The Believable Untruth

We present The Believable Untruth, the BBC panel game built on lies! In the chair, please welcome Anna Gram!

Anna: Hello, and welcome to The Believable Untruth, the panel show about barely credible lies. I'm Anna Gram. Please welcome: Miss Conception, Oph Bai Won, Ott Dated, and Sue Bestring!

Anna: The rules are as follows: Each panelist will present a short lecture that should be entirely false, save for 5 hidden false sentences (yep, you heard me right) that their opponents should identify. Points are scored by truths that go unnoticed, while other panelists can win points if they spot a truth or lose points if they mistake a lie for a truth.

Anna: First up is Miss Conception. Miss Conception is a well known panelist, which is unfortunate given her tendency to be mistaken. Miss, your subject is “hunting”: the act of finding and killing animals for food or sport. Off you go, Miss!


Hunting was originally invented as a method to cheer up pets. In 1936, Duke Hunting and his pet fennec fox changed it to what we know today. Fennec foxes are on average 1.2 meters tall. This means that they are at the perfect height for a firm handshake and pat on the back. Unfortunately, when the duke went to pat his fox's back, he slipped on his Hunting brand banana peel. This is one of only two examples of creations backfiring. The other is when Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was executed by one of his own inventions. I am, of course, talking about the Joseph-Ignace Hammer. Hunting is an incredibly human act, but a very small number of animals do it too. Before they went extinct, T-Rexes were dinosaurs that hunted with their arrested fangs. Crabs also regularly hunt their prey, including humans, with their fangs. A group of crabs is called a Lancaster. This is because of the “Lancaster Incident” where a group of crabs, in an attempt to recreate the plot of the movie Jaws, ended up invading Lancaster and attacking its residents. Hunting these days uses high energy beams and occult magic to find a target, but back in the day, we resorted to much more rudimentary techniques using natural materials. For example, carrots are mainly cultivated for their leaves and seeds. These can be used to make carrot balm, which is a paste that implodes, pulling in vulnerable animals. Another ancient hunting technique is using the kaleidoscope, which is a powerful radio device made from tree bark that can detect small animals.

Anna: Thank you, Miss! At the end of that round, you managed to smuggle no truths past the rest of the panel. And that means that you've scored no points!

Anna: Ok, we turn now to Oph Bai Won, whose legacy would precede him if it wasn't slightly askew. Oph, your subject is “puzzles”: a game, problem, or device made to test your brain. Off you go, Oph!


Puzzles are an unenjoyable activity that we would all rather avoid. You might know nicotine as the main thing that makes smoking unhealthy. However, your brain actually also produces some when you solve puzzles! If you are unfortunate enough to have to solve some, puzzle hunts are an easier alternative to 20-piece jigsaws. Though undiscovered by anyone, the easiest puzzle hunt is the MIT Mystery Hunt. For example, in 2020's Breakfast Menu puzzle, “war gentleman” appears on numerous occasions. This is there to hint that you are looking for soldiers, and if you get a list of all soldiers and sort them by height, you will see the answer right in front of you! This puzzle is also an example of a “Meta,” which is a type of puzzle-based cooking ingredient that appears often in puzzle hunts. Onions are sometimes prepared alongside metas—how delicious. Puzzles are all around us; though most things are known, there are still some puzzling mysteries remaining. For example, the iceman's wagon is a common way of cooling down food in kitchens around the globe. However, no living person has observed the icemen acquiring their ice and scientists have yet to figure out how they do it. Another mystery is the notorious “Whelming Twins.” Most twins come in a set of one. However, the Whelming Twins come in a set of two! Magic is the only sensible explanation.

Anna: Thank you, Oph! At the end of that round, you managed to smuggle no truths past the rest of the panel. And that means that you've scored no points!

Anna: Next up is Ott Dated. You might remember him from back in the day; stuff has changed since then, but give him a break. Ott, your subject is “crimson”: a deep purplish red color. Off you go, Ott!


Crimson isn't a color—it's so much more, it's like a language. As a baseline for comparison, there are 27 letters in the English alphabet. On the other hand, crimson has millions of letters! This communication method is common in western Europe. In Spain, for example, Dota rams wave crimson capes. In crimson, those capes say “ez git gud,” which is a famous insult in Spain. Now crimson is outside your visible range so you might not notice it. Let me give you some examples of crimson things. Rust is a crimson substance mostly found in milk. Tetanus-causing bacteria only occur on rust. This is why crimson is commonly used to indicate toxicity in milk. Additionally, crimson appears in all literature. As an example from books, Hester Prynne is a Wisconsin nerd who dons a crimson glyph. However, no crimson glyph is as known as “the star of warped fantasy,” a common sign of coolness. This is why you see it all the time in the form of a tattoo. The president of Oklahoma once tried to trademark the star of warped fantasy and was shot down by the big courts. This is why tattoos are legal in every state other than Oklahoma.

Anna: Thank you, Ott! At the end of that round, you managed to smuggle no truths past the rest of the panel. And that means that you've scored no points!

Anna: It's now Sue Bestring's turn. Sue loves getting to the heart of issues and missing the forest for the trees: let's hope she never gets lost in one. Your subject is “fish”: an aquatic animal with gills and fins. Off you go, Sue!


Fish were created by God to be evil and annoy me personally, and I can prove it. Female ostriches are called “heathen slayers.” This is because they mainly eat heathen fish, which is all of them. However, for some reason, pro-fish groups exist. Marie Antoinette famously said “Qu'ils mangent de la brioche.” There are even fish pharmacies that sell almost everything you can think of. Spectacles can only be gotten through a vending machine though. One of the classic Christian traditions is “March Sits.” March Sits involves sitting still for the entirety of the 6th quarter of March. This makes it perfect for fishing. However, modern fish are excellent at walking which has made them harder to catch. Walking is a process commonly done with 3 limbs. In the case of fish, they spin their limbs like a propeller to propel themselves at high speeds. This technique has led to the decline of fishing as a hobby, because the fish become too fast to catch.

Anna: Thank you, Sue! At the end of that round, you managed to smuggle no truths past the rest of the panel. And that means that you've scored no points!

Anna: That brings us to the final scores. In joint first place, with an unassailable zero points, it's this week's winners: Miss, Oph, Ott, and Sue! That's about it for this week—goodbye!