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#0924: Ray's Out on a Limb, Tom's Sawing Off the Branch

Original Air Date: 06.13.2009

   Best Moment

Description: 
This week on Car Talk, mathematicians and fourth graders unite to challenge Ray on a recent puzzler, with a little help from Tommy. (Who knew there were so many ways to get to 26?) Ray's plight, however, pales in comparison to that of Stephen from Oakland. He could be one turn away from a wheel falling off-- and one dozen roses away from a restraining order. Steve's living on Easy Street, though, compared to Joseph in Florida, who left the windows in his wife's Camry open during a thunderstorm and now has to dry it out and de-stinkify it before she gets home. Can he pull it off? Also, a Wrangler's gas tank that won't take gas, a Subaru's tires take on an exhaust smell, and a new puzzler from the Reckless Driving Series. All this and lots more, this week on Car Talk.

Review this Show | 8 Reviews | Need Help Listening? View Call Details

This Week's Puzzler

How can you drive a Corolla out of a ditch, when one of the drive wheels is in the air? Find out!

Last Week's Puzzler

From Ray's odometer series: How many times does "1" not appear as a car's odometer heads towards 1,000,000? Find out!

Show Open Topic

Listeners correct Ray on a recent puzzler-- the number of ways to get to 26. Turns out, there's more than one way!

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Show Review - 883

by Anonymous

About the brilliant mathematicians

by Victor S.

Gentlemen, I listened with interest and some dismay to the beginning of your program this week. There were a number of math wizards who sent in solutions to your math puzzler, giving you a hard time about the "only one solution" assertion. Let me assure you that when I tried working out your puzzler, I also came up with only one solution that met ALL your criteria. At first I thought I had at least 2 or 3, but then I realized that I could only use each number ONCE, and each math operation ONCE. From what I heard, it seems to me that everyone who came up with multiple solutions violated one or both of these rules, so their 'solutions' don't count. As for the fourth-grader who combined "2" and "4" to make "24", my response is (and I hate to rain on a little kid's parade, but I figure he's young and he'll get over it), sorry kid, but you're wrong. For the simple reason that these were specifically referred to as "numbers", not "digits" or "numerals". If they had been digits or numerals then, yes, combining two of them to form a number would be legit. I give the fourth-grader an "E" for effort and recommend that his uncle repeat the fourth grade (anonymity is such a wonderful thing! I just hope the guy's not my next-door neighbor!). Thanks for your show, guys! Please keep it up, I don't care what Carl Kassell says about you! yours truly, A. Nonymous

Enough Puzzlers Already!

by drhdrh

I've really hated the puzzler ever since I started listening to this show around 1992. This weeks show seemed to be nothing but the !@#$% puzzler! Ditch the puzzler already! We're listening for car tips, not artificial quizzes. Also, why waste so much time with the !@#$% credits at the end?

Favorite Moment: For this show? -- None!

odometer question

by docmiller

600,000 plus 531441 = 1131441 there are only 1million possible Huh?

at work with car talk

by Anonymous

I enjoy "wasting a pefectly good hour;" listening to your show. It comes on while I am at work and have plenty of hours to waste. Thanks for spending my work day up.

Comment on Wet Car 'MOLD' Safety

by eapizzola

Please as the gentleman who left the windows open on his wife's car... to own up to the incident. While he is trying to dry out the car...his wife should know about it. Please check out the CDC website section on MOLD - it can be a respitory health hazard..and can take quite a bit to really get rid of whether car or home..as I am sure you guys know. IF some one is especially sensitive whether allergies or other health wise it can be bad to be in the environment for any lengthy time... Please advise him to check out and maybe it might be worth their health and relatiohship to invest in larger machinery to clear the problem or change our the rugs completely. THanks Elaine in San Diego

Favorite Moment: HOLIDAY shows...definitely!

Drying-out a car after a thunderstorm -- windows left open

by rsblanchard

I was trained in chemical engineering, and know that the interior air would be lowest in relative humidity if the car was running with the windows-up, the A/C turned-on, and the heat setting cranked-up to its highest setting. That is how to dry a car out, contrary to your advice to your caller !

the wheels of progress

by Anonymous

I love your show! I was on the show years ago when a Toyota Coronna I had dropped a ball of molten tin "lead)? on the top of my foor. That car had these little glass tube fuses that I could replace LITERALLY while driving. I replaced the AC fuse successfully several times. When I got the call from your station, I was so thrilled I was ready to joke with "youse guys" but you said that I could burn up alive in this car because this is a dangerous problem. My mother heard the broadcast and she boight me a new Camry!

Favorite Moment: The man who had received so much information from so many people - he was interesting.

Ray Goes Out On a Limb

A listening math professor schools Ray with these overlooked Puzzler solutions.

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