How fast can you learn it? That really is the question when your manager asks about something that neither of you knows. They don't have the time to figure it out, read about it, look for it, or think about it. They need some good information, some perspective and proposed solutions. Do you think of yourself as a fast learner? How about someone who can find something fast? I think the two (learn & find) are very much related.
Think of it as a dual search. One search is about getting the background and terms you need to continue your investigation. The second search (run just about in parallel) is the investigation of the topic at hand: trying to find the data or the answers to the problem. Both types of searches are important and the skills for each are different. We tend to get distracted and we tend to ignore the significance of both.