In Search of a Magic Number

The Puzzler

RAY: I've been waiting a long time to use this answer. It only works if the number is two!

This puzzle was the kind of puzzle where you thought you'd be able to come up with some answer like four ninths. But, the truth of the matter is you come up with two equations, which is Y equals X times X, and the other one is Y equals X plus X. If you draw those two graphs, the first one, Y = X squared, is a parabola. The second is a straight line with a slope of two.

TOM: And of course they only intersect at two places: zero and X = two.

RAY: Who's our winner this week?

TOM: Well, the winner this week is Ben Poole from Omaha, Nebraska, and for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Ben is going to get from us a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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