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.
Handel has been killed and Beethoven is on the case. He has interviewed the four suspects and their statements are shown below. Each suspect has said two sentences. One sentence of each suspect is a lie and one sentence is the truth. Help Beethoven figure out who the killer is.
Joplin: I did not kill Handel. Either Grieg is the killer or none of us is.
Grieg: I did not kill Handel. Gershwin is the killer.
Strauss: I did not kill Handel. Grieg is lying when he says Gershwin is the killer.
Gershwin: I did not kill Handel. If Joplin did not kill him, then Grieg did.
Who is the killer?
Strauss is the one who killed Handel. You need to take turns assuming someone is the killer; that means everyone's second sentence is a lie. If Joplin was the killer, Grieg's lie mixed with Strauss' counteracts the other. If Grieg was the killer, Gershwin would need to be a killer too. If Gershwin was the killer, Gershwin would need to be a killer too. If Gershwin was the killer, Grieg and Strauss counter each other again, but with Strauss, everything would fit in.
A guard is stationed at the entrance to a bridge. He is tasked to shoot anyone who tries to cross to the other side of the bridge, and to turn away anyone who comes in from the opposite side of the bridge. You are on his side of the bridge and want to escape to the other side.
Because the bridge is old and rickety, anyone who tries to cross it does so at a constant speed, and it always takes exactly 10 minutes to cross.
The guard comes out of his post every 6 minutes and looks down the bridge for any people trying to leave, and at all other times he sits in his post and snoozes. You know you can sneak past him when he's sleeping, but the problem is that you won't be able to make it all the way to the other side of the bridge before he sees you (since he comes out every 6 minutes, but it takes 10 minutes to cross).
One day a brilliant idea comes to you, and soon you've successfully crossed to the other side of the bridge without being shot. How did you do it?
Right after the guard goes back to his post after checking the bridge, you sneak by and make your way down the bridge. After a little bit less than 6 minutes, you turn around and start walking back toward the guard. He will come out and see you, and assume that you are a visitor coming from the other side of the bridge, since you're only about 4 minutes from the end of the other side of the bridge. He will go back into his post since he doesn't plan to turn you away until you reach him, and then you turn back around and make your way the rest of the way to the other side of the bridge.
A petshop owner had a parrot with a sign on its cage that said "Parrot repeats everything it hears". Davey bought the parrot and for two weeks he spoke to it and it didn't say a word. He returned the parrot but the shopkeeper said he never lied about the parrot.
How can this be?