Monday, October 31, 2005

Between 2 and 3

Between 2 and 3 o'clock yesterday, I looked at the clock and mistook the minute hand for the hour hand, and the hour hand for the minute hand. Consequently, the time appeared to be 55 minutes earlier than it actually was. What was the correct time?

Sunday, October 30, 2005


The word 'FACETIOUSLY' contains the six vowels, A-E-I-O-U and Y, in their alphabetical order. Can you find another English word that does the same?

Saturday, October 29, 2005


QWERTYUIOP are the letters on the top row of letters on a standard typing keyboard. What is the longest word that can be typed using just those letters? Pepper is one but you should be able to come up with a longer one ( or several longer ones).

Friday, October 28, 2005

How many am I?

My first is a number, my second another,
And each, I assure you, will rhyme with the other.
My first you will find is one-fifth of my second,
And truly my whole a long period reckoned.
Yet my first and my second(nay, think not I cozen),
When added together will make but two dozen.

How many am I?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Four jolly men

Four jolly men sat down to play,
And played all night till break of day.
They played for cash and not for fun,
With a separate score for every one.
When it came time to square accounts,
they all had made quite fair amounts.
Now, not one has lost and all have gained -
Tell me now, this can you explain?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Looking for Mom?

Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child's name?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Brain teasers -- four of them

These brain plexing words and shapes, and their positions, can be used to derive a word or saying.

o er t o

GR 12" AVE

k k
c c
u u
t t
s s
word word word word


Monday, October 24, 2005

I've proven 1 = 2

Or have I?

Here is the proof...

(1) X = Y Given
(2) X2 = XY Multiply both sides by X
(3) X2 - Y2 = XY - Y2 Subtract Y2 from both sides
(4) (X+Y)(X-Y) = Y(X-Y) Factor both sides
(5) (X+Y) = Y Cancel out common factors
(6) Y+Y = Y Substitute in from line (1)
(7) 2Y = Y Collect the Y's
(8) 2 = 1 Divide both sides by Y
Can you spot the error?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Poetry, yes that's right... poetry

A 19th Century Paradoxical Poem.

Ten weary, footsore travellers,
All in a woeful plight,
Sought shelter at a wayside inn
One dark and stormy night.

'Nine rooms, no more,' the landlord said
'Have I to offer you.
To each of eight a single bed,
But the ninth must serve for two.'

A din arose. The troubled host
Could only scratch his head,
For of those tired men not two
Would occupy one bed.

The puzzled host was soon at ease -
He was a clever man -
And so to please his guests devised
This most ingeneous plan.

In a room marked A two men were placed,
The third was lodged in B,
The fourth to C was then assigned,
The fifth retired to D.

In E the sixth he tucked away,
In F the sventh man.
The eighth and ninth in G and H,
And then to A he ran,

Wherein the host, as I have said,
Had laid two travellers by;
Then taking one - the tenth and last -
He logged him safe in I.

Nine singe rooms - a room for each -
Were made to serve for ten;
And this it is that puzzles me
And many wiser men.

This poem appeared in Current Literature, vol 2, April 1889. No author was credited.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Consider two round coins of equal size. Imagine holding one still so that it does not move and then rolling the other coin around it, making sure that it does not slip. The rims are kept touching at all times. How many times will the moving coin have rotated after it has completed one revolution of the stationary coin?
Don't try it until you have thought about it.
You may be surprised.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some literature review, for those who hate math

The paragraph below is most unusual. How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so ordinary you'd think nothing was wrong with it - and in fact, nothing is wrong with it. It is unusual though. Why?

"Gatsby was walking back from a visit down in Branton Hill's manufacturing district on a Saturday night. A busy day's traffic had had its noisy run; and with not many folks in sight, His Honor got along without having to stop to grasp a hand, or talk; for a mayor out of City Hall is a shining mark for any politician. And so, coming to Broadway, a booming bass drum and sounds of singing, told of a small Salvation Army unit carrying on amidst Broadway's night shopping crowds. Gatsby, walking towards that group, saw a young girl, back toward him, just finishing a long, soulful oration ... "

The above passage is taken from the book "Gatsby" written by Ernest Vincent Wright in the late 1930's

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Don't you hate it when the machine won't take your money!

A long, metal slide resembling a sliding board has been constructed with 3 holes spaced out along the length of the slide. Coins are placed at the top of the slide and released one after another. For each coin that approaches the first hole the chances are 50 percent that it will fall through the hole. If it makes it past the first hole the chances are 50 percent that it will fall through the second hole. The third hole has the same chances.

How many coins need to be released so that chances are that one coin will make it all the way down the slide?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

What is it?

Glittering points that downward thrust,
Sparkling spears that never rust.
What is it?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fill me up

When I am filled,
I can point the way;
When I am empty,
Nothing moves me.
I have two skins,
One without and one within.
What am I?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Can you see the answer?

My life can be measured in hours;
I serve by being devoured.
Thin, I am quick; fat, I am slow.
Wind is my foe.
What am I?

Friday, October 14, 2005

You need a key for this one

To unravel me
You need a key.
No key that was made by locksmith's hand,
But a key that only I will understand.
What am I?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Who said it and about what?

There is not wind enough to twirl
That one red leaf, nearest of its clan,
Which dances as often as dance it can.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Letter me this?

Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.
I'm double, I'm single,
I'm black, blue, and gray,
I'm read from both ends,
And the same either way.
What am I?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tine's up!

My tines be long,
My tines be short
My tines end ere
My first report.
What am I?

Monday, October 10, 2005

What am I?

I never was, am always to be,
No one ever saw me, nor ever will,
And yet I am the confidence of all
To live and breathe on this terrestrial ball.
What am I?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Do you know the password?

A man wanted to enter an exclusive club but did not know the password that was required. He waited by the door and listened. A club member knocked on the door and the doorman said, "twelve." The member replied, "six " and was let in. A second member came to the door and the doorman said, "six." The member replied, "three" and was let in. The man thought he had heard enough and walked up to the door. The doorman said ,"ten" and the man replied, "five." But he was not let in.

What should have he said?

This date in history

What happened in 1961 that will not happen again for over 4000 years?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Chicken and an egg

A man was walking down a road carrying a basket of eggs. As he is walked he met someone who buys one-half of his eggs plus one-half of an egg. A little further and meets another person who buys one-half of his eggs plus one-half of an egg. Later he meets another person who buys one-half of his eggs plus one half an egg. At this
point he has sold all of his eggs, and he never broke an egg. How many eggs did the man have to start with?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


A lady was at a carnival and went to the booth of the Amazing Psychic.

The Amazing Psychic told her, "If I can write your exact weight on this piece of paper then you must give me 20 but if I cannot I will give you 20."

The lady looked around the room. There were no scales or anything else that could be used to find her weight. She agrees to the bet - certain that the Amazing Psychic could never guess her weight exactly.

In the end the lady had to pay the Amazing Psychic. 20. How did he win the bet?

Monday, October 03, 2005

Not a zebra?

I am black and white, but not a zebra
I can be flat as a paper, or sharp as a knife
I flip open and closed, yet I am not a door
I can be quiet as silence, and yet loud as an orchestra.
I often appear in cartoons, killing a few
What am I?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What's so special?

The following number is the only one of its kind. '8,549,176,320' Can you figure out what is so special about it?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

What am I?

If you break me
I do not stop working,
If you touch me
I may be snared,
If you lose me
Nothing will matter.
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