Riddle #775

logic

Coins on a table

Your friend pulls out a perfectly circular table and a sack of quarters, and proposes a game. "We'll take turns putting a quarter on the table," he says. "Each quarter must lay flat on the table, and cannot sit on top of any other quarters. The last person to successfully put a quarter on the table wins." He gives you the choice to go first or second. What should you do, and what should your strategy be to win?
You should go first, and put a quarter at the exact center of the table. Then, each time your opponent places a quarter down, you should place your next quarter in the symmetric position on the opposite side of the table. This will ensure that you always have a place to set down our quarter, and eventually your oppponent will run out of space.
94.36 %
45 votes

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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.
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The best archer ever

A duke was hunting in the forest with his men-at-arms and servants when he came across a tree. Upon it, archery targets were painted and smack in the middle of each was an arrow. "Who is this incredibly fine archer?" cried the duke. "I must find him!" After continuing through the forest for a few miles he came across a small boy carrying a bow and arrow. Eventually the boy admitted that it was he who shot the arrows plumb in the center of all the targets. "You didn't just walk up to the targets and hammer the arrows into the middle, did you?" asked the duke worriedly. "No my lord. I shot them from a hundred paces. I swear it by all that I hold holy." "That is truly astonishing," said the duke. "I hereby admit you into my service." The boy thanked him profusely. "But I must ask one favor in return," the duke continued. "You must tell me how you came to be such an outstanding shot." How'd he get to be such a good shot?
The boy shot the arrow, then painted the circle around it.
93.84 %
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Red and blue marbles

Your friend shows you two jars, one with 100 red marbles in it, the other with 100 blue marbles in it. He proposes a game. He'll put the two jars behind his back and tell you to pick one of them at random. You'll then close your eyes, he'll hand you the jar you picked, and you'll pick a random marble from that jar. You win if the marble you pick is blue, and you lose otherwise. To give you the best shot at winning, your friend gives you the two jars before the game starts and says you can move the marbles around however you'd like, as long as all 200 marbles are in the 2 jars (that is, you can't throw any marbles away). How should you move the marbles around to give yourself the best chance of picking a blue marble?
Put one blue marble in one jar, and put the rest of the marbles in the other jar. This will give you just about a 75% chance of picking a blue marble.
94.11 %
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logic

Government School Inspector

Last week, the local Primary school was visited by the Government School Inspector who was there to check that teachers were performing well in their respective classes. He was very impressed with one particular teacher. The Inspector noticed that each time the class teacher asked a question, every child in the class put up their hands enthusiastically to answer it. More surprisingly, whilst the teacher chose a different child to answer the questions each time, the answers were always correct. Why would this be?
The children were instructed to ALL raise their hands whenever a question was asked. It did not matter whether they knew the answer or not. If they did not know the answer, however, they would raise their LEFT hand. If they knew the answer, they would raise their RIGHT hand. The class teacher would choose a different child each time, but always the ones who had their RIGHT hand raised.
93.84 %
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Difficult pop quiz

A teacher decides to give a pop quiz one day but all of her students refuse to take the quiz thinking that the teacher will call off the quiz. She can give only one of these students a detention for skipping the quiz. All of the students know each other’s names and if a student knows he/she is getting a detention they take the quiz. How can she threaten her students with the single detention so they all take the quiz?
She tells them that she will give the student who skips the quiz whose name comes first alphabetically a detention. This student won’t skip because they know they are getting a detention if they do. The next person alphabetically will then know that they will get a detention so they won’t skip either, and so on.
89.33 %
39 votes

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The girlfriend

It was a man's birthday. He lay dead in the lounge room of his house. Next to his body was a note, written in pencil. The note read 'Happy Birthday, Friend'. The victim had a girlfriend and the police suspected her ex-boyfriend. They could find no obvious evidence. While searching the ex-boyfriend's car, the police saw an envelope with the girlfriend's address written on it. They thought they would get the handwriting checked against the note. The scientist in charge came in early to work the next day; it was 7am. He looked out his window which faced east and stared at the rising sun and it was then that he realised how to prove the ex-boyfriend killed the man, even though the girlfriend's address was not written in the same handwriting. How did he do it?
The scientist's office faced east, and the sun was coming in through the window at a very low angle. He saw some very faint shadows on the surface of the envelope. He looked closer. There were the words embossed on the paper. They read "Happy Birthday, Friend". The ex-boyfriend had forgotten that a pencil leaves an impression on paper beneath the page written on.
86.32 %
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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.
94.11 %
43 votes

logicmathprobability

Threedoors, one prize

You are on a gameshow and the host shows you three doors. Behind one door is a suitcase with $1 million in it, and behind the other two doors are sacks of coal. The host tells you to choose a door, and that the prize behind that door will be yours to keep. You point to one of the three doors. The host says, "Before we open the door you pointed to, I am going to open one of the other doors." He points to one of the other doors, and it swings open, revealing a sack of coal behind it. "Now I will give you a choice," the host tells you. "You can either stick with the door you originally chose, or you can choose to switch to the other unopened door." Should you switch doors, stick with your original choice, or does it not matter?
You should switch doors. There are 3 possibilities for the first door you picked: You picked the first wrong door - so if you switch, you win You picked the other wrong door - again, if you switch, you win You picked the correct door - if you switch, you lose Each of these cases are equally likely. So if you switch, there is a 2/3 chance that you will win (because there is a 2/3 chance that you are in one of the first two cases listed above), and a 1/3 chance you'll lose. So switching is a good idea. Another way to look at this is to imagine that you're on a similar game show, except with 100 doors. 99 of those doors have coal behind them, 1 has the money. The host tells you to pick a door, and you point to one, knowing almost certainly that you did not pick the correct one (there's only a 1 in 100 chance). Then the host opens 98 other doors, leave only the door you picked and one other door closed. We know that the host was forced to leave the door with money behind it closed, so it is almost definitely the door we did not pick initially, and we would be wise to switch.
93.55 %
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