Was there ever a Car Talk Puzzler no one answered correctly?

Most of the time I don’t get a chance to listen to Car Talk, so every once in a while I read some of the puzzlers and answers on their website.

On one of their recent answers was this exchange:

"RAY: Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yes, we do. The winner this week is Joan Britton from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And for having her answer selected at random from among those two correct answers that we got…"

So they said they only received two correct answers*.

Was there ever a puzzler that no one answered correctly?

  • This would indicate that they read all of the answers. I find this surprising because they must get a ton of them! Maybe they do word searches on them to whittle them down. For example, they may have searched for the word “sugar” in the answer linked to above.

I’m pretty sure that was a joke. Ayour main question, I have never heard a puzzler with no correct answers, but I have not heard 100% of them.

That was a joke. They make self-deprecating, “we have no listeners” jokes all the time, and this is one.

For this: note that it is statistically equivalent to pick random answers until you get a correct one, discarding any wrong ones you get along the way (which is probably a very small number, like zero or one). I figure the producers do this. They certainly wouldn’t bother sifting out only the correct answers and then having a separate draw from just those.

Speaking of car talk does the puzzler seem ridiculously obvious to anyone else this week?

It is a pretty easy one - I was driving in my car listening to the show and figured it out it almost instantly.

Trivial, by using time as the 4th dimension.

And not very difficult in the standard three dimensions either.


As a side note, there are no more new Car Talk recordings being made as of this month, so presumably the question of picking winners has become moot. (The producers are still constructing episodes from used and unused archival material, though, so the show will still air.)

well, darn! I’m going to miss them (and reruns are not the same)

Tom and Ray exaggerate for the purpose of a joke. Say it ain’t so.

future shows will have unbroadcast material. they tape more material than they need when they do a show and only put part on the air.

I got it in two.


I have a lot to catchup on recent Cartalk episodes. But glancing at the show titles in the podcast feed, I am curious: There doesn’t seem to one final farewell show. Is that correct? (Granted, there will be new episodes mixed together from old material, but still).

Ok. So I guess I mistook their facetiousness for seriousness (what was I thinking?). So it sound like no one is aware of a time that the puzzler was not solved.

It was as easy as tic tac toe.