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Case of the German Fan Belt

The Puzzler


RAY: What they did was they manufactured the belt with a twist in it. Imagine if you took your own belt and joined the two ends together, so you'd have an inside of the belt and an outside. But imagine before joining them, if you gave one end a twist and made it into what's called a Mobius strip.

TOM: Of course! Now it's going to go on both sides all the time.

RAY: Exactly. And in essence, you've doubled the length of the belt. You have allowed it to run on the inside and the outside at the same time.

TOM: Does Detroit know about this? We don't have any Mobius strip fan belts on American cars.

RAY: Well, it's a little-known fact that the fan belt lobby is very strong in this country.

TOM: They don't want them to last twice as long.

RAY: Of course not! Nor do we, who replace belts. Anyway, who's our winner, Tommy?

TOM: The winner is Liz Walsh from Lexington, Massachusetts.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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