My wife and I are still getting used to the program schedule of our new public radio station, WFCR (FCR for Five College Radio, and I much prefer it, because they play classical and jazz music for most of the day in place of the earnest public-interest talkfests I used to skip on WAMC in Pittsfield); for instance, WAMC had Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! on from 11 AM to noon on Saturdays, and here it’s on from noon to one. Well, today (after remembering to listen to “Wait, Wait”) we kept the radio on and found ourselves listening to a hilarious, entertaining, and by-god educational word show called Says You!. Part of the show (my favorite part) is a version of the old Dictionary game, where panelists have to choose between the real definition of an obscure word and fakes dreamed up for the occasion; today one of the words was opisthenar (oh-PISTH-uh-nahr), for which the proffered definitions were “the Pharaoh’s symbol of authority,” “the proclamation of an Ancient Greek oracle,” and “the back of the hand.” I knew enough Greek to know which was correct (I’ll put it below the cut in case you want to guess), but it fooled the panelists. In between rounds of that, they play other games; today they had a joined-authors theme. If Dumas, Poe, and Thomas Mann had collaborated on a book, what would it have been? The Man in the Iron Masque of the Red Death in Venice, of course. Hey, it’s not Apostrophes, but it’s a lot of fun, and I’m glad I found it.
Answer: It’s the back (opisth-) of the hand (thenar being the palm).