There's a car that exists. If you take off the first and last letter it's still a word. If you take off the first and last letter again it's still a word. If you take off the first and last letter again it's still a word. What is the car?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ is it a brand??? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 22:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Did not say make or model..... :/ $\endgroup$
    – Teri
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 22:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Teri what do you mean? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ @TrojanByAccident Teri is helping their niece solve the puzzle, they don't know any more about the puzzle than we do $\endgroup$
    – Melkor
    Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ This same puzzle was actually one of the Car Talk puzzlers a few years ago! cartalk.com/content/whats-cars-name?question $\endgroup$
    – Carmeister
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 18:15

5 Answers 5


The answer is

The Mitsubishi Eclipse:


  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I was wondering why it didn't sound familiar, apparently it was never sold in Europe. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 12:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Separatrix You're wrong, at least for Germany I can say, that this car was sold here ;). $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 9:08
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    $\begingroup$ aka the worst IDE of all time...I kid, sort of. $\endgroup$
    – Celeritas
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Celeritas I actually get that joke. +1 $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 3:23

Using a list of US models and a list of classic cars, a python script, and a big list of words from SCOWL I get 6 answers including the one already given, but some rely on words consisting of a single consonant so are pushing it, while others, although the words appear in SCOWL, don't really appear to have English definitions (or only as names):

avenger venge eng n

classic lassi ass s

eclipse clips lip i

atalanta talant alan la

trident riden ide d

variant arian ria i (the Variant was a 70s VW)

The last is the only one I consider a true additional answer.

Definitions of the non-obvious words:

Venge archaic: avenge

Eng the same as engma (IPA ŋ)

Lassi an Indian drink

Talant: I'm not sure what it's doing in SCOWL, it appears only as Welsh, French and a proper noun.

Alan is no better

Riden An obsolete preterit plural of ride (n).

Ide a fish, common in cryptic crosswords

Arian Relating to the doctrine, taught by Arius, that Christ the Son was not consubstantial with God the Father.

D, N and S could be deuterium, nitrogen and sulphur, or the names of the letters.

Note that I excluded anything with digits or spaces in. Here's the script if anyone wants a play (but you might have to lose some of the set-formatting depending on your words file). I also piped it through sort and uniq:

import re
words = set(open("words.txt").read().split())
words = set([w.split("/")[0] for w in words])
with open('cars2.txt','r') as f:
    for line in f:
        line =line[:-1].lower()
        if re.match('^[a-z]{7,}$',line):
            if line in words and a in words and b in words and c in words:
                print line, a,b,c
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    $\begingroup$ Very smart way to find the answers! $\endgroup$
    – Melkor
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Melkor I'd done something similar recently, looking for words containing a group of letters for a project name, so the code and big word list were (much) easier than finding the lists of car names. $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:28
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer, I never knew about SCOWL but it seems really useful... $\endgroup$
    – Melkor
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Melkor I'm not the only one to use it here $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 17:52
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    $\begingroup$ @ChrisH Lol, I skimmed it several times looking for reference to n, s, and d and it looked to me like you ignored it, which is why I commented. I see it now though :) $\endgroup$
    – Cruncher
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 18:57

An alternative solution to the other posted, even though I think the existing one is "better"...

A Mclaren

Clare is a county in the Republic of Ireland, as well as the name of other places, and is also a forename (yes, a proper name hence the "better" comment above).
Lar is the common gibbon, as well as a place name in both India and Iran.
A is the indefinite article.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ a clever answer! $\endgroup$
    – user428517
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 1:28
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    $\begingroup$ A is 'an' indefinite article. $\endgroup$
    – boboquack
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 5:18
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack He he, I see what you did there! I guess it's debatable though, since one could just say that the form (a/an/some) of the indefinite article to be used in an English sentence is prescribed by the rest of that sentence. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ @boboquack Sentence could also be interpreted to how you could refer to Mike Meyers as the actor. "I met Mike Meyers", "Who?", "You know, the actor". $\endgroup$
    – Cruncher
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 18:31

Note: I'm new to this site and I looked on Meta for a post regarding loopholes and did not find anything regarding this. If this is considered 'not funny,' please let me know.

An alternative answer (but probably not the originally intended one) could also be

Fiat 500, or any other car with only numbers is its model name, because there are no letters to remove. As the question is tagged 'wordplay', I thought it might be relevant.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ But isn't 500 a bit too short to remove the outer characters three times? $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ @MOehm The joke would be that you can remove as many as you want, because there are no "letters". Again, this might be considered unfunny, but I didn't find this under the standard loopholes. Maybe I missed it? $\endgroup$
    – Arc676
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 9:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Arc676 Some people might consider it breaking the second loophole. That loophole essentially is applying lateral thinking to a puzzle that doesn't have that tag. $\endgroup$
    – Nzall
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ 500 not a word? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ 500 is a number, five hundred is two words $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 8:43

The answer is:

The Mitsubishi Eclipse.

This is how:


  • 33
    $\begingroup$ That's great. Why does this answer look very familiar? (this answer has already been given.) Welcome to Puzzling SE, you may want to look around and read other answers to make sure you don't post a duplicate answer. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Jan 19, 2017 at 0:15

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