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Tommy's Tomatoes

The Puzzler


RAY: Robert Underwood sent in the germ for this puzzler and I turned it into a full-fledged pandemic.

A few months ago Tommy, who in these last few years has become an avid gardener, harvested a bumper crop of juicy, ripe tomatoes. And this year, instead of making his usual 11 gallons of marinara sauce, he decided to try something a little different-sundried tomatoes.

Now, being the scientific type that he is, he decided to weigh his harvest at the outset and then again when he figured they had been sun dried enough. So Tom got the biggest cardboard box he could find. We stripped him down to his skivvies -- he didn't want to risk exceeding the weight limit of the scale -- and he and the box got on and weighed in at 148 pounds.

I then proceeded to begin filling the box to capacity. When no more tomatoes would fit I balanced one or two on his head, stuck a few under each armpit and wedged a couple between hisÂ… knees. Anyway, when they were all accounted for, the scale read 248 pounds. He had harvested exactly 100 pounds of tomatoes.

Now, in case you didn't know it, tomatoes are 99% water and 1% tomato stuff, you know like skin, seed casings, red dye no. 2, whatever is in tomatoes. But 99% of a tomato is water. So Tommy's 100 pounds of tomatoes are 99 pounds of H2O and 1 pound of whatever that other stuff is.

After a week in the sun drying out, Tommy's tomatoes were now 98% water. If we reweighed them and Tommy, like we had done a week earlier, what would the scale read?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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