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Pound of Retention

The Puzzler


RAY: We're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss,of course, cars, car repair, and-a, and-a.

TOM: And-a.

RAY: The new puzzler.

TOM: Yeah, I can hardly wait.

RAY: Well, I got an e-mail the other day from...

TOM: You read your e-mail now?

RAY: From -- not really?

TOM: Someone printed it out and handed it to you.

RAY: I got an e-mail the other day from someone who severely castigated me for not having good puzzlers every week.

TOM: Oh, really?

RAY: Yeah, I mean yes, I was.

TOM: That's unfair.

RAY: You know you've only got one puzzler a week to do. I mean how could it be so lousy. I mean what kind of a lazy bum could you be?

TOM: He's got a point, doesn't he?

RAY: He does.

TOM: Hit home didn't it?

RAY: It did. And if you really wanted to convey that to me Dad, you should have just called me on the phone. We could have discussed it.

TOM: E-mail was not necessary, and that phony e-mail name you...

RAY: All right, here it is. Where do I start? Now should I start at the beginning?

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: Sometime in the late 1930s, Germany's and perhaps other countries' aeronautical engineers were working on a device. Are you paying attention? All the details are embedded. All the essential information is embedded in this puzzler. A device -- and the device did the following. It took water vapor, which is one of the products of gasoline engine combustion, and would condense it into water and save it. You say well, not such a big deal. Well, it would save it in an interesting way. It would save it in such a way that the amount of water saved would be exactly the equivalent in weight as the amount of fuel that the engine burned. So as the engine burned, a pound of fuel or a kilogram of fuel...

TOM: You saved a pound of water.

RAY: It would save a pound of water and discard the rest. You got it?

TOM: Yeah, that way the plane always weighed the same.

RAY: Why would you want to do this?

TOM: I suppose if I want to answer it, why not? Why would you want to do this?

RAY: That's the question.

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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