Slate Fare

Decoder Ring Returns for a Fall Season

Slate’s podcast about cracking cultural mysteries is back with seven new episodes.

photo collage of rats and Andrew Wyeth
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Steve Liss/Getty Images, metamorworks/Getty Images Plus, and the Alberta Department of Public Health.

Listen to Decoder Ring:

In 1986, Time and Newsweek both ran cover stories about a cache of secret paintings by a prominent artist. All of them were of a beautiful woman named Helga, and implied to be the product of a love affair. But the story was more complicated than it appeared.

This story, of Andrew Wyeth’s Helga Paintings, is where the new season of Decoder Ring begins. You can listen to the episode now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Advertisement

On each episode of Decoder Ring, host Willa Paskin takes listeners on unexpected voyages and down the most interesting rabbit holes to find larger truths about the culture’s strangest and most resonant mysteries—mysteries you didn’t know you needed the answer to, but ones that hook you in the first minute. As New York Magazine wrote, “It’s a pop-culture podcast that comes with the same level of research, investigation, and sincerity as any investigative journalism podcast.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

On this season of Decoder Ring, listeners will hear stories about a set of joke books that changed the bestseller charts by reprinting the most tasteless, racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes possible; the psychology and origins of a mind game that can never be won; Alberta, Canada’s claim to be completely rat-free; and more on the cultural phenomena hiding in plain sight.

Follow the show wherever you listen to get every episode when it’s released. And if you want to support the show, join Slate Plus. Your first month is only $1, and you’ll get ad-free listening on all Slate podcasts, bonus content from some of your favorite shows, and unlimited reading on Slate.com.

Advertisement