Sep 22, 2001
RAY: I'm going to recite an equation, and from that, you are going to give me a limerick that consists of five lines. You know, there was a young da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da.
TOM: Does this limerick include Nantucket or the band at the Waldorf Astoria?
RAY: No. Here it is. The numerator is 12 plus 144 plus 20 plus 3 square roots of 4, divided by a denominator of seven.
Then, that whole quantity is added to 5 times 11.
Finally, that whole thing on the left equals nine squared plus zero.
Now, I'm going to give the last line of the limerick, and you have to come up with the other four lines.
The last line is "is nine squared and not a bit more."
Befuddled? You're not the only one. The staff here at Car Talk Plaza is so perplexed, we might just have to form a picket line until Ray 'fesses up with the answer.
TOM: Ah! A dozen, a gross, and a score.
RAY: And of course, a dozen is 12, a gross is 144, a score is 20. Plus three times the square root of four, which is three times two, which is six. Divided by seven, plus five times 11, is 81.
TOM: Nine squared, and not a bit more.
RAY: Who's our winner, man?
TOM: The winner is Lynn Klein from Oxford, England, or Pennsylvania. Oxford, Pennsylvania. Congratulations Lynn!