Backwards Engine Enigma

The Puzzler

RAY: Here’s the answer. Think Lake Erie. If you were thinking about boats and you had two inboard engines, you would want one of them to go one way and one to go the other way. Otherwise, the boat would just go around in circles all the time. You want the props to wash in opposite directions.

TOM: So that would really make it go nice and straight ahead.

RAY: I would think so. How do I know? I don't even own a boat. The rumors are all false. I do not own a boat. I have never made a boat payment in my life, so I wouldn't know. It could be bogus. I'm just going on blind faith and it seemed intuitively obvious that you would want the props to go in opposite directions. For symmetrical reasons --

TOM: I think it's bogus.

RAY: And if you had one engine, how would you get that to run backwards and forwards at the same time? Figure that out. Do we have a winner?

TOM: Why would we have a winner for a bogus puzzler? Yeah, we got a winner. The winner is John Wyant, from Carrolton, Ohio!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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