Down-Under Wonder

Jun 06, 1998

RAY: Ha, we're back, you're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers. And we're here to discuss cars, car repair, and the puzzler. And this is a quasi-automotive puzzler, I believe.

TOM: Oh, Okay, fine.

RAY: Wouldn't you say so?

TOM: Quasi-automotive, yes, master. Yes master.

RAY: Some years ago my family and I went on a little ski vacation and we spent the first day --

TOM: Ski vacation, you've never been on a ski vacation in your life.

RAY: This is a puzzler. No, we did, we went on a little ski vacation in the mountains.

TOM: Oh, little skis.

RAY: Little skis.

TOM: One footers.

RAY: It was snowshoes actually, and we, my wife and children and I went on a little ski vacation in the mountains.

TOM: Yeah, OK.

RAY: And we spent the first day hitting the slopes, so to speak. I did most of the hitting, with my face. And after that first day we decided --

TOM: And your butt.

RAY: No, face mostly, decided to spend the next day in the more familiar and congenial surroundings of the heated pool.

TOM: Good idea.

RAY: And while we were there, we were sitting there, the four of us, in our chairs crying out, towel boy. And a group of four people, another family, started walking toward us and my, my younger son noticed that there were two very cute teenage girls, blonde haired teenaged girls walking in front of what I would assume was, were, I could assume were their parents. And my son studied them for a few moments and as they drew closer, he said to me, they're Australians you know.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: And I said, oh, you've met them? He said, oh, no. They're as strange to me as are my textbooks. And I said, oh. And so you've overheard, you've overheard them speaking? He said oh, no. But I know --

TOM: Never saw them before in my life.

RAY: Never laid eyes on them.


RAY: And as luck would have it, they come and sit right down next to us and before they have a chance to utter a word, he leans over and says to them, pretty long way to come from Australia to do a little skiing. And the father says, uh, you're right mate, it sure is.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: And it wasn't the Crocodile Dundee t-shirts that gave them away, either. Now you have all the information you need. And, and I might add, a significant hint.

TOM: Don't tell them where the hint is.

RAY: Oh, I don't know where it is. I think there's a hint in there.


TOM: You said it was a quasi-automotive --

RAY: And yet there was no mention of a car anywhere.

TOM: Neither on the slopes nor at the pool.

RAY: So if that is in fact the clue --

TOM: This is great!

RAY: There must be something peculiar about Australians.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Well, the only peculiar about Australians is that they drive --

TOM: They eat vegemite? That's what's peculiar.

RAY: They drink warm beer and they drive on the other side of the road.

TOM: Yes, they do.

RAY: And when he saw the four of them walking toward us after admiring the two cute blonde girls that were in front of their parents, he noticed that the father's right arm was tan.

TOM: Wait a minute. How come he knew, how'd he know they weren't Japanese?

RAY: There you go.

TOM: Yeah, and how did he know that the wife doesn't do all the driving?

RAY: It was an educated guess.

TOM: What's brilliant about it is the clue.

RAY: The clue.

TOM: The clue makes the puzzler worth it. Martin Gardner would be proud of you. Of course, he would turn over in his grave if he heard you.

RAY: He wouldn't.

TOM: What? No.

RAY: All right. I guess nobody liked it.

TOM: Excellent. I loved it.

RAY: OK. Who's our winner.

TOM: The winner is Delores. Wow. Delores Mikorelli. Hey. Delores Mikorelli from Gotian, Ohio.

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