Join the Car Talk Community!

Man & Woman Walking

The Puzzler

TOM: I mean, the only thing I can assume is that there is a third dimension involved.

RAY: There is a third dimension. It's right up. This is going to elicit a few groans, I'm sure. But, I mean, as is often the case, the Puzzler is better than the answer.

TOM: Often the case?

RAY: Sometimes the case. And it's important that you have a mediocre Puzzler once in a while so you can differentiate it from the stellar Puzzlers, which are most of them.

TOM: Oh! Yeah. Well, I mean, some of the best Puzzlers have had lousy answers.

RAY: Yeah.

TOM: I mean, the bicycle Puzzler, for example. I mean, that was a classic. The answer, on the other hand -

RAY: Stinko. Well, anyway, the answer, simply, here is that they are both walking side by side, each on treadmills.

TOM: Ah! I didn't think that. Oh, man! On tread, of course. They could have held hands. They would have fallen off the treadmill and broken a hip.

RAY: No, you could theoretically hold hands.

TOM: You could theoretically hold hands.

RAY: And all the conditions are met. They walk side by side, one never getting ahead of the other.

TOM: Of course.

RAY: Except, the husband, in order to travel five or six miles, or at least a greater distance than she --

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Just took more steps.

TOM: Well, that's the problem I was having with the third dimension. Because if, for example, the husband was walking --

RAY: Was running upstairs.

TOM: -- up and down, up and down a ridge.

RAY: Right.

TOM: He was some - I couldn't imagine what this place would be. She's on level ground, and he's going up and down, up and down, up and down.

RAY: Ah, but see, you had the analog of the treadmill.

TOM: I did have the analog of the treadmill.

RAY: And you couldn't make that step because you're a bonehead. A few years ago, you would have done it, but --

TOM: I mean, there was a time when the synapses actually worked.

RAY: Used to click, huh?

TOM: Yeah. OK. Not anymore.

RAY: Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yes, we do. The winner is Christina Van Rye from Salt Lake City, Utah.

[ 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



Rocket Fuel