This Should Be A Piece Of Cake Every answer is a pair of homophones, like "wait" and "weight." You are given a word that can precede one homophone and follow the other, in each case, to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, given "chess" and "pipe," the answer would be "piece" and "peace."

This Should Be A Piece Of Cake

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This Should Be A Piece Of Cake

< This Should Be A Piece Of Cake

This Should Be A Piece Of Cake

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

And joining us is puzzle master Will Shortz. Hey, Will.

WILL SHORTZ: Hi, Liane. Welcome back. And I'm not going to be able to say that many more times.

HANSEN: I know, I know. I had a little week of R and R at the beach. And I just want to make a shout-out to a station I didn't get to the last time I was on the air, but to WMRA in Stanton, Virginia. Wonderful people. So, there's my shout-out.

But, yes, I am rested and ready for today's puzzle. And to begin, we need that challenge that you gave to our listeners last week.

SHORTZ: Yes. I said: assign every letter of the alphabet its numerical value -A equals 1, B equals 2, C equals 3, etc. - and I said there is a classic work of literature whose two-word title in eight letters adds up to only 35. What title is it?

SHORTZ: The answer is Adam Bede. That's A-D-A-M B-E-D-E. It's a novel by George Eliot. And you know there's not many audiences I feel I can do this puzzle for that might recognize Adam Bede, but I trust in NPR listeners.

HANSEN: Well, we got about 1,200 entries this week and we have a randomly chosen winner as always. It's Bill Steverson of Signal Mountain, Tennessee. Bill, welcome to the program.

Mr. BILL STEVERSON: Hey. It's just a great honor to talk to you. Thanks for having me on.

HANSEN: How long did it take you to solve the puzzle?

Mr. STEVERSON: I call this one a Wednesday hardness 'cause I (unintelligible) on Sunday but this one took me all the way through Wednesday.

HANSEN: How long have you been playing our puzzles?

Mr. STEVERSON: Oh, let me tell you, Liane. You and Will and I have grown old together.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STEVERSON: We go back to day one.

HANSEN: All right.

Mr. STEVERSON: I sent in a postcard the very first time you asked for them.

HANSEN: My goodness.

SHORTZ: Wow.

HANSEN: My goodness. Well, great. I'm glad you finally got the chance to play.

Mr. STEVERSON: I sort of feel like a dog who's been chasing a car for 20-something years and...

HANSEN: Well, the best way to do it is just start doing it. So, let's go, Will. Meet Bill and let's see what cars you have for us to chase after.

SHORTZ: OK. Every answer today is a pair of homophones. Those are words that are pronounced the same but spelled differently, like wait W-A-I-T and weight W-E-I-G-H-T. I'm going to give you a word that can precede one of these and another word that can follow the other one in each case to complete a common two-word phrase. You name the homophones. For example, if I said chess blank pipe, you would say piece, as in chess piece and peace pipe.

Mr. STEVERSON: OK.

SHORTZ: OK. And now that that has sunk in, here's number one: anthracite blank slaw.

Mr. STEVERSON: Coal.

HANSEN: Yeah.

SHORTZ: That's right. Anthracite coal and cole slaw. Good. Bus - that's B-U-S -bus blank shake S-H-A-K-E.

Mr. STEVERSON: Give me a hint.

SHORTZ: It's what you pay to ride a bus.

Mr. STEVERSON: Fair shake.

HANSEN: There you go.

SHORTZ: That's it. Bus fare-fair shake. Honeymoon blank sixteen. And for blank sixteen, think of the end of the...

Mr. STEVERSON: Sweet.

SHORTZ: ...NC...

Mr. STEVERSON: Sweet.

SHORTZ: There you go.

HANSEN: Sweet.

SHORTZ: You didn't need a hint, good. False blank sharing.

HANSEN: It's kind of fun to plug any word in there. I mean, teeth, right? No, I know. False teeth, teeth sharing. Why not?

HANSEN: Yeah, right, um-hum. Let's see, false...

SHORTZ: And blank sharing is something a corporation might have with its employees.

Mr. STEVERSON: Profit.

HANSEN: Profit.

SHORTZ: Yeah, false prophet or profit sharing. Good.

HANSEN: Great, Bill.

SHORTZ: And here's your last one: anchors blank game.

Mr. STEVERSON: Away.

HANSEN: Away.

SHORTZ: Anchors aweigh and away game. Nice work.

HANSEN: Bill, nice job.

Mr. STEVERSON: Oh, that was fun. Thanks for your help, Liane.

HANSEN: Hey, thanks for yours as well. And in addition to the experience of playing the puzzle on the air, we have a couple of things for you. You'll get a WEEKEND EDITION lapel pin, the Scrabble Deluxe Edition from Parker Brothers, the book series "Will Shortz Presents KenKen Volumes 1, 2 and 3" from St. Martin's Press, one of "Will Shortz's Puzzlemaster Decks of Riddles and Challenges" from Chronicle Books and a CD compilation of NPR's Sunday Puzzles.

Before we let you go, what member station do you listen to?

Mr. STEVERSON: I listen to and a long-time supporter of NPR and a lot of local stations. The local station here is WUTC in Chattanooga. But I also want to put a plug in for WLRH in Huntsville, Alabama and WUOT in Knoxville.

And, Liane, can I say one other thing that I want to say on behalf of all the old listeners to your program that we just so much appreciate how much you've meant to us over the years and we just want to wish you well in your retirement.

HANSEN: Bill Steverson of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, thanks for everything and for the support that you give to your local NPR stations.

Mr. STEVERSON: Thanks a lot.

HANSEN: Will, we're still playing and we need a challenge for next week.

Mr. SHORTZ: Yes, it comes from listener Dan Pitt of Palo Alto, California.

Name a unit of length in the plural form. Rearrange the letters to spell two units of weight, also in the plural. What units are these? So again, a unit of length, it's plural. Rearrange all the letters to spell two units of weight, also in the plural form. What units are these?

HANSEN: When you have the answer, go to our website, NPR.org/puzzle. Click on the Submit Your Answer link. Only one entry per person, please. Our deadline is Thursday, 3 P.M. Eastern Time. Please include a phone number where we can reach you at about that time, 'cause we're going to call you if youre the winner. And you will play on the air with the puzzle editor of The New York Times and WEEKEND EDITION's puzzle master, Will Shortz.

HANSEN: Thanks a lot, Will.

Mr. SHORTZ: Thanks, Liane.