You and a friend are standing in front of two houses. In each house lives a family with two children.
"The family on the left has a boy who loves history, but their other child prefers math," your friend tells you.
"The family on the right has a 7-year old boy, and they just had a new baby," he explains.
"Does either family have a girl?" you ask.
"I'm not sure," your friend says. "But pick the family that you think is more likely to have a girl. If they do have a girl, I'll give you $100."
Which family should you pick, or does it not matter?
You should pick the house on the left. Specifically, there is a 2/3 chance that the family on the left has a girl, whereas there's only a 1/2 chance that the house on the right has a girl.
This is a very counterintuitive riddle. It seems like there should always be a 1/2 chance that a given child is a girl. And in fact there is. The key word there is "given". Because we are not asking about a "given" child for the house on the left. We are asking about what could be either child. Whereas for the house on the right, we are asking about a "given" child...specifically, we're asking about the younger child.
There are 3 possibilities for the children in the first house:
There is no "Girl, Girl" option because we know the house on the left has at least one boy. Since each of these 3 options is equally likely, and 2 of them have one girl, there is a 2/3 chance of there being a girl in the house on the left.
For the house on the right, because we already know the older child is a boy, there are only two possibilities:
And as we can see, there is a 1/2 chance for the house on the right having a girl.
Search for: Boy or Girl paradox
Dodge was staying with Cousin Jamie in Jamie's lakeside cabin. They were setting up Jamie's will. As Dodge was Jamie's closest living relative, much of Jamie's estate was being left to him. One day, Jamie went to Dr Dodge very disturbed. "Doctor," he began, "I have just found out that a man named Georgio wants to get me. He will be here very soon. Where will I go? Where can I hide? If he finds me in here, he will surely kill me. I do not have time to leave this clearing and go farther into the woods."
Dr Dodge thought for a moment, and then grabbed a 5' long bamboo pole, with a diameter the size of a quarter. "Jamie, follow me out to the lake. This lake is 4' deep. If you lie on the bottom of the lake and breathe through this pole, Georgio will never find you. I will be in the bulrushes with a shotgun, and I will shoot him when he comes. I will swim down to find you when he is gone." Jamie consented, and lay down on the bottom of the lake with the bamboo pole in his mouth. A few hours later, a ranger passed by. He found Jamie's body, dead. Dr Dodge told the police of the circumstance, and that Jamie had probably panicked, and died. Police arrested Dr Dodge, on the charges of murdering Jamie. Why?
The bamboo pole did not have any cracks or holes. Its opening was above water the whole time.
Jamie died of carbon dioxide poisoning. The pole was 5' long, but only the size of a quarter. The first time he breathed in, he breathed oxygen. When he exhaled, the air could not travel 5' before he breathed in again. He was just breathing what he exhaled. Before long, all he was breathing was carbon dioxide. He died of CO2 poisoning. Doctor Doge was the one who told him to use the pole, therefore the cause of his death. Dodge is a DOCTOR, and therefore knows about the CO2. Dodge did murder Jamie. His motive: the money in the will.
A frog is at the bottom of a well. It is a 30 foot climb to get out. Each morning, the frog jumps 3 feet up the path out, but each night, as it sleeps, it slips back 2 feet down.
Thus, at the beginning of the first day, the frog has 30 feet to go, at the beginning of the second day it has 29 feet to go, and so on.
How many days does it take the frog to get out of the well?
It takes 28 days for the frog to get out (it gets out on the morning of the 28th day).
This is because on the beginning of the 28th day, the frog has 3 feet left to travel. Because the frog jumps 3 feet forward each morning, it will jump out of the well on this day.
There are 5 ships in a port.
The Greek ship leaves at six and carries coffee.
The ship in the middle has a black chimney.
The English ship leaves at nine.
The French ship with a blue chimney is to the left of a ship that carries coffee.
To the right of the ship carrying cocoa is a ship going to Marseille.
The Brazilian ship is heading for Manila.
Next to the ship carrying rice is a ship with a green chimney.
A ship going to Genoa leaves at five.
The Spanish ship leaves at seven and is to the right of the ship going to Marseille.
The ship with a red chimney goes to Hamburg.
Next to the ship leaving at seven is a ship with a white chimney.
The ship on the border carries corn.
The ship with a black chimney leaves at eight.
The ship carrying corn is anchored next to the ship carrying rice.
The ship to Hamburg leaves at six.
Which ship goes to Port Said? Which ship carries tea?