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.
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