Dougie's Stolen Clothes

The Puzzler

RAY: Here’s the answer. Now you noticed when I stated the puzzler, Dougie was behind the car. He saw the car pull away from him. Obviously, he wouldn't have noticed a dent in the trunk. He wouldn't have noticed it had Mass plates.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: But there was something that he did notice when the car pulled away which he forgot to tell the police, and when he walked over to the car to look at it at headquarters he had to actually go and look inside the car. And when he did that, he noticed the car had a manual shift.

Because what he had seen when they pulled away was the momentary flash of the reverse lights as the shifter passed from park, through reverse and neutral into drive. And with the engine running, if the guy had been sitting there in neutral, he merely would have shifted into first gear, and taken off.

TOM: Of course.

RAY: If he were sitting there with the engine running in reverse, the reverse lights would have been on all the time. If the reverse lights didn't work, then he wouldn't have noticed them blinking. He could only have noticed them blinking if they were working, and if the car were in park, and that made, forced it to be an automatic which it wasn't.

TOM: Wow!

RAY: Do we have a winner this week?

TOM: Wow, that is good! The winner this week is Byron Ellis from Baton Rouge, LA. Congratulations, Byron!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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