Riddle #1002


The Witch

A witch owns a field containing many gold mines. She hires one man at a time to mine this gold for her. She promises 10% of what a man mines in a day, and he gives her the rest. Because she is blind, she has three magic bags who can talk. They report how much gold they held each day, and this is how she finds out if men are cheating her. Upon getting the job, each man agrees that if he isn't honest, then he will be turned into stone. So around the witch's mines, many statues lay! Now comes an honest man named Garry. He accepts the job gladly. The witch, who didn't trust him said, "If I wrongly accuse you of cheating me, then I'll be turned into stone." That night, Garry, having honestly done his first day's job, overheard the bags talking to the witch. He then formulated a plan... The next night, he submitted his gold, and kept 1.6 pounds of gold. Later, the witch talked with her bags. The first bag said it held 16 pounds that day. The second one said it held 5 pounds. The third one said it held 2 pounds. Beaming, the witch confronted Garry. "You scoundrel, you think you could fool me. Now you shall turn into stone!" the witch cried. One second later, the witch was hard as a rock, and very grey-looking. How did Garry brilliantly deceive the witch?
Garry put 2 lbs. in bag #1. 3 lbs. were put in bag #2. 11 lb. were put into bag #3. He then put bag #2 into bag #3, and bag #1 into bag #2. The bags only felt the weight of the gold above it. Thus they inadvertently gave the message that 23 lbs. were taken.
85.94 %
50 votes

Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.


Strange Miles

You are somewhere on Earth. You walk due south 1 mile, then due east 1 mile, then due north 1 mile. When you finish this 3-mile walk, you are back exactly where you started. It turns out there are an infinite number of different points on earth where you might be. Can you describe them all? It's important to note that this set of points should contain both an infinite number of different latitudes, and an infinite number of different longitudes (though the same latitudes and longitudes can be repeated multiple times); if it doesn't, you haven't thought of all the points.
One of the points is the North Pole. If you go south one mile, and then east one mile, you're still exactly one mile south of the North Pole, so you'll be back where you started when you go north one mile. To think of the next set of points, imagine the latitude slighty north of the South Pole, where the length of the longitudinal line around the Earth is exactly one mile (put another way, imagine the latitude slightly north of the South Pole where if you were to walk due east one mile, you would end up exactly where you started). Any point exactly one mile north of this latitude is another one of the points you could be at, because you would walk south one mile, then walk east a mile around and end up where you started the eastward walk, and then walk back north one mile to your starting point. So this adds an infinite number of other points we could be at. However, we have not yet met the requirement that our set of points has an infinite number of different latitudes. To meet this requirement and see the rest of the points you might be at, we just generalize the previous set of points. Imagine the latitude slightly north of the South Pole that is 1/2 mile in distance. Also imagine the latitudes in this area that are 1/3 miles in distance, 1/4 miles in distance, 1/5 miles, 1/6 miles, and so on. If you are at any of these latitudes and you walk exactly one mile east, you will end up exactly where you started. Thus, any point that is one mile north of ANY of these latitudes is another one of the points you might have started at, since you'll walk one mile south, then one mile east and end up where you started your eastward walk, and finally, one mile north back to where you started.
88.42 %
49 votes


Ants on a Board

There are 100 ants on a board that is 1 meter long, each facing either left or right and walking at a pace of 1 meter per minute. The board is so narrow that the ants cannot pass each other; when two ants walk into each other, they each instantly turn around and continue walking in the opposite direction. When an ant reaches the end of the board, it falls off the edge. From the moment the ants start walking, what is the longest amount of time that could pass before all the ants have fallen off the plank? You can assume that each ant has infinitely small length.
The longest amount of time that could pass would be 1 minute. If you were looking at the board from the side and could only see the silhouettes of the board and the ants, then when two ants walked into each other and turned around, it would look to you as if the ants had walked right by each other. In fact, the effect of two ants walking into each other and then turning around is essentially the same as two ants walking past one another: we just have two ants at that point walking in opposite directions. So we can treat the board as if the ants are walking past each other. In this case, the longest any ant can be on the board is 1 minute (since the board is 1 meter long and the ants walk at 1 meter per minute). Thus, after 1 minute, all the ants will be off the board.
87.96 %
47 votes


Six bills

How could you give someone $63 using six bills without using one dollar bills?
1 - $50 bill, 1 - $5 bill, 4 - $2 bills.
87.88 %
34 votes


4 gallon of water

How to measure exactly 4 gallon of water from 3 gallon and 5 gallon jars, given, you have unlimited water supply from a running tap.
Step 1. Fill 3 gallon jar with water. ( 5p – 0, 3p – 3) Step 2. Pour all its water into 5 gallon jar. (5p – 3, 3p – 0) Step 3. Fill 3 gallon jar again. ( 5p – 3, 3p – 3) Step 4. Pour its water into 5 gallon jar untill it is full. Now you will have exactly 1 gallon water remaining in 3 gallon jar. (5p – 5, 3p – 1) Step 5. Empty 5 gallon jar, pour 1 gallon water from 3 gallon jar into it. Now 5 gallon jar has exactly 1 gallon of water. (5p – 1, 3p – 0) Step 6. Fill 3 gallon jar again and pour all its water into 5 gallon jar, thus 5 gallon jar will have exactly 4 gallon of water. (5p – 4, 3p – 0) We are done !
87.77 %
58 votes


Equation riddle

If, Fernando + Alonso + McLaren = 6 Fernando x Alonso = 2 Alonso x McLaren = 6 Then, McLaren x Fernando =?
3 Explanation: Fernando + Alonso + McLaren = 6 Fernando x Alonso = 2 Alonso x McLaren = 6 Given. Fernando x Alonso = 2 Alonso x McLaren = 6 Rewriting Both equations in terms of Alonso, Fernando = 2/Alonso McLaren = 6/Alonso Replacing above values in equation "Fernando + Alonso + McLaren = 6" 2/Alonso + Alonso + 6/Alonso =6 (2 + Alonso^2 + 6)/Alonso = 6 8 + Alonso^2 = 6Alonso Alonso^2 - 6Alonso + 8 = 0 (Alonso - 4) (Alonso - 2) = 0 Therefore; Alonso = 4 or 2 Let's take value of Alonso as 2 Fernando = 2/2 = 1 McLaren = 6/2 = 3 Therefore; McLaren x Fernando = 3 x 1 = 3
87.71 %
46 votes


Tiling Without Corners

You can easily "tile" an 8x8 chessboard with 32 2x1 tiles, meaning that you can place these 32 tiles on the board and cover every square. But if you take away two opposite corners from the chessboard, it becomes impossible to tile this new 62-square board. Can you explain why tiling this board isn't possible?
Color in the chessboard, alternating with red and blue tiles. Then color all of your tiles half red and half blue. Whenever you place a tile down, you can always make it so that the red part of the tile is on a red square and the blue part of the tile is on the blue square. Since you'll need to place 31 tiles on the board (to cover the 62 squares), you would have to be able to cover 31 red squares and 31 blue squares. But when you took away the two corners, you can see that you are taking away two red spaces, leaving 30 red squares and 32 blue squares. There is no way to cover 30 red squares and 32 blue squares with the 31 tiles, since these tiles can only cover 31 red squares and 31 blue squares, and thus, tiling this board is not possible.
87.71 %
46 votes


Half of two plus two

Is half of two plus two equal to two or three?
Three. It seems that it could almost be either, but if you follow the mathematical orders of operation, division is performed before addition. So... half of two is one. Then add two, and the answer is three.
87.71 %
46 votes


2 Player and N Coin – Strategy Puzzle

There are n coins in a line. (Assume n is even). Two players take turns to take a coin from one of the ends of the line until there are no more coins left. The player with the larger amount of money wins. Would you rather go first or second? Does it matter? Assume that you go first, describe an algorithm to compute the maximum amount of money you can win. Note that the strategy to pick maximum of two corners may not work. In the following example, first player looses the game when he/she uses strategy to pick maximum of two corners. Example 18 20 15 30 10 14 First Player picks 18, now row of coins is 20 15 30 10 14 Second player picks 20, now row of coins is 15 30 10 14 First Player picks 15, now row of coins is 30 10 14 Second player picks 30, now row of coins is 10 14 First Player picks 14, now row of coins is 10 Second player picks 10, game over. The total value collected by second player is more (20 + 30 + 10) compared to first player (18 + 15 + 14). So the second player wins.
Going first will guarantee that you will not lose. By following the strategy below, you will always win the game (or get a possible tie). (1) Count the sum of all coins that are odd-numbered. (Call this X) (2) Count the sum of all coins that are even-numbered. (Call this Y) (3) If X > Y, take the left-most coin first. Choose all odd-numbered coins in subsequent moves. (4) If X < Y, take the right-most coin first. Choose all even-numbered coins in subsequent moves. (5) If X == Y, you will guarantee to get a tie if you stick with taking only even-numbered/odd-numbered coins. You might be wondering how you can always choose odd-numbered/even-numbered coins. Let me illustrate this using an example where you have 6 coins: Example 18 20 15 30 10 14 Sum of odd coins = 18 + 15 + 10 = 43 Sum of even coins = 20 + 30 + 14 = 64. Since the sum of even coins is more, the first player decides to collect all even coins. He first picks 14, now the other player can only pick a coin (10 or 18). Whichever is picked the other player, the first player again gets an opportunity to pick an even coin and block all even coins.
87.19 %
44 votes


Flipping Lockers

There are 1 million closed school lockers in a row, labeled 1 through 1,000,000. You first go through and flip every locker open. Then you go through and flip every other locker (locker 2, 4, 6, etc...). When you're done, all the even-numbered lockers are closed. You then go through and flip every third locker (3, 6, 9, etc...). "Flipping" mean you open it if it's closed, and close it if it's open. For example, as you go through this time, you close locker 3 (because it was still open after the previous run through), but you open locker 6, since you had closed it in the previous run through. Then you go through and flip every fourth locker (4, 8, 12, etc...), then every fifth locker (5, 10, 15, etc...), then every sixth locker (6, 12, 18, etc...) and so on. At the end, you're going through and flipping every 999,998th locker (which is just locker 999,998), then every 999,999th locker (which is just locker 999,999), and finally, every 1,000,000th locker (which is just locker 1,000,000). At the end of this, is locker 1,000,000 open or closed?
Locker 1,000,000 will be open. If you think about it, the number of times that each locker is flipped is equal to the number of factors it has. For example, locker 12 has factors 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, and will thus be flipped 6 times (it will end be flipped when you flip every one, every 2nd, every 3rd, every 4th, every 6th, and every 12th locker). It will end up closed, since flipping an even number of times will return it to its starting position. You can see that if a locker number has an even number of factors, it will end up closed. If it has an odd number of factors, it will end up open. As it turns out, the only types of numbers that have an odd number of factors are squares. This is because factors come in pairs, and for squares, one of those pairs is the square root, which is duplicated and thus doesn't count twice as a factor. For example, 12's factors are 1 x 12, 2 x 6, and 3 x 4 (6 total factors). On the other hand, 16's factors are 1 x 16, 2 x 8, and 4 x 4 (5 total factors). So lockers 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, etc... will all be open. Since 1,000,000 is a square number (1000 x 1000), it will be open as well.
86.92 %
54 votes


Anagram Checker

Two words are anagrams if and only if they contain the exact same letters with the exact same frequency (for example, "name" and "mean" are anagrams, but "red" and "deer" are not). Given two strings S1 and S2, which each only contain the lowercase letters a through z, write a program to determine if S1 and S2 are anagrams. The program must have a running time of O(n + m), where n and m are the lengths of S1 and S2, respectively, and it must have O(1) (constant) space usage.
First create an array A of length 26, representing the counts of each letter of the alphabet, with each value initialized to 0. Iterate through each character in S1 and add 1 to the corresponding entry in A. Once this iteration is complete, A will contain the counts for the letters in S1. Then, iterate through each character in S2, and subtract 1 from each corresponding entry in A. Now, if the each entry in A is 0, then S1 and S2 are anagrams; otherwise, S1 and S2 aren't anagrams. Here is pseudocode for the procedure that was described: def areAnagrams(S1, S2) A = new Array(26) A.initializeValues(0) for each character in S1 arrayIndex = mapCharacterToNumber(character) //maps "a" to 0, "b" to 1, "c" to 2, etc... A[arrayIndex] += 1 end for each character in S2 arrayIndex = mapCharacterToNumber(character) A[arrayIndex] -= 1 end for (i = 0; i < 26; i++) if A[i] != 0 return false end end return true end
86.91 %
43 votes