Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Reverse Osmosis

Stevie had decided it was time to take his motorcycle to work. It had been in a garage all winter, and, finally, the weather had gotten nice outside. So, he gets it out of the mothballs, siphons gas out of the lawn mower, fires up the tank, and off he goes. He’s enjoying the beautiful sunshine and the warm air. He comes to an intersection that he goes through every day…but he’s usually driving his car, and when you’re on a motorcycle you’re keenly aware of everything around you.

He looks up at a building to his right, and he sees one of those big signs that display the time and temperature. He notices the time, and says, “Geez, I guess I’m really late for work! But, I’ll stay late, not to worry!”

Then, the temperature comes up in Fahrenheit, and a few seconds later it comes up in centigrade. Stevie says, “Hah! That’s interesting. The digits are exactly reversed.” For example, it might have read 31 degrees Fahrenheit, and when it showed the centigrade reading it said “13.” He thinks, “I’ve never seen that before.”

The light turns green, and off he goes to work. Well, because he got to work so late, he decided to stay late. When he comes out of work, he realizes he should have checked the weather forecast, because it’s drizzly, rainy, and cold.

He’s riding home, when he comes to the same intersection. He thinks, “What are the chances I’d ever see that again?” He knows it’s a different temperature because it’s not warm and sunny like it was when he went to work, and now it’s cold, drizzly, and rainy. He sees the temperature in Fahrenheit, and the temperature in centigrade. He can’t believe it but the numbers are reversed again!

The question is, what was the temperature in the morning when he went to work, and what was the temperature when he went home?

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2 guesses to Reverse Osmosis

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  • det

    assuming that the device displays 2 digits without leading zeros:
    morning: 61 °F -> 16,11 °C ~ 16
    afternoon: 49 °F -> 9,44 °C ~ 9,4
    actually this is working with 3 digits and a little different type of display as well: 49,01 °F -> 0,945

  • Dude

    Det, you’re half right. You’re first half answer is correct for the second half of the riddle.

    In the evening, when he came home and it was drizzly, raining and ugly, it was 16 degrees Celsius and 61 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Keep trying for the morning temperatures.