Best difficult riddles

logicclean

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.
73.60 %
86 votes
cleanpoemssimplelogic

The front of me is the source of a song Or to kiss with a fervor of love lifelong. My back is a plant fit for a queen, Crafted by needle, chemical, or machine.
Necklace
73.58 %
77 votes
logicmathclever

A deliveryman comes to a house to drop off a package. He asks the woman who lives there how many children she has. "Three," she says. "And I bet you can't guess their ages." "Ok, give me a hint," the deliveryman says. "Well, if you multiply their ages together, you get 36," she says. "And if you add their ages together, the sum is equal to our house number." The deliveryman looks at the house number nailed to the front of her house. "I need another hint," he says. The woman thinks for a moment. "My youngest son will have a lot to learn from his older brothers," she says. The deliveryman's eyes light up and he tells her the ages of her three children. What are their ages?
Their ages are 1, 6, and 6. We can figure this out as follows: Given that their ages multiply out to 36, the possible ages for the children are: 1, 1, 36 (sum = 38) 1, 2, 18 (sum = 21) 1, 3, 12 (sum = 16) 1, 4, 9 (sum = 14) 1, 6, 6 (sum = 13) 2, 2, 9 (sum = 13) 2, 3, 6 (sum = 11) 3, 3, 4 (sum = 10) When the woman tells the deliveryman that the children's ages add up to her street number, he still doesn't know their ages. The only way this could happen is that there is more than one possible way for the children's ages to add up to the number on the house (or else he would have known their ages when he looked at the house number). Looking back at the possible values for the children's ages, you can see that there is only one situation in which there are multiple possible values for the children's ages that add up to the same sum, and that is if their ages are either 1, 6, and 6 (sums up to 13), or 2, 2, and 9 (also sums up to 13). So these are now the only possible values for their ages. When the woman then tells him that her youngest son has two older brothers (who we can tell are clearly a number of years older), the only possible situation is that their ages are 1, 6, and 6.
72.84 %
66 votes
mathtricky

Take 9 from 6, 10 from 9, 50 from 40 and leave 6. How is it possible?
SIX - 9 (IX) = S 9 (IX) - 10 (X) = I 40 (XL) - 50 (L) = X
72.80 %
48 votes
tricky

If there are four sheep, two dogs and one herds-men, how many feet are there?
Two. Sheep have hooves; dogs have paws; only people have feet.
72.33 %
69 votes
logiccleanclever

Sally and her younger brother were fighting. Their mother was tired of the fighting, and decided to punish them by making them stand on the same piece of newspaper in such a way that they couldn't touch each other. How did she accomplish this?
Sally's mother slid a newspaper under a door and made Sally stand on one side of the door and her brother on the other.
72.33 %
69 votes
cleanpoemssimple

What does man love more than life, Fear more than death or mortal strife. What the poor have, the rich require, and what contented men desire. What the miser spends and the spendthrift saves, And all men carry to their graves?
Nothing.
72.18 %
139 votes