Join the Car Talk Community!

Average Salary Scramble

The Puzzler


TOM: Hmm.

RAY: And I think I may have hinted that the boss was a red herring, and he is. You don't have to know any of that stuff. I had to unclarify.

TOM: Unclarify, declarify.

RAY: And obfuscate. Here's how you do it. The first guy takes his salary and to it adds some number that he plucks out of the air. Let's say his salary is 500 bucks a week, he adds 8000 to it. He turns to the guy next to him and whispers, "8500," in his ear. Now that guy doesn't know anything. He doesn't know what part of that is his salary and what part of that is the made up number. He then adds his salary to that 8500 and whispers it to the guy next to him.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Down the line. Finally the seventh guy has this huge number and he obviously adds his salary to it.

TOM: And he gives it back to guy number one.

RAY: He gives it back to guy number one. Guy number one subtracts the 8000 or whatever it is he added, divides by seven, and hence the average salary, and nobody knows nothing, and nobody gets hurt. And so we have a winner?

TOM: You bet we do. The winner is Allen Womack from Kushada, Louisiana.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit


Rocket Fuel