RAY: The fact that the dog can swim is a red herring. Because the dog doesn't have to swim at all.
Here's how it's done.
The boy and the girl row over to the mainland.
TOM: And that's 170 pounds.
RAY: Right. One of them comes back. It doesn't matter which one. The next trip, the mother and the dog row to safety.
TOM: Got it. So now we've got one of the kids over there, the mother and the dog.
RAY: Now the other kid comes back. So, the only two that have reached safety so far are the mother and the dog.
The boy and the girl row over again. One of them comes back. The father rows over. The other kid comes back to the island and now the two kids row to safety together.
TOM: How many trips was that?
RAY: It's nine crossings. So who's our winner?
TOM: The winner is Jack Mueller from Dickson, California.
[ Car Talk Puzzler ]