Riddle #1153


Dave is put in a cell with a dirt floor and only one window. The window is too high for him to reach. The only thing in the cell is a shovel. He won't be able to get any food or water and only has two days to escape or he'll die. Dave can't dig a tunnel because it will take him much longer than two days to do it. How will Dave escape from the cell?
Dave has to use the shovel to create a pile of dirt under the window so he can climb up onto it and escape from the cell.
86.32 %
41 votes

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Emperor Akbar once ruled over India. He was a wise and intelligent ruler; and he had in his court the Nine Gems, his nine advisors, who were each known for a particular skill. One of these Gems was Birbal, known for his wit and wisdom. The story below is one of the examples of his wit. Do you have it in you to find the answer? One day the Emperor Akbar stumbled on a small rock in the royal gardens and momentarily went off balance. He was in a bad mood that day and the incident only served to make him more angry. Finding a target for his mood of the day, he ordered the gardener's arrest and execution. Birbal heard of this and visited the gardener in the cell where he was being held awaiting execution. Birbal had known the gardener for many years and also knew of the gardener's immense respect and sense of loyalty for the king. He decided to help the gardener escape the death sentence and explained his plan to the gardener, who reluctantly agreed to go along. The next day the gardener was asked what his last wish was before he was hanged, as was custom. The gardener requested an audience with the emperor. This wish was granted, but when the man neared the throne he tried to attack the emperor. The emperor was shocked and demanded an explanation. The gardener looked at Birbal, who stepped forward and explained why the gardener had attacked the emperor. The emperor immediately realised how unjust he had been and ordered the release of the gardener. How did Birbal manage this?
"Your Majesty," said Birbal, "there is probably no person more loyal to you than this unfortunate gardener. Fearing that people would say you hanged him for a silly reason and question your sense of justice, he went out of his way to give you a genuine reason for hanging him."
72.60 %
61 votes

A man is found dead in the desert. He is wearing only his underwear. Half of a straw is found nearby. How did this man die?
The man was flying in a hot-air balloon with another man over the desert. The balloon started to go down because of excess weight. Both men would die if they ended up stranded in the desert, so they stripped down to their underwear and threw their clothes off the balloon to try to reduce the weight. Unfortunately, that didn't work well enough. So they drew straws to decide who would jump. The dead man pulled the short straw and jumped out of the balloon.
71.12 %
70 votes

A dead body is found at the bottom of a multistory building. Seeing the position of the body, it is evident that the person jumped from one of the floors, committing suicide. A homicide detective is called to look after the case. He goes to the first floor and walks in the room facing the direction in which the body was found. He opens the window in that direction and flips a coin towards the floor. Then he goes to the second floor and repeats the process. He keeps on doing this until he reaches the last floor. Then, when he climbs down he tells the team that it is a murder not suicide. How did he come to know that it was a murder?
None of the windows were left open. If the person jumped, who closed the window?
71.06 %
210 votes

A couple went on holiday for three weeks. They carefully locked their house, and had a neighbor check on the place while they were gone. When they returned, the wife was distressed to lean that because of a power failure she had lost all her fine jewelry. She had hidden the jewelry in what she thought was a very safe place. She was not robbed. Her jewelry was lost by accident. Why?
In this true incident, the wife had hidden her best jewelry inside her freezer in a bag among all the frozen food. Because of a general power failure the freezer had gone off. A friendly neighbour (who had a key in order to water the plants) had tried to be helpful by throwing out all the bad food - and with it went the jewelry.
54.83 %
129 votes

A swan sits at the center of a perfectly circular lake. At an edge of the lake stands a ravenous monster waiting to devour the swan. The monster can not enter the water, but it will run around the circumference of the lake to try to catch the swan as soon as it reaches the shore. The monster moves at 4 times the speed of the swan, and it will always move in the direction along the shore that brings it closer to the swan the quickest. Both the swan and the the monster can change directions in an instant. The swan knows that if it can reach the lake's shore without the monster right on top of it, it can instantly escape into the surrounding forest. How can the swan succesfully escape?
Assume the radius of the lake is R feet. So the circumference of the lake is (2*pi*R). If the swan swims R/4 feet, (or, put another way, 0.25R feet) straight away from the center of the lake, and then begins swimming in a circle around the center, then it will be able to swim around this circle in the exact same amount of time as the monster will be able to run around the lake's shore (since this inner circle's circumference is 2*pi*(R/4), which is exactly 4 times shorter than the shore's circumference). From this point, the swan can move a millimeter inward toward the lake's center, and begin swimming around the center in a circle from this distance. It is now going around a very slightly smaller circle than it was a moment ago, and thus will be able to swim around this circle FASTER than the monster can run around the shore. The swan can keep swimming around this way, pulling further away each second, until finally it is on the opposite side of its inner circle from where the monster is on the shore. At this point, the swan aims directly toward the closest shore and begins swimming that way. At this point, the swan has to swim [0.75R feet + 1 millimeter] to get to shore. Meanwhile, the monster will have to run R*pi feet (half the circumference of the lake) to get to where the swan is headed. The monster runs four times as fast as the swan, but you can see that it has more than four times as far to run: [0.75R feet + 1 millimeter] * 4 < R*pi [This math could actually be incorrect if R were very very small, but in that case we could just say the swan swam inward even less than a millimeter, and make the math work out correctly.] Because the swan has less than a fourth of the distance to travel as the monster, it will reach the shore before the monster reaches where it is and successfully escape.
83.05 %
49 votes

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.
82.08 %
68 votes

A man is found hanging in a room 30 feet off the ground. There is nothing else in the room except for a large puddle of water on the ground. The police can't see any way the man could have climbed the walls to get to where he is hanging. How did this man hang himself?
He stood on a tall block of ice and put the noose around his neck. Once the ice melted, he was hung, and all that was left was a puddle of water on the ground.
68.36 %
284 votes

A man was shot to death while in his car. There were no powder marks on his clothing which indicated that the gunman was outside the car. However, all the windows were up and the doors locked. After a close inspection was made, the only bullet holes discovered were on the man's body. How was he murdered?
The victim was in a convertible.
64.11 %
368 votes

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.
81.89 %
53 votes

Two men working at a construction site were up for a challenge, and they were pretty mad at each other. Finally, at lunch break, they confronted one another. One man, obviously stronger, said "See that wheelbarrow? I'm willin' to bet $100 (that's all I have in my wallet here) that you can't wheel something to that cone and back that I can't do twice as far. Do you have a bet?" The other man, too dignified to decline, shook his hand, but he had a plan formulating. He looked at the objects lying around: a pile of 400 bricks, a steel beam, the 10 men that had gathered around to watch, his pickup truck, a stack of ten bags of concrete mix, and then he finalized his plan. "All right," he said, and revealed his object. That night, the strong man went home thoroughly teased and $100 poorer. What did the other man choose?
He looked the man right in the eye and said "get in."
85.76 %
59 votes