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Won't let me answer car talk puzzler

I have the solution for he puzzler, but your censor won’t let me use words essential to the solution.

He made a magnet. It won’t let me tell you how.

Not high on my list of issues. But then I like answers not puzzles.

Well, then don’t answer: “He (bleeped) the (bleep) out of the (bleep) and then (bleeped) it into the (bleep).”



Move along, no problem here.

I have had problems with their censor before Some common parts (including the part he dropped into the distributor) as well as some parts of tools are counted as no-no words because they are also slang words used in sexual talk. But ALL of the words I used are common words used in auto mechanics (and I don’t mean words the mechanic says after he smashes his thumb).

I was unable to get the censor to let me post the solution. It kept telling me there was something “wrong” with my post and that I should correct it. It also told me to wait a very long time to post again.

Here are the words I used that I think the censor rejected, without using the actual words:

  • A threaded fastener used to hold parts together
  • The tool used to rotate the above fastener
  • The part of a tool used to rotate the above fastener, between the handle and the blade

I have also had trouble with other words that are parts of vehicles:

  • The part that fits on the above threaded fastener
  • The control you use to change the volume on a radio
  • A bird flaps it to fly

How am I supposed to post a solution if I can’t use the technical words I need to use?

The radio show has been reruns for some time and is going to cease entirely soon . So what does the solution matter anyway?

I don’t get the show. It is not broadcast in my area. They email me the puzzles. And there is a prize.

Start from the beginning. Not all of us get everything from Cartalk. Are you trying to reply to an email, and it’s censoring words like “wing?” That sounds bizarre. Are they trying to filter out politically-charged phrases like “right-wing nut job?” (hey, I bet 75% of those words would be filtered, if so!)

The good news is that you can use such words here on the forum, at least as far as I know.

Anyway, tell us exactly what you’re doing and where you’re sending it and maybe we can figure out who to poke for an answer.

I want to know what the prize is.

@cdaquila - Good morning Carolyn. Do you want to see what this person is talking about and solve their problem?

OK. The comments are no longer censoring (they used to).

I get a weekly mailing from Car Talk with their puzzler.

“Each week, we’ll pick a winner who answers via our web site. The prize? A highly-coveted, individually-numbered Car Talk Plaza parking permit. Puzzler answers require a mailing address, in case you win:” But it used to be a gift certificate for the online store.

I used the link to their reply function found in the email.

My solution was:

Cut the cord off the lamp and strip* the insulation from the ends of the wires. Wrap the cord around the shaft* of the screwdriver*. Brush the ends of the wire across the positive and negative terminals of the battery. This magnetizes the screwdriver*. Then use the magnetized screwdriver to pick up the screw*.

The * shows words I have had censorship problems with in the past on this site. I don’t even know why some of the words in my other list are bad words.

I got a message saying there was something wrong with my post and to wait for (a huge number of seconds amounting to about a week) before trying again. I also did not get the usual missive as a reply to the submission.

Hi there. I’m not sure what you were running into re: a censor, because we don’t have one. In fact, I have to edit out the four-letter words people use a few times per week. I’ll have to check our settings but I haven’t heard of anybody else getting locked out entirely over an automated language filter. For some with the first trust level after registration, the system makes them wait a few minutes before posting. Anyhow, I regret the trouble and thank you for posting your answer.

I had the trouble years ago when trying to tell someone how to fix a model airplane engine. It said that I used language not allowed. And I was going nuts trying to find out what words were not allowed. Once I had substituted all of the words I listed above, i let me post.

Something obviously went wrong. Could your new software be fighting with any of these?

  • I am still using Windows XP (I have special hardware that fails with newer Windows).
  • I have a desktop with a keyboard and a mouse (no touch screen).
  • I have an older version of Firefox because the new ones don’t support XP.
  • I am on Uverse internet.

For what it’s worth, you have to read the fine print about the prize. It doesn’t say that everyone, or the only one, the submits the correct answer will get a prize, but the thousands of people that answer correctly and thrown into a box on one of them drawn for a reward. So the odds that you would have gotten anything are like getting hit by lightening. How do I know? I had the correct answer.

I knew that. We’ll see if it works next week.

We did have a brief, unfortunate experiment with a language filter some years ago when we used our previous board software, Vanilla. It was so sensitive it picked up letter strings buried inside other words. Again, I’ll poke around on the back end. Thanks for the tip.

There is always a way around a censor.

if nut is not accepted, use N U T
or use an accented letter, such as nüt
or use unicode versions of one or more letters. like nuT
or substitute zero for the letter O


Why in the world are you putting your full name and email on an open web site? Use the edit feature.

Any way you can take a screenshot of the censorship? Maybe that’ll help us drill down.

I do know that AT&T (the company behind Uverse) has been known to censor access to certain parts of the internet (4chan being a prime example) but I’ve not heard of them implementing a profanity filter for their users’ communications.