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My husband and I set out for a day trip towards a tourist town 20km away from our location. We only have enough fuel to reach the town, but my husband assured me that we will easily drive back to our location in our car without refueling. How is this possible?

Note this is not a trick question and works in real life. They will come back in their own car without any external assistance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. Anyway the accepted solution is what I had in mind. $\endgroup$ Jun 21, 2022 at 7:32

6 Answers 6

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You are driving

uphill to a ski resort or something and you can just roll back downhill.

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    $\begingroup$ yes you got it! I came up with this scenario during my latest tourist trip :) $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2022 at 5:17
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    $\begingroup$ Works in real life, eh? Humph-harrumph!. ;) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Jun 20, 2022 at 5:52
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    $\begingroup$ Good point. I would still keep the engine running just in case. It shouldn't use much fuel. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2022 at 5:58
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    $\begingroup$ Where in the world is a road leading 100km steadily upwards? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jun 20, 2022 at 7:33
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    $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest That sounds like a question for Travel SE :-) $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2022 at 7:58
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Two options come to my mind...

The car is a hybrid, and their fuel (i.e. gas) will get them 20 km, and electric the way back

or

They're not driving their own car to town, but rather picking it up from there. It's not stated that they leave from their location in their car ("our car")

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    $\begingroup$ This is a very good practical answer-- the hybrid car one. $\endgroup$
    – RogerA
    Jun 20, 2022 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ The first option is the most natural, and meets the real tag perfectly. $\endgroup$
    – WhatsUp
    Jun 20, 2022 at 14:44
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Another possibility:

On the way back someone had to push the car.

Depending on what kind of husband he is, he volunteered to push the car or he expected his wife to do it.

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    $\begingroup$ Now that truly doesn't consume any fuel $\endgroup$
    – Auribouros
    Jun 20, 2022 at 11:42
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Another possibility

Go by car upto 10km then park somewhere and go to town by other source (Taxi, Lift or public transport).

Come back to same place (where car parked) by other source then drive own car :)

Another possibility

They can buy new/used car from town and come back with new own car.

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  • $\begingroup$ But that would count as external assistance, right ? $\endgroup$
    – Auribouros
    Jun 20, 2022 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Auribouros then they can walk 10km from town to middle place. There is no mentioned like they can't use external assistance when they go to town. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2022 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ very clever. There are some more possibilities ;) $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2022 at 13:46
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They can

receive external assistance on the way there, but then drive on their own power home. You specify that they will come back home without external assistance but perhaps they get towed there or take a ferry

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Possibly the "abusing the word 'car'" answer hinted at by the OP:

Their "car" is actually part of a train. Many parts of a passenger train are referred to as "cars", e.g. the sleeper car, the diner car, etc. If the train has low ridership, it's possible they even have a whole car to themselves, so they could then come back "in their own car".

The amount of fuel they have with them is then irrelevant, since they're not using any fuel at all - the train is (unless it's electric, in which case the power-plant that supplies its power is).

They could also just be referring to having to bring some food along for the trip. Maybe they don't have enough food for the return leg of the trip, but humans can easily withstand a 20km trip without a meal.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm waiting for the "They have a horse named car" answer now.. $\endgroup$
    – Auribouros
    Jun 20, 2022 at 15:05

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