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How Many Licks Does It Take To Get To A Tootsie Pop's Center?

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Mathematicians at New York University have helped answer that age-old question.

(SOUNDBITE OF TOOTSIE POP AD)

BUDDY FOSTER: (As Boy) How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?

MONTAGNE: One thousand. They computed the licks needed to dissolve one centimeter of hard candy using a formula for how flows cause dissolving, like saliva on a Tootsie Pop. Those with less patience can believe other studies where real students took just a few hundred licks. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.