Riddle #683


One lightbulb and 3 switches

You're standing in front of a room with one lightbulb inside of it. You cannot see if it is on or off. Outside the room, there are 3 switches in the off positions. You may turn the switches any way you want to. You stop turning the switches, enter the room and know which switch controls the lightbulb. How?
You turn 2 switches "on" and leave 1 switch "off" and wait about a minute. Then enter the room, but just before you enter, turn one switch from "on" to "off". Once in the room, feel the lightbulb - if it is warm, but off, it has to be the last switch you turned off. If it is on, it has to be the switch left on. If it is cold and is off, it has to be the switch you left in the off position.
93.22 %
37 votes

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Subtract 5 from 25

How many times can you subtract 5 from 25?
Just once, because after you subtract anything from it, it's not 25 anymore.
93.70 %
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Six jugs are in a row. The first three are filled with coke, and the last three are empty. By moving only one glass, can you arrange them so that the full and the empty glasses alternate?
Move and then pour all coke from second glass to fifth glass.
93.22 %
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Secret password

It was a grandeur party. In order to filter the uninvited guests, the security guard was assigned a task to check the secret password. The guests invited by the royal family also were shared with the secret password. John wasn’t an invited guest. He learned that the password is needed to make an entry. He hides himself and started watching the guests and the security. The first guest comes. Security told him, TWELVE and the guest replied SIX. He wished him and allowed him to enter. The second guest comes. Security told him SIX and the guest replied THREE! He was too allowed. John made an entry as third guest. Security told him EIGHT and John replied FOUR. He was thrown out of the party! Why?
The answer should be five. The password is not half of the digit, but the number that represents the number of digits told by security.
90.04 %
42 votes


10 + 4 = 2

Can you make 10 plus 4 = 2?
Yes. 10 o'clock + 4 hours = 2 o'clock.
89.58 %
40 votes


24 from Spare Parts

Using only and all the numbers 3, 3, 7, 7, along with the arithmetic operations +,-,*, and /, can you come up with a calculation that gives the number 24? No decimal points allowed. [For example, to get the number 14, we could do 3 * (7 - (7 / 3))]
7 * ((3 / 7) + 3) = 24
93.55 %
39 votes


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.
93.84 %
41 votes


The farmer, the engineer, the physicist, and the mathematician

A farmer challenges an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician to fence off the largest amount of area using the least amount of fence. The engineer made his fence in a circle and said it was the most efficient. The physicist made a long line and said that the length was infinite. Then he said that fencing half of the Earth was the best. The mathematician laughed at the others and with his design, beat the others. What did he do?
84.80 %
46 votes


Cottage Life

A wealthy man lives alone in a small cottage. Being partially handicapped, he had everything delivered to his cottage. The mailman was delivering a letter one Thursday when he noticed that the front door was ajar. Through the opening he could see the man's body lying in a pool of dried blood. When a police officer arrived he surveyed the scene. On the porch were two bottles of warm milk, Monday's newspaper, a catalog, flyers, and unopened mail. The police officer suspects it was foul play. Who does he suspect and why?
The police officer suspects the newspaper delivery person. The absence of Tuesday's and Wednesday's newspaper indicates that the delivery person knew there was no one there to read it.
78.82 %
86 votes