Best riddles


King and Wind Bottles

A bad king has a cellar of 1000 bottles of delightful and very expensive wine. A neighboring queen plots to kill the bad king and sends a servant to poison the wine. Fortunately (or say unfortunately) the bad king’s guards catch the servant after he has only poisoned one bottle. Alas, the guards don’t know which bottle but know that the poison is so strong that even if diluted 100,000 times it would still kill the king. Furthermore, it takes one month to have an effect. The bad king decides he will get some of the prisoners in his vast dungeons to drink the wine. Being a clever bad king he knows he needs to murder no more than 10 prisoners – believing he can fob off such a low death rate – and will still be able to drink the rest of the wine (999 bottles) at his anniversary party in 5 weeks time. Explain what is in mind of the king, how will he be able to do so?
Think in terms of binary numbers. (now don’t read the solution, give a try). Number the bottles 1 to 1000 and write the number in binary format. bottle 1 = 0000000001 (10 digit binary) bottle 2 = 0000000010 bottle 500 = 0111110100 bottle 1000 = 1111101000 Now take 10 prisoners and number them 1 to 10, now let prisoner 1 take a sip from every bottle that has a 1 in its least significant bit. Let prisoner 10 take a sip from every bottle with a 1 in its most significant bit. etc. prisoner = 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 bottle 924 = 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 For instance, bottle no. 924 would be sipped by 10,9,8,5,4 and 3. That way if bottle no. 924 was the poisoned one, only those prisoners would die. After four weeks, line the prisoners up in their bit order and read each living prisoner as a 0 bit and each dead prisoner as a 1 bit. The number that you get is the bottle of wine that was poisoned. 1000 is less than 1024 (2^10). If there were 1024 or more bottles of wine it would take more than 10 prisoners.
90.04 %
42 votes


Number one

How do you make the number one disappear by adding to it?
Add the letter 'G' and it becomes Gone.
89.96 %
57 votes


Sailors travelling the sea

We travelled the sea far and wide. At one time, two of my sailors were standing on opposite sides of the ship. One was looking west and the other one east. And at the same time, they could see each other clearly. How can that be possible?
The sailors had their backs against either ends of the ship.
89.92 %
24 votes


Sunday trip

A man rode out of town on Sunday, he stayed a whole night at a hotel and rode back to town the next day on Sunday. How is this possible?
His Horse was called Sunday!
89.81 %
41 votes


Toward the sunset

A man and woman run through a field holding hands. They bound toward the sunset, happy as can be. Suddenly, the man moves off of his straight-line course and starts veering to his left. At the same time, the woman begins running off to her right. They continue this for a full minute, but never let go of each others' hands. How is this possible?
The man was facing forward, but the woman was running backwards. The man's right hand was holding the woman's right hand. They both veered in the same geographic direction, but it was the man's left and the woman's right becaus the woman was running backwards.
89.81 %
41 votes


To sentries

Two sentries were on duty outside a barracks. One faced up the road to watch for anyone approaching from the North. The other looked down the road to see if anyone was approached from the South. Suddenly one of them said to the other, "Why are you smiling?" How did he know that his companion was smiling?
Although the guards were looking in opposite directions, they were not back to back. They were facing each other.
89.58 %
40 votes


The Two Barbers

There is a small town in the midwest with exactly 2 barbershops, one on each side of town. The barbershop on the west side of town is pristine. Its floors are spotless, the windows are always perfectly clear, and the air always smells fresh. The barber has a friendly smile, shined shoes, a well-groomed head of hair, and a fancy shirt. The barbershop on the east side of town is a mess. Its floors and windows are dirty, and the air smells of garbage. The barber always has a grimace on his face. His skin is oily, his hair is short and ragged, and he has food on his clothes all the time. A man travelling through the town realizes he needs a haircut. Knowing the stories of the two barbers, the man decides to go to the dirty barbershop on the east side of town. Why does he do this?
Because there are only two barbers in the town, the barbers must cut each-other's hair. The barber on the west side of town has a nice haircut, so the east-side barber must be a good barber. On the other hand, the barber on the east side of town has ragged hair, meaning the west-side barber must not be very good. So the man goes to the east-side barber to get a better haircut.
89.58 %
40 votes


One equals two

Consider the following explanation for why 1=2: 1. Start out Let y = x 2. Multiply through by x xy = x2 3. Subtract y2 from each side xy - y2 = x2 - y2 4. Factor each side y(x-y) = (x+y)(x-y) 5. Divide both sides by (x-y) y = x+y 6. Divide both sides by y y/y = x/y + y/y 7. And so... 1 = x/y + 1 8. Since x=y, x/y = 1 1 = 1 + 1 8. And so... 1 = 2 How is this possible?
Step 5 is invalid, because we are dividing by (x-y), and since x=y, we are thus dividing by 0. This is an invalid mathematical operation (division by 0), and so by not followinng basic mathematical rules, we are able to get strange results like these.
89.58 %
40 votes