Riddle #603


Fishing pole

A boy goes and buys a fishing pole that is 6' 3" long. As he goes to get on the bus, the driver stops him. The driver tells him that he can't take anything longer than 6' onto the bus. The boy goes back into town, purchases one more thing, and the driver allows the boy on the bus. What did the boy buy, and what did he do with it?
The boy bought 6' long box. He put the fishing pole in diagonally and the entire package was only 6'!
94.11 %
43 votes

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25 Horses

You have 25 horses. When they race, each horse runs at a different, constant pace. A horse will always run at the same pace no matter how many times it races. You want to figure out which are your 3 fastest horses. You are allowed to race at most 5 horses against each other at a time. You don't have a stopwatch so all you can learn from each race is which order the horses finish in. What is the least number of races you can conduct to figure out which 3 horses are fastest?
You need to conduct 7 races. First, separate the horses into 5 groups of 5 horses each, and race the horses in each of these groups. Let's call these groups A, B, C, D and E, and within each group let's label them in the order they finished. So for example, in group A, A1 finished 1st, A2 finished 2nd, A3 finished 3rd, and so on. We can rule out the bottom two finishers in each race (A4 and A5, B4 and B5, C4 and C5, D4 and D5, and E4 and E5), since we know of at least 3 horses that are faster than them (specifically, the horses that beat them in their respective races). This table shows our remaining horses: A1 B1 C1 D1 E1 A2 B2 C2 D2 E2 A3 B3 C3 D3 E3 For our 6th race, let's race the top finishers in each group: A1, B1, C1, D1 and E1. Let's assume that the order of finishers is: A1, B1, C1, D1, E1 (so A1 finished first, E1 finished last). We now know that horse D1 cannot be in the top 3, because it is slower than C1, B1 and A1 (it lost to them in the 6th race). Thus, D2 and D3 can also not be in the to 3 (since they are slower than D1). Similarly, E1, E2 and E3 cannot be in the top 3 because they are all slower than D1 (which we already know isn't in the top 3). Let's look at our updated table, having removed these horses that can't be in the top 3: A1 B1 C1 A2 B2 C2 A3 B3 C3 We can actually rule out a few more horses. C2 and C3 cannot be in the top 3 because they are both slower than C1 (and thus are also slower than B1 and A1). And B3 also can't be in the top 3 because it is slower than B2 and B1 (and thus is also slower than A1). So let's further update our table: A1 B1 C1 A2 B2 A3 We actually already know that A1 is our fastest horse (since it directly or indirectly beat all the remaining horses). So now we just need to find the other two fastest horses out of A2, A3, B1, B2 and C1. So for our 7th race, we simply race these 5 horses, and the top two finishers, plus A1, are our 3 fastest horses.
94.11 %
43 votes



Five friends have their gardens next to one another, where they grow three kinds of crops: fruits (apple, pear, nut, cherry), vegetables (carrot, parsley, gourd, onion) and flowers (aster, rose, tulip, lily). They grow 12 different varieties. Everybody grows exactly 4 different varieties Each variety is at least in one garden. Only one variety is in 4 gardens. Only in one garden are all 3 kinds of crops. Only in one garden are all 4 varieties of one kind of crops. Pears are only in the two border gardens. Paul's garden is in the middle with no lily. Aster grower doesn't grow vegetables. Rose grower doesn't grow parsley. Nuts grower has also gourd and parsley. In the first garden are apples and cherries. Only in two gardens are cherries. Sam has onions and cherries. Luke grows exactly two kinds of fruit. Tulips are only in two gardens. Apples are in a single garden. Only in one garden next to the Zick's is parsley. Sam's garden is not on the border. Hank grows neither vegetables nor asters. Paul has exactly three kinds of vegetable. Who has which garden and what is grown where?
94.59 %
47 votes


Crossing the Bridge Puzzle

Four people need to cross a rickety bridge at night. Unfortunately, they have only one torch and the bridge is too dangerous to cross without one. The bridge is only strong enough to support two people at a time. Not all people take the same time to cross the bridge. Times for each person: 1 min, 2 mins, 7 mins and 10 mins. What is the shortest time needed for all four of them to cross the bridge?
It is 17 mins. 1 and 2 go first, then 1 comes back. Then 7 and 10 go and 2 comes back. Then 1 and 2 go again, it makes a total of 17 minutes.
93.70 %
40 votes


Smartest kid in the world

Jake and his friend Paco had very famous challenge sessions at their school. One would suggest something they could do, and the other would prove it wrong somehow. One day, Jake surprised Paco by stating: "I can answer any question in the world." Sure that he would win the challenge, Paco accepted the task of proving it wrong. He wrote up a test full of impossible questions. After a while, Jake returned the test. Paco unbelievably lost the challenge and told Jake he could indeed answer any question. How did Jake win?
For all the impossible questions, Jake simply wrote "I don't know".
93.84 %
41 votes


A Liar OR a Truth Teller

You're walking down a path and come to two doors. One of the doors leads to a life of prosperity and happiness, and the other door leads to a life of misery and sorrow. You don't know which door is which. In front of the door is ONE man. You know that this man either always lies, or always tells the truth, but you don't know which. The man knows which door is which. You are allowed to ask the man ONE yes-or-no question to figure out which door to go through. To make things more difficult, the man is very self-centered, so you are only allowed to ask him a question about what he thinks or knows; your question cannot involve what any other person or object (real or hypothetical) might say. What question should you ask to ensure you go through the good door?
You should ask: "If I asked you if the good door is on the left, would you say yes?" Notice that this is subtly different than asking "Is the good door on the left?", in that you are asking him IF he would say yes to that question, not what his answer to the question would be. Thus you are asking a question about a question, and if it ends up being the liar you are talking to, this will cause him to lie about a lie and thus tell the truth. The four possible cases are: The man is a truth-teller and the good door is on the left. He will say "yes". The man is a truth-teller and the good door is on the right. He will say "no". The man is a liar and the good door is on the left. He will say "yes" because if you asked him "Is the good door on the left?", he would lie and say "no", and so when you ask him if he would say "yes", he will lie and say "yes". The man is a liar and the good door is on the right. Similar to the previous example, he'll say "no". So regardless of whether the man is a truth-teller or a liar, this question will get a "yes" if the door on the left is the good door, and a "no" if it's not.
93.98 %
42 votes


Unusual paragraph

This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching.
The letter "e", which is the most common letter in the English language, does not appear once in the long paragraph.
94.36 %
45 votes


The ladder

A boy fell off a 30 meter ladder but did not get hurt. Why not?
He fell off the bottom step.
93.70 %
40 votes


Question's wallet

After recent events, Question Mark is annoyed with his brother, Skid Mark. Skid thought it would be funny to hide Question's wallet. He told Question that he would get it back if he finds it. So, first off, Skid laid five colored keys in a row. One of them is a key to a room where Skid is hiding Question's wallet. Using the clues, can you determine the order of the keys and which is the right key? Red: This key is somewhere to the left of the key to the door. Blue: This key is not at one of the ends. Green: This key is three spaces away from the key to the door (2 between). Yellow: This key is next to the key to the door. Orange: This key is in the middle.
The order (from left to right) is Green, Red,Orange, Blue, Yellow. The blue key is the key to the door.
94.48 %
46 votes


The sequence

1 11 21 1211 111221 312211 What is the next number in the sequence?
The next number it: 13112221. Each number describes the previous number. Starting with 1, the second line describes it 11 (one 1). Then the third line describes 11 as 21 (two 1’s). Then the fourth line describes 21 as 1211 (one 2, one 1). This is the pattern.
90.63 %
26 votes


Three friends

At a local bar, three friends, Mr. Green, Mr. Red and Mr. Blue, were having a drink. One man was wearing a red suit; one a green suit; and the other a blue suit. "Have you noticed," said the man in the blue suit, "that although our suits have colors corresponding to our names, not one of us is wearing a suit that matches our own names?" Mr. Red looked at the other two and said, "You're absolutely correct." What color suit is each man wearing?
Since none of the men are wearing the color of suit that corresponds to their names, and Mr. Red was replying to the man in the blue suit, it had to be Mr. Green to whom he replied. We then know that Mr. Green is wearing a blue suit. Therefore, Mr. Red is wearing a green suit and Mr. Blue is wearing a red suit.
93.98 %
42 votes