This Puzzle Is The Pits

On-Air Challenge: Today's puzzle is the pits. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with "PI" and the second word starts with "T."

Last Week's Challenge: This is a special two-week creative challenge. Combine the titles of some TV shows, past or present, into an amusing sentence or statement. For example: "Today / Sisters / Name That Tune / Father Knows Best"; "Desperate Housewives / Bewitched / My Three Sons / One Day at a Time"; "I've Got a Secret / Murder, She Wrote / The F.B.I.", "Webster / Lost / Lassie / Six Feet Under." Entries were judged on their sense, naturalness of syntax, humor, originality, familiarity of the TV shows named and overall effect.

Answer: "The Nanny / Lost / All My Children."

Winner: Patrick Berry from Jasper, Ala.

Runners Up:

"Desperate Housewives / In Search of... / Good Times / Kidnapped / The Bachelor." — Bill Trotter from Ellsworth, Maine

"I've Got a Secret / Wiseguy / Once Upon A Time / All My Children / Ed / Ellen / Felicity / Maude / Gidget / Tom and Jerry / The Magnificent Seven / Chopped / Family Ties. / This Is Your Life. / Work Out / Family Matters / Step by Step / One Day at a Time." — Tim Erskine from Columbus, Ohio

"Father Knows Best / Who's the Boss? / That's My Mama." — Patrick Berry from Jasper, Ala.

"Hogan's Heroes/ Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea / In Search of... / McHale's Navy." — Brenda Medvid from Reston, Va.

"Today / The Electric Company / Lost / The Wire / Six Feet Under / The Streets of San Francisco." — Wesley Weissberg from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Next Week's Challenge from listener Ed Pegg Jr.: Write the digits from 1 to 9 in a line. If you put times signs after the 2 and 4, a plus sign after the 5, and a minus sign after the 7, you have 12 x 34 x 5 + 67 - 89, which equals 2018. That's six years off from our current year 2012. This example uses four arithmetic symbols. The object is to use just three of the following arithmetic operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, in a line from 1 to 9 to get 2012 exactly. The operations should be performed in order from left to right. There are no tricks to this puzzle. Can you do it?

Submit Your Answer

If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Clarification Jan. 30, 2012

The audio of next week's challenge, as did a previous Web version, provides an example that cannot be solved as described by performing the arithmetic operations in order from left to right. Next week's challenge, however, can be solved in that manner. The instructions in the Web version have been corrected.

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