tom:The start of The Matrix has that code coming down.
Lizzy:(gasp) Yeah!
Tom:And I remember reading in the making-of, that it's some combination of numbers and random Japanese characters flipped and rotated, that they just... They just built a digital effect. Here's some Japanese text and some characters and...

Is it the digital rain from The Matrix?
Bill:It's gotta be.
Daniel:It's exactly that.
Daniel:It's exactly that. Your 1999 movie knowledge is excellent.

So production designer Simon Whiteley was asked to do the digital rain. And he looked through a Japanese cookbook, and it was owned by his wife, and he just scanned it in. And they are heavily manipulated, these katakana.

But they, in the green rain scene, they are taken from one of those cookbooks.
Tom:I am nerdy enough to know not just the fact, but the term 'digital rain'.
Lizzy:Yeah, impressive.
Tom:Right, next one's from me, folks. Good luck.

The owner of a manufacturing business builds ten identical bunkers to store his stock, even though one bunker is more than sufficient to store everything he needs. Why?

One more time.

The owner of a manufacturing business builds ten identical bunkers to store his stock, even though one bunker is more than sufficient to store everything he needs. Why?
Daniel:I'm gonna take the literal meaning of stock. Was he a soup maker?
Tom:(cracks up) I didn't know if you were gonna go with cattle or soup or...
Daniel:No, soup.
Daniel:Soup. Little stock cubes. Little stock cubes.
Daniel:'Cause they're little tiny. They're very concentrated. You do not need a lot of space. You could put 'em all in the, yeah. We're not talking about stock cubes, are we?
Bill:It was 10 bunkers worth of veggies that got simmered down into one bunker worth of bouillon.
Daniel:This was by Campbell's, wasn't it? Or something like that, was the name of the person.
Bill:God, I can't believe we got through two questions so quickly.
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:I couldn't tell you the name of this one, but this is an anecdote that was told personally to our question writer.
Daniel:Oh, that doesn't rule anything out. Oh, dear. The question editor, he's a wild man.
Bill:Yeah. And loves soup.
Lizzy:We need to work out what the stock is, right?
Lizzy:And that it suggests that maybe it's quite precious. It feels someone's doing the cup trick with bunkers, where you're like, what bunker is it in? Is it in this bunker?

But with... moving stuff about. So you never know where the stock is.
Tom:I mean, you're basically there.
Lizzy:Are you kidding? (laughs)
Tom:I mean... You've more or less got it. It's kind of the cup tr— I need to hear a bit more than that. Why would you do this? What might it be? But you're certainly along the right lines.
Bill:See, this is funny, 'cause— This is good, 'cause now I can say my completely incorrect thought.
Bill:Which was where I first went, which was that he's a 'manufacturer'. He's a bunker manufacturer. That's his job, and so he made all these bunkers. He's like, "I only need one, but I'm gonna make ten. 'Cause that's my job. I make bunkers." But then I realised...
Tom:He's actually just got a bunker of bunkers.
Bill:Yeah, it's one big bunker full of little bunkers.
Tom:And inside those smaller bunkers, tiny bunkers.
Bill:Tiny little bunkers for a little mouse.
SFX:(group laughing)
Bill:Again, it's 2 am, so... But, okay. So we're much closer. So, Lizzy basically got it with... where... it's relevant that we don't know where the stuff is in the bunkers?
Daniel:Or maybe it's to distribute it, rather than just have it all in one place to distribute it. 'Cause it is valuable, whatever it is.
Bill:Yeah. They're a manufacturer, and their stock is stored in a bunker. And it is—
Bill:Could be all be in one, but there's ten of them.
Lizzy:If accidents happen ...and one of those bunkers burned down, you would lose all your stock, right? So if you're like, where do I put my flammable items? (laughs) Well, I shouldn't put 'em all in the same place.
Tom:(laughs) It's actually only one bunker in use at a time.
Daniel:Ooh, okay.
Tom:I would think, actually, Lizzy... (laughs) your choice might be a little bit better for what we're talking about here. But apparently, only one bunker in use at a time.
Bill:Is it... Are we getting into... issues of national security? These bunkers full of nuclear-fissible materials and things like that?
Tom:Okay, way too far. Way too far into the dangerous thing there. But—
Daniel:But still valuable.
Tom:But along those lines, yeah.
Bill:Okay, okay.
Tom:It's not fissile material, but...
Bill:Is it the bomb from the Batman movie that he holds above his head and runs around trying to throw, but he can't? 'Cause there's a marching band, and then there's some ducks. Is it that?
Tom:I mean, I'm tempted to give you it as being close enough, honestly?
Bill:(laughs uproariously) It's batarangs.
Daniel:Is it the nuclear football? No? (stammers) Something that can activate something else?
Tom:It's... (stammers) You're close enough. I'm gonna give it to you.

It is shotgun cartridges.

But this could apply to anything sort of valuable and dangerous and must be locked down. You can't just have them hanging out on the shelves.

Unless you're in America, and we'll just skip past that.
Daniel:(sighs) Yeah.
Tom:But in most countries, you cannot just have these hanging out on the shelves.
Bill:Mm-kay. But why the bunker swap? Is it just so that you don't have an exploding bunker? Or is it to keep people from stealing them?
Tom:It is to keep people from stealing them.
Daniel:So they move it from bunker to bunker occasionally to obscure its actual location?
Tom:There are ten bunkers, and at any time, only one of them has the stock. So if you turn up as a thief, what happens?
Daniel:10% chance, yeah.
Daniel:That you find it.
Tom:A 10% chance that you pick the right one.

A 90% chance that you are so distracted by trying to open the fake bunker that the police will arrive by the time you start on the second or the third.
Bill:Oh my god. The film will be called
Lizzy:Lock, Stock and Nine Empty Bunkers. Let's make it.
Tom:There we go.
SFX:(group laughing)
Bill:Ooh. The problem is, once the bunk— once the the police arrive, they then open eight bunker doors to reveal them all as empty.
SFX:(others laughing)
Bill:And they say, "Do you wanna switch bunkers?" Only to steal from the one they've already got.
Daniel:Always switch bunkers.
Bill:Always switch bunkers.
Tom:Bill over to you for your question.

Wayne heads down to the gym in his plain grey tracksuit.

"Hey, how you been?" asks his pal Bobby.

"I'm working out to toughen up for a new sport I've taken up," replies Wayne.

Bobby says, "I bet I can name the sport and the position you play." How?

And one more time for you.

Wayne heads down to the gym in his plain grey tracksuit.

"Hey, how you been?" asks his pal Bobby.

"I'm working out to toughen up for a new sport I've taken up," replies Wayne.

Bobby says, "I bet I can name the sport and the position you play." How?
Tom:It's a sports question, folks. I'm sure we have some listeners who are great with sports questions, but...
Daniel:I consider myself sport adjacent rather than sporty.
Daniel:Sport happens around me.
Daniel:And then I'm just there. Okay, so Wayne is wearing a plain gray tracksuit, which I'm sure will go... sweat patches. If you're wearing grey, sweat patches are a problem.
Daniel:So, there's your top tip.
Daniel:Heading to the gym. So he's gotta bulk up.
Lizzy:Toughen up.
Bill:Gotta toughen up.
Lizzy:So, it's rare you would toughen up for say, badminton.
SFX:(Tom and Daniel laugh)
Lizzy:Or croquet.
Tom:Extreme Mad Max style badminton with an exploding shuttlecock.
Lizzy:But it might be he was wearing his— What it suggests to me, right, is that he put his – and I don't know the sporting word for this — uniform on... (laughs) that he would maybe wear during the game... to...

So he's probably wearing his... What do you call an outfit that players wear...
Daniel:They strip?
Bill:A little costume?
Lizzy:You're wearing your sports costume to go—
Bill:Uniform, I think you're fine with uniform.
Lizzy:Yeah, you're wearing your sports uniform. Maybe all grey is this person's sports uniform.
Tom:He's playing rugby for the All Blacks.

But unfortunately there was a terrible laundry mess-up, and the tracksuit just went in with the whites, and no, never mind.
Lizzy:The cricket teams.
Tom:Yeah. There we go.
Lizzy:Spo— Yeah. There we go.
Tom:That joke from the 1970s before we had modern detergents and washing machines, but never mind.
Lizzy:Oh, it's not that.
Bill:No, it's not that one.
Lizzy:Okay, fine.
Daniel:Is the fact that he's going to a gym important in this instance?
Bill:It is important that he's going to the gym.

If they had had this conversation, and he was going somewhere else, I don't know, maybe the Viennese opera, it would not have been as relevant.
Bill:Probably wouldn't have come up at all.
Lizzy:Do we have to know what type of gym it is? Is it a special gym?
Bill:Eh, it's just a gym. He's going to a fitness first—
Daniel:Are there types of gyms?
Lizzy:Well, there's gym-James—
SFX:(Lizzy and Daniel laugh)
Tom:I was gonna give an answer there. There's CrossFit gyms and boxing gyms and all sorts like that. But it is just a generic gym.
Bill:It's just a gym. He's going there to work out. Get tough.
Daniel:Get tough. That's the euph—
Bill:Pump iron!
Daniel:You've used that word 'tough'. And the word 'tough' is in the question as well.
Bill:So he does say specifically, based on meeting, that he can name the sport and the position, right? So, he must have something in this situation, this small little moment.

I'm outside the gym, and I'm wearing my tracksuit. I've got a bag with whatever in it. I'm going in to get a workout done.

And someone says, "Hey! I can— I know what sport you've just picked up. I know the position that you are."

So what could give that away?
Daniel:Is this someone incredibly famous?
Bill:No, it's not fame. They're not lying when they say they've only recently taken up the sport.
Daniel:Only recently taken up.
Tom:Is he doing something? Is he opening a door or something like that? That and, what he's doing or how he's doing the action is giving it away, like his arm is tired in a particular way or something like that?
Bill:It's the right flavour of thought, but it isn't about an action that he's doing.
Lizzy:Is it how he looks? As in, if you pass a basketball team... I've never, I've not really passed many basketball teams.
Lizzy:But they're all super tall. So you're like, "You're probably basketball players."
Bill:Again, the right flavour of thought, but no. If you saw him somewhere else, you wouldn't think, "Oh, I know the position of a sport that that person plays."
Tom:Oh, that's a shame, because I was hoping he'd just got, "I am now a running back for the NFL" on his forehead as a tattoo.
Daniel:Yes, yes.
Bill:(chuckles) Yeah, no.
Daniel:Maybe he's incredibly small. So jockey, and the position is on top of the horse.
Tom:On top of the horse.
Bill:That's the position.
Tom:That is the correct position. You could try some other ones. But...
SFX:(group laughing)
Bill:No, it's not so much— It's not about his physique, his stature. It's something that he has with him.
Daniel:So he's gonna have an item of sporting equipment, isn't he? So in the case of badminton, it would be a badminton racket. But you wouldn't take a badminton racket to the gym.
Bill:Exactly. You wouldn't take other equipment to the gym.
Tom:But you might take something like your car keys. So he's taken up motorsport, and he's got this... driven there in his Formula One car.
Daniel:Position 7th.
Bill:(laughs) Yeah! In his millions and millions of dollars' Formula One car.

Keep going, what do you take to the gym?
Daniel:Bottle of water, towel.
Lizzy:Shoes, your shoes might give it away.
Bill:One of those three things you've listed is the relevant object.
SFX:(Tom and Daniel chuckle)
Daniel:That has not helped!
Tom:The water bottle, the towel, or the shoes?
Daniel:I don't know!
Bill:You can call it—
Lizzy:If it's towel, he's... a swimmer?
SFX:(Lizzy and Tom laugh)
Bill:That's a freestyle towel.
SFX:(others laughing)
Daniel:Butterfly towel looks good. Backstroke looks good. Anyway.
Tom:What ab... the shoes? It's gotta be the shoes. Surely.
Daniel:Yeah, yeah.
Bill:This is so tough a leap. I'm even gonna give you, it's the water bottle. Ooh.
Tom:It's the water bottle.
Bill:What... How could a water bottle tell you both what sport someone plays and the position they're in?
Tom:Oh... It could be something like rugby where they're in a scrum, because they have to wear a mouth guard for it. And the water bottle cap is chewed.

You know the thing when you squirt the— I dunno what the—

There has to be a name that is not 'nipple' for the thing on the end of the water bottle that you squirt the water out of.

But can I think of it?
Tom:That's... That's worse. That's worse.
Lizzy:Knobbly bit?
Tom:It's just kind of gummed rather than chewed.
Daniel:It's got a weird top that they sort of squeeze the water bottle, and then they get their water through that, rather than having to, you know, unscrew a lid or do anything like that.
Tom:Oh yes. 'Cause if you have to wear a helmet or something like that, you have to spray the water through the helmet rather than...
Daniel:Or a straw.
Bill:You are so, so close. And the only thing I'll say is I'll give you...

'Cause I could call it here, but I'm not gonna. What I'm gonna say is, obviously, mouth guard could be a whole number of positions. Not like... A gridiron helmet could be a whole number of positions.

This is something like that, that only one member of a team would wear, that you can be like, "That's it! I know your position."
Daniel:It could be a particular goalkeeper for something or a...
Tom:Hockey. Hockey goalkeeper.
Bill:Hockey goalkeeper.
Tom:Because... (snaps) you have to wear the helmet and giant gloves.
Tom:Which means that hockey goalkeepers have to have a unique kind of water bottle?
Bill:So, it's not so much about the gloves.

It's that it's a full face mask. It completely covers. It's only got a little mouthpiece.

And there is a uniquely... hockey goalkeeper water bottle.

And for people at home, I would encourage you to look it up. It's like if you took a water bottle, and then you took what Tom loves to call the nipple of the water bottle and...
SFX:(group laughing)
Bill:And you just—
Tom:Gimme a better word. Give a better word, and I will use it.
Bill:There's not one.
Tom:Thank you.
Bill:You've made your case.
Bill:So it just goes on and on and on and on. It's just like they always have an in-built straw. It is, the tip of the water bottle just goes on and on and on. It's this very, very long thing.

So you can put that into the face mask of your hockey goalkeeper mask, and still drink from your water bottle.
Bill:And that's the water bottle he brought to the gym.
Tom:Thanks to some very quick answers in there, we have unlocked the shiny bonus question.
Tom:So... What is sometimes protected with a "nail-to-nail" insurance policy?

What is sometimes protected with a "nail-to-nail" insurance policy?
Daniel:So we've gotta work out what nails are. Are they fingernails? Are they building nails? Are they...
Bill:These are... This is a lifelong guarantee on acrylic nails.

They'll go from the first time they put on your nail right until the last nail goes in your coffin.
Bill:That's the length. You'll have them from nail to nail.
Tom:It is one of those types of nails.
Lizzy:I mean, it must— is it... a nail that you hammer?
Tom:Yes, it's a nail that you're hammering.
Daniel:Right, so—
Lizzy:But which— Is it a hammer, or is it a distress...
Bill:It's a nothammer.
Bill:So it's, we're talking about nails. Are we talking about coffins? I don't think so.
Tom:We're not talking about coffins.
Lizzy:I kinda thought we were.
Bill:I thought we were talking about coffins. I thought I had something.
Daniel:I don't think you nail them shut these days. Do they get... (stammers)
Daniel:Because what if... It does happen that sometimes, people do come 'round in a coffin. So do they not always need to be slightly open or something like an emergency exit?
Bill:No, I've seen Kill Bill. They just punch it over and over again from the inside.
Daniel:Ah, right, okay.
Lizzy:Oh, so that's how the zombies get out. We should keep them in.
Daniel:Oh, good point.
Bill:Yeah. Okay, so...
Daniel:But probably buildings rather than coffins, so... Nail to nail, from the first nail that you put in, to the last?
Bill:A hammer. What was the wording of the guarantee? A nail-to-nail something or other?
Tom:Insurance policy.
Bill:Are both nails in this case nail-nails?
Bill:Okay, it's from one nail to another nail of the same type.
Tom:It is from one nail to another nail.
Daniel:The extent of a building which is covered by an insurance policy? "No, you're not between the nails. We can't cover that."
Lizzy:Oh, it's not like a bridge then? Is it like a bridge?
Lizzy:Oh, that's rivets innit? Ain't it, innit?
Tom:The nail is not part of the object.
Bill:Okay, I have an object. Unrelated, I have two nails.
Bill:And I will insure you from nail to nail and down the mountain side. So... what do I... How do I... get these nails to be relevant to an object?
Daniel:I used to live in Bristol, and there is something outside the Bristol Town Hall, I think, where there are giant nails in the ground. We used to—

People used to pay on the nail. Is it anything to do with that?
Lizzy:Used to pay on the nail?
Daniel:The giant sort of metal, nail-like structures. And it's where trade used to be done.

And so that's sort of, if you pay 'on the nail', you pay exactly, that is where you would pay. So maybe it was the start of an insurance thing around the Bristol area or something like that.

That's gonna be very specific for this show.
Tom:It is gonna be very specific. It is just two regular nails, two regular hardware nails.
Lizzy:And is it in time, is it the first nail to some building happened, to the last nail? And you are insured from the time that, what, the first one goes in to that the last one.
Bill:But they're not part of the object.
Tom:They're not part of the object.
Bill:They were not hammering them into the object itself.
Daniel:The object's gonna be important here, isn't it?
Tom:(laughs) Yes, the object solves the entire thing.
Bill:Yeah! (laughs)
Tom:Sorry about that.
Bill:That's the puzzle.
Bill:And the object is...
Lizzy:Is it like a ship?
Tom:Have a think about some other things you might do with nails other than constructing a building.
Bill:You would... put 'em in your teeth to look like you are in the middle of constructing a building.
SFX:(others crack up)
Lizzy:Like a toothpick?
Bill:No, you, that's a classic. If you need an archetypical person who's doing some wood, you put two nails in the corner of their mouth.
Lizzy:Oh, okay.
Bill:And then they've got a hammer in the hand like, "Oh, I got work to do." (imitates hammering)
Bill:That's what they're like! (laughs) I'm sorry. Okay, what else do you do with nails? You build, you...
Daniel:They're made for building. There's nothing else you can do with a nail. Nothing in the physical world.
Tom:Oh, there is definitely, definitely something else in the physical world you can do with a nail that is not just constructing a building or a ship.
Bill:When you're training classical Japanese martial arts, a lot of them involve shuriken jutsu. Throwing shuriken, right? And other than the throwing stars that people often picture, which is a senban shuriken, there's also bō shuriken, which are long. Basically nails, and often in modern practice, if you wanna train that, you can go down, and you can buy roofer's nails. And you can practice throwing roofer's nails as a sort of shuriken.
Tom:Please do not— Do not try this at home.

I'm just gonna say that. Just gonna put that little disclaimer in there.
Bill:Is it a...
Tom:Kids, no.
Bill:a target for the practice of shuriken in traditional Japanese martial arts? Insured from nail to nail.
Bill:Oh, well. I was close, I'm sure.
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:Both nails are in a wall.
Lizzy:Oh, so you're putting pictures up.
Tom:That is the other thing that you can do with nails.
Lizzy:You can hold things up a bit.
Daniel:So if we're in the art world, then it's sort of got to designate an area in which a picture is insured?
Bill:It's for transport of a picture from one nail to the other. When we take it off this wall and put it on that wall.
Tom:Spot on.

Nail-to-nail coverage means that it's covered as soon as it's removed from one gallery wall all the way through to when it's up on the final gallery.

It's what's taken out for loan of paintings and things like that between galleries and museums.
Bill:Amazing, and with the power of editing, that was our first guess.
Daniel:Yeah, absolutely.
SFX:(group laughing)
Tom:One last order of business then. Why do signs saying, "Beware of pickpockets" often encourage pickpockets to hang around those areas? I asked that to the audience at the start. I'm gonna give the answer in a minute, but does wanna take a quick shot? Has anyone heard this story?
Bill:Yeah, I know this one.
Tom:Yeah, take it.
Lizzy:Oh, do you?
Bill:You see the sign that says, "Beware of pickpockets." So you tap your wallet to see if someone has pickpocketed it, and then a pickpocket goes, "I know where his wallet is." And then they take it.
Tom:Spot on. If you ever see one of those signs, it's a really bad time to check if your wallet is still there, because someone might be looking to see where you keep it.

With that, thank you very much. Congratulations to all of our players for running the gauntlet today. What's going on in your lives? Where can people find you?

We will start with Dan.
Daniel:You can find me on Twitch at quizzydan. I do a few streams every week with games, quizzes, and puzzles.
Bill:Check out for Escape This Podcast, Solve This Murder, and anything else that we ever do.
Tom:And Lizzy.
Lizzy:Find me at @DegreesOfError on some socials.
Tom:And if you wanna know more about this show, you can do that at, where you can also send in your own listener questions. You can find us at @lateralcast in the increasingly devastated wasteland of social networks, and you can catch video highlights at

Thank you very much to Lizzy Skrzypiec.
Lizzy:Thank you!
Tom:Bill Sunderland.
Bill:Thank you!
Tom:Daniel Peake.
Daniel:Thank you very much.
Tom:I've been Tom Scott, and that's been Lateral.
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