# Riddle #793

## Quick bridge-crossing

Four people come to an old bridge in the middle of the night. The bridge is rickety and can only support 2 people at a time. The people have one flashlight, which needs to be held by any group crossing the bridge because of how dark it is. Each person can cross the bridge at a different rate: one person takes 1 minute, one person takes 2 minutes, one takes 5 minutes, and the one person takes 10 minutes. If two people are crossing the bridge together, it will take both of them the time that it takes the slower person to cross. Unfortunately, there are only 17 minutes worth of batteries left in the flashlight. How can the four travellers cross the bridge before time runs out?
The two keys here are: You want the two slowest people to cross together to consolidate their slow crossing times. You want to make sure the faster people are set up in order to bring the flashlight back quickly after the slow people cross. So the order is: 1-minute and 2-minute cross (2 minute elapsed) 1-minute comes back (3 minutes elapsed) 5-minute and 10-minute cross (13 minutes elapsed) 2-minute comes back (15 minutes elapsed) 1-minute and 2-minute cross (17 minutes elapsed)
73.90 %

## Sphinx riddle

In classic mythology, there is the story of the Sphinx, a monster with the body of a lion and the upper part of a woman. The Sphinx lay crouched on the top of a rock along the highroad to the city of Thebes, and stopped all travellers passing by, proposing to them a riddle. Those who failed to answer the riddle correctly were killed. This is the riddle the Sphinx asked the travellers: "What animal walks on four legs in the morning, two legs during the day, and three legs in the evening?"
This is part of the story of Oedipus, who replied to the Sphinx, "Man, who in childhood creeps on hands and knees, in manhood walks erect, and in old age with the aid of a staff." Morning, day and night are representative of the stages of life. The Sphinx was so mortified at the solving of her riddle that she cast herself down from the rock and perished.
78.30 %

## Pirate Pete

Pete told them to form a circle around him. All the squad was facing in at Pete, ready to shoot, when they realized that everyone who missed would likely end up shooting another squad member. So no one dared to fire, knowing the risk. Thus at sundown he was released.
78.08 %

## You bury me when I am alive

You bury me when I am alive, and dig me up when I die. What am I?
A plant.
77.74 %

## Two barbers

A man was in a small town for the day, and needed a haircut. He noticed that there were only two barbers in town, and decided to apply a bit of logical deduction to choosing the best one. Looking at their shops, he saw that the first one was very neat and the barber was clean shaven with a nice haircut. The other shop was a mess, and the barber there needed a shave and had a bad cut besides. Why did the man choose to go to the barber with the messy shop?
Since even barbers rarely try to cut their own hair, and there are only two barbers in town, they must cut each other's hair. The one with the neat hair must have it cut by the one with the bad haircut, who must then be better one, considering his own haircut.
77.59 %

## Two convicts and the escape plan

Two convicts are locked in a cell. There is an unbarred window high up in the cell. No matter if they stand on the bed or one on top of the other they can't reach the window to escape. They then decide to tunnel out. However, they give up with the tunnelling because it will take too long. Finally one of the convicts figures out how to escape from the cell. What is his plan?
His plan is to dig the tunnel and pile up the dirt to climb up to the window to escape.
77.53 %

## An ancient invention

What is the ancient invention that allows people to see through walls?
A window.
77.03 %

## Live or die probability puzzle

Hussey has been caught stealing goats, and is brought into court for justice. The judge is his ex-wife Amy Hussey, who wants to show him some sympathy, but the law clearly calls for two shots to be taken at Hussey from close range. To make things a little better for Hussey, Amy Hussey tells him she will place two bullets into a six-chambered revolver in successive order. She will spin the chamber, close it, and take one shot. If Hussey is still alive, she will then either take another shot, or spin the chamber again before shooting. Hussey is a bit incredulous that his own ex-wife would carry out the punishment, and a bit sad that she was always such a rule follower. He steels himself as Amy Hussey loads the chambers, spins the revolver, and pulls the trigger. Whew! It was blank. Then Amy Hussey asks, 'Do you want me to pull the trigger again, or should I spin the chamber a second time before pulling the trigger?' What should Hussey choose?
Hussey should have Amy Hussey pull the trigger again without spinning. We know that the first chamber Amy Hussey fired was one of the four empty chambers. Since the bullets were placed in consecutive order, one of the empty chambers is followed by a bullet, and the other three empty chambers are followed by another empty chamber. So if Hussey has Amy Hussey pull the trigger again, the probability that a bullet will be fired is 1/4. If Amy Hussey spins the chamber again, the probability that she shoots Hussey would be 2/6, or 1/3, since there are two possible bullets that would be in firing position out of the six possible chambers that would be in position.
76.99 %

## 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.
76.91 %