Beets Me!

Jul 06, 2013

RAY: This puzzler was actually devised by Dougie Berman, our producer. It was inspired by a guy named Robert Arge, who sent us an e-mail about an interesting little tidbit that we were unaware of. Here it is:

The president of the California Free Range Beet Growers Association is taken hostage. Due to his position of great prestige, a full-blown manhunt is set in motion. Eventually police surround an underground parking garage in San Bernardino where they believe his eminence is being held.

There are four cars inside the garage, one of which belongs to the kidnapper and contains the hostage. The other three, a Nissan, a Ford, and a Buick, all belong to innocent shoppers returning from a long afternoon at Bed and Sitz Bath.

The kidnapper, knowing that he is surrounded, decides to let the hostage go, but he wants to do so without giving up his identity. The hostage was blindfolded. The kidnapper decides to release his hostage in the stairway of the garage and then run back to his car and blend in with the other innocent motorists that are getting in and out of their cars, and drive away.

The president of the Free Range Beet Growers Association, blindfolded, has no idea where he is or what kind of a car he is in. He can tell nothing from the sound of the engine since he is used to being chauffeured around. He has no idea what engines sound like.

The kidnapper turns the key off, opens the door, leaves the key in the ignition. He forces the president out of his car and leads him to the stairwell, where he leads him up to the top of the landing and leaves him there. The kidnapper runs back down, hops in his car and pretends that he is just another shopper leaving the garage.

TOM: Sure.

RAY: The Buick leaves the garage first. The Ford goes out second. The kidnapper in his Honda Accord leaves the garage next. As he emerges from the ramp, he is arrested on the spot.

The question is, how did the president know he was being held in a Honda?

Now remember, he was blindfolded. Doesn't know anything about what engines sound like. His hands were tied. He couldn't feel the fabric. Couldn't see anything. He could smell. He could taste. He could hear. And he used to be a Boy Scout.


RAY: How did the president of the Free Range Beet Growers Association know that he was being held in a Honda? He was blindfolded. He doesn't know anything about cars. He can't see anything. He can't smell anything. His hands were tied. He couldn't feel the fabric, but he could hear and here's the hint I gave. He used to be a Boy Scout. And I remember when I was a Boy Scout I learned Morse Code.

TOM: You did. Did ya?

RAY: Yes. Well, I just remember a few letters. I do remember they all consisted of dits and dahs.

When the key is left in the ignition of a Honda and you open the door, it goes d-d-d-dit, d-d-d-dit. Which is Morse Code for "H." So, out of the four cars that were there, the police were looking for a Honda.

TOM: Wow. H for Honda. Pretty good!

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