Which state am I?

Jul 03, 2006

RAY: This new puzzler is historic, folkloric, and geographic. It was sent in to us from Phil Jackness. I'll read what he wrote:

"The other day I was reading a map of a certain state that I was planning to visit. The map was prepared by the state's Department of Transportation, copyright 1989. I assumed that the information was official, if somewhat dated.

"On the back of the map was a description of several 'firsts," which took place in that state, two of which were automotive related. The one that caught my eye was, "First state that required driving on the right.."

"Which state is this?

"Need some hints? The other automotive first was, "first high-speed multi-lane highway." They also claim to be the birthplace of the Slinky, and the site of the first professional football game."

Now, I could go on and give other hints, like, "site of the first oil well."

That would be too big a hint, though, wouldn't it?
RAY: Now, because of the oil well, you might think it's got to be Texas.

TOM: Exactly.

RAY: But, it was Pennsylvania. Oil was first discovered in Pennsylvania, and according to Phil Jackness, it had the first highway. Do we have a winner?

TOM: We do! The winner this week is Spencer Simpson from Baltimore, Maryland. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Spence is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate.

RAY: Now how do you know that Spencer wants to be called Spence?

TOM: I don't know, I hope I haven't offended him. I was just trying to be friendly.

RAY: He doesn't even like you. He just wanted the gift certificate. Go ahead.

TOM: OK. So what's his name, Simpson, from Baltimore, Maryland, is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com with which he can get a Car Talk baseball shirt or a Car Talk football shirt.

RAY: You know, given what we know about the demographics of NPR listeners, wouldn't we better off with something like a Car Talk chess shirt? Or Sudoku shirt?

TOM: I guess those would look just like the regular Car Talk shirts except they'd be pre-rumpled and the coffee stains would be inked on at the factory.

RAY: Exactly.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter