Igor, the Princess, and the Paper in the Jar

Sep 20, 1997

RAY: OK, look, it's time for the new puzzler. I have a plethora of puzzlers automotive at my disposal, at my fingertips.

TOM: Yeah, so you are going to use a non-automotive one?

RAY: I am.

TOM: Good.

RAY: Only because I didn't want to use two stellar automotive puzzlers in a week.

TOM: No.

RAY: I want to grow rather. You know, why waste them.

TOM: That's right.

RAY: Just scatter them. Save a couple for the next decade.

TOM: That's true.

RAY: Well, this was sent to us via e-mail from Adrian, whose gender I don't know, but I assume it's a woman.

TOM: Adrian.

RAY: Adrian. No, Adrian could just as easily be a man's name or a woman's name.

TOM: The portrait of Adrian Gray.

RAY: List of Adrian -

TOM: Oh that's who it was. Yeah, that was a guy.

RAY: Adrian Lowell from something dot edu. I will just read it because I would be hard pressed to improve, but I may add a little bit here and there.

TOM: Mostly in the form of obfuscation.

RAY: The beautiful young princess had a dilemma. She was in love with Igor, the blacksmith's son and a hunchback, and she wanted to marry him. Reminds me -- she was having him for tea one day. She said, "Igor, do you take sugar in your tea?" He said, "Yes." She said, "one hump or two?"

TOM: Is that in there?

RAY: No, that was...however, she knew that her father, the king, would not approve. Furthermore, if the king knew of their love, he would surely have the young man executed.

TOM: Yeah, or killed.

RAY: Even better still. They devised a plan. They will elope. Sadly, their plan is foiled, and they are stopped at the castle gates by the guards, who spotted Igor's hump, of course.

TOM: Of course.

RAY: And they are brought before the king. Now the king was indeed furious but decided to offer Igor a sportin' chance, as they say. He said he would write the word 'princess' on one piece of paper and 'death' on another, and the young lad could decide his own fate by selecting one of the slips of paper from a jar. So the two slips are crumbled up, thrown in a jar.

TOM: An olive jar.

RAY: An olive jar, yes, with no olives in it. And young Igor, his fate in his own hands as we realize...

TOM: Yeah, so if he picks out 'princess,' he gets the princess. He picks out 'death,' vroom.

RAY: There you go.

TOM: That's it.

RAY: However, the king was sneaky.

TOM: No middle ground here.

RAY: NO middle ground, no. Pretty binary.

TOM: No, like, banishment. How about Elba?

RAY: No Elba.

TOM: I'll take Elba.

RAY: Even if she's ugly, I will take her. I really wanted the princess, but I'll take Elba.

TOM: It's not going to bother me.

RAY: Her sister Elba. It is you I realize who drags out -- I would be done 20 minutes ago with this damn puzzler.

TOM: I'm just asking questions here. All right. Go ahead.

RAY: All right. So the young man has his fate in his own hands. He has to draw a stupid paper from the jar. However, he knows the king is sneaky and writes 'death' on both slips of paper.

TOM: Aw, King Furious the First.

RAY: King Furious the First. Sadly, King Furious the First is a sneak.

TOM: He's a sneak. He writes 'death' on both pieces of paper. Despite this, Igor manages to win the princess's hand.

TOM: No kidding. And the question is...

RAY: How did he thwart the king?


RAY: Historic folklore.

TOM: Any story with a hump in it is good.

RAY: He reaches into the jar. He pulls out a crumpled piece of paper. He uncrumples it.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: And he reads on it, death. A big smile comes across his face.

TOM: Guy's a quick thinker.

RAY: He immediately stuffs the piece of paper in his mouth, chews it and swallows it.

TOM: Right.

RAY: Dances around the room and says, "Oh my God, I can't believe my good fortune." And everyone says, "What did it say?" He says, "Ask the King what it says on his slip of paper and you'll know what mine said."

TOM: Oh, ho-ho-ho. What mine said.

RAY: The King, not wanting to be revealed as the sneaking liar that he is, has to show the piece of paper.

TOM: Shoves the paper in his mouth and swallows it.

RAY: Wasn't thinking quickly enough to do it. Shows his piece of paper that says, 'death.'

TOM: It says death.

RAY: Dodge Dart.

TOM: So, the other one must have said, "the princess."

RAY: Of course, after they execute him, they do order an autopsy. Who's our winner this week?

TOM: Oh, we have a winner?

RAY: Of course we do.

TOM: Well, it must be on one of the these little scraps of paper. Here it is, man. Sir Gallahad is the winner. No. The winner is Dave Bry. B-R-Y. From Sacramento, California.

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