Cars in the Will

The Puzzler

RAY: Here's the answer. The first nephew Chip inherited a third of the 17 cars. Skip, the second guy, is going to get half the cars. And Nunzio is going to get one-ninth of the cars.

So Crusty comes along and says, 'Look guys, I'll lend you my '52 Studebaker so now you can divide up 18 cars.'

So Skip says great, 'I'll take half of the cars, or nine cars.'

Chip says, 'I'll take a third, that's six cars.'

And Nunzio says, 'I'll take one-ninth or two cars.' Now if you add those up it's 17 cars. So Crusty gets his '52 Studebaker back and everything's done and everyone's happy.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: Well, the reason it works is that, if you are astute like my brother, you'll notice that half plus a third plus a ninth do not add up to one. The old geezer originally had 18 cars.

TOM: But Crusty stole one, a'52 Studebaker!

RAY: But because they don't add up to one, in fact when each gets his nine or six or two cars, it's actually more than the old man wanted to give each in his will.

TOM: But it does work out proportionately.

RAY: So to speak. And they didn't have to get the Sawzall out. So who's our winner?

TOM: Our winner this week is Christopher Crow from Westfield, Massachusetts. And for having his answer selected from the dumpster full of correct answers that we got, Chris is going to get a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which he can get a copy of our new music CD, Stairway to Heapdom.

RAY: Congratulations, Christopher!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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