Logic riddles


A grandfather's clock

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.
93.84 %
41 votes


Defending the bridge

Two soldiers, William and Ethan, are assigned to guard a bridge, which connects the West and East sides of the Great Kingdom. Each soldier is ordered to stand at an end of the bridge to make sure no criminals cross. On one side of the bridge stands William, watching over the West side of the kingdom, and making sure no shady characters try to cross the bridge. Ethan stands on the other side of the bridge, facing the East side of the kingdom with his rifle at the ready in case any criminals try to pass across. "Any criminals today?" William asks. Ethan rolls his eyes. "What do you think?" he asks. "You roll your eyes too much," William says. How could William tell that Ethan was rolling his eyes?
William is on the east side of the bridge, facing the West side of the kingdom, while Ethan is on the west side of the bridge, facing the East side of the kingdom. So William and Ethan are facing each other, and can see each other's faces.
93.55 %
39 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.
93.39 %
38 votes


Round Manhole Covers

Why are manhole covers round? Do manhole covers really need to be circular?
Manhole covers are round so that they won't fall through the hole into the sewer below them. No matter how you turn the cover, you won't be able to push the cover through the hole. However, if you were to have square manhole covers, you would be able to rotate the cover such that one of the edges of the square cover is lined up with the diagonal line of the square hole, which would allow the cover to fall through, causing countless problems that the general public would rather avoid.
92.86 %
35 votes


The greatest mystery ever

Paul is 20 years old in 1980, but only 15 years old in 1985. How is this possible?
The years are in B.C., not A.D. as you probably assumed. Based on the system we use to number the years, the years counted down in B.C. (but they weren't counting backwards back then).
93.70 %
40 votes


Speedy service station

Shadow drove into the Speedy Service Station and pulled up to the pumps. "Fill it up, please," said Shadow. "This may sound strange," said the owner, "but I'd rather fill two cars from out of town than one car from this town." Shadow looked across the small town and replied, "I know just what you mean." Why would the owner feel this way?
The owner would rather fill two cars from anywhere than one car from town because he would make twice the amount of money.
92.86 %
35 votes


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.
94.36 %
45 votes


Blind in a hardware store

A blind man walks into a hardware store to buy a hammer. There are hammers hanging behind the front desk, but obviously the blind man isn't able to see them. And yet a few minutes later, he happily walks out of the store, having just purchased a new hammer. How did he do it?
He walks up the the front desk where the clerk is working and says "I'd like to buy a hammer."
93.70 %
40 votes


Butcher shop

A clerk in the butcher shop is 5 feet, 10 inches tall. What does he weigh?
92.25 %
32 votes


Rectangular house

A man builds a house rectangular in shape. All sides have southern exposure. A big bear walks by, what color is the bear? Why?
White. The house is at the North Pole, so the polar bear.
92.86 %
35 votes