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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Riddle me this!

The Riddler

A man and a woman were driving in their car when it broke down. The man decided to go for help at a gas station a few miles back. He made sure nobody was in the car rolled all the windows up and locked all of the sedan's doors. He went off but when he came back his wife was dead and there was a stranger in the car. No physical damage was done to the car so how did the stranger get in?


The stranger was a baby and the woman died in childbirth.

The farmer the fox and the corn

A farmer was going to town with a fox, a goose and a sack of corn.
When he came to a stream, he had to cross in a tiny boat, and could only take across one thing at a time.

However, if he left the fox alone with the goose, the fox would eat the goose, and if he left the goose alone with the corn, the goose would eat the corn. How does he get them all safely over the stream?

The answer is:

He takes the goose across first, then comes back.

Then he takes the fox across and brings the goose back.

Then he takes the corn over.

Finally he comes back alone and takes the goose across.


A man is found lying dead, face down in the middle of the desert.

He is wearing a backpack.

His ribs are crushed.

The post mortem shows that he died, suddenly, 2 months ago.

Yet no one has crossed the dessert for 3 months.

What happened?

The answer is:

His parachute did not open.

Toothpick Trick


A man had twelve toothpicks in front of him.
He took one away.

Now he had nine in front of him. How is this possible?


The remaining 11 toothpicks were arranged to spell the word NINE.

A riddle of ducks

There are 2 ducks in front of 2 other ducks.
There are 2 ducks behind 2 other ducks.
There are 2 ducks beside 2 other ducks.

How many ducks are there?

The answer is:

There are four ducks ( see below )

x x
x x

The sage's hat

The three wisest sages in the land were brought before the king to see which of them were worthy to become the king's advisor. After passing many tests of cunning and invention, they were pitted against each other in a final battle of the wits.

Led blind-folded into a small room, the sages were seated around a small wooden table as the king described the test for them.

"Upon each of your heads I have placed a hat. Now you are either wearing a blue hat or a white hat. All I will tell you is this- at least one of you is wearing a blue hat. There may be only one blue hat and two white hats, there may be two blue hats and one white hat, or there may be three blue hats. But you may be certain that there are not three white hats."

"I will shortly remove your blind folds, and the test will begin. The first to correctly announce the colour of his hat shall be my advisor. Be warned however, he who guesses wrongly shall be beheaded. If not one of you answers within the hour, you will be sent home and I will seek elsewhere for wisdom."

With that, the king uncovered the sages' eyes and sat in the corner and waited. One sage looked around and saw that his competitors each were wearing blue hats. From the look in their eyes he could see their thoughts were the same as his, "What is the colour of my hat?"

For what seemed like hours no one spoke. Finally he stood up and said, "The colour of the hat I am wearing is . . ."

The answer is:

The hat is blue.

At first glance, this problem appears to be impossible to solve. Contributing to this is the feeling that the King's only real clue - that there is at least one blue hat - is useless since the sage can clearly see that there are at least two blue hats.

Don't feel bad if you sat stuck on this one for a while: as the puzzle clearly states, so did the three wisest sages in the kingdom. It is this fact that allowed our sage to give his answer. In truth, any one of them would have come up with it, given enough time. Why?

Consider a situation which we knew was not the case- that there was exactly one blue hat. What would happen? There would be a split second of pondering by the person wearing that hat, and he would say "I am wearing a blue hat." No real puzzle there, but of course there wasn't just one blue hat. The important fact is that everyone knew there was not one blue hat. But more importantly than that, everyone knew, or could quickly figure out that everyone else knew this (by the fact that answer was did not come out in the first few seconds.)

This leaves everyone wondering, "Are there two or three blue hats?"

Consider this less obvious situation- that there were exactly two blue hats. This seems a very real possibility at first, after all, we can see exactly two blue hats. So everyone sits and thinks- for a little while. But if there are only two hats, then two people see one blue and one white hat. These two people will very quickly, by virtue of the other's silence, rule out the possibility that there is only one blue hat. One of these two lucky sages would cry blue within a few short minutes, if that long.

There is only one case which forces the three sages to sit in silence - three blue hats. Our sage, through his sharp wits was the first to reach this conclusion.

Fast train to Clarksville!

Mr. Moody grumbles about bad time-keeping trains from morning till night!.

On one particular morning he was quiet justified.

His train left on time for the one hour journey, to Clarksville, and it arrived 5 minutes late.

However, Mr. Moody 's watch showed it to be 3 minutes early, so he adjusted his watch by putting it forward 3 minutes.

His watch kept time during the day, and on the return journey in the evening the train started on time, according to his watch, and arrived on time, according to the station clock.

If the train travelled 25 percent faster on the return journey than it did on the morning journey, was the station clock fast or slow, and by how much?

The answer is:

The station clock is 3 minutes fast.

The morning journey took 65 minutes, and the evening journey therefore took 52 minutes, and the train arrived 57 minutes after it should have left, that is, 3 minutes early.

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