Guess What? June 2007

Guess What Article for June 2007
By Bob Cahn, “The Primitive Man”

This month’s GUESS WHAT is based on what we like to refer to as the “Stipulation Premise” – wherein we acknowledge and stipulate what it does, but you must figure out what it does it on.

Sometimes it seems simple, but unlike the Olympics – we’re not placing a difficulty level on the challenge. We’ve not come across this particular apparatus in 35 years of searching and dabbling – so it’s not the function that is unique, but how it’s accomplished.

While we’re ranting and raving, did we mention what we’re stipulating? It has a strong, thin wire tautly stretched the length of this over-sized hacksaw-like frame, which hinges at one end in a pressure arc – completing the final action, much like a paper cutter.

This is one of those instances where size does matter. It has an oak base, a slide-out panel to catch small fragments and droppings, two half marble slabs for easy clean-up. (Dimensions: 23 inches long by 9 inches deep by 14 inches high.)

Now for the challenge – what did it cut? Did it segment a key lime pie or separate multiple ravioli pasta squares? Did it slice sourdough bread or a giant loaf of cheddar? Did watermelon get vivisected or celery stalks get reduced in a vertical slimming down process? Maybe cucumbers or tomatoes got whittled to tossed salad size for one-bite mastication? How about brownies or fudge squares – were they candidates for portion control? One last possibility: cutting whale blubber for rendering in early fat lamps.

The parade of choices has ended. Tune in next month for the revelation. Till then!*

* From the interesting inventory of Ed and Barb McCann Antique and Collectibles, Crestline, CA.

Answer to May’s Guess What?

Last month’s GUESS WHAT was a Florida flea market find of frequent column contributor Mike Goodman, the “King of Stuff.” It’s a commercial, heavy duty deli or restaurant tomato slicer.

The whole tomato started at one end, cradled in a pocket or chamber and was pushed through a parallel series of cutting blades; voila, sliced tomatoes at the opposite end.*

*Available for acquisition F.O.B. Townshend, Vermont

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