For a number of weeks the illustrious Bridget Ilene Delaney has kept us entertained with brain teasers of varying degrees of difficulty, from the patently obvious to the downright insulting. Just kidding, Bridget! Your teasers are crowd-pleasers, no maybes about it.
I figure that mental stimulation is good for us in general, and page views are good for me in particular. That being the case, I will occasionally put out a brain-warper that will test the limits of your patience. I’m sorry, I meant to say, your intelligence. Of course, I am far too much of a dullard to conjure up one of these arcane riddles myself, but I do know a good one when I hear it. Take this one, for example.
As those of us who have gone through the winter holidays know perfectly good and well by now, New Years Day always comes exactly seven days after Christmas Day. If Christmas should happen to fall on a Friday, as it does this year, then you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be observing New Years Day on the following Friday. And it’s not just Friday that offers this coincidence. Name any day of the week for Christmas to fall on, and you can be sure the next time that day comes around in the rotation, it will be New Years Day. Have I made the point sufficiently clear? Good.
Now it seems (So strongly does it seem that it actually happened.) there was an occasion during the Second World War when, in a certain year, Christmas day and New Years Day fell on different days of the week. No, indeed, sir or madam: if I’m lying, I’m dying. That actually happened. Your task, should you accept it, is to tell me what year that was and, far more importantly, why.
I do not put much stock in your getting the year right. After all, for all its being the most violent and catastrophic war in history, World War II did not last all that long. It began in 1939 and ended in 1945. That means you have a good chance to guess the right answer, without having the slightest notion of why you were right. Mr. Tom, in that case, will remain duly unimpressed. To get it right, you must be able to tell me why. If you can’t do that, you may as well register “61,382” or “applesauce” as your guess. You will be just as wrong in all cases.
In closing, let me add something that Ms. Delaney, owing, no doubt, to her sweet and kind nature, has omitted to put in her articles. If you do know the solution, kindly KEEP YOUR GRUBBY ANSWERS OUT OF THE COMMENTS. Send me a private message if you must. I will read it and reply, telling you what a smart fellow or gal you are, but please do not spoil the exercise for others who come after you. Okay? I’ll provide the answer in a few days.
On your marks, get set, cogitate!
Bridget Ilene Delaney
Tom and Ray Magliozzi