The Case of the Mysterious Hotel Television

The Puzzler

TOM: You know I think I had the same problem in my office.

RAY: I remember when you moved into your office, you had a receptacle that didn't work. You were ready to move out.

TOM: I was ready to call the electrician because the bottom half of the receptacle worked, but the top half didn't.

RAY: Which was exactly what the case was here. The reason it didn't work is because there's a switch on the wall that controls that part of this duplex socket.

When the outlet didn't work, the maid unplugged the TV and plugged in the vacuum. She vacuumed the floor, and then she took the two cords which were now unplugged, and before leaving she plugged them back in-- except she did it backwards.

So, in order for the TV to have worked it would have required turning on the switch, which is by the door, and which is supposed to light the desk lamp. Of course, the reason the lamp lit up is that it was plugged into the part of the outlet that's always on. Pretty good uh? Do we have a winner?

TOM: We certainly do. The winner is Irene Wilk from Plainfield, Connecticut. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Irene is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division of, where she can pick up a Father's Day gift. We have a Car Talk tie, did you know that?

[ 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

Promo tile

Rocket Fuel