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1
Can you solve the jail break riddle?

Your timing made you and your partner

timing - расчет времени; умение рассчитывать время (time - время)

the most infamous bank robbers in the west.

infamous - печально известный, позорный, бесчестный (famous - известный, знаменитый)
robbers - грабитель, разбойник

Now, you’ll need to use that timing

to help you break out of jail.

to break out - вырываться, вырваться
jail - тюрьма

At the appointed time,

appointed - назначенный

you’ll be walking in the yard

yard - площадка

near the electric fence.

fence - забор

Your partner will flash you the signal,

to flash - мигать, блеснуть, вспыхивать

and exactly 45 seconds later,

short out the fence circuit.

to short out - закоротить (short out - короткое замыкание)
circuit - схема, цепь, контур

It’ll automatically restart

automatically - автоматически

after a second or two,

but as long as you move fast,

you’ll be home free.

And then you notice,

to notice - замечать

to your horror,

horror - ужас; фильм ужасов

that your watch is broken,

broken - сломанный (to break - ломать, разбивать)

and there’s no time to fix it.

to fix - исправлять, устранять неисправность; фиксировать, закреплять

The signal is coming,

and if you make even a small mistake

mistake - ошибка

in counting off 45 seconds,

to count - считать, подсчитывать

you’ll get fried.

fried - жаренный (to fry - жарить)

Searching your pockets,

to search - искать
pocket - карман

you find something that might help:

a lighter and two fuses you made earlier

lighter - зажигалка
fuse - фитиль

in the prison work program.

prison - тюрьма

Each fuse is a length of flammable twine,

flammable - легковоспламеняющийся
twine - бечевка, шнурок

built to be lit on either end

to build - строить, создавать
to lit - зажигать

and burn for precisely one minute.

to burn - сжигать, гореть
precisely - точно, именно

The problem is that even though

the fuses look uniform,

uniform - единый, равномерный, одноровный

they don’t burn evenly,

evenly - равномерно, ровно

so if you cut one in half, for example,

one side might burn longer than the other.

Your partner is going to give the signal any minute,

and you’ll have to make your move.

to move - двигать(ся), перемещать(ся)

How can you use the fuses and lighter

to time exactly 45 seconds?

exactly - точно, ровно

The length of the fuse may not tell you anything,

but you do know the fuses take exactly 60 seconds to burn from end to end.

Here’s the key insight:

key - ключевой, основной
insight - понимание, проницательность, интуиция

If you start a fuse on one side

and it burns for 30 seconds,

there’ll still be 30 seconds of fuse left.

If you had started it from the other end,

it would’ve reached the exact same spot in thirty seconds.

to reach - достигать, доходить, добираться
spot - место

That means that if you lit it from both ends simultaneously,

to mean - значить, означать
simultaneously - одновременно; в тоже время

it would burn out in precisely 30 seconds.

But how will you time the last fifteen?

That’ll have to come from the second fuse.

If it were a 30 second fuse,

you’d be able to use that same trick again

to be able to - быть способным что то сделать
trick - трюк

to double the burning speed

to double - удвоить, удваивать

and make it last exactly 15 seconds.

to last - длиться, продолжаться

And, you realize, you can shorten the second fuse

to realize - осознать, понять, реализовать
to shorten - сокращать, укорачивать

by lighting one end of it at the same time

as you light the first.

At the moment the first burns out,

you’ll be left with 30 seconds

on the second fuse.

Just when you’ve got this all figured out,

to figure out - выяснить, вычислить

you see the signal from your partner,

and spring into action.

spring into action - переходить к действию

You gather the four ends of the two fuses

to gather - собирать

and light three of them.

The moment the first burns out,

you light the other end of the second fuse.

When it flickers and dies,

to flicker - мерцать, мигать

you know that exactly 45 seconds have passed,

and the electric fence is dead.

By the time it hiccups back to life,

hiccups - икота; приступ икоты

you’re over the fence and home free.