A Fraud in an Ascot

May 24, 1997

RAY: Here it is. A well-dressed gentleman enters a bank, approaches a teller and begins to tell his tale of woe. He says, "Pardon me, Madam, I hope you can help me. You see I'm an English professor at Northwestern University and I am a visitor to your fair city --

TOM: Your fair city?

RAY: And I find myself in need of someone's help. I'm here visiting your fair city with my wife and my two daughters and I have no money with me, because what has happened is my wife and my oldest daughter have gone out shopping this morning and taken my wallet which contained my cash and credit cards --

TOM: And ID.

RAY: And identification, of course. Yes. And left me alone with the other daughter who has taken ill and I must buy her some medication, but I have no money and if you would be kind enough to cash a check for me for $50, that would be a great help to me and my daughter.

TOM: Yes.

RAY: The teller looks at him, up and down. He's well dressed, distinguished looking, obviously quite articulate.

TOM: Little bit of a British accent.

RAY: Little bit of British accent. An English professor from Northwestern University.

TOM: Pedantic and pretentious.

RAY: Pedantic, pretentious.

TOM: Snob.

RAY: Everything that you would expect a college professor to be and he's wearing an ascot, of course. Where did he get his ascot? Anyway, the teller looks at him and says, "I won't be able to help you, sir, because you are a fraud and a liar."

TOM: Ooh!

RAY: And he says, "Pardon me?" But she was absolutely correct. What was it? And you know everything you need to know from this little narrative to solve this puzzler.

TOM: This is good.


RAY: If you look carefully you will find them and the clue is in the phrase "my wife has gone shopping with my oldest daughter." You see he has only two daughters and an English professor would hardly make the mistake of saying oldest -- you'd have to have three or more.

TOM: Yes.

RAY: Having only two, she would be the older daughter.

TOM: Yes.

RAY: And of course, this teller knew that he could not have been an English professor from Northwestern or from any place...

TOM: So she said, "get the heck out of here!"

RAY: Get out you bum! And our winner this week is...?

TOM: Susan Edwards from Helena, Montana.

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