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After Dinner Car Troubles

Situation puzzles (sometimes called lateral thinking puzzles) are ones where you need to ask lots of yes or no questions to figure out what happened in the situation. These are good puzzles for groups where one person knows the puzzle and answers the questions.


Puzzle ID:#17565
Fun:**** (3.14)
Difficulty:*** (2.89)
Submitted By:Rowsdower****




This teaser is based on a weird but true story from a few years ago.

A complaint was received by the president of a major car company:

"This is the fourth time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me because I must sound crazy, but it is a
fact that we have a tradition in our family of having ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. Every night after we've eaten, the family votes on which flavor of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. I recently purchased a new Pantsmobile from your company and since then my trips to the store have created a problem. You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream my car won't
start. If I get any other kind of ice cream the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter
how silly it sounds: 'What is there about a Pantsmobile that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?'"

The Pantsmobile company President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but he sent an engineer to check it out anyway. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the grocery store. The man bought vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car it wouldn't start for several minutes.

The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate. The car started right away. The second night, he got strawberry and again the car started right up. The third night he bought vanilla and the car failed to start.

There was a logical reason why the man's car wouldn't start when he bought vanilla ice cream. What was it?

(The hint may prove helpful)


The man lived in an extremely hot city, and this took place during the summer. Also, the layout of the grocery store was such that it took the man less time to buy vanilla ice cream.

What Next?


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(user deleted)
May 06, 2004

I used to own an AMC Gremlin that used to get vapor lock all the time. Of course, even when it didn't it was a POC. Fun teaser Rows!
(user deleted)
May 06, 2004

May 06, 2004

That chocolate and strawberry icecream must have been in the way, way, way back of a really, really big store. I thought he may have gone to a different, closer store for the vanilla.
May 10, 2004

Nice one. One of the best situation teasers actually!
May 11, 2004

Nice one. One of the best situation teasers I've read in a long while.
Jun 12, 2004

Cute, but i would have included the hint in the joke to make it less obvious. I love the moral!!
Jun 24, 2004

I guess you have to know a little about cars to get this one. Nontheless, good joke!
Jul 08, 2004

good teaser GREAT second moral!!! GO CHOCOLATE!!!
Oct 14, 2004

Yeah, your answer was good, but I think the real one is clear: The car just doesn't like vanilla icecream.
Nov 29, 2004

I like the morals
Dec 02, 2004

Interesting but i guess you'd have to know a little about cars to get this one. but good teaser.
Dec 24, 2004

Nice, but it's imposible without the hint.
Jan 06, 2005

very cool situation, though i think i heard this one before...
Apr 25, 2005

How the heck are we supposed to know that?
Jul 05, 2005

i figured it had something to do with the amount of time the car needed to cool down, though the idea of chocolate icecream being a cure for vapour lock does appeal to me...
Jul 22, 2005

I got it but the other ice creams must have been very far back and the lines must have beeen extremeley bad. Also, the moral could be that vanilla ice cream is bad luck
Sep 14, 2005

Cool! (I am very corney at times
Nov 17, 2005

Very funny, and the hint did help a lot. What kind of town likes vanilla the most?!
Jun 19, 2006

good situation and funny
Jun 26, 2006

I have read this before, so I got it right away, but great idea to put it up as a teaser! It's one of the best management lessons I have learnt to date!
Oct 24, 2006

Fun Teaser and good life lesson.
Nov 08, 2006

WOW! I really like this one!!!!!
Nov 15, 2006

That was cool! Nice one!
Apr 26, 2007

what a tease, of the inane possibilities, the probablity of this being a solvable problem is very high, thinking out"side" the box. display case, really dude... i dont know if that trivia much more than it is an open door question, i'm sure it's good for the brain, braingle guy 8 odessius- 2
Sep 16, 2007

i never thought it was possible
Jun 18, 2008

this is just amazing,though vapour locking does occur,the manner in which the man faced the problem was really funny, no wonder the rpesident didn't answer him da 1st 3 times
Sep 19, 2008

This one is my fav!!!
Mar 08, 2011

ur nuts. the real moral of the story is "Chocolate ice-cream is just ALWAYS better."
May 28, 2012

I don't think that teasers that require obscure knowledge like that are very fair.
Oct 04, 2013

I don't know much about cars so instead of hypothesizing the VP, I though of the car as a single "System" and everything else came together.

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