A long, straight wire carries a current that decreases linearly with time. What is the direction of the induced electric field outside the wire?
I would interpret this as follows: a current induces a magnetic field. Since the current is changing, the magnetic field is changing, which induces a changing electric field by Maxwell's law of induction.
However, this question was not posed in a context where one would be assumed to know Maxwell's law of induction (a high school science contest, and the law is only covered in the most advanced high school physics courses), which makes me wonder whether this is poorly phrased and simply referring to the electric field set up by the charges in the wire.
I'd greatly appreciate help.