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The Case of the Locked Beetle -- a HOWdunit

Updated on October 11, 2014

A little puzzle: Guess the solution to this real-life locked car drama

Read the story of how I locked myself out of my beloved VW Bug, and see if you can guess how we resolved the problem. This happened to me some time in the early '90s.

Have fun!

Here's what happened to me - to the best of my recollection

My Bug was yellow, but not as clean-looking as this one.
My Bug was yellow, but not as clean-looking as this one. | Source

I had a long history of locking keys inside of cars. Many times in many different cars. I finally decided that the best practice for me was to simply not lock my car anymore. I felt especially comfortable doing this with my beat-up, but treasured, Volkswagen Beetle. It was old and had been broken into so many times that anything worth taking was already gone, so I just left it open and was completely at peace about it. Anybody who tried to take advantage of it would find that they had wasted their time.

But at a place in Culver City where I was interning, my preceptor requested that EVERYONE please please lock their cars. For Nancy's sake, I started locking it when I was at her business.

Sure enough, within days of her request I had managed to lock my keys in my car. When I realized my predicament, I sought help from a couple of friendly people who were nearby. We tried to fiddle with door, slide something down inside, get the wind wing open, etc. No luck.

One of the guys who was helping me decided to look inside my trunk to see if there might be a crevice somewhere where we could snake something in and get to the lock or to the wind wing. The trunk didn't lock any more, of course, so he opened it right up.

Once the trunk was open, I had to laugh as we all saw the easy and obvious solution to my problem. Within seconds I was holding my keys again. Can you guess what the solution was?

All the information you need is in the story above, but some reading between the lines is required. Think about it and then make a guess.

These were the guesses!

When I first posted this puzzler, we got two guesses. One from Brenda and one from Cynthia, aka Sylvestermouse, who successfully cracked the case!

  • Brenda - My guess is that the keys were in the trunk.
  • Sylvestermouse - Ok, so hold on a minute. If the engine is in the back does that mean the trunk is under the front hood? If so, could you just reach through the dash (air conditioner vents or missing radio spot) and grab the keys from the ignition?

The important points in the story were the facts that it's a VW Beetle and it had been the victim of thieves in the past.

I'll tell the rest of the story below.

Here's the answer . . .

Remember that in the old VW Bugs, the trunk was in the front. Once the trunk was open, our attention was immediately drawn to the big rectangular hole in my dashboard where the radio used to be before it got stolen.

Helpful-Guy reached through the space and easily retrieved my keys from the ignition. I thanked everyone and was soon on my way home.

Kudos to Sylvestermouse for being the first one to intuit the answer!

This video cracked me up!

"Help! I locked the keys in the car!"


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