A man came to visit at a convent while the superior mother was out of town. He left before she returned, and was careful to leave nothing behind. The nuns said nothing about his visit, so how did the superior mother figure out that a man had been there?

A new student met the Zen Master after traveling hundreds of miles by yak cart. He was understandably pleased with himself for being selected to learn at the great master's feet .
The first time they formally met, the Zen Master asked, "May I ask you a simple question?" "It would be an honor!" replied the student.
"Which is greater, that which has no beginning or that which has no end?" queried the Zen Master. "Come back when you have the answer and can explain why."
After the student made many frustrated trips back with answers which the master quickly cast off with a disapproving negative nod, the Zen Master finally said, "Perhaps I should ask you another question?"
"Oh, please do!" pleaded the exasperated student.
The Zen Master then asked, "Since you do not know that, answer this much simpler riddle. When can a pebble hold back the sea?" Again the student was rebuffed time and again. Several more questions followed with the same result. Each time, the student could not find the correct answer. Finally, completely exasperated, the student began to weep, "Master, I am a complete idiot. I can not solve even the simplest riddle from you!"
Suddenly, the student stopped, sat down, and said, "I am ready for my second lesson."
What was the Zen Master's first lesson?

The student's first lesson was that in order to learn from the Zen Master, the student should be asking the questions and not the Zen Master.

Betty signals to the headwaiter in a restaurant, and says, "There is a fly in my tea."
The waiter says "No problem Madam. I will bring you a fresh cup of tea."
A few minutes later Betty shouts, "Get me the manager! This is the same cup of tea."
How did she know?
Hint: The tea is still hot.

Betty had already put sugar in her tea before sending it back. When the "new" cup came, it was already tasted sweet.

Jay escaped from jail and headed to the country. While walking along a rural road, he saw a police car speeding towards him. Jay ran toward it for a short time and then fled into the woods. Why did he run toward the car?

Jay was just starting to cross a bridge when he saw a police car. He ran toward the car to get off the bridge before running into the woods.

At a dinner party, many of the guests exchange greetings by shaking hands with each other while they wait for the host to finish cooking.
After all this handshaking, the host, who didn't take part in or see any of the handshaking, gets everybody's attention and says: "I know for a fact that at least two people at this party shook the same number of other people's hands."
How could the host know this? Note that nobody shakes his or her own hand.

Assume there are N people at the party.
Note that the least number of people that someone could shake hands with is 0, and the most someone could shake hands with is N-1 (which would mean that they shook hands with every other person).
Now, if everyone at the party really were to have shaken hands with a different number of people, then that means somone must have shaken hands with 0 people, someone must have shaken hands with 1 person, and so on, all the way up to someone who must have shaken hands with N-1 people. This is the only possible scenario, since there are N people at the party and N different numbers of possible people to shake hands with (all the numbers between 0 and N-1 inclusive).
But this situation isn't possible, because there can't be both a person who shook hands with 0 people (call him Person 0) and a person who shook hands with N-1 people (call him Person N-1). This is because Person 0 shook hands with nobody (and thus didn't shake hands with Person N-1), but Person N-1 shook hands with everybody (and thus did shake hands with Person 0). This is clearly a contradiction, and thus two of the people at the party must have shaken hands with the same number of people.
Pretend there were only 2 guests at the party. Then try 3, and 4, and so on. This should help you think about the problem.
Search: Pigeonhole principle

There are 4 big houses in my home town. They are made from these materials: red marbles, green marbles, white marbles and blue marbles.
Mrs Jennifer's house is somewhere to the left of the green marbles one and the third one along is white marbles.
Mrs Sharon owns a red marbles house and Mr Cruz does not live at either end, but lives somewhere to the right of the blue marbles house.
Mr Danny lives in the fourth house, while the first house is not made from red marbles.
Who lives where, and what is their house made from ?

From, left to right:
#1 Mrs Jennifer - blue marbles
#2 Mrs Sharon - red marbles
#3 Mr Cruz - white marbles
#4 Mr Danny - green marbles
If we separate and label the clues, and label the houses #1, #2, #3, #4 from left to right we can see that:
a. Mrs Jennifer's house is somewhere to the left of the green marbles one.
b. The third one along is white marbles.
c. Mrs Sharon owns a red marbles house
d. Mr Cruz does not live at either end.
e. Mr Cruz lives somewhere to the right of the blue marbles house.
f. Mr Danny lives in the fourth house
g. The first house is not made from red marbles.
By (g) #1 isn't made from red marbles, and by (b) nor is #3. By (f) Mr Danny lives in #4 therefore by (c) #2 must be red marbles, and Mrs Sharon lives there.
Therefore by (d) Mr Cruz must live in #3, which, by (b) is the white marbles house. By (a) #4 must be green marbles (otherwise Mrs Jennifer couldn't be to its left) and by (f) Mr Danny lives there.
Which leaves Mrs Jennifer, living in #1, the blue marbles house.

A grandfather's clock chimes the appropriate number of times to indicate the hour, as well as chiming once at each quarter hour. If you were in another room and hear the clock chime just once, what would be the longest period of time you would have to wait in order to be certain of the correct time?

You would have to wait 90 minutes between 12:15 and 1:45. Once you had heard seven single chimes, you would know that the next chime would be two chimes for 2 o'clock.