Tall Ships and Dangerous Cargo

The Puzzler

RAY: Now I gave a couple of hints. This cargo was something that's still transported by ship today, something that each and every one of us knows.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: And something you probably have some of in your house today. And I could have said it came from the Far East, I could have even added that, which would have made it even easier. But I will read an excerpt from a book by Philip McCutcheon called Tall Ships,

"Spaced along the upper deck were the cargo hatches with their heavy covers of reinforced hardwood planks, well chocked in and secured with three separate layers of tarpaulin, held down with ropes and more chocks to withstand the pounding of heavy seas. Below the hatches lay the reason for the ship's presence on the sea, her cargo, to be held inviolate against nature and disaster, against fire that could come from a self-combustible cargo like wool, or a cargo that could swell when it met water, such as rice."

TOM: Get out.

RAY: Which on more than one occasion in the long story of the sea swelled and in its irresistible pressure split the sides of holds like paper and sank those ships in minutes.

TOM: Rice. What a bummer when they found this out for the first time.

RAY: Well they might not have found it out for a long time, because what happened to the ship?

TOM: It was full of rice and it went down. Wow that's great.

RAY: Pretty good, huh? Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yeah. The winner this week is Len Parkin from Easton, Pennsylvania, and for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Len is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at cartalk.com, with which he can get our four show CD collection called Four Perfectly Good Hours.

RAY: Are these four perfectly good random hours?

TOM: Absolutely not. They are hand-selected, grass-fed, free-range Car Talk shows that we picked because they were particularly good. Or I should say particularly not too bad. Like the show when Martha Stewart came on and answered questions with us, remember that one?

RAY: Oh yeah, like how long do I bake a cake, and what do I do when it catches fire.

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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