The Grey Labyrinth is a collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, paradoxes and other intellectually challenging diversions. Related topics: puzzle games, logic puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, philosophy, mind benders, brain teasers, word problems, conundrums, 3d puzzles, spatial reasoning, intelligence tests, mathematical diversions, paradoxes, physics problems, reasoning, math, science.

   

Dinner by Candlelight

Recently I prepared a romantic candlelit dinner. For the occasion I had a lovely glass oil candle. This candle consists of two glass triangular planes, separated by a glass tube filled with oil. A glass stem containing a wick dips into the oil reservoir. The image above shows the lamp. The blue liquid is the oil, the black pipe is the wick's glass casing.

If you don't know how oil lamps work, the wick draws oil up to the flame, but the wick itself does not burn. An unfortunate design flaw of this particular lamp (or possibly a conspiracy with the oil makers to sell more oil) is that the glass tube only extends about 3/4 of the way down into reservoir.

Apparently the last time I lit this candle, I let it burn until the available oil supply was exhausted. There was still oil in the lamp, but at a level just below where the wick would reach. If I shook the lamp, I could get the oil onto the wick and it would burn for another minute. But somehow I felt my jiggling the lamp throughout dinner might wreck the mood, and would certainly be a fire hazard.

I searched my apartment for more oil in vain. My next thought was to modify the wick, but its glass casing and lack of materials made this difficult.

With only minutes until my date arrived, how could I extend the burning time of the candle without causing an embarrassing conflagration?


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