Man & Woman Walking

Nov 18, 2000

RAY: A woman and her husband frequently go walking together. On one particular day, however, they walked side by side, one never getting ahead of the other. They walked for an hour. At the end of the hour, the woman says, "That felt good. I think I walked four miles. The husband responds, "Oh, I walked much farther than that. I'm sure I walked five or six."

How could that be?


TOM: I mean, the only thing I can assume is that there is a third dimension involved.

RAY: There is a third dimension. It's right up. This is going to elicit a few groans, I'm sure. But, I mean, as is often the case, the Puzzler is better than the answer.

TOM: Often the case?

RAY: Sometimes the case. And it's important that you have a mediocre Puzzler once in a while so you can differentiate it from the stellar Puzzlers, which are most of them.

TOM: Oh! Yeah. Well, I mean, some of the best Puzzlers have had lousy answers.

RAY: Yeah.

TOM: I mean, the bicycle Puzzler, for example. I mean, that was a classic. The answer, on the other hand -

RAY: Stinko. Well, anyway, the answer, simply, here is that they are both walking side by side, each on treadmills.

TOM: Ah! I didn't think that. Oh, man! On tread, of course. They could have held hands. They would have fallen off the treadmill and broken a hip.

RAY: No, you could theoretically hold hands.

TOM: You could theoretically hold hands.

RAY: And all the conditions are met. They walk side by side, one never getting ahead of the other.

TOM: Of course.

RAY: Except, the husband, in order to travel five or six miles, or at least a greater distance than she --

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Just took more steps.

TOM: Well, that's the problem I was having with the third dimension. Because if, for example, the husband was walking --

RAY: Was running upstairs.

TOM: -- up and down, up and down a ridge.

RAY: Right.

TOM: He was some - I couldn't imagine what this place would be. She's on level ground, and he's going up and down, up and down, up and down.

RAY: Ah, but see, you had the analog of the treadmill.

TOM: I did have the analog of the treadmill.

RAY: And you couldn't make that step because you're a bonehead. A few years ago, you would have done it, but --

TOM: I mean, there was a time when the synapses actually worked.

RAY: Used to click, huh?

TOM: Yeah. OK. Not anymore.

RAY: Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yes, we do. The winner is Christina Van Rye from Salt Lake City, Utah.

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