Riddle #721

logic

Round Manhole Covers

Why are manhole covers round? Do manhole covers really need to be circular?
Manhole covers are round so that they won't fall through the hole into the sewer below them. No matter how you turn the cover, you won't be able to push the cover through the hole. However, if you were to have square manhole covers, you would be able to rotate the cover such that one of the edges of the square cover is lined up with the diagonal line of the square hole, which would allow the cover to fall through, causing countless problems that the general public would rather avoid.
92.86 %
35 votes

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logic

The manager

Mad Ade's Uncle, Phil Space, who doesn't like what passes for art these days, ran into the National Gallery and caused millions of pounds of damage to several masterpieces. Later that day, Uncle Phil was invited to meet the manager and was warmly thanked for his actions. How come?
Uncle Phil is a fireman The water from his house damaged the paintings as he put out a fire in the Gallery, but in the process rescuing hundreds of millions of pounds worth.
93.84 %
41 votes

logic

Defending the bridge

Two soldiers, William and Ethan, are assigned to guard a bridge, which connects the West and East sides of the Great Kingdom. Each soldier is ordered to stand at an end of the bridge to make sure no criminals cross. On one side of the bridge stands William, watching over the West side of the kingdom, and making sure no shady characters try to cross the bridge. Ethan stands on the other side of the bridge, facing the East side of the kingdom with his rifle at the ready in case any criminals try to pass across. "Any criminals today?" William asks. Ethan rolls his eyes. "What do you think?" he asks. "You roll your eyes too much," William says. How could William tell that Ethan was rolling his eyes?
William is on the east side of the bridge, facing the West side of the kingdom, while Ethan is on the west side of the bridge, facing the East side of the kingdom. So William and Ethan are facing each other, and can see each other's faces.
93.55 %
39 votes

logicshort

Akbar and Birbal

One day, Emperor Akbar posed a question to Birbal. He asked him what Birbal would choose if he offered either justice or a gold coin. "The gold coin," said Birbal without hesitation. On hearing this, Akbar was taken aback. "You would prefer a gold coin to justice?" he asked, not believing his own ears. "Yes," said Birbal. The other courtiers were amazed by Birbal's display of idiocy. They were full of glee that Birbal had finally managed himself to do what these courtiers had not been able to do for a long time - discredit Birbal in the emperor's eyes! "I would have been disappointed if this was the choice made even by my lowliest of servants," continued the emperor. "But coming from you it's not only disappointing, but shocking and sad. I did not know you were so debased!" How did Birbal justify his answer to the enraged and hurt Emperor?
"One asks for what one does not have, Your Majesty." said Birbal, smiling gently and in quiet tones. "Under Your Majesty´s rule, justice is available to everybody. But I am a spendthrift and always short of money and therefore I said I would choose the gold coin." The answer immensely pleased the emperor and respect for Birbal was once again restored in the emperor's eyes.
93.39 %
38 votes

cleanlogic

Two ropes burning

You have two lengths of rope. Each rope has the property that if you light it on fire at one end, it will take exactly 60 minutes to burn to the other end. Note that the ropes will not burn at a consistent speed the entire time (for example, it's possible that the first 90% of a rope will burn in 1 minute, and the last 10% will take the additional 59 minutes to burn). Given these two ropes and a matchbook, can you find a way to measure out exactly 45 minutes?
The key observation here is that if you light a rope from both ends at the same time, it will burn in 1/2 the time it would have burned in if you had lit it on just one end. Using this insight, you would light both ends of one rope, and one end of the other rope, all at the same time. The rope you lit at both ends will finish burning in 30 minutes. Once this happens, light the second end of the second rope. It will burn for another 15 minutes (since it would have burned for 30 more minutes without lighting the second end), completing the 45 minutes.
92.00 %
53 votes

logicmath

Cards in the dark

You are standing in a pitch-dark room. A friend walks up and hands you a normal deck of 52 cards. He tells you that 13 of the 52 cards are face-up, the rest are face-down. These face-up cards are distributed randomly throughout the deck. Your task is to split up the deck into two piles, using all the cards, such that each pile has the same number of face-up cards. The room is pitch-dark, so you can't see the deck as you do this. How can you accomplish this seemingly impossible task?
Take the first 13 cards off the top of the deck and flip them over. This is the first pile. The second pile is just the remaining 39 cards as they started. This works because if there are N face-up cards in within the first 13 cards, then there will be (13 - N) face up cards in the remaining 39 cards. When you flip those first 13 cards, N of which are face-up, there will now be N cards face-down, and therefore (13 - N) cards face-up, which, as stated, is the same number of face-up cards in the second pile.
94.48 %
46 votes

cleanlogic

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.
88.79 %
37 votes

logicshort

Egyptian coin

An archeologist claims he found a Roman coin dated 46 B.C. in Egypt. How much should Louvre Museum pay for the coin? Note: Roman coins can really be found in Egypt
Nothing. That coin is as phony as a three dollar bill. In 46 B.C., they wouldn't have known how many years before Christ it was.
93.39 %
38 votes

logic

Toward the sunset

A man and woman run through a field holding hands. They bound toward the sunset, happy as can be. Suddenly, the man moves off of his straight-line course and starts veering to his left. At the same time, the woman begins running off to her right. They continue this for a full minute, but never let go of each others' hands. How is this possible?
The man was facing forward, but the woman was running backwards. The man's right hand was holding the woman's right hand. They both veered in the same geographic direction, but it was the man's left and the woman's right becaus the woman was running backwards.
93.55 %
39 votes