Monday, June 30, 2008

Opening Day Jitters

A high school has a strange principal. On the first day, he has his students perform an odd opening day ceremony:

There are one thousand lockers and one thousand students in the school. The principal asks the first student to go to every locker and open it. Then he has the second student go to every second locker and close it. The third goes to every third locker and, if it is closed, he opens it, and if it is open, he closes it. The fourth student does this to every fourth locker, and so on. After the process is completed with the thousandth student, how many lockers are open?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Runs But Cannot Walk

This thing runs but cannot walk, sometimes sings but never talks. Lacks arms, has hands; lacks a head but has a face.

What is it?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who Needs 80 Days?

Sorry about yesterday. I didn't have access to the site.

There is only one airport on a fictional planet, and that is on the north pole. There are 3 airplanes and lots of fuel at the airport. A full tank of an airplane lasts exactly to the south pole, however the airplanes can transfer their fuel to one another.

Your mission is to fly round the globe with at least one airplane, making sure to cross the south pole. All airplanes must return to the airport.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Building Fences

A farmer challenges an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician to fence off the largest amount of area using the least amount of fence.

The engineer made his fence in a circle and said it was the most efficient.

The physicist made a long line and said that the length was infinite. Then he said that fencing half of the Earth was the best.

The mathematician laughed at the others and with his design, beat the others. What did he do?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Can You Unscramble Eggs?

Each of these words can be changed into something edible by scrambling the letters and making a new word. What foods can you produce from these words when rearranged?

Friday, June 20, 2008


Name four days of the week that start with the letter "t"?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Little Game Theory

This is an optimization problem common to game theory. You want to get the most out of your situation, so it's not enough just to say I'd make the call or I'd take the buck. You have to explain why you would want to do so.

You are alone in a room which contains a one dollar coin, a pay-phone and a scrap of paper with a phone number on it. There are one million identical rooms in the building, each containing a single person. Every person can choose to do one of the following:

A. Use the coin to call the number, if somebody older than them also calls then they win one million dollars (the younger caller wins the million). If nobody older than them calls, then they leave with nothing.

B. You can take the $1 and leave, never to return.

What do you do?

I don't know if there's a right answer to this question. At least, I don't know what it is.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Where Did Daddy Go?

A mother is 21 years older than her child. In exactly 6 years from now, the mother will be exactly 5 times as old as the child.

Where's the father?

Hint, don't look below if you don't want to get some REALLY BIG hints about the answer.


OK... If you figure out the answer, then you may want to argue about some things. What if the kid's early/late? isn't it 10 months and not 9?, etc... This question is fun/interesting, but not technically correct in a lot of ways. Despite enjoying multiple answers to questions, I don't really like hearing a lot of complaints about such questions. This one is for fun, not fact.

Sorry about that. I know that the people reading this blog usually don't complain about things like this, but I thought I should head it off.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Crosswords by Coworkers

Five colleagues at work pooled their efforts during the lunch-hour to solve the crosswords in the daily paper. From the information given below, can you work out who provided each of the first five answers to be found, give the number of the clue in question and say in which order the words were discovered?
  • Colleagues: Bernard, Edward, Elsie, Shirley, Thora
  • Answers: Balsam, Barely, Bindweed, Regatta, Silence.
  • Numbers: 4 down, 8 across, 15 across, 15 down, 21 across.
  • Order: First, second, third, fourth, fifth.
1. Thora produced the answer to 8 across, which had the same number of letters as the previous answer to be inserted and one more than the subsequent answer, which was produced by one of the men.
2. It was not Bernard who solved the clue to" Balsam", and Edward did not solve 4 down.
3. The answers to 15 across and 15 down did not have the same number of letters.
4. 'Silence', which was not the third word to be inserted, was the answer to an across clue, as was the fifth one to be worked out.
5. 'Barely' was the first word to be entered in the grid, but 'Bindweed' was not the second answer to be found.
6. Elsie's word was longer than Bernard's; Shirley was neither the first nor the last to come up with an answer.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tell Me Bozo Did Not Do It

Yesterday, circus owner P.U. Burnem gathered his clowns, and told them he was going to fire every one of them after that night's performance. Last night, Burnem's electrocuted body was found underneath a bumper car. The following facts have been determined; can you find the killer?
  1. All male clowns with rubber noses wear red wigs.
  2. None of the juggling clowns wear both a red wig and a rubber nose.
  3. All happy clowns without rubber noses are part of the "tiny car" act.
  4. None of the sad clowns without rubber noses wear red wigs.
  5. All of the men who are sad clowns wear rubber noses.
  6. None of the happy clowns who can't juggle wear red wigs.
  7. All clowns with rubber noses who can't juggle are in the "tiny car" act.
The coroner was able to put the time of death at 8:17, which was during the clowns' "tiny car" act. Therefore, nobody involved in that act could possibly be the killer.

The list of suspects has been narrowed to the following four clowns. Which one of them bumped off the circus owner?
  1. Alberto, who can juggle
  2. Babs, who wears a red wig
  3. Crazy Chester, who has a rubber nose
  4. Doris, who is a happy clown

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pants or No Pants Today

You have stepped across the border into a strange new nation. After studying the inhabitants for a while, you make the following observations.
  1. All bearded Capricorns have jobs.
  2. All Capricorns with jobs can do magic tricks.
  3. All Capricorns who can do magic tricks are double-jointed.
  4. All double-jointed people who wear pants have beards.
  5. All unemployed, clean-shaven people can do magic tricks.
  6. Nobody who has a beard and can do magic tricks wears pants.

Which of the following statements is true based on your observations?
  1. Nobody with a beard wears pants.
  2. No double-jointed people wear pants.
  3. No one who can do magic tricks wears pants.
  4. No Capricorns wear pants.
  5. None of the above.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Triangles Are Easy

Take a stick and cut it twice so that you have three sticks. If you make the cuts randomly, what are the chances you can make a triangle out of your three sticks?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Fear of

Each of the following phobias have been labeled by psychiatrists.

I got these out of a Peanuts strip, so they may be real or they may not be (I wonder if the fear of getting questions wrong is also labeled?).
  1. Hypengyophobia
  2. Ailurophobia
  3. Climacophobia
  4. Thalassophobia
  5. Gephyrophobia
  6. Pantophobia

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mrs Muddled

When asked her 3 children's ages, Mrs. Muddled said that Alice is the youngest unless Bill is, and that if Carl isn't the youngest then Alice is the oldest. Who is the oldest and who is the youngest?

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Poem by Robert Frost

What was Frost referring to when he wrote the following:
He has dust in his eye and a fan for a wing,
a leg akimbo on which he can sing,
and dye in his mouth instead of a sting

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Each Took a Pear

Twelve pears hanging high, twelve men passing by.
Each took a pear and left eleven hanging there.
How can this be?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

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