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The Great Mind-Boggling Antifreeze Mixture

The Puzzler


RAY: You could write equations for all this, or you could do it the easy way. The easy way is to say you've got 12 quarts, so four of them are antifreeze and eight of them are water.

So, if you have a one third mixture that means if you took three quarts of that mixture out, two of them would be water and one of them would be antifreeze. You're going to wind up with three quarts of antifreeze and six quarts of water, are you not?


TOM: Right.


RAY: If you now add three quarts of pure antifreeze back you'll have six quarts of antifreeze and --

TOM AND RAY: Six quarts of water!


RAY: You drain out three quarts of the mixture. That's the answer to part A. Now, for part two: how much of this mixture do you have to drain out if you want to get to 50% water and 50% coolant, if you're adding a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze?


TOM: You can't.


RAY: Right. You have to drain out all 12 quarts in order for it to work. Do we have a winner?


TOM: The winner is Ryan Fall from Sandy, Utah. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Ryan gets a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com where he can sweep through the aisles of our virtual Car Talk supermarket and grab all of the Car Talk junk that he wants, up to a limit of course of 26 bucks.


RAY: That would be like one T-shirt right?


TOM: If it's on sale.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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