Friday, December 17, 2010

Thinking of Summer Fondly

There was a green house.
Inside the green house there was a white house
Inside the white house there was a red house.
Inside the red house there were lots of babies.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How Creative Can You Get

Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.

Oh, and do not use any formulas regarding pressure. (Hint below)

Hint: You can use other tools as long as you also use the barometer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Since Physics Was So Easy Yesterday

It is generally accepted that matter expands with increasing temperature, and contracts with decreasing temperature. There is one notable exception. Which is it, and why has nature provided for it?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Do Not Try This at Home

A man holds a rifle horizontally 6 feet above the ground. At the moment he fires it, another bullet is dropped from the same height, 6 feet. Which bullet hits the ground first?

For the physics-minded among you, ignore friction and the curvature of the earth.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tricky Flying

Consider a road with two cars, at a distance of 100 kilometres, driving towards each other. The left car drives at a speed of forty kilometers per hour and the right car at a speed of sixty kilometers per hour. A plane starts at the same location as the right car and flies at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. When it reaches the left car it turns its direction, and when it reaches the right car it turns its direction again to the opposite, etcetera.

The Question: What is the total distance that the plane has traveled at the moment that the two cars have reached each other?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Who is Buried in Grants Tomb

His Majesty King George VI of the United Kingdom.King George(?) VI Image via Wikipedia
Which country makes Panama hats?

In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

What was King George VI's first name?

From which animal do we get catgut?

The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Those Nephews Are Always Causing Trouble

A man and his sister were out walking together one Saturday morning. The man pointed across the street to a boy and said: ‘That boy is my nephew.’ The woman replied: ‘He is not my nephew.’

How can this be true?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Do You Know Your Formula

What is the product (ie. Multiplying all the numbers together) of the following series: (x-a),(x-b),(x-c),.....(x-z)?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Party Time

Lisa's mom was throwing a party for her daughter but got so caught up in doing the serving and the cleaning that she totally forgot how many kids came to the party.  Based on the trash, she knows that 10 kids had juice, 8 kids had cake, and six kids had both.

How many kids were there at the party?

Adapted from: Brain Teasers: 211 Logic Puzzles, Lateral Thinking Games, Mazes, Crosswords, and IQ Tests to Exercise Your Mind and Keep You Sharp 'til You're 100 (Brain Teasers Series)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Strange Hands

Two men play a game of draw poker in the following curious manner. They spread a deck of 52 cards face up on the table so that they can see all the cards. The first player draws a hand by picking any five cards he chooses. The second player does the same.

The first player can now keep his original hand or draw up to five cards. His discards are put aside out of the game. The second player may now draw likewise. The person with the higher hand then wins.

Suits have equal value, so that two flushes tie unless one is made of higher cards.

After a while the players discover the first player can always win if he draws his first hand correctly. What hand must this be?

This is from : My Best Mathematical and Logic Puzzles (Math & Logic Puzzles)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lighten Up

1. Why should you never mention the number 288 in front of anyone?
2. How is the moon like a dollar?
3. What is alive and has only 1 foot?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Heather and the Donkey

Heather tied two sacks of salt to the back of her donkey and headed for the market to sell the salt. On the way, Heather and the donkey passed a stream. The donkey jumped in to cool himself. As a result, much of the salt dissolved into the water, ruining the salt for Heather but improving matters for the donkey because his load became much lighter. Heather tried to get to the market on the following days, but the donkey always ruined the salt. Finally, Heather decided to teach the donkey a lesson. She once again set out with the donkey and the two sacks.

What did Heather do differently this time so that after that day the donkey stopped taking a swim?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Makes Me Think of WKRP in Cincinnati

Whilst in a balloon floating stationary off the coast of france, I dropped two wine bottles over the side. If one was empty and the other full, which hit the ground first?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stolen Bulbs Leave You in the Dark on the Subway

Thomas Edison's Patent Application For an inca...Image via Wikipedia
A large city in the United States had a problem with thefts of light bulbs from its subway system. Thieves would unscrew the light bulbs, leading to cost and security issues. The engineer who was given this challenge could not alter the location of the light bulbs, and he had very little budget to work with, but he came up with a solution.

Do you know what his solution was? What happened?

Another puzzle taken from a book: The Leader's Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills: Unlocking the Creativity and Innovation in You and Your Team

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Presidents Should Fear July 4th

Bob glanced up from his newspaper, "Here's an unusual story, Tom.  It says here that three of the first five presidents of the United States died on July 4th.  I wonder what the odds are against a coincidene like that."

"I'm not sure," replied Tom, "but I am willing to give ten-to-one odds that I can name one of the three who died on that date."

Assuming that Tom had no prior knowledge of the dates on which any of the presidents died, was he justified in offering such generous odds?

This puzzle is from Lateral Logic Puzzles by Erwin Brecher.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thinking of the Muppets Today

Three of the famous Muppets travel to their favorite amusement parks using either a bike, car, or bus. From the given clues, tell which park each Muppet visited and what kind of transportation each used.

  1. Kermit the Frog went to Disneyland.
  2. The Muppet who went to MarineWorld used a bike.
  3. Miss Piggy went in a car.
  4. Fozzie Bear did not use a bus.
  5. Only one Muppet has been to Magic Mountain.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sliding Coins

A playground slideImage via Wikipedia
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?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Free Feet From Facade For Feeling Fabulous

I have two arms, but fingers none.
I have two legs, but cannot run.
I carry well but I have found
not until my feet are off the ground.
What am I?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Feathers to Help You Fly

Many feathers to help it fly,
a body and a head,
but it's not alive,
you determine how far it goes,
you can hold it in your hand,
but it is never thrown.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fishing for Bobbers

You can paddle your canoe seven miles per hour through any placid lake. The stream flows at three miles per hour. The moment you start to paddle up stream a fisherman looses one of his bobbers in the water fourteen miles up stream of you.

How many hours does it take for you and the bobber to meet?

Friday, November 05, 2010

Drinks and Service on A Friday Night

Five people visit their local restaurant for a drink before dinner. They all have their drink served differently and by different servers. From the clues given below, can you work out which person served whom, which drink they have and in what order they were served.

Someone is served a Cola by Carmen.
Mrs Johnson was not served her Ginger Ale by Marcella.
Mr Weiss was served by Paul.
The person who drinks Cola wasn't served second.
The ice tea drinker was served last.
Marcella served the fourth person in line but they didn't order a Soda Water.
Neither Carmen nor Hans served Mr Petit who was third to be served.
First in line was not Miss La Rue.

Drinkers; Weiss, Muller, Petit, Johnson, La Rue
Servers; Paul, Carmen, Hans, Marcella, Andy
Drinks; Cola, Ginger Ale, Ice, Soda Water, ice tea drinker
Order served; first, second, third, fourth, fifth

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hard to Sing in Primes

An illustration of how 12 is not a prime numbe...Why 12 is not prime, but 11 is, via Wikipedia
The latest release the group Prime Players Three consists of three CDs. Each has a different playing time. Each CD has four tracts and a total playing time of not more that one hour. The four tracks on any one of these CDs each last a prime number of minutes and each one is a different length. Any combination of the three different tracks on any one of the CDs plays for a prime number of minutes.

What are the lengths in minutes of the track on these three CDs?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday Morning Logic Is Not My Strong Suit

An apartment building contains six apartments with three upstairs (201,202,203) and three downstairs (101,102,103), each with a single occupant.

Three of them are female - Sally, Denise, and Jenny. Three of them are male - Bob, John, and Tom.

Each person owns a vehicle - two U.S. cars - a Ford Escort, and a Chevy Impala, 3 foreign cars - a Zastava Yugo, a Honda Civic, and a Toyota Corrolla, and a non motorized vehicle - a bicycle.

With the clues below can you show which person lives in each apartment and what vehicle they own?

Bob lives on the lower floor.
Sally lives between John and Denise.
John owns an American car.
The person in Apartment 203 owns a bicycle.
Jenny lives directly below John.
The Yugo owner lives in Apartment 103.
Bob lives between Tom and Jenny.
Tom owns a foreign built car.
The person in apartment 101 drives a foreign built car.
The Impala owner lives on the lower floor.
The Escort owner lives upstairs.
A female owns the bicycle.
A male owns the Escort.
The person in apartment 101 owns the Toyota.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Truth or ?

A. The number of false statements here is one.

B. The number of false statements here is two.

C. The number of false statements here is three.

D. The number of false statements here is four.

Which of the above statements is true?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Combine the Hay

Old McDonald was out in the fields one day. In one field, he made 2 bales of hay. In another field, he made 4 bales of hay. In his last field, he made 3 bales of hay. If he decides to combine all of the bales of hay together in his barn, how many bales of hay will he have?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Go It It It It

to rn

ignore ignore

a chance n

light light

I'M  you

Monday, October 25, 2010

Figure out the common phrases using the clues below.





Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Could See a Lawyer Making the Case

In a crime at UNC Chapel Hill, it is determined that the perpetrator is a student who was wearing Duke sweatpants and a Carolina sweatshirt. A student is arrested who was wearing both of these items of clothing on the evening of the crime.

The defense provides evidence that shows the probability that a randomly selected student in Chapel Hill is wearing Duke sweatpants is 1/10, and the probability that a randomly selected student in Chapel Hill is wearing a Carolina sweatshirt is 1/5. The prosecutor concludes that the probability that a student is wearing both Duke sweatpants and a Carolina sweatshirt is (1/10)(1/5) = 1/50 = 2%, which is large enough to cause reasonable doubt for the jury.

What do you think? Are you convinced there is reasonable doubt?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Can it be Done?

Brown lentils (Lens culinaris)Image via Wikipedia
A poor farmer went to the market to sell some peas and lentils. However, as he had only one sack and didn't want to mix peas and lentils, he poured in the peas first, tied the sack in the middle, and then filled the top portion of the sack with the lentils. At the market a rich innkeeper happened by with his own sack. He wanted to buy the peas, but he did not want the lentils.

Pouring the seed anywhere else but the sacks is considered soiling, which would devalue the peas and lentils. Trading sacks is not allowed. The farmer can’t cut a hole in his sack.

How would you transfer the peas to the innkeeper’s sack, which he wants to keep, without soiling the produce?

Monday, October 18, 2010

No, Not the Good Ship Lollipop

A ship, that can be made
to ride the greatest wave.
It's not built of objects,
but built by minds.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Bit of Poetry

I know another, high in the heavens
Two horns he wears on his hallowed head
A wandering wizard, a wild night-farer,
Sometimes he feasts, sometimes he fasts.

The source of the riddle and the answer is here (although I think you should guess first).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

No Question Today

It's Monday morning and I'm feeling slow. Also, I like palindromes. So here's a bunch of palindromes anonymous posted back on "Do Geese See God?" If you have any more to share, post them below.

I, man, am regal a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I'm Adam
Too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see God?
"Do nine men interpret?" "Nine men," I nod
Rats live on no evil star
Won't lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car
Pa's a sap
Ma is as selfless as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Ah Satan sees Natasha
No devil lived on
Lonely Tylenol
Not a banana baton
No "x" in "Nixon"
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego
"Naomi", I moan
"A Toyota's a Toyota"
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh, no! Don Ho!
Nurse, I spy gypsies -- run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won
UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog

Friday, October 08, 2010

Call the EPA

The higher I climb,
The hotter I engage,
I cannot escape,
My crystal cage.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Five a Piece

A couple sharing five a piece
Stretching, spreading, loudly meet
We are known to often calm
And yet were better known to harm
To help and build, our team of ten
Connects us to the minds of men

What are we?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The First is Delicious

My first is simply a vegetable, delicious, round and green.
My third and fourth are sound asleep, as plainly can be seen.
My fifth is fifty, clear enough for any riddle-setter.
Two of my second stacked on their sides will give my final letter.
Now that my second has my parts, fit them together well.
You see me now before your eyes; it's plain for all to tell.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I Am Not an Insect

Although I'm not an insect, some people found me very difficult to exterminate. They called me something like 'insane priest.' The first half of my name means the same as 'scrape,' & my last three letters are a metal.

Who am I?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Your Hat

your hat
keep it

f              f
r              r
i standing i
e miss      e
n             n
d            d
s             s


Friday, October 01, 2010

Requires a Bit of Thought, Some Time and a Good Friend

two lovers point locks 5Image by chotda via Flickr
Suppose you want to send in the mail a valuable object to a friend. You have a box which is big enough to hold the object. The box has a locking ring which is large enough to have a lock attached and you have several locks with keys. However, your friend does not have the key to any lock that you have. You cannot send the key in an unlocked box since it may be stolen or copied.

How do you send the valuable object, locked, to your friend - so it may be opened only by your friend?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anyone Know if This is a True Story?

A drawing of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge.Image via Wikipedia
A long, long time ago - before airplanes were invented, a suspension bridge was being built to span the gorge near Niagara Falls.

However, there was no way a boat could carry the necessary suspension cables across the violent water, and the bridge could not be built until the cables spanned the river.

In desperation, the builders staged a contest, open to the public, as a way to solve their problem.

The contest was won by a young boy. Soon afterwords, the cables spanned the water.

What was the contest and how did it solve the problem?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Do You Spell That

Down below the shining moon
Around the trees, a sacred gloom
Running with the midnight sky
Knowing that which makes you cry
Night is full with my essence
Eternal light betrays my presence
Soaring through my endless task
Shadows are my faithful mask

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Odd or Even

Which word is the odd one out:

First, Second, Third, Forth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Eight Stamps

This silver yuan overprint on a revenue stamp ...Image via Wikipedia
The Grand Master takes a set of 8 stamps, 4 red and 4 green, known to the logicians, and loosely affixes two to the forehead of each logician so that each logician can see all the other stamps except those 2 in the Grand Master's pocket and the two on her own forehead. He asks them in turn if they know the colors of their own stamps:

A: "No."
B: "No."
C: "No."

A: "No."
B: "Yes."

What color stamps does B have?

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Can Feel the Weekend Coming On

I am a path situated between high natural masses. Remove my first letter and you have a path situated between man-made masses. What am I?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ghosts in the Halls

Eating white is what I mostly do.
If quick enough, a fruit and some things blue.
When you see pink, sky blue, orange, or red,
It would be wise to turn my yellow head.
In a dark room with blue walls.
I run from the ghosts that roam the halls.
What am I?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Three Brothers

USMC MarathonImage via Wikipedia
Three brothers share a family sport: a non-stop marathon.

The oldest one is fat and short and trudges slowly on.
The middle brother's tall, slim, and keeps a steady pace.
The youngest runs just like the wind, speeding through the race.

"He's young in years, we let him run," The other brothers say "Cause though he's surely number one, he's second, in some way."

Who are the three brothers?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My IP Address Was on a Very Short Street

The designers of TCP/IP defined an IP address as a 32-bit number, known as Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4) (Source: Wikipedia). Unfortunately, with the global demand for the internet increasing every day, the people who maintain the system realized the number of addresses would be quickly over run.  How many addresses could be made up using the IPv4 system?

The new system uses 128-bit numbers.  How many addresses are possible under this new system?

Monday, September 20, 2010

License Plates

How many license plates are allowable by state law, if licence plate numbers have 3 letters folllowed by 4 digits? Keep in mind that the state restricts the number pattern 0000.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Number 79 to 47

I am periodically the number 79. They once tried to make me from 29. If you add to me 80, I will appear to be 47 temporarily. What am I?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Still Loved

Sometimes I am loved,
Usually by the young.
Other times I am dreaded,
Mostly by the old ones.
I am hard to remember,
Also hard to forget.
And yet if you do,
You'll make someone upset.
I occur every day
Everyone has to face me.
Even if you don't want it
To happen; embrace me.
What am I?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

By Adam

1. Which word retains the same pronunciation when you take away four of its five letters?

2. A man was to be sentenced in court, and the judge told him, "You may make a statement. If it is true, I'll sentence you to four years in prison. If it is false, I'll sentence you to six years in prison." After the man made his statement, the judge decided to let him go free. What did the man say?

These are the two other puzzles submitted by Adam. Thanks again, Adam!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Maybe Too Philosophical?

Truth liesImage via Wikipedia
If I tell you “everything I tell you is a lie” then am I telling you the truth or a lie?

This one was submitted by Adam Williams. Thanks Adam!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Couple of Logic Questions

MouseImage via Wikipedia
1. What is red and smells like blue paint?

2. So, you bought a cute little girl mouse at the pet store. This mouse can breed once every month, 7 babies at a time. So how many mice will you own in exactly twelve months?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

My Breeding is Unclear

My first is a creature whose breeding is unclear. My second, a price you must pay. My whole can be found in the river of Time and refers to events of today. What am I?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

True Beauty Shades

I with borrowed silver shine,
What you see is none of mine.
First I show you but a quarter,
like the bow that guards the Tartar;
Then the half, and then the whole,
ever dancing around the pole;
And true it is, I chiefly owe
my beauty to the shades below.
What am I?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The truth is apparently rejected.

Many feathers to help it fly,
a body and a head,
but it's not alive,
you determine how far it goes,
you can hold it in your hand,
but it is never thrown.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

In desperation it is expressed,

Life is often a volume of grief,
I need your help to turn a leaf,
My spine is stiff,
And my body is pale,
But I'm always ready,
To tell a tale.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

That when offered is suspected,

It's the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh. What is it?

Monday, August 30, 2010

A response to a mistake,

What won't break if you throw it off the highest building in the world, but will break if you place it in the ocean?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Byte Me

1.44 MB floppy disks can store 1,474,560 bytes...Image via Wikipedia
In a computer, there are 5 gigabytes, each gigabyte contains 1024 megabytes, as well, each megabyte has 1024 kilobytes. Of course, each kilobyte had 1024 bytes.

How many total bytes are there?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Enjoy the Rebus Puzzles

More rebus for you to enjoy. I know I do!




Hint, if you get the first one, you should be able to get the third one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Man in White

I saw a man in white, he looked quite a sight. He was not old, but he stood in the cold. And when he felt the sun, he started to run. Who could he be? Please answer me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Puzzles With Words

Rebus are word picture puzzles. Look at the clue and turn it into a common phrase.




Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Farmer and His Pear Tree

Pear on Tree 2Image via Wikipedia
A farmer in California owns a beautiful pear tree. He supplies the fruit to a nearby grocery store. The store owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs and each bough has exactly 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to deliver?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Can You Pass The Stupid Test?

This test is really easy, though it amazes me how the smartest people don't pass it. Half of the people I gave this test to failed.

What is the color of the sky?

What is the color of a number two pencil?

What is the color of stainless steel?

What is the color of a leaf?

Does a rose have thorns?

Does a dog have ears?

What is the first question I asked?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well... Maybe You Would Kiss One, But I Would Not

First tell me who lives in disguise, who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.
Next, give me the sound often heard during the search for a hard-to-find word.
Finally, what is always the last thing to mend; the middle of middle, and the end of end?
Now string them together and answer me this: Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Bodies in One

Two bodies I have, though conjoined as one. The more I stand still, the quicker I run.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nine From Eleven

So a man is in a kitchen with 11 toothpicks. With some careful arranging, he now has nine! How is this possible?

Hint: The toothpicks are all still there, he didn't throw them away or anything like that.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

O plus T = T
O plus S = S
T plus T = F
F plus F = E
E plus O = N

What is N - N?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Basic Life

I fall with the waves, rise with the tide, and drift with the current alongside. Giants cannot live without me.

What am I?

Monday, August 09, 2010

Laying Bricks

A man came upon a construction worker putting together a house of bricks. The construction worker had been working hard all day and was getting close to finishing up. But the man kept asking pointless question after pointless question delaying him so now it was after quitting time and he still had things to do.

So, what was his answer when the man asked, "How many bricks does it take to complete this building, anyways?"

Off topic, but important announcement:
I just spent twenty minutes deleting comments fr
Update: I had to turn on comment moderation. Hopefully this will only be on for a short time.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Time to Head Out

A man gave one son 10 cents and another son was given 15 cents. What time is it?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Who Broke The Window

There were 4 kids playing outside your house. Suddenly, the ball flies through your window, breaking it. You collect statements from all of them. You know the kid who broke your window is lying. However, an unknown number of the other kids might be lying too. Find out who broke the window.

A: I didn't break a thing!
B: I broke the window. Sorry.
C: Don't be mad at A, he didn't do anything.
D: B didn't break the glass.

Who broke it, and why?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

A King Should Be Able to Afford a Notebook

The First Pipe of Tobacco. (Raleigh's servant ...Image via Wikipedia
A king has 100 identical servants, each with a different rank between 1 and 100. At the end of each day, each servant comes into the king's quarters, one-by-one, in a random order, and announces his rank to let the king know that he is done working for the day.

For example, servant 14 comes in and says "Servant 14, reporting in."

One day, the king's aide comes in and tells the king that one of the servants is missing, though he isn't sure which one.

Before the other servants begin reporting in for the night, the king asks for a piece of paper to write on to help him figure out which servant is missing. Unfortunately, all that's available is a very small piece that can only hold one number at a time. The king is free to erase what he writes and write something new as many times as he likes, but he can only have one number written down at a time.

The king's memory is bad and he won't be able to remember all the exact numbers as the servants report in, so he must use the paper to help him.

How can he use the paper such that once the final servant has reported in, he'll know exactly which servant is missing?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Random Seating is Awful

Seat belt on an airplane, openImage via Wikipedia
People are waiting in line to board a 100-seat airplane. Steve is the first person in the line. He gets on the plane but suddenly can't remember what his seat number is, so he picks a seat at random. After that, each person who gets on the plane sits in their assigned seat if it's available, otherwise they will choose an open seat at random to sit in.

The flight is full and you are last in line. What is the probability that you get to sit in your assigned seat?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Win the Game of Quarters

Your friend pulls out a perfectly circular table and a sack of quarters, and proposes a game.
"We'll take turns putting a quarter on the table," he says. "Each quarter must lay flat on the table, and cannot sit on top of any other quarters. The last person to successfully put a quarter on the table wins."

He gives you the choice to go first or second. What should you do, and what should your strategy be to win?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Can You Take Half an Insect

I am an insect.  Take away half and you'll still have an insect, just not the same one.  

What am I?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Put Down Your Pencils

Macro of red HB pencil peeking through a bookImage by Horia Varlan via Flickr
Some pencils are erasers. All erasers are papers. Some papers are pens and some pens are erasers. So pencils are obviously pens? True or false?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Was Late for That First Meeting to Schedule the Meeting About the Conference

Yesterday morning I ended up waiting for 30 minutes for a bus.  According to the schedule, a bus should arrive at my stop every 10 minutes.  That was the start of a particularly bad day for me.

Today, I woke up and felt like today was going to be better.  I expect when I show up at the bus stop, it will be either right there or come within the first minute.

Am I doomed to disappointment?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Randoml Picking Socks May Not Be the Best Spelling

Rainbow striped toe socks worn with thong sandalsImage via Wikipedia
Yesterday I asked the following question. A drawer contains 4 blue socks, 6 gray socks, and 8 black socks. You randoml choose one sock, then another from the drawer. What is the probability that you choose 2 socks that match?

Since I meant randomly and not randoml, we decided the odds of picking a match on the first try was about 32%. Let's extend the problem a little bit.

If you hadn't picked a match the first time, I'm assuming you would pick again. What are the odds now? What would happen the third time? How long until you do find a match?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dressing in the Dark Again

Rainbow striped toe socks worn with thong sandalsImage via Wikipedia
A drawer contains 4 blue socks, 6 gray socks, and 8 black socks. You randoml choose one sock, then another from the drawer. What is the probability that you choose 2 socks that match?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Apple a Day Keeps the Barrels Away

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...Image via Wikipedia
A barrel contains only apples and oranges. There are twice as many apples as oranges. The apples are either red or yellow and 4 times as many red as are yellow. If one piece of fruit is to be drawn at random from the barrel, what is the probability that the piece drawn will be a yellow apple?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Politics Gets in the Way

A poll is conducted the day before a state election for senator. There are only two candidates and the poll shows that 53% of the oters surveyed favor the Green candidate, with a margin of 2.5 percentage points. Should the Green candidate plan a victory party?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Each Their Own Place

January 1Image by gtmcknight via Flickr
Susie loved animals and had a large collection of stuffed animals. However, there were several that were her favorites. She decided this morning to rearrange her stuffed animals and give each of her favorites a special place in her room. Along with a name, each of her favorite stuffed animals also had an age and all were younger than her, of course. Determine the names of her favorite stuffed animals, the type of each animal, how old she deemed each of the animals (from one to five years), and where in her room she placed each of her favorites.

1. The skunk was two years old. The tiger was a year younger than the animal placed on the bookshelf, but the tiger was also a year older than Cuddles.

2. The animal placed on the chair was two years older than Willie and a year younger than the whale.

3. Cuddles wasn’t the skunk. Boo wasn’t five years old.

4. The cat was placed on the bed.

5. The bear was two years older than Spot. Amee was the whale but she wasn’t placed on the pillow.

6. Cuddles wasn’t placed on the bench.

To be clear, you need to line up the name, type, age and place for each of the stuffed animals.
Names: Amee, Boo, Cuddles, Spot, Willie
Type: Bear, Cat, Skunk, Whale, Tiger
Age: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Place: Bed, Bench, Bookshelf, Chair, Pillow

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day at the Beach

Girl in Bathing SuitImage by anyjazz65 via Flickr
Yesterday was such a beautiful day, four couples decided to spend the day at the beach. They had a great day of fun in the sun. At one point, each couple went off on their own for a while to enjoy their favorite beach activity. Determine each couple's full names (one man's name is Hank), the color of each woman's bathing suit, and each couple's favorite activity.

1. Mark Collins and his wife were not the couple that liked to swim in the ocean. Rachel wasn't wearing a green bathing suit.

2. Mr. Bailey and his wife collected shells, but they didn't have blue bathing suits. Tabitha's husband wasn't Mark.

3. Peter's last name wasn't Delgado and his wife didn't wear a green bathing suit.

4. Sally and Peter were not the couple that liked to climb on the rocks along the shore's edge.

5. The woman in the red bathing suit loved swimming in the ocean. Louis, whose last name wasn't Colby, enjoyed sunbathing with his wife. Tabitha didn't wear the purple bathing suit.

6. Vanessa, whose last name wasn't Collins, went swimming with her husband.

To be clear, here are the names, activities, and colors.
Rachel, Sally, Tabitha, Vanessa
Hank, Louis, Mark, Peter
Bailey, Colby, Collins, Delgado
Blue, Green, Purple, Red
Climb Rocks, Collect shells, Sunbathe, Swim

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Looks Like Boggle

Arrange the alphabet (except the letter Q) in a 5x5 grid. (The first line is ABCDE, the second is FGHIJ, etc.)


Begin with any letter. Move one letter at a time horizontally, vertically or diagonally, accumulating letters in order to form a word. For example, GAB would be an acceptable word. What is the longest word you can make without reusing a letter?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Back From the Beach

  1. What's the friendliest way to start your day at the beach?
  2. What did the baby whale say as he headed south?
  3. What's the best place to go shopping on the ocean?

In case you were wondering, I've been on vacation the past week. I meant to keep updating here, but it just didn't happen. Sorry about that.

Friday, July 02, 2010

White as Milk

In marble walls as white as milk,
Lined with skin as soft as silk,
Within a fountain crystal clear,
A golden apple does appear.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Who is Driving the Bus

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Each wife had seven sacks,
Each sack had seven cats,
Each cat had seven kits,
Kits, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Deeper Than You Think

Round like an apple, deep like a cup,
Yet all the king’s horses can’t pull it up.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not as Admired as it Used to Be

Black we are, and much admired,
Men seek for us if they’re tired.
We tire the horse, but comfort man,
Tell me this riddle if you can.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Riddle Fans

Oft I must strive with wind and wave, battle them both when under the sea.
I feel out the bottom, a foreign land. In lying still, I am strong in the strife;
If I fail in that, they are stronger than I, and wrenching me loose, soon put me to rout.
They wish to capture what I must keep. I master them both if my grip holds out.
If the rocks bring succor and lend support, strength in the struggle. Ask me my name!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Harder Than The Moon or Shadow

Weight in my belly,
Trees on my back,
Nails in my ribs,
Feet I do lack.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

One Color, But Not One Size

Only one color, but not one size,
stuck at the bottom, yet easily flies,
present in the sun, but not in the rain
doing no harm, and feeling no pain.
What am I?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Round Makes Me Stronger

I am strongest when you see me as round, but I am often viewed in other forms. I lift & drop the sea with my tremendous strength, and a man with a name like 'powerful bicep' was the first to tread on me. What am I?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Not Exactly Father's Day

A man was born before his father, killed his mother, and married his sister. yet nothing was wrong with what he had done, how this possible?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Potter Puzzle

My first is in bane but not in foe;
My second in Harry and Malfoy, too;
My third starts a small golden ball, you know;
My fourth isn't we or they or you;
My fifth is in Slytherin but not Gryffindor;
My sixth's in the window but not in the pane;
My seventh's the shape of a snake on the floor
And my last is in ark but not in rain.
My whole is a monster, at Hogwarts fought,
Whose death brought the Dark Lord's plans to naught.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Low Isle in the Sea

I'm on a board or in a hole;
A low isle in the sea;
Essential, I; and musical;
My own solution's ___.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Screaming, Soaring

Screaming, soaring / seeking sky
Flowers of fire / flying high
Eastern art / from ancient time
Name me now / and solve this rhyme

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Again Again

$0 all all all all


ban ana

cl ud

death life

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

1 knows

Rebus are picture puzzles.  Common words or phrases are found by arranging letters just so.  Can you figure these out?

R     R
A  A
L  L
R    R
O  O
D   D

1 knows


Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Long Odds on Drawing an Inside Straight

It's often said trying to draw to an inside straight is a fool's bet. Why is that?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Hide and Seek Counting

Five children are hiding in two closets. What is the least number of kids in the closet with the most kids?

Just to make it a little more interesting, what's the probability that there are the least number of kids in the closet with the most kids?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Law and Statistics

Anne worked at a firm with 30 people. There were 20 workers and 10 managers. A party planning committee was formed, but Anne was not invited to participate. When she went to the HR director to find out why she wasn't on the committee, the HR director told her the five people were selected at random. 3 workers and 2 managers had to be on the committee, but the 3 workers were picked out of a hat from the 20. The same procedure was used to select the managers.

Anne went to a lawyer (she was considering suing! How could they not pick her for the party planning committee, it was obviously scandalous!), who consulted with a statistician. The statistician told the lawyer to forget it. The odds against Anne being picked for the committee were ...

BTW, this is the post that was supposed to go out yesterday. Blogger was down for most of the day (I don't know if you noticed or not).

'Sit blogspot, Sit! Good site.'

Friday, June 04, 2010

Stew for Dinner?

Three surgeons and a clumsy cook go camping in the remote wilderness. The clumsy cook stumbles over the campfire as he is serving the surgeons, injuring himself and dumping hot stew on the hands of the surgeons. The cook's injuries need surgical treatment. The surgeons' injuries are minor but open. It turns out they brought the equipment necessary for the cook's surgery with them, and they can use the campfire to sterilize the tools. But there are only two rubber gloves. Because of the different surgeons' skills, all three of the surgeons are needed to operate on the cook, in sequence. How can this be done without any of them being exposed to the blood of any of the others?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Strange Coincidences

The following multiplication example uses every digit from 0 to 9 at least once. Letters have been substituted for the digits. Can you replace the letters and make the original multiplication problem?

        B O G
     x B O G
      L Y L E
  G G U L

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What's the next number in the sequence (and why)?

11 1,331 161,051 19,487,171 ?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

zip zap

I have two eyes
and one round nose
for putting plugs
to make things go.
Don't stick your finger in my eye
for if you do -zip zap- you fry.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gold and Spears

Thousands lay up gold within this house,
but no man made it.
Spears past counting guard this house,
but no man wards it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

OK Everybody, Line Up

In a rectangular array of people, who will be taller: the tallest of the shortest people in each column, or the shortest of the tallest people in each row?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do Swords Kiss?

A hoard of rings am I,
but no fit gift for a bride;
I await a sword's kiss.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Pen is Mightier than the Pig

How can you build pig pens so you can put nine pigs in four pens such that each pen has an odd number of pigs?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stronger than a Stone

Still, I am like a mirror,
Fast, I am stronger than stone.
Wet, I can burn you,
Dry, I can keep you warm.
Life, I can be in the desert,
Death, I can be on the riverbank.
What am I?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Clothing Mix Up... How Embarrassing

Four gentlemen (Adam, Bill, Chuck, and Dan) went to an expensive restaurant to dine. They checked their coats, hats, gloves, and canes at the door (each of the gentlemen had one of each). But when they checked out, there was a mix up, and each of the men ended up with exactly one article of clothing (a pair of gloves is considered a single article of clothing) belonging to each one of the four. Adam and Bill ended up with their own coats, Chuck ended up with his own hat, and Dan ended up with his own gloves. Adam did not end up with Chuck's cane. State whose coat, hat, gloves, and cane each of the gentlemen ended up with.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cut the Deck

A card-shuffling machine always rearranges cards in the same way relative to the original order of the cards. All of the hearts, arranged in order from ace to king, were put into the machine. The cards were shuffled and then put into the machine again. After this second shuffling, the cards were in the following order: 10, 9, Q, 8, K, 3, 4, A, 5, J, 6, 2, 7. What order were the cards in after the first shuffle?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Apple a Day Keeps the Riddles Away

There are 20 people in an empty, square room. Each person has full sight of the entire room and everyone in it without turning his head or body, or moving in any way other than the eyes. Where can you place an apple so that all but one person can see it?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Factorial

Can you think of a reason why 30414093201713378043612608166064768844377641568960512078291027000 cannot possibly be the value of 50 factorial, without actually performing the calculation?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If Only Stamps Cost Ten Cents

I'm going to buy one-cent, two-cent, three-cent, five-cent, and ten-cent stamps. I'm going to buy four of each of two sorts, and three of each of the rest, and I have exactly enough to buy them -- just this handful of dimes. How many of each type am I going to buy?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Maybe We Should Try Some Goats Instead

Grass grows in a field at some rate r, where r is the units of grass grown per day. It is known that if 10 sheep are turned out in the field, the grass will be gone in 20 days. On the other hand, if 15 sheep are turned out in the field, the grass will be gone in 10 days. If 25 sheep are turned out in the field, when will the grass be gone?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cat Jokes

After yesterday's headache, I could use a simple laugh.

1. How does a cat go shopping?

2. Why do cats make the best pets?

3. What is a cat's favorite desert?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Mornings

What's a word that begins with the letters "HE" and also ends with "HE"?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Another Swift Riddle

Because I am by nature blind,
I wisely choose to walk behind;
However, to avoid disgrace,
I let no creature see my face.
My words are few, but spoke with sense;
And yet my speaking gives offence:
Or, if to whisper I presume,
The company will fly the room.
By all the world I am opprest:
And my oppression gives them rest.

BTW, do us all a favor and keep your answers clean.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Another Poetry Riddle

All-ruling tyrant of the Earth,
To vilest slaves I owe my birth.
How is the greatest monarch blest,
When in my gaudy livery drest!
No haughty nymph has power to run
From me, or my embraces shun.
Stabb'd to the heart, condemn'd to flame,
My constancy is still the same.
The favourite messenger of Jove,
And Lemnian god, consulting strove
To make me glorious to the sight
Of mortals, and the gods' delight.
Soon would their altars' flame expire,
If I refus'd to lend them fire.

Bonus points if you know the author!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Rock But Not Stone

It is in the rock, but not in the stone; It is in the marrow, but not in the bone;
It is in the bolster, but not in the bed; It is not in the living, nor yet in the dead.

What is it?

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Poetry Riddle

From Heaven I fall, though from earth I begin.
No lady alive can show such a skin.
I'm bright as an angel, and light as a feather,
But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together.

Though candor and truth in my aspect I bear,
Yet many poor creatures I help to insnare.
Though so much of Heaven appears in my make,
The foulest impressions I easily take.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Break Me If You Will

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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Robbed of Sleep

It prods a man's hand, and it robs him of sleep,
It makes him climb mountains and travel the deep,
It makes him go wander down deep in a cave,
and do almost anything stupid or brave,
The longer denied the greater it grows,
It makes a man learn 'till he thinks that he knows.

This riddle is from braingle.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

None of This is Legal

A gambler bet on a horse race, but the bookee wouldn't tell him the results of the race. The bookee gave clues as to how the five horses finished -- which may have included some ties -- and wouldn't pay the gambler off unless the gambler could determine how the five horses finished based on the following clues:

Penuche Fudge finished before Near Miss and after Whispered Promises.
Whispered Promises tied with Penuche Fudge if and only if Happy Go Lucky did not tie with Skipper's Gal.
Penuche Fudge finished as many places after Skipper's Gal as Skipper's Gal finished after Whispered Promises if and only if Whispered Promises finished before Near Miss.

The gambler thought for a moment, then answered correctly. How did the five horses finish the race?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Should Someone Call the Cops

Two monks sit in a tower. The queen kills the king. The monks shake hands and part company.

What's going on here?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Party is Starting Soon

You have an old-fashioned refrigerator with a small freezer compartment capable of holding seven ice cube trays stacked vertically. But there are no shelves to separate the trays, and if you stack one tray on top of another before the ice cubes in the bottom tray are fully frozen, the top tray will nestle into it, and you won't get full cubes in the bottom tray. You have an unlimited supply of trays, each of which can make a dozen cubes. What's the fastest way to make full-sized ice cubes?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roll of the Dice

A solo dice game is played thusly: one each turn, a normal pair of dice is rolled. The score is calculated by taking the product, rather than the sum, of the two numbers shown on the dice.

On a particular game, the score for the second roll is five more than the score for the first; the score for the third roll is six less than that of the second; the score for the fourth roll is eleven more than that of the third; and the score for the fifth roll is eight less than that of the fourth. What was the score for each of these five throws?

BTW, Sorry about last week. It's tough to fill in when you're sick.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mountain Top Viewing

A man leaves home for a mountain at 1pm and reaches the top at 3pm. The following day he departs from the top at 1pm and gets home at 3pm, by following the same path as the day before. Was he necessarily ever at the same point on the path at the same time on both days?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Usually Two People

On your travels, three men stand at a fork in the road. You're not sure which fork you need to take, but each of the three men do. One of these people tells the truth, one always lies, and the third tells the truth sometimes and lies the other times. Each of the three men know each of the others, but you don't know who is who. If you could ask only one of the men (chosen at random, since you don't know which man is which) one yes/no question, what question would you ask to determine the road you wish to take?

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Dollar Short

A day late, but enjoy the humor if you're from the US (Tax day was yesterday).  Enjoy your weekend everyone.  Monday is a holiday for me, so I'll see you on Tuesday.

America is the land of opportunity. Everyone can become a taxpayer.

A fool and his money are soon parted.
The rest of us wait until income tax time.

The latest income-tax form has been greatly simplified. It consists of only three parts:
1. How much did you make last year?
2. How much do you have left?
3. Send amount listed in part 2.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Time Warp

A man had six working clocks in his house and he always checked them before going to bed. One morning he woke up and the three upstairs clocks said 8:15 while the 3 downstairs clocks said 7:30. What happened?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Are You Feeling Greedy?

A giant inverted steel pyramid is perfectly balanced on its point.  Any movement of the pyramid will cause it to topple over.  Underneath the pyramid is a $100 bill.  How do you remove the bill without disturbing the pyramid?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bal Tyring Cen Rain Sour Dad

Julie was writing out some of her favorite phrases, but realized her word processor was going haywire (it certainly wasn't her typing skills!).  Each time she wrote out a word, one letter was found to be wrong.

Can you help her out and edit the phrases?

  1. Ill word end so plan takes pack I pull toy.
  2. I pool ant has honey ale boon panted.
  3. Paste net wart pot.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bird Watchers Unite

Abel, Mabel, and Caleb went bird watching. Each of them saw one bird that none of the others did. Each pair saw one bird that the third did not. And one bird was seen by all three. Of the birds Abel saw, two were yellow. Of the birds Mabel saw, three were yellow. Of the birds Caleb saw, four were yellow. How many yellow birds were seen in all? How many non-yellow birds were seen in all?

Friday, April 09, 2010

Here Lies a Special Word

What word begins with 'h', ends with 'n', contains six letters, and contains eight words besides itself without transposing a single letter?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Capital Numbers

Of those numbers whose English representation in capital letters consists only of straight lines, only one number has a value equal to the number of straight line segments required to write it out. What number is this?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Temp Hire for Pennies

You want to hire a temporary employee for one month. You offer him reasonable wages, but the employee suggests an alternative. For the first day of work, he will be paid a penny. For the second day, two pennies. For the third day, four pennies. The salary for each subsequent day will be double the previous day's, until the one month term is over. Ignoring the legalities of such a situation, would it be a good idea to accept the potential employee's proposal?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Man in the Mask is Waiting

Alex wants to go home but can't, because the man in the mask is waiting for him.  The police, if Alex was able to call them, would do nothing to help him.  What's going on here?

Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter Egg Hunt

Last Saturday, the Summerset Exchange Club held its annual Easter Egg Hunt for local children at Miller's Picnic Grove. Five different children were lucky enough to find gold eggs and win big Easter baskets filled with treats by the Bunny himself. Given the clues below, you should be able to deduce each gold egg finder's full name and where his or her prize-winning egg was hidden (one winner found an egg in a hollow stump).

  • Mrs. West took both her prize-winning child and Alexis to the Hunt.
  • Damian and the Valdez child are the only 1st graders among the basket winners.
  • Chip was first to find a gold egg, the West child was second, and the one who found the prize winner in the branches of a pine tree was third.
  • The winner who found a gold egg under the leg of a picnic table won a basket immediately ahead of the Young child.
  • Neither Alexis nor the Thaxton child was the fourth one to find a gold egg.
  • The Valdez child, who didn't win the last Easter basket given away, isn't the one who found the egg in the pine.
  • The Ulman child's prize-winner wasn't the egg hidden in the old bird's nest.
  • Brook, who isn't the Thaxton child, found the fifth and final gold egg.
  • Erica isn't the winner whose egg was hidden under the picnic table.
  • The gold egg hidden in the bird's nest wasn't the one Chip found.
  • The Thaxton child isn't the basket winner who found the gold egg hidden in the barbecue pit.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Appointment Logic

Joe, Kim, Amy and Bob were all scheduled for their dentist appointment tomorrow afternoon. Unfortunately, the assistant had just lost her machine, and couldn't quite remember who was to come in when. She did know that:

1. Joe's appointment is after those of Kim and Bob.
2. Bob's appointment is before Kim's.
3. Amy's appointment is after Joe's.

The appointments are at 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Can you help the assistant fill in her appointment sheet?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Clocks in a Line

How many times a day do the hour and minute hands on a clock line up exactly with each other?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kiss the Cook

You awake one morning to find the power out. Again. Of course, this isn't a problem since you have devised numerous methods of timing all your dishes to cesium precision using only two hour glasses. Unfortunately, two shipments of ingredients have just come in. One shipment is twelve boxes containing eggs, the other is twelve boxes containing flour. You need the flour right away, but without proper refrigeration the eggs will go bad. The eggs will be fine in their boxes, but if you open a box of eggs looking for the flour, those eggs will be wasted.

The boxes are indistinguishable by appearance- your supplier uses the same boxes for both. Also, the supplier's packing standards are not particularly high. Not only may the eggs break if your examination of the boxes involves high-speed collisions, but each box of the shipments do not have a constant quantity inside.

This is what you know:

The flour is all-purpose bleached flour
The eggs are Grade A Extra Large brown
The lightest box weighs 47.85 ounces
The heaviest box weighs 65.63 ounces
An empty box weighs 5.02 ounces
The kitchen scale is accurate to 1/100th of an ounce.

How can you safely choose a box containing flour without the risk of accidentally opening a box of eggs?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kings and Queens and Counting Coins

I found this one at Nick Yees Homepage.

In Rengefall, copper coins are minted with the portrait of the Queen on one side and the portrait of the King on the other side.

On this day, the half-crazed executioner gives the captured Talin one chance to avoid execution. The executioner brings Talin into an unlit room. He tells Talin that scattered on the table in front of him are one hundred copper coins of which twenty have the Queen side facing up while the rest have the King side facing up. If Talin can separate the coins into two piles, each with the same number of Queens facing up, he will release Talin. One other constraint is that Talin must accomplish this task in 5 minutes. If Talin fails, he will be beheaded.

It is impossible for Talin to see which side the coins are facing up in the darkness, and the contours of the portraits are too similar to decipher by touch. Nevertheless, Talin managed to separate the coins into two piles with the same number of Queens facing up in the time allotted. How did he accomplish this?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Not a Lot of Puzzles This Week

So, it seems like this has been an easy week, with just a couple of real puzzles. Let's end it with a rebus.


Must get here
Must get here
Must get here



Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Perfect Date

Last night I caught the tail end of NOVA ScienceNow. During the show, they had a match game where a computer was trying to find the match against three bachelors. The computer asked each contestant about their perfect date. The first two were the host (a human) in different costumes who talked about sipping champagne or going for long walks on the beach.

The third contestant remarked the perfect date was June 23, 1912. The computer bachelorette immediately picked the third contestant (another computer, of course).

What is it about that date that makes it perfect for computers?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I, man, am regal - a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I'm Adam
Too hot or to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see god?
"Do nine men interprite?" "Nine men," I nod
Rats live on no evil star
Won't lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car
Pa's a sap
Ma is as selfish as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Ah, Satan sees Natasha
No evil lived on
Lonely Tylenol
Not a banana baton
No "x" in "Nixon"
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego
"Naomi," I moan
"A Toyota's a Toyota"
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh no! Don Ho!
Nurse, I spy gypsies - run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won
UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I'm a lasagna hog

There's no real 'question' here, just something fun. Do you see it?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

True Logistics

When they say an army travels on its stomach, they mean you have to bring the food with you.  I can't remember if I've asked this question before, so here you go...  A little bit of logistics to wake you up on a Monday morning.

An explorer wishes to cross a barren desert that requires 6 days to cross, but one man can only carry enough food for 4 days. What is the fewest number of other men required to help carry enough food for him to cross?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Rebus to Finish the Week

It's Friday and time to end the work week. Let's relax and enjoy some rebus, shall we?



Y Y guy guy

you the past


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bertrand's Box

Suppose there are three cards:
  • A black card that is black on both sides,
  • A white card that is white on both sides, and
  • A mixed card that is black on one side and white on the other.
All the cards are placed into a hat and one is pulled at random and placed on a table. The side facing up is black. What are the odds that the other side is also black?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simpler Probability

At least, this should be a little bit simpler than yesterdays problem.

A cloth bag contains a pool ball, which is known to be a solid ball.  A second pool ball is chosen at random in such a way that it is equally likely to be a solid or a stripe ball.  The ball is added to the bag, the bag is shaken, and a ball is drawn at random.  This ball proves to be a solid.  What is the probability that the ball remaining in the bag is also a solid?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am Feeling a Little Bit Probabilistic Today

A boy has four red marbles and eight blue marbles.  He arranges his twelve marbles randomly, in a ring.  What is the probability that no two red marbles are adjacent?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Avoid the Flooding Today

Player A has one more coin than player B.  Both players throw all of their coins simultaneously and observe the number that come up heads.  Assuming all the coins are fair, what is the probability that A obtains more heads than B?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Writing Well Thought Out Phrases

We all know that resumes are written to provide short, succinct, professional histories for people applying for jobs.  But, most people feel some need to dress up what they've done over time.  How good are you at writing up a resume? How about reading them?

Could you, if you tried, come up with the more common form of the following phrases?

  1. Hemoglobin is more viscous than H2O
  2. Perambulate in moccasins, and shoulder a gargantuan wooden rail.
  3. Allow somnolent quadrupeds that are homo sapien's greatest comrades to remain reclining.
  4. Lack of what is required is the matriarch of inspiration.
  5. A maximum amount of purposeful activity and a minimum amount of disport and dalliance cause Jack to become a dim-witted, stagnant dunce of the male species.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just Cannot Stay Away

More Rebus. Can you interpret the following words into common phrases?


getting___________it all

Hi Way

go it it it it

a chance n 

BTW, if you have a question, feel free to send it to me.  If I haven't used it before, I will post it for everyone else to puzzle over.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Same as the First

Each of the following words is missing its first and last letter.  Lucky for you, the letter is the same (front and back).  For example: _rus_ can be solved with the letter t: trust. 

Can you solve each one?

  1. _rom_
  2. _rou_
  3. _ooda_
  4. _hrif_
  5. _regan_
  6. _ypis_
  7. _apto_
  8. _umm_
  9. _verd_
  10. _otato_

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Since People are Enjoying Their Picture Puzzles



you cont ol r 


Monday, March 08, 2010

Rebus Are Here Again

I've always like rebus.  They're logic and intuition, plus the written word all wrapped up into one brain teaser.


no ways it ways 


Friday, March 05, 2010

Take it Easy With Picture Puzzles

We haven't seen any rebus around here in a while. I hope you can start your Friday off right with a little light logic.  In case you're not familiar, look at the words or sentences below and try to figure out what they represent.  For instance:
The answer is 1 in a million.



Pot O O O O O O O O

bad bad


Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Little Bit Immature

What does a man stand up to do, a woman sit down to do and a dog lift its leg to do?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

He Who Has It

He who has it doesn't tell it. He who takes it doesn't know it. He who knows it doesn't want it. What is it?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Round as a Dishpan

What is round as a dishpan, deep as a tub, and still the oceans couldn't fill it up?

Monday, March 01, 2010

Rules Them All

Poke your fingers in my eyes and I will open wide my jaws. Linen cloth, quills, or paper, my greedy lust devours them all.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Speaks Without a Mouth

Lives without a body, hears without ears, speaks without a mouth, to which the air alone gives birth.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not Sure I Get It

When one does not know what it is, then it is something; but when one knows what it is, then it is nothing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Celebration of the Gold Medals

The sun bakes them, the hand breaks them, the foot treads on them, and the mouth tastes them. What are they?

Friday, February 19, 2010

52 Card Pickup

A standard pack of cards is thrown into the air in such a way that each card, independently, is equally likely to land face up or face down. The total value of the cards which landed face up is then calculated. (Card values are assigned as follows: Ace=1, 2=2, ... , 10=10, Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13. There are no jokers.)

What is the probability that the total value is divisible by 13?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Buffalo buffalo

What's so special about the following sentence?

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Not Made By Man

Neither the sun or the moon or the stars,
not made by man,
yet lights up the fields.

What am I?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nothing Like a Little Vacation Week

What is it that we all search for,
yet, when we find it,
we are not aware of it?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not Exactly Rubiks Cube

Twenty-seven identical white cubes are assembled into a single cube, the outside of which is painted black.  The cube is then disassembled and the smaller cubes thoroughly shuffled in a bag.  A blindfolded man (who cannot feel the paint) reassembles the pieces into a cube.  What is the probability that the outside of this cube is completely black?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowing in Centimeters

It snowed yesterday in New York, Winnipeg, Boston, and Toronto. Each city had a different amount of snow accumulation. Figure out how much it snowed in each city.

Assume 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters.
(numbers in clues are rounded to the nearest hundredth)
  1. Boston and Winnipeg had a total accumulation of thirty-six and thirty-two hundredths centimeters.
  2. New York and Winnipeg had a total accumulation of thirty-three and seventy-eight hundredths centimeters.
  3. Winnipeg had two times more snow than Toronto.
  4. New York and Toronto had a total accumulation of ten and fifteen hundredths inches.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Check, Please

A confused bank teller transposed the dollars and cents when he cashed a check for Ms Smith, giving her dollars instead of cents and cents instead of dollars. After buying a newspaper for 50 cents, Ms Smith noticed that she had left exactly three times as much as the original check. What was the amount of the check?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Urn is Such a Funny Word

An urn contains a number of colored balls, with equal numbers of each color. Adding 20 balls of a new color to the urn would not change the probability of drawing (without replacement) two balls of the same color.

How many balls are in the urn? (Before the extra balls are added.)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Morning and I Need a Joke

If an airplane crashed exactly on the border of France and Germany, where would the survivors be buried?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Can You Hear the Call

Which of these do not belong?
  • puffin
  • siskin
  • calabash
  • mallard
  • merlin
  • goshawk

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Canoe Logic

Four adventurers (Alex, Brook, Chris and Dusty) need to cross a river in a small canoe.

The canoe can only carry 100kg.

Alex weighs 90kg, Brook weighs 80kg, Chris weighs 60kg and Dusty weighs 40 kg, and they have 20kg of supplies.

How do they get across?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How Did You Know There Were Fifty Coins?

Mary had a coin purse with fifty coins, totaling exactly $1.00.  Unfortunately, while counting her change, she dropped one coin.  What is the probability that it was a penny?

Monday, February 01, 2010

From 18 to 29

Seems like a good day to equate things:

18 = H on a G C.
20 = F O in a P.
20 = H in a T.
21 = G S.
21 = D on a D.
23 = P of C in H.
24 = H in a D.
24 = C in P G.
26 = L of the A.
27 = B in the N T.
29 = D in F in a L Y.

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Domain!

Hello all.  We have a new domain to celebrate.  Blogger is telling me it could take up to a day to work everything out, so please be patient today.

I tried some of your suggestions on domain names, but I couldn't find one that was available.  So, I'm sticking with the name and I hope you don't have any trouble sticking with the site.  Again, if you have any troubles, please let me know sooner rather than later.  You may be the only one who's willing to let me know there's an issue, so don't  be shy.

On to the puzzle (Have a great weekend, btw!)

Madge makes deliveries for a gift shop. Last Saturday, five mid-morning orders kept her busy. Each was for a different item (bonsai tree, chocolates, dish garden, fruit basket, and roses) to be delivered to a different household (Adams, Chen, Falk, Grodin, and Martinez) for a different event (anniversary party, baby shower, engagement party, graduation, and wedding). Can you discover the order in which Madge made these deliveries, the party to whom each item was delivered, and the event each party was holding?
  1. The delivery to the wedding was just before the delivery of the bonsai tree, and just after the delivery to the Adams house.
  2. The delivery to the Grodin house was sometime before the one to the baby shower.
  3. The fifth delivery was a fruit basket.
  4. The delivery of a dozen long-stemmed roses (which wasn't to the graduation) was sometime after the delivery to the Falk house.
  5. The delivery of a dish garden was sometime after the delivery to the anniversary party.
  6. The second delivery was for Martinez.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Missing Letters

What are the missing letters?

c l a
e n c
g p e
. . .

Repeating yesterdays announcements
Sometime in the next week, I'm going to attempt to move Question of the Day to a domain name (get it off of blogspot).  I don't think I'm going to have any issues with the feed, and hopefully, you will not have any trouble getting posts in your normal matter.  If you do, I'd appreciate it if you would let me know ASAP.  I don't want anybody to get lost in the move.

If you normally come directly to the site by typing it in, you shouldn't have any trouble with it. Hopefully, you will get redirected to the new site without any issues (again, if you have any issues, please let me know ASAP!!!) .

Also, if you happen to have a good idea about what domain name I should use, please leave it in the comments.

One other thing, I'm thinking of changing the format slightly.  I was thinking of approving comments the next day.  That way, everyone will have a chance to make their guess.  I was also considering doing a point system, if you answer correctly, you get a point  (similar to what guessthelogo does).  The point system seems like a lot of work for me to keep track of, so I'm not sure I want to go ahead and do that.  But you can consider this a heads up.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fish Heads

A fish's head is 2 and half inches long.  His tail is as long as his head and half as long as his body.  His body is half as long as his total length.  How long is this fish?

Sometime in the next week, I'm going to attempt to move Question of the Day to a domain name (get it off of blogspot).  I don't think I'm going to have any issues with the feed, and hopefully, you will not have any trouble getting posts in your normal matter.  If you do, I'd appreciate it if you would let me know ASAP.  I don't want anybody to get lost in the move.

If you normally come directly to the site by typing it in, you shouldn't have any trouble with it. Hopefully, you will get redirected to the new site without any issues (again, if you have any issues, please let me know ASAP!!!)

Also, if you happen to have a good idea about what domain name I should use, please leave it in the comments.

One other thing, I'm thinking of changing the format slightly.  I was thinking of approving comments the next day.  That way, everyone will have a chance to make their guess.  I was also considering doing a point system, if you answer correctly, you get a point  (similar to what guessthelogo does).  The point system seems like a lot of work for me to keep track of, so I'm not sure I want to go ahead and do that.  But you can consider this a heads up. 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Need More Logic

Brown, Jones and Smith are a doctor, a lawyer, and a teacher. The teacher, who is an only child, earns the least money. Smith, who married Brown's brother, earns more than the lawyer. What is each woman's job?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Anonymous Letter Equations

A reader was asking about the following letter equations.  Can you help him or her out?

180= S of S.A.
2= D of a Q
1= T in a M
2= T in a B
0= S of a H.L.
0.8= F.F. as a D
0= N of S of P.L.
4 = A.V. of N.F.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Three Marked Women

While a red mark was placed on the forehead of each of three blindfolded women seated facing each other in a circle, they were told that the the mark might be either red or white. Upon removal of the blindfolds, each was to raise her hand if she saw at least one red mark, and then to take it down if she could logically deduce the color of her own mark.

All three hands were quickly raised, but then one of them lowered her hand. How did she know?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Logic Prevails This Week

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?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quick and Easy Logic About the Smiths

Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their two children form a typical American family. If exactly two of the following statements are true, what is the first name of the father, mother, son and daughter:
  • George and Dorothy are blood relatives.
  • Howard is older than George.
  • Virginia is younger than Howard.
  • Virginia is older than Dorothy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Reading Books for Christmas

Mr. Reader's five daughters each gave books for Christmas to one or more of her sisters. Each presented four books and each received four books, but no two girls allocated her books in the same way. That is, only one gave two books to one sister and two to another. Beth gave all her books to Alice; Christy gave three to Edith. Which sisters gave the four books to Deborah?
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