Riddle #614



A sign on the barber's door says "I shave only those who do not shave themselves." Does the barber shave himself?
There is no answer, it's a paradox. It cannot be made to work.
93.22 %
37 votes

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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.
90.26 %
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Night watchman

Once there was a night watchman who had been caught several times sleeping on the job. The boss issued the final warning. On the next night he was caught with his head on his hand and his elbows on the desk. "Aha, I've caught you again," exclaimed the boss. The watchman's eyes popped open immediately and he knew what had happened. Being a quick thinking man, he said one word before looking up at the boss. The boss apologized profusely and went home. What was the one word?
The one word was "AMEN", thus making the Boss believe he was praying rather than sleeping.
93.22 %
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One equals two

Consider the following explanation for why 1=2: 1. Start out Let y = x 2. Multiply through by x xy = x2 3. Subtract y2 from each side xy - y2 = x2 - y2 4. Factor each side y(x-y) = (x+y)(x-y) 5. Divide both sides by (x-y) y = x+y 6. Divide both sides by y y/y = x/y + y/y 7. And so... 1 = x/y + 1 8. Since x=y, x/y = 1 1 = 1 + 1 8. And so... 1 = 2 How is this possible?
Step 5 is invalid, because we are dividing by (x-y), and since x=y, we are thus dividing by 0. This is an invalid mathematical operation (division by 0), and so by not followinng basic mathematical rules, we are able to get strange results like these.
89.58 %
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He is my son

A boy was rushed to the hospital emergency room. The ER doctor saw the boy and said, "I cannot operate on this boy. He is my son." But the doctor was not the boy's father. How could that be?
The doctor was his mom.
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Clever thief sentenced to death

In olden days you are a clever thief charged with treason against the king and sentenced to death. But the king decides to be a little lenient and lets you choose your own way to die. What way should you choose? Remember, your're clever!
I would have chosen to die of "old age". Did you?
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The mystery of Cindy

The day before yesterday Cindy was 17. Next year she will be 20. How can this be?
The statement was made on January 1. Cindy's birthday is on December 31. She was 17 the day before yesterday (Dec 30). She was 18 yesterday. She will be 19 this year (Dec 31) and 20 next year.
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Summer’s Birthday

Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible?
Billy lives in the Southern Hemisphere.
84.17 %
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Three positive whole numbers

Find three positive whole numbers that have the same answer added together or when multiplied together.
1,2, & 3. 1 x 2 x 3 = 6 and 1 + 2 + 3 = 6
92.67 %
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King's jester in Medieval England

In medieval England, a king's jester was imprisoned (the king didn't like the jester's jokes). The jester was locked in a room at the top of a high tower. The room had only one tiny window. The jester found a piece of rope. It wasn't long enough to reach the ground. So, he divided it in half and tied the two halves together. This made the rope long enough and he escaped. How?
He divided the rope vertically, not horizontally.
93.39 %
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Fuzzy Math in the Hardware Store

You overhear a man talking to a clerk in a hardware store. The clerk says "One will cost you 12 cents, ten will cost your 24 cents, and one hundred will cost you 36 cents." What is the man buying?
The man is buying physical numbers to nail to the front of his house. Each number costs 12 cents, and so "1" will cost 12 cents, "10" will cost 24 cents, and "100" will cost 36 cents.
91.55 %
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