Useless Information

May 24, 2022

Hi all. Puzzler time again. This is going to be a real short puzzler this time. This one is excellent. It is very good. 

A while back, one of our guys was replacing the head gasket on a car. The head gasket is the one that goes between the cylinder head and the block of the engine. It was a four cylinder car. I think it was a Ford Escort or something. And you could easily put the gasket on incorrectly. Especially if you're an automobile mechanic!

So they had written on the gasket the following letters.


And I was walking and saw where the T.O.P. was written. And I said to my mechanic, "Well, that's a useless piece of information, isn't it?"

He said, "I beg your pardon. I beg to differ." 

So here is the question.

What did I mean by that? 


So, to recap, one of our guys was replacing the head gasket on a Ford Escort, or something like that. 
It is easy to install these incorrectly. So they put a little note on the thing. It says T.O.P. It's printed right on the gasket, really small. The mechanic was putting it on and I remember walking by and saying something like, "Well, that's a useless piece of information, isn't it?" 

And he said, "What do you mean by that?" So that's the puzzler. What did I mean by that? 

A better piece of information would have been "Bottom." Like with shipping and moving boxes. They say, "This side up," and it's printed on the top. When you have really small lettering, "Top" you have a 50/50 chance of putting it on wrong. 

If you didn't know to look for the lettering, you could easily put the top down and then you wouldn't even know that you've done that.

It's a similar to the, "Other end up," on shipping boxes.
So it is really clear which end should be up and which should be down. There is no real directive in the small, easily missed word, "Top."



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