Richard and the Bikini-clad Sisters

Feb 13, 2006

RAY: The inspiration for this puzzler came in 2001 from a fellow named Richard Jacobs. Here it is:

Back in the mid 90's, when I was a young medical student, I had the good fortune of spending a couple of days off on the beach in beautiful Boca Raton, Florida. While there, I met two gorgeous, nearly identical blondes, in bikinis no less and they were actually talking to me! I had to pinch myself!

Before I ran out of things to say, I felt compelled to mention to them that I had never seen a cuter set of twins in my entire life.

'Oh, we're not twins,' one of them said. 'In fact, one of us is six years older than the other.'

The other one said, 'While we look identical there is a way to tell which one of us is the older sister, and if you guess right, we'll take you out to dinner and a night on the town.'

'Whoopee!' I exclaimed. 'C-c-c-c-c-can I ask a question?'

'Sure,' they said.

And the question was this: 'Has either one of you ever left the country for any reason?'

Both of them answered, 'No,' but at that instant, both of them knew I had won my free dinner. How did I know which sister was older?
RAY: He saw something on one of them, he didn't see it on the other, and he knew something that the average citizen probably doesn't know: After 1972 doctors stopped giving people smallpox vaccines.

So, one sister was born before 1972 and had a smallpox vaccination.

Usually they're done on your shoulder, but in some cases for women they actually put them on their hips. That's why they had to be wearing bikinis for the scar to be seen.

Of course, the sister born after 1972 had no such scar.

Do we have a winner?

TOM: We certainly do. The winner this week is Melanie McClosky from Hood River, Oregon. And for having her answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Melanie gets a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which she can pick up the brand-new Car Talk football jersey.
RAY: Oh yeah, we had our name stitched under the back of our jerseys, but I guess there was a little confusion at the factory or something, I don't know what happened. Because the back of my brother's shirt says, "Knucklehead."

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