A Repair Kit Most Curious

Nov 27, 2006

RAY: This puzzler was sent in recently by someone named Marshall Mangan.

He wrote:

While browsing through my favorite crafts and tool catolague, I came across a very strange-looking package of stick-on plastic numbers. It was a repair kit for a specific task. And it contained the following set of numerals: a 0, five 1's, two 2's, a 3, a 4, a 5, a pair of 6's, a 7 and an 8.

What are these numbers intended for?

Here's a hint: There was a puzzler from a few weeks ago and I couldn't tell you exactly what that puzzler was, but if you got that one, it might give you some insight into the solution of this one.
RAY: One of these sixes gets turned upside down, and when you do that, you have all the numerals on a clock face.

TOM: Really?

RAY: Yes. You have five ones, because you have a one o'clock --

TOM: And 11:00 o'clock.

RAY: You have a 10:00 o'clock, 11:00 o'clock, and a 12:00 o'clock. And you've got all the other numbers.

Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yeah, we do. The winner this week is Laurie Coursin, from Senora, California. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Laurie is going to get from us a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com, with which she can get our brand-new CD, Once Upon a Car Fire, which is basically a CD full of us telling really funny stories.

RAY: Yeah, like the one about my brother's unfortunate tenure in the United States Army.

TOM: Or Bugsy's food deprived stint at sleep away camp.

RAY: Ah, yes. Or my own ill-conceived decision to have a heart attack while you guys were in possession of my credit card. And while I was on my deathbed you guys all went out and charged up a thousand dollar lunch on me.

TOM: That's a gross exaggeration. We did not do that. It was only 800 bucks and it wasn't lunch, it was dinner.

RAY: Well, anyway, the folks in our Shameless Commerce Division also asked me to mention that they're giving away something free until Christmas with every Shameless Commerce order.

TOM: What?

RAY: An individually numbered official stick-on Car Talk Plaza parking permit.

TOM: What? Wait a minute. We're giving away Car Talk parking permits? We don't have a parking lot.

RAY: There you go. That's why we're able to give them away.

TOM: OK. Well, I guess you can find out more at the Shameless Commerce Division. What's up with those guys? They're a strange bunch out there.

RAY: Oh, yeah, well, you know we don't want to discuss them.

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