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Which Tire?

2006-07-03 00:16

  This past fall semester, at Yale University, there were two sophomores who were taking Organic Chemistry and who did pretty well on all of the quizzes and the midterms and labs, etc., such that going into the final, they had a solid A.

  These two friends were so confident going into the final that the weekend before finals week (even though the Chem final was on Monday), they decided to go up to Harvard and party with some friends up there. So they did this and had a great time.

  However, with their hangovers and everything, they overslept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to New Haven until early Monday morning. Rather than taking the final then, what they did was to find the professor after the final and explain to him why they missed the final. They told him that they went up to Cambridge for the weekend, and had planned to come back in time to study, but that they had a flat tire on the way back and didn't have a spare and couldn't get help for a long time and so were late getting back to campus. The prof thought this over and then agreed that they could make up the final on the following day. The two guys were elated and relieved. So, they studied that night and went in the next day at the time that the prof had told them.

  He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet and told them to begin.

  They looked at the first problem, which was something simple about free radical formation and was worth 5 points. “Cool” they thought, “this is going to be easy.” They did that problem and then turned the page.

  They were unprepared, however, for what they saw on the next page. It said: '(95 points) Which tire?'

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