Sunday, January 24, 2021

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 24, 2021): Spoken Letters Puzzle

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Jan 24, 2021): Spoken Letters Puzzle
Q: This week's challenge is a spinoff of Will's on-air puzzle, and it's a little tricky. Think of a hyphenated word you might use to describe a young child that sounds like three letters spoken one after the other.
I've seen this on a license plate, but just not with those 3 letters.

Edit: I've not seen Greek letters on a license plate in the U.S. so I've seen the last sound spelled out, such as in URAQTPI
A: CUTIE-PIE = QTπ

193 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. I got this one almost immediately. No hint here, but you can find tee shirts, jewelry, and more bearing the three letters, so this is not obscure.

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  3. Over 2400 correct responses last week.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Hows Bellingham? Just saw a utube on Taylor fish farms on Chcukanut Drive. used to ride my bike out there.

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    3. ron, I believe Blaine was OK with my comment until you ruined it!

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    4. It was already on the cusp and probably would've been moderated either way. But Ron's reply made it obvious.

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  5. LIke Rob, I got it almost immediately but then had a moment of doubt about its being hyphenated. Fortunately, a quick search confirmed it is. Neat puzzle. It reminds me of a certain day of the year.

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    1. Very American in an odd way

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    2. According to Wiktionary, today's answer is considered an alternate form! The default form is non-hyphenated.

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    3. All of Merriam-Webster's listings for today's answer are hyphenated.

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    4. I notice that dictionary.com, thefreedictionary.com, and wiktionary.org, when you enter this week's answer, just before you would type the hyphen, a pull-down menu appears including the NON-HYPHENATED VERSION of the answer. It is ONLY merriam-webster.com that has the hyphenated version as the default.

      I've started preferring Wiktionary anyway, as there are words recognized by Wiktionary and not by either of the others. For example: antumbra.

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    5. Along with Merriam-Webster, here's what my two other usual go-to sources say, if anything, about the puzzle's answer: 1) The OED does not list it. The OED Supplement (Vol. III) lists the first part only, beginning an initial citation from 1768 (but with a meaning different from that of the puzzle's answer); the subsequent citations in support are all from the 20th century and reflect, more or less, the meaning in that part of the puzzle's answer. 2) Webster's Third New International Dictionary does list the puzzle's full answer but as two words, without a hyphen, and, extraordinarily, offers a second definition completely unrelated to that of the puzzle's answer, something from the domain of science. More about this secondary definition Thursday, perhaps.

      So, the OED offers little, but Merriam-Webster and Webster's Third New International disagree.

      As Thomas Pynchon once said about the concept of entropy, "...I have kept trying to understand entropy, but my grasp became less sure the more I read."

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    6. And just out of curiosity, does either the OED or Webster's 3rd New International include a listing for "antumbra" or "smore"?

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    7. Neither my OED (from 1971, admittedly now a half-century old) nor my Webster's Third (1981) lists "antumbra," but both do list "smore." The online edition of the OED, to which I do not have a subscription, may list "antumbra."

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  6. I have two answers, one with a word that sounds like FOUR spoken letters at the beginning.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Leo -- Gobi, Sahara, or Mojave?

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    3. Cactus. On a horse with no name.

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    4. The desert dessert is cactus, on a horse with no name.

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    5. WW, did you say that impiously?

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    6. Leo, a mere moment of being impious, followed quickly by Just Kidding.

      My younger sister had that feeling about Lent as her early March birthday meant our parents never enjoyed her birthday cake as they always gave up sweets for Lent. But, hot-CROSS buns were ok during that 6 weeks (a weird exception--sugar in the form of a cross doesn't count?).

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  8. If at first you don't succeed, challenge your assumptions.

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  9. This week’s challenge contains the elements of two previous ones: the use of spoken letters and a similar “trick.”

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  10. I found one way to solve this puzzle.

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  11. Attention Blaine: This comment may contain TMI
    Write down the letters of your answer. Switch the order of two of them and move the hyphen to form a product that is supposedly often misused.

    LegoKingOfMisuse

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    1. I never understood that, as what are warned not to do is exactly what they were designed for! Just more nanny-state nonsense, like labeling coffee “may be hot”

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    2. Yes, like Eliquis may cause fatal liver damage and sudden death.

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  12. My neighbors' kids have beady eyes.

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  13. I knew if I ate a hearty breakfast I’d be able to solve this week’s puzzle. It’s a nice way to cap a busy Sunday morning. I think one of our fellow bloggers has an edge on this semi-repeat-themed puzzle.

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    1. Someone made a breakfast comment last week that helped me with the answer , maybe it got removed I can't find it now.

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  15. Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

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  16. My head is spinning... Take pity on me - I'm better with math puzzles than word ones! --Margaret G.

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  17. 2400 last week? I'll give that my standard "Hmmm."

    Searching for past uses of an answer on The Puzzle often gives some interesting results.
    This week's is especially so about hyphens and about how much longer some shows ran in the past.

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  18. Bonus Challenge: Name a World Capital in two letters.

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    1. Very good, very good indeed.

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    2. Yes, ron, I second the good doctor.

      LegoGeorge&Jeanette

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    3. Oooooh, nice. Hey I have two unintended answers to your puzzle.

      Capital of Austria: V-N
      Capital of Ireland: NN

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    5. Ron, as I'm sure you noticed,the country with the two-letter capital has a three-letter president.

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  19. I can describe my child using 4 letters

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  20. Off topic, but CPR here in Denver just aired a nice bit on skydiving. The show is Colorado Matters. Original airdate was January 21. The skydiving part begins at about 36:05 of 49:33, and is an interview with Melissa Lowe. A direct URL for an mp3 is:

    https://wp-cpr.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/01/210121-Thursday-January-21-2021-CM-PODCAST.mp3

    A URL for the show, where you can listen on-line, is:

    https://www.cpr.org/show-episode/jan-21-2020-rep-jason-crow-on-priorities-moving-forward-the-love-of-skydiving/

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  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Pi=3.14159... is a number used in math. However, a lot of letters are used in math (e, i, x, y, etc.), so why was this deleted?

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    3. Yes. But, the math letter/ratio most everyone knows is pi. So, for me, your clue leads too directly to the "tricky" part of the answer.

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  22. Blogger used to provide a "Delete" button on your own posts, so you could delete them (if, e.g., someone convinced you that you'd posted something too revealing), but that seems to have disappeared now. (An "Edit" button would be nice, too.)

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    1. Huh, that's a new thing. Wonder what happened to "delete" on one's own posts. It was there last week!

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    2. Don't blame me. I didn't remove it. :-)

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    3. If we can't delete our own posts, there's no point complaining about TMI.

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    4. Except to alert Blaine who still may delete any post.

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    5. Yep, I deleted and replaced my post last week based on Word Woman response. I have a few ideas but they may not be sufficiently obtuse.

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    6. Apparently, the DELETE function disappeared 1/20/21. There is a work-around but it is a bit complicated:

      Fixing the DELETE option.

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    7. I see the delete button has been retroactively removed as well. This is similar to a few weeks ago when the generic icons to the left of our posts were removed and later reinstalled.

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    8. If your generic icon is removed, you're an unperson. You can't undelete an unperson. Doubleplusungood refs unpersonsrewrite fullwise upsub antefiling.

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    9. The DELETE function is back on my posts! How about yours?

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    10. Yeah! I guess writing to Google about Blogger functions actually works.

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  23. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  24. NOT a Geographic Clue, for New Yorkers:

    The Hamptons

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  25. I found today's answer in the _OED_. It is listed with a hyphen, but not all the citations show one.

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  26. I have an answer that I thought of almost immediately...I am wrestling with whether it is actually legitimate or not. I certainly have never used a hyphen in it before.

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    1. It's probably correct. There is considerable diagreement from reliable sources on the presence or absence of the hyphen.

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    2. To Rob as well as to you, Courtney, I wish to direct your attention to a list of replies to a post from Dr. K that's WA-A-A-A-A-A-AY up on this blog page. As you're scrolling way up, it starts just below a comment from Blaine, just below a comment of mine. It's a comment with lots of replies concerning whether or not this week's answer really ought to be hyphenated and which of the various online dictionaries say about that.

      ...And does your favorite dictionary include the word "antumbra"?

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  27. I am using the online _OED_, to which the library in Cincinnati subscribes (my library in Dayton let the subscription lapse, darn it). The answer word is indeed listed as being from an addition made in 2007. It does not include "antumbra." It does include "s'more."

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  28. I find some children to be ODS but not my own of course.

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  29. That's it. Tomorrow I'm getting a Webster's 11th collegiate, where btw, the answer(?) is hyphenated, as the Doc points out. In my tenth collegiate edition, it is not to be found at all!

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    1. Oh, please tell me whether or not Webster's 11th Collegiate Dictionary includes "antumbra"!

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    2. A follow-up: I just found my latest Webster’s Collegiate, the 9th. No “antumbra,” no “smore.” No entry for the puzzle’s complete answer, hyphenated or otherwise, but there is an entry for the first part.

      The entry that confirmed for me the presence of the puzzle answer’s hyphen was the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

      Yes, Wordsmythe, I think it may be time to get the Webster’s 11th as well as subscribe to the OED online, preferably, if possible, through my local library. Thanks, Rob, for reminding me of that possibility. I’d been almost three years without my books, almost all of which were in long-term storage while the new house was being built. But now, the house is built, we’re in, and the library—a beautiful room—is up. And I’m happy to say I’m the process of getting reacquainted with my old friends and some new ones, too.

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    3. When I finally managed to get my old books out of storage I was sad to discover Spot had passed away from old age.

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  30. Not a clue, but what does it say about my kids when the first letters I think of are D V S?

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    1. Maybe it says more about their parents.

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    2. At least they're not the NME.

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    3. SDB, are you trying to insult me?

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    4. I was alluding to the curious fact that sometimes children learn from their parent's behavior.

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    5. So, I guess that I should take that as a "yes".

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    6. I think you should take it as a humorous reply to your humorous post.

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. Here's more humor up your alley, then. Next time you go skydiving, pack lightly

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    9. Are you always this sensitive? What do you do when someone actually insults you?

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. Jd, welcome to Blaine's! We're glad you're here.

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    1. Thanks for the warm welcome, WW!

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    2. Welcome Jd. I've been coming to this blog for years. Usually to see the clues after solving the puzzle to see if I'm on track. You'll find most people are friendly here. Then there's the occasional person whose intelligence is inversely proportional to their social etiquette. Don't mind the douchebags.

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  33. The Puzzler brought me wonderful memories of a book read to my class by our school librarian in 1970. The answer is in the second line.

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    1. Buzy-Bee. And none of that "oh, I'll just use a Greek letter..." I guess I hung with the high NRG kids.

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  34. Since we are deprived of tones of voice, we have to be very clear. In other words I ain't joking right now. Rule of thumb...except when talking about what's happened to threaten our democracy due to you know who, SBD is almost ALWAYS joking.

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    1. CAP,
      Hypocrisy rules! So many idiots; so few comets.

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  35. Hey, now that I've gotten your attention. Speaking of hypocrisy, What about the Republican senators who seem to be changing their tune about impeachment? The Orange One get away without being held to account for all things he's done against the welfare our country? Reagan used to be the Teflon president.

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    1. It's America...where we have Liberty for the wealthy, and Justice for the poor. S.S.D.D.

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    2. Well, as I have been warning about for years now, this country is on the skids. Greed is king. The Republican Party has always be the Big Lie Party.

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  36. Pardon the typo, it should read may get away. It ain't set in concrete yet.

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  37. This week’s answer reminds me of an old AlkaSeltzer commercial.

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  38. I have now come to the point where I feel it is incumbent on those of us who care about our language to take a stand and pledge to never again use the redundant phrase "new baby." Please do it today and I promise you will sleep better tonight.

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  39. I just now finished by dinner. (Well thank you for asking. It was delicious.) Anyway for some unknown reason I heard something on the radio, NPR, that caused me to think of Amazing Grace, which I Spoonerized and thought I should put something together and post it here. However, before I did that I googled it and found documentation that someone else has already done a better job of doing just that than I probably would have. Enjoy:

    Tune of: Amazing Grace
    Verses 1-5 by Skald-Brandr Toralfsson
    Verse 6 is the original anonymous creation
    A grazing mace, how sweet the sound, that felled a foe for me
    I bashed his head, he struck the ground, and thus came victory

    My mace has taught my foes to fear, that mace my fears relieved
    How precious did my mace appear, when I my mace received

    Through many tournies, wars, and fairs, I have already come
    My mace has brought me safe so far, my mace will bring me home

    The King has promised good to me, His word my hope secures
    I will his Shield and Weapon be, when He gives me my spurs

    And when my mace my foeman nails, that mortal strife shall cease
    And we'll possess within our pale, a life of joy and peace

    A grazing mace, how sweet the sound, that flattened a wretch like thee
    Whose head is flat, that once was round done in by my mace... And me

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    1. I now discovered the missing last line:

      A grazing mace, how sweet the sound that smites a foe like thee
      You're left there lying on the ground, you've left the field to me!

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    2. For your further delight on these oh so lonely evenings of pandemic dismay.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pCUTHwUbso

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    3. Just when you think someone can't go any lower.

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  40. If you take the intended answer’s letter string and advance them each to the next letter, you’d get a phrase that my mom hears often.

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    1. As per below - Q-T-Pi becomes R-U-Rho. Her name is Rhoda, or Rho for short, so when someone is looking for her, perhaps in a doctor’s waiting room, she hears “Are you Rho?”

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    2. Ah, I see. I was stuck on R U Rho as in "Are you Roe?" referring to Roe v. Wade.

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  41. CUTIE-PIE >>> Q T π (pi)

    "North" >>>"Cutie Pie" is a song performed by One Way (such as North), issued on their album Who's Foolin' Who. The song was the band's only appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #61 in 1982.

    *I now see that Siz also pointed to One Way.

    "As fruits go, yes." is a nod to tangerines, now often branded as CUTIES.

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  42. cutie-pie, q-t-π [pi]

    Earlier this week, I said “This week’s answer reminds me of an old AlkaSeltzer commercial.” The one where a man says, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” Like a whole pie – through his piehole.

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  43. CUTIE-PIE = Q + T + π

    My clue —that “certain day of the year” I was reminded of—is of course March 14, Pi Day.

    In Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged (my ed., 1981), there is an entry for “cutie pie”—unhyphenated—and the first definition is the customary one: “slang: a cute person: sweetheart." But the second definition is, to quote Monty Python, something completely different: “a portable gamma-radiation detecting and measuring and beta-radiation detecting instrument that includes an ionization chamber and a direct-reading microammeter with a pointer.”

    As for the presence or absence of the hyphen: as Enya_and_WeirdAl_ fan notes and as I also discovered, only Merriam-Webster online, which I happened to look at first and confirmed my answer, includes the hyphen, while most other sources omit it.

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  44. He's a CUTIE-PIE. (Q+T+Π,Greek letter Pi)

    An EASY-CARE child. (E+Z+K)

    An EASY-PEASY child, easy to care for. (E+Z+P+Z)

    Bonus Challenge: Name a World Capital in two letters → Greek letters: CHI (Χ) + RHO (Ρ) = CAIRO. Egyptian President: el-Sisi (L+C+C)

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  45. I posted on Sun Jan 24, at 05:54:00 AM PST, a post that was ruined by a reply from Ron and then deleted by Blaine:

    I've already submitted - TWICE, in fact! The feedback from my first submission included some unwanted question marks!

    My first submission:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My answer: CUTIE-PIE (Q,T,Π or q,t,π)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And because Π and π had both been changed into question marks in the feedback,

    My second submission:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My answer: CUTIE-PIE (Q, T, and the Greek letter Pi. - And why can't you take the full UTF-8 Text Encoding? That's why I decided to RE-SUBMIT THIS!!)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    1. I had the same problem and solved it the same way.

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    2. I am glad others put "Greek letter pi". I was not sure acceptable. In the Greek alphabet pi is defined as a letter. The symbol for pi may not be considered correct as not a letter.

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    3. Correction: Actually the pi character is called a greek letter.

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  46. CUTIE PIE (Q-T-π)

    > "SPInoff" could be considered a clue in itself.

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  47. CUTIE PIE (Q-T-π)

    My clue was that THE HAMPTONS is NOT a geographical clue, for New Yorkers.

    New York life was well-chronicled by Seinfeld.

    "The Hamptons" is a legendary episode of Seinfeld. Best known by lexicographers for coining the word "Shrinkage," one of the main plots of "The Hamptons" is actually about a hideous looking baby.

    Which is why "The Hamptons" is NOT a clue for CUTIE-PIE.

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  48. My clue was ``e'': A key equality involving the number e is e^{i pi} + 1 = 0, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful equations in mathematics. Here i is the square root of -1 and ``^'' denotes ``to the power of,'' e.g., 2^3 = 8. This equation uses the five most fundamental constants--0, 1, pi, e, i--each exactly once; the most fundamental relation--equality--; and the three most fundamental operations--addition, multiplication, exponentiation--each exactly once.

    The relation to the puzzle is the connection of e to pi.

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    1. Or, more simply, e and pi are the two most famous transcendental numbers in mathematics.

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  49. Here is a side-puzzle for any Seinfeld fans or TV fans:

    I'm looking for the FIRST NAME of a famous TV actress who died this week.

    Insert into this name a euphemism, used in a Seinfeld episode, for a part of the male anatomy.

    Now, reading left to right, you have a part of the female anatomy, used in a different Seinfeld episode.

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    1. According to the Wiki page for this Seinfeld episode: "Inside Look" from the DVD, the writers had trouble coming up with a name for Jerry's girlfriend, initially settling upon "Cloris". When filming the episode, a comedian would warm up the studio audience in between filming scenes and asked them to guess Jerry's girlfriend's name; one audience member guessed Dolores, which was deemed a better fit than their first choice. Jerry Seinfeld approved in time to add it to the script and the scene was shot with that being the character's name. Afterwards, a producer for the show was amused to overhear the audience member's husband saying "you guessed right!"

      All that being said, "Young Frankenstein" was so very wonderful because of Cloris Leachman.

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  50. I'm certain Will won't take that puzzle, so I leave it here as my gift to you all.

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  51. Q T Pi (The 16th letter of the Greek alphabet)

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    1. PS Can someone tell me how to type the symbol for pi?

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    2. Start --> Windows Accessories (after scrolling down the apps) --> Character Map

      Uppercase Pi is at 03A0, lowercase pi is at 03C0.

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    3. C a p, you can also simply copy and paste a π symbol from text elsewhere. Here, you may copy mine: π

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    4. Thanks WW. Simpler for this old dinosaur than doing it the way suggested by Enya_and WeirdAl_fan. No offense E and WA Fan.It's my limitation

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    5. At least if you memorize my way then you can type the π symbol anytime, even if you don't see one handy.

      You can also type a whole bunch more characters as well, such as what are called "box characters", and even the suits of a standard deck of cards. ♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

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    6. Enya, pick a card any card.

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  52. Replies
    1. Cutie pie, My reference to Richard Parker who played the lead lion in the movie Pi.

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  53. I solved this when I was checking vision of a patient and she read the letters Q T.

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  55. My hint this week was:
    Write down the letters of your answer. Switch the order of two of them and move the hyphen to form a product that is supposedly often misused.
    Cutie-Pie = QT-pi =>Qt-ip=>Q-tip
    In other puzzle news...
    Our friend Mathew Huffman has rolled out four unbeatable conundrums on this week's Puzzleria that run the gamut from "smartphone apps to global landmarks. We upload tonight at midnight PST.
    Our other menu-morsels:
    * a “dandy” and “swell” Schpuzzle of the Week that involves "numerical spoonerization,"
    * a "slice of puzzle" titled "Find the missing puzzle peace,"
    * a boozy newsy Dessert, and
    * eight riff-offs of this week's NPR puzzle, titled "N NVS QT-pi with no QP doll."
    Drop by for a bite.

    LambdaEpsilonGammaOmega

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  56. Orange you glad I didn't say banana? Honestly, I thought I would get Blaine-smacked with my lame clue. Cutie/aka a baby orange.

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  57. I knew if I ate a hearty breakfast I’d be able to solve this week’s puzzle. It’s a nice way to cap a busy Sunday morning. I think one of our fellow bloggers has an edge on this semi-repeat-themed puzzle.

    There were several Greek letter references in there:
    Knew=nu ; “ate a”=eta; “cap a”=kappa.
    And the last sentence was a tribute to our friend Lego LAMDA.

    My later comment was about advancing the letters one place to get a phrase that my mom hears often. So Q-T-Pi becomes R-U-Rho. Her name is Rhoda, or Rho for short, so when someone is looking for her, perhaps in a doctor’s waiting room, she hears “Are you Rho?”

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    1. I suspected our friend Snipper may have been alluding to my screen name. I wanted to reply to his "has an edge" comment but feared both doing so might render both our posts blog-administratable!
      Conversely, Snipper's "phrase that my mom hears often" hint was truly removal-proof... TMI? Not even close. Rather, NEI (Not Enough Information)!

      LegoWhoInAPreviousLifeWasARossumUniversalRhobot(R.U.R.)

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  58. If my socially distanced/addled brain hadn't forgotten yesterday was Thursday, I'd have posted this:

    Cutie-Pie>>>Q T π (or Q T Pi)

    I am reminded of Isaac Asimov’s short story, Reason which featured a humanoid robot, Serial number QT-1, referred to by his human co-workers (Powell and Donovan) as Cutie.

    Does anyone else remember these stories?

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    1. I similarly forgot yesterday! I also got QT pi. My clue mentioned "wrestling" with whether my answer was legit, a reference to Greco-Roman wrestling. Since this uses a mix of Roman and Greek letters, that was a clue, but also a true statement since I have NEVER seen "cutie pie" with a hyphen!

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  59. I haven't seen anyone else make this complaint, so let me squeeze some sour grapes into a whine. I came up with QTπ but rejected it because π is not a letter in the English alphabet. Sure it's a letter for anyone reading or writing Greek, but so is נ, if you're writing in Hebrew, or ؈, if you're writing in Arabic, or the thorn if you're writing in Old English or Icelandic. And let's not even go further afield, where the choices are exponentially greater. QTπ may be a legitimate answer, as the puzzle was worded, but the wording allows too many possible sidetracks leading to answers that are also, strictly speaking, acceptable, but which can only be arrived at by highly artificial paths. I give you, as Exhibit A (or should that be Exhibit א?) B (as spoken by a Spanish speaker), B (as spoken by an English speaker), F (as spoken by a Spanish speaker) and 少 (as spoken by a Japanese speaker) to get Be/bi/efe/su or baby-face. Not a good answer, and probably not an acceptable one, but you get the point: someone with a better knowledge of the Cyrillic or Arabic alphabets could come up with any number of alternatives, all made up of letters. Which is why I think puzzles like these سوق.

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    1. That is why I think pi is only acceptable. The greek character is not in the English alphabet.

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    2. Hey, why don't we all get together and reply-by-reply assemble a big long list of "technically acceptable" alternate answers?

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    3. For the record that was a gimel and an aleph. I think pi works because it is generally known across the population. I don’t think though the population at large knows much about a Yud or a Samech!

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    4. Wasn't Yud the Samech last time?

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    5. I still think the better answer is BZ-B. AND ALL LATIN LETTERS!!!

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  60. Musical clues:
    א‎ My Heart in San Francisco
    What's It All About, α?
    You β You ב‎
    Γ Got Run Over By a Reindeer
    ג‎ Shelter
    Δ Dawn
    ה‎ There, You With the Stars in Your Eyes
    ρ, ρ, ρ Your Boat


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  61. This week's challenge: This week's challenge comes from listener Derrick Niederman, of Charleston, S.C. Starting in Montana, you can drive into South Dakota and then into Iowa. Those three states have the postal abbreviations MT, SD, and IA — whose letters can be rearranged to spell AMIDST. The challenge is to do this with four connected states to make an eight-letter word. That is, start in a certain state, drive to another, then another, and then another. Take the postal abbreviations of the four states you visit, mix the letters up, and use them to spell a common eight-letter word. Derrick and I know of only one answer. Can you do this?

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    1. I hope it's raining today, because this may take a while to solve.

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    2. I thought so too, and I thought I would have to have a list of state adjacencies in front of me while I was doing it, but I got it fast! (Had to double check.) Partly I got lucky, but maybe a fact I remembered helped me...
      The puzzle is almost seasonal -- for some people the answer is probably quite relevant right now, though not for me.

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    3. Kind of like a long, long sentence.

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  62. A small miracle but I got it. Will try to post a clue when Blaine posts.

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  63. Only 350 correct responses this week.

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  64. Start with the postal abbreviation of the starting state, append, in order, the abbreviations of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th states. Now break that string into just a few chunks and rearrange those chunks to get the word. When you discover the answer, you'll be amazed how FEW chunks it takes!

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