Maybe Not So Easy As Pie This puzzle is called "Dividing the Pie." Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word starts "pi" and the second word ends with "e." So, the "pi-e" is divided. For example, if the clue is "power source for most automobiles," the answer would be "piston engine."
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Maybe Not So Easy As Pie

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Maybe Not So Easy As Pie


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Liane Hansen is out, but as always, puzzlemaster Will Shortz is here. Hi, Will. Good to talk to you again.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Lynn, nice to talk to you.

NEARY: So, tell us about the challenge that you gave last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. It was made with the help of Ed Pegg, Jr. I said: Take the names of the first nine elements in the periodic table, from hydrogen to fluorine, select one letter from each of these names - in order - to spell a familiar nine-letter word. And as a hint I said it's a word used in math. What is it?

NEARY: Of course, that hint would go nowhere for somebody like me.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: I was impressed by how many people solved this. The answer is numerator.

NEARY: Numerator, great. And you mentioned that a lot of people solved this and we did get a lot of entries. We received about 1,500 entries this week. And from the correct entries, our randomly selected winner is Charles Huband of Rockville, Maryland. Hi, Charles.


NEARY: So how long did it take you to solve the puzzle, Charles?

Mr. HUBAND: It was the second word that popped into my mind.

NEARY: Really?

Mr. HUBAND: Yes.

NEARY: How did you get it so fast?

Mr. HUBAND: I am a math teacher, so that didn't hurt.

NEARY: Okay.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NEARY: So, you use that word a lot in class, I bet.

Mr. HUBAND: Fairly often, yeah.

NEARY: Where do you teach math?

Mr. HUBAND: I teach at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland.

NEARY: Oh, that's great. And how long have you been playing the puzzle?

Mr. HUBAND: My wife and I started listening about two years ago, but I only sent in two entries. This was the second time that I submitted an entry.

NEARY: Were you right the last time, too?

Mr. HUBAND: I was correct, but I did not, you know, obviously get selected.

NEARY: All right. Well, I'm glad you did this time. And are you ready to play today?

Mr. HUBAND: As ready as I'll ever be.

NEARY: All right. Well, Will, go ahead.

SHORTZ: All right, Charles and Lynn, today's puzzle is called Dividing the Pie. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase in which the first word starts P-I and the second word ends in an E. So the pie is divided. For example, if I gave you the clue power source for most automobiles, you would say, piston engine.

Mr. HUBAND: Okay.

SHORTZ: All right. Number one is: You come here much? Or haven't I seen you somewhere before? What would those be examples of?

Mr. HUBAND: Pickup line.

SHORTZ: Pickup line is right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NEARY: Okay.

SHORTZ: Number two: It surrounds the yard of a traditional suburban home.

Mr. HUBAND: Picket fence.

SHORTZ: That right. It surrounds a painting.

Mr. HUBAND: Picture frame.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Dole drink that comes in a can.

Mr. HUBAND: Can you repeat that?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Dole drink, Dole Company drink that comes in a can. What does Dole make? Dole Foods.

Mr. HUBAND: Pineapple juice.

SHORTZ: Pineapple juice is it. French scientist who won a Nobel Prize with his wife Marie.

Mr. HUBAND: Oh, Pierre Curie.

SHORTZ: That's it. Something that tilts.

Mr. HUBAND: Something that tilts?

NEARY: Something that tilts.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. And from my experience it tilts too often.


Mr. HUBAND: I'm struggling on this one.

SHORTZ: Well, I'll have to tell you.

NEARY: Let me see if I can think - I can't…


NEARY: Can you give us another hint?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Let's see, it's something I have in my basement, but that's of no help to you. It's something you would find in an arcade.

Mr. HUBAND: Pinball machine.

SHORTZ: A pinball machine.

NEARY: Okay.

SHORTZ: It tilts too often in my experience. Try this one, a comment made before the question: Am I dreaming?

Mr. HUBAND: Comment made before am I dreaming?

SHORTZ: Comment made before the question: Am I dreaming?

Mr. HUBAND: Pinch me.

SHORTZ: Pinch me is it. It has needles and cones.

Mr. HUBAND: It has what's and cones?

SHORTZ: Needles and cones.

Mr. HUBAND: Pine tree.

SHORTZ: Pine tree is it. Place to sit and eat an outdoor meal.

Mr. HUBAND: Picnic table.

SHORTZ: Uh-huh. Cause of sciatica.

Mr. HUBAND: Pinched nerve.

SHORTZ: Oh, that was good. Player at PNC Park.

Mr. HUBAND: Player at PNC Park.

SHORTZ: Which was the successor in…

Mr. HUBAND: Yeah. Pittsburg Pirate.

SHORTZ: Pittsburg Pirate, good. Piece of paper you need in order to fly a plane.

Mr. HUBAND: Piece of paper.

SHORTZ: In order to fly a plane.

NEARY: I have an idea.

Mr. HUBAND: Help me out, Lynn.

NEARY: Pilot's license.

SHORTZ: Pilot's license. That's what you need.

NEARY: Very good.

SHORTZ: How about a colorful bubbly beverage on New Year's Eve?


Mr. HUBAND: Something champagne.

SHORTZ: Yeah, what kind? What color?

Mr. HUBAND: Oh, pink.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: Pink champagne is it. String material for a baby grand. What is the…

Mr. HUBAND: It's the piano something.

SHORTZ: Yeah? What's that - yeah, just metal string?

NEARY: Begins with a W. Does it begin with a W?

SHORTZ: Yeah. Yes.

Mr. HUBAND: Can you repeat the question?

SHORTZ: Yeah. String material for a baby grand.

Mr. HUBAND: String material, help me out.

NEARY: Piano wire.

Mr. HUBAND: Wire.

SHORTZ: Piano wire is it. And here's your last one: In story it grew when its owner told a lie.

Mr. HUBAND: Pinocchio's nose.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SHORTZ: That's it. Nice job.

NEARY: Those were really fun. And you did a great job, Charles.

Mr. HUBAND: Thank you.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NEARY: And Charles, our special guest to tell you what you'll be getting for playing the puzzle is a screenwriter, a playwright and a humorist. His most well-known movie may be "Sister Act," but you might not know it because he had his name removed from the credits. And you can find out more about his work, including his new book in my interview with him in today's show. But first, let's hear Paul Rudnick tell you about your puzzle prizes.

Mr. PAUL RUDNICK (Writer): For playing our puzzle today, you'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the 11th Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and Thesaurus, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers. The "Puzzlemaster Presents" from Random House Volume 2, Will Shortz's latest book series, "Will Shortz Presents KenKen," Volumes 1 and 2 and 3 from St. Martin's Press. And one of Will Shortz's "Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books.

NEARY: Well, congratulations, Charles. Did you have a good time?

Mr. HUBAND: It was - it was great. Thank you.

NEARY: And before we let you go, tell us what your member station is.

Mr. HUBAND: It's WAMU in Washington, D.C.

NEARY: Okay, I listen to it as well. Thanks so much, Charles.

Mr. HUBAND: Thank you. Thanks, Will.

NEARY: That was Charles Huband of Rockville, Maryland. So, Will, what's the challenge for next week?

SHORTZ: Yes. It comes from listener Michael Duran. Take a familiar French word in three letters. And I'd say it's a word everyone knows. Then take its meaning in English, also in three letters. Say these two words one after the other and phonetically, they'll sound like another French word everyone knows. What is it? So, again, a familiar French word in three letters, then take its meaning in English, also in three letters, say these two words one after the other, and phonetically, they'll sound like another French word everyone knows. What word is it?

NEARY: All right. And when you have the answer, go to our Web site and click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline this week is Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time. We'll call you if you're the winner and you'll get to play puzzle on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Thanks so much, Will. It was great talking to you again.

SHORTZ: Thanks, Lynn.

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