Deserted Island

The Puzzler

RAY: Ha! Wake up, Tommy! We're back, and you're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair and, uh, the new Puzzler.

TOM: Of the new millennium.

RAY: Boy. Yeah. That's a lot of pressure.

TOM: Pretty exciting.

RAY: I mean, this should be like a pretty spectacular Puzzler. If I had known...

TOM: I mean, they're all spectacular.

RAY: If I had known it was the first Puzzler of the new millennium, I would have put more than five minutes of effort into it, but as such, I didn't, so here it is.

TOM: Is it, like, from a five-year-old e-mail?

RAY: Oh, yeah.


RAY: Anyway, here's the deal.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: You are kidnapped...

TOM: I like it already.

RAY: And unceremoniously dumped on a deserted island in the Pacific, a previously deserted island. You are now...

TOM: You are now...

RAY: And you have yet to meet up with Mr. and Mrs. Howell and Professor and Mary Ann. But this island basically is 10 miles long and about a hundred yards wide, and it's completely covered with grass and palm trees. And your captors have been nice enough to give you a few things to assist you in surviving. They've given you a supply of water.

TOM: Mmm-hmm. I got it.

RAY: A life-size poster of Ginger Grant. They've given you a flashlight and a box of matches and a blankie.

TOM: How nice.

RAY: You got it?

TOM: Yeah. No cable.

RAY: No cable TV. So, the first day, you walk around the island, and you notice that you've got no chance of escape because the island is sheer drop-off all around, 500 feet...

TOM: Oh, man!

RAY: Onto sharp rocks into shark-infested waters. So, there is no escape from this island, and you go to sleep that first night under your blankie, and you're awakened the next morning by the sound of thunder and the bright flash of lightning.

TOM: Oh-oh. I'm not going to like this.

RAY: I don't think so. And you realize that lightning has struck the far end of the island, OK? You're approximately in the middle, let's say, so five miles away from you, lightning has struck and has set the grass and palm trees on fire.

TOM: Oh, my God! And what's the second thing you say?

RAY: "Drat!" And as luck would have it, there's a breeze blowing from the fire toward you.

TOM: Toward you. Oh, man!

RAY: So, it's pushing the flame in your direction.

TOM: Got it.

RAY: And you can imagine that everything, everything on the island is going to be toasted.

TOM: Including...

RAY: Including...

TOM: Your butt.

RAY: You, unless you think quick.

TOM: Mmm-hmm.

RAY: And the question is: How do you save your sorry butt until your wife can pay off the ransom?

TOM: Fat chance.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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