Riddle #728

logic

Going to St. Ives

As I was going to St. Ives I met a man with seven wives The seven wives had seven sacks The seven sacks had seven cats The seven cats had seven kits Kits, cats, sacks and wives How many were going to St. Ives?
One person is going to St. Ives (the narrator). Because the narrator "met" all of the others mentioned in the poem, this implies that they walked past each other in opposite directions, and thus none of the wives, sacks, cats, or kits was actually headed to St. Ives. If you (like many) think this answer is a bit silly, you can assume that all the people, sacks, and animals mentioned were heading for St. Ives. In this case, we would have 1 narrator + 1 man + 7 wives + 49 sacks + 343 cats + 2401 kits = 2802 total going to St. Ives. However, this isn't the traditional answer.
91.22 %
48 votes

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Cruising along

You see a boat filled with people. It has not sunk, but when you look again you don't see a single person on the boat. Why?
All the people were married.
86.62 %
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To sentries

Two sentries were on duty outside a barracks. One faced up the road to watch for anyone approaching from the North. The other looked down the road to see if anyone was approached from the South. Suddenly one of them said to the other, "Why are you smiling?" How did he know that his companion was smiling?
Although the guards were looking in opposite directions, they were not back to back. They were facing each other.
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Escape strtegy

Your bike crashed into the dark forest and suddenly you saw and deadly panther and jaguar. You got just one bullet. What is your escape strategy?
Simple, you must shoot the panther and drive off in the jaguar (car).
86.32 %
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Mr. Black, Mr. Gray, and Mr. White

Mr. Black, Mr. Gray, and Mr. White are fighting in a truel. They each get a gun and take turns shooting at each other until only one person is left. Mr. Black, who hits his shot 1/3 of the time, gets to shoot first. Mr. Gray, who hits his shot 2/3 of the time, gets to shoot next, assuming he is still alive. Mr. White, who hits his shot all the time, shoots next, assuming he is also alive. The cycle repeats. All three competitors know one another's shooting odds. If you are Mr. Black, where should you shoot first for the highest chance of survival?
He should shoot at the ground. If Mr. Black shoots the ground, it is Mr. Gray's turn. Mr. Gray would rather shoot at Mr. White than Mr. Black, because he is better. If Mr. Gray kills Mr. White, it is just Mr. Black and Mr. Gray left, giving Mr. Black a fair chance of winning. If Mr. Gray does not kill Mr. White, it is Mr. White's turn. He would rather shoot at Mr. Gray and will definitely kill him. Even though it is now Mr. Black against Mr. White, Mr. Black has a better chance of winning than before.
90.26 %
43 votes

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Leave 6

Take 9 from 6, 10 from 9, 50 from 40 and leave 6. How is it possible?
SIX - 9 (IX) = S 9 (IX) - 10 (X) = I 40 (XL) - 50 (L) = X
80.44 %
42 votes

logic

Hidden message

Find a short hidden message in the list of words below. carrot fiasco nephew spring rabbit sonata tailor bureau legacy corona travel bikini object happen soften picnic option waited effigy adverb report accuse animal shriek esteem oyster
Starting with the first two words, take the first and last letters, reading from left to right. Example: Carrot fiascO "from these pairs" the message is as follows: CONGRATULATIONS CODE BREAKER
88.42 %
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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.
86.62 %
42 votes

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Colored Hats Against The Wall

100 men are in a room, each wearing either a white or black hat. Nobody knows the color of his own hat, although everyone can see everyone else's hat. The men are not allowed to communicate with each other at all (and thus nobody will ever be able to figure out the color of his own hat). The men need to line up against the wall such that all the men with black hats are next to each other, and all the men with white hats are next to each other. How can they do this without communicating? You can assume they came up with a shared strategy before coming into the room.
The men go to stand agains the wall one at a time. If a man goes to stand against the wall and all of the men already against the wall have the same color hat, then he just goes and stands at either end of the line. However, if a man goes to stand against the wall and there are men with both black and white hats already against the wall, he goes and stands between the two men with different colored hats. This will maintain the state that the line contains men with one colored hats on one side, and men with the other colored hats on the other side, and when the last man goes and stands against the wall, we'll still have the desired outcome.
91.39 %
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