# Gas tank puzzler

Why don’t they correct last week’s puzzler answer? The center of gravity does not mean there is an equal qty of gas above and below it if the shapes above and below it are not mirror images.

A lot of people agree with you that the answer given on-air is wrong. I’m one of them. (See the recent topics. “today’s puzzler”, “wrong puzzler answer on Jan 22”, and “Correct Puzzler answer Jan22 2011”.) The most popular (gold star) opinions on the subject, however, say that the difference between the center-of-gravity answer and a well-founded answer doesn’t amount to much from a practical standpoint.

Sounds like an “end justifies the means” argument to me. In this case it really is the thought that counts (i.e. correct reasoning versus bogus lucky guess), not the 2% difference in the answers.

If he had only taken the final step. If he would have cut the cardboard along the line and weighed the two pieces. - Mistake #2.

As far as “It was close,” where I went to school and I’m sure at MIT as well, getting the right answer was at best 10% of the grade. Often it was 0%. The grade was on the analysis. Designing things without understanding the problem doesn’t work out well. But, if you’re grading your own paper, it’s probably OK.

There are too mny people trying to be “exact” … when the answer really is simply an estimate… about 6 inches from the bottom.

Good point!

If you’re going to go to all that trouble and STILL come up with the wrong answer, why bother?

Somehow this simple way of solving a tricky problem seems a little less clever when it doesn’t arrive at the right answer. The answer may be close, but arriving at a nearly-correct answer using an incorrect method doesn’t exactly sparkle with brilliance. Time to admit bogosity here, Click and Clack.