Car Talk has a new math puzzler up that mixes math and science:

There Was an Old Man…RAY:I’m going to recite an equation and, from that, you are going to give me a limerick that consists of five lines.

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 7. Then, that whole quantity is added to 5 times 11. Finally that whole thing on the left equals 9 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 9 squared and not a bit more.”What is the limerick?

So the equation is: A limerick is:

Limericks consist of five anapaestic lines. Lines 1, 2, and 5 of Limericks have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another. Lines 3 and 4 of Limericks have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.

(source)

And a couple of examples of limericks are:

‘Tis a favourite project of mine,

A new value of pi to assign.

I would fix it at 3,

For it’s simpler, you see,

Than 3 point 1 4 1 5 9

and a classic

There once was a man from Nantucket

Who kept all his gold in a bucket.

But his daughter, named Nan,

Ran away with a man

And as for the bucket, Nantucket.

So what is the solution? A great problem to throw at the kids in your class who have strengths in subjects other than math.

Spoiler (maybe)?

Take twelve plus one forty-four

Add three plus the square root of four

All divided by seven

Plus five times eleven

Is nine squared and not a bit more

Missing the “twenty” but it’s gotta be close. Does it say anything about me that I didn’t even try to solve this?

Take twelve and one fourty-four

Add three root four and a score

All over seven

Plus five times eleven

is nine squared and not a bit more

Did you submit that to cartalk? Be cool if Riley from Iowa was announced as the winner on Cartalk next weekend.

Official Answer: found here

A dozen, a gross, and a score,

plus three times the square root of four.

Divided by seven,

plus five times 11

is nine squared, and not a bit more.

i submitted this and did not win:

Two brothers from East Cambridge Mass,

Known for car-talk and cultural class,

Their listeners did nuzzle with an un-car-like puzzle,

A poetic and numeric morass.

With Bostonian elocution

They challenged a resolution

Of numbers bizarre

With no talk of car.

So here is my poetic solution:

A dozen, a gross and a score,

Plus three times the square root of four,

Divided by seven

Plus five times eleven,

Is nine squared and not a bit more.