Best riddles

logic

The wise man and the dove

A wise man lived on a hill above a small town. The townspeople often approached him to solve their difficult problems and riddles. One day, two lads decided to fool him. They took a dove and set off up the hill. Standing before him, one of the lads said "Tell me, wise man, is the dove I hold behind my back dead or alive?" The man smiled and said "I cannot answer your question correctly". Even though the wise man knew the condition of the dove, why wouldn't he state whether it was dead or alive?
The man told the two lads, "If I say the dove is alive, you will the bird and show me that it is dead. If I say that it is dead, you will release the dove and it will fly away. So you see I cannot answer your question.
91.39 %
49 votes

short

Five fingers

What has five finger but is not alive?
A glove.
91.24 %
28 votes

logic

Coins on a table

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?
You should go first, and put a quarter at the exact center of the table. Then, each time your opponent places a quarter down, you should place your next quarter in the symmetric position on the opposite side of the table. This will ensure that you always have a place to set down our quarter, and eventually your oppponent will run out of space.
91.22 %
48 votes

logic

Twelve balls, one different

You have twelve balls, identical in every way except that one of them weighs slightly less or more than the balls. You have a balance scale, and are allowed to do 3 weighings to determine which ball has the different weight, and whether the ball weighs more or less than the other balls. What process would you use to weigh the balls in order to figure out which ball weighs a different amount, and whether it weighs more or less than the other balls?
Take eight balls, and put four on one side of the scale, and four on the other. If the scale is balanced, that means the odd ball out is in the other 4 balls. Let's call these 4 balls O1, O2, O3, and O4. Take O1, O2, and O3 and put them on one side of the scale, and take 3 balls from the 8 "normal" balls that you originally weighed, and put them on the other side of the scale. If the O1, O2, and O3 balls are heavier, that means the odd ball out is among these, and is heavier. Weigh O1 and O2 against each other. If one of them is heavier than the other, this is the odd ball out, and it is heavier. Otherwise, O3 is the odd ball out, and it is heavier. If the O1, O2, and O3 balls are lighter, that means the odd ball out is among these, and is lighter. Weigh O1 and O2 against each other. If one of them is lighter than the other, this is the odd ball out, and it is lighter. Otherwise, O3 is the odd ball out, and it is lighter. If these two sets of 3 balls weigh the same amount, then O4 is the odd ball out. Weight it against one of the "normal" balls from the first weighing. If O4 is heavier, then it is heavier, if it's lighter, then it's lighter. If the scale isn't balanced, then the odd ball out is among these 8 balls. Let's call the four balls on the side of the scale that was heavier H1, H2, H3, and H4 ("H" for "maybe heavier"). Let's call the four balls on the side of the scale that was lighter L1, L2, L3, and L4 ("L" for "maybe lighter"). Let's also call each ball from the 4 in the original weighing that we know aren't the odd balls out "Normal" balls. So now weigh [H1, H2, L1] against [H3, L2, Normal]. -If the [H1, H2, L1] side is heavier (and thus the [H3, L2, Normal] side is lighter), then this means that either H1 or H2 is the odd ball out and is heavier, or L2 is the odd ball out and is lighter. -So measure [H1, L2] against 2 of the "Normal" balls. -If [H1, L2] are heavier, then H1 is the odd ball out, and is heavier. -If [H1, L2] are lighter, then L2 is the odd ball out, and is lighter. -If the scale is balanced, then H2 is the odd ball out, and is heavier. -If the [H1, H2, L1] side is lighter (and thus the [H3, L2, Normal] side is heavier), then this means that either L1 is the odd ball out, and is lighter, or H3 is the odd ball out, and is heavier. -So measure L1 and H3 against two "normal" balls. -If the [L1, H3] side is lighter, then L1 is the odd ball out, and is lighter. -Otherwise, if the [L1, H3] side is heavier, then H3 is the odd ball out, and is heavier. If the [H1, H2, L1] side and the [H3, L2, Normal] side weigh the same, then we know that either H4 is the odd ball out, and is heavier, or one of L3 or L4 is the odd ball out, and is lighter. So weight [H4, L3] against two of the "Normal" balls. If the [H4, L3] side is heavier, then H4 is the odd ball out, and is heavier. If the [H4, L3] side is lighter, then L3 is the odd ball out, and is lighter. If the [H4, L3] side weighs the same as the [Normal, Normal] side, then L4 is the odd ball out, and is lighter.
91.22 %
48 votes

logicmath

New York Hair

You are visiting NYC when a man approaches you. "Not counting bald people, I bet a hundred bucks that there are two people living in New York City with the same number of hairs on their heads," he tells you. "I'll take that bet!" you say. You talk to the man for a minute, after which you realize you have lost the bet. What did the man say to prove his case?
This is a classic example of the pigeonhole principle. The argument goes as follows: assume that every non-bald person in New York City has a different number of hairs on their head. Since there are about 9 million people living in NYC, let's say 8 million of them aren't bald. So 8 million people need to have different numbers of hairs on their head. But on average, people only have about 100,000 hairs. So even if there was someone with 1 hair, someone with 2 hairs, someone with 3 hairs, and so on, all the way up to someone with 100,000 hairs, there are still 7,900,000 other people who all need different numbers of hairs on their heads, and furthermore, who all need MORE than 100,000 hairs on their head. You can see that additionally, at least one person would need to have at least 8,000,000 hairs on their head, because there's no way to have 8,000,000 people all have different numbers of hairs between 1 and 7,999,999. But someone having 8,000,000 is an essential impossibility (as is even having 1,000,000 hairs), So there's no way this situation could be the case, where everyone has a different number of hairs. Which means that at least two people have the same number of hairs.
91.22 %
48 votes

logicmath

Appleland to Bananaville

You have been given the task of transporting 3,000 apples 1,000 miles from Appleland to Bananaville. Your truck can carry 1,000 apples at a time. Every time you travel a mile towards Bananaville you must pay a tax of 1 apple but you pay nothing when going in the other direction (towards Appleland). What is highest number of apples you can get to Bananaville?
833 apples. Step one: First you want to make 3 trips of 1,000 apples 333 miles. You will be left with 2,001 apples and 667 miles to go. Step two: Next you want to take 2 trips of 1,000 apples 500 miles. You will be left with 1,000 apples and 167 miles to go (you have to leave an apple behind). Step three: Finally, you travel the last 167 miles with one load of 1,000 apples and are left with 833 apples in Bananaville.
91.22 %
48 votes

What day is it today?

The day before two days after the day before tomorrow is Saturday. What day is it today?
Friday.
91.22 %
48 votes

logic

Two barbers

A man was in a small town for the day, and needed a haircut. He noticed that there were only two barbers in town, and decided to apply a bit of logical deduction to choosing the best one. Looking at their shops, he saw that the first one was very neat and the barber was clean shaven with a nice haircut. The other shop was a mess, and the barber there needed a shave and had a bad cut besides.Why did the man choose to go to the barber with the messy shop?
Since even barbers rarely try to cut their own hair, and there are only two barbers in town, they must cut each other's hair. The one with the neat hair must have it cut by the one with the bad haircut, who must then be better one, considering his own haircut.
91.22 %
48 votes

what am I

Sooner or later everybody needs my help

I dig out tiny caves, and store gold and silver in them. I also build bridges of silver and make crowns of gold. They are the smallest you could imagine. Sooner or later everybody needs my help, yet many people are afraid to let me help them. What am I?
A dentist.
91.22 %
48 votes

logic

Going to St. Ives

As I was going to St. Ives I met a man with seven wives The seven wives had seven sacks The seven sacks had seven cats The seven cats had seven kits Kits, cats, sacks and wives How many were going to St. Ives?
One person is going to St. Ives (the narrator). Because the narrator "met" all of the others mentioned in the poem, this implies that they walked past each other in opposite directions, and thus none of the wives, sacks, cats, or kits was actually headed to St. Ives. If you (like many) think this answer is a bit silly, you can assume that all the people, sacks, and animals mentioned were heading for St. Ives. In this case, we would have 1 narrator + 1 man + 7 wives + 49 sacks + 343 cats + 2401 kits = 2802 total going to St. Ives. However, this isn't the traditional answer.
91.22 %
48 votes