Riddle #808

logic

Same Number of Handshakes

At a dinner party, many of the guests exchange greetings by shaking hands with each other while they wait for the host to finish cooking. After all this handshaking, the host, who didn't take part in or see any of the handshaking, gets everybody's attention and says: "I know for a fact that at least two people at this party shook the same number of other people's hands." How could the host know this? Note that nobody shakes his or her own hand.
Assume there are N people at the party. Note that the least number of people that someone could shake hands with is 0, and the most someone could shake hands with is N-1 (which would mean that they shook hands with every other person). Now, if everyone at the party really were to have shaken hands with a different number of people, then that means somone must have shaken hands with 0 people, someone must have shaken hands with 1 person, and so on, all the way up to someone who must have shaken hands with N-1 people. This is the only possible scenario, since there are N people at the party and N different numbers of possible people to shake hands with (all the numbers between 0 and N-1 inclusive). But this situation isn't possible, because there can't be both a person who shook hands with 0 people (call him Person 0) and a person who shook hands with N-1 people (call him Person N-1). This is because Person 0 shook hands with nobody (and thus didn't shake hands with Person N-1), but Person N-1 shook hands with everybody (and thus did shake hands with Person 0). This is clearly a contradiction, and thus two of the people at the party must have shaken hands with the same number of people.
93.39 %
38 votes

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logic

Vanilla ice cream

This teaser is based on a weird but true story from a few years ago. A complaint was received by the president of a major car company: "This is the fourth time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me because I must sound crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of having ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. Every night after we've eaten, the family votes on which flavor of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. I recently purchased a new Pantsmobile from your company and since then my trips to the store have created a problem. You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds: 'What is there about a Pantsmobile that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?'" The Pantsmobile company President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but he sent an engineer to check it out anyway. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the grocery store. The man bought vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car it wouldn't start for several minutes. The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate. The car started right away. The second night, he got strawberry and again the car started right up. The third night he bought vanilla and the car failed to start. There was a logical reason why the man's car wouldn't start when he bought vanilla ice cream. What was it? HINT: The man lived in an extremely hot city, and this took place during the summer. Also, the layout of the grocery store was such that it took the man less time to buy vanilla ice cream.
Vanilla ice cream was the most popular flavor and was on display in a little case near the express check out, while the other flavors were in the back of the store and took more time to select and check out. This mattered because the man's car was experiencing vapor lock, which is excess heat boiling the fuel in the fuel line and the resulting air bubbles blocking the flow of fuel until the car has enough time to cool.. When the car was running there was enough pressure to move the bubbles along, but not when the car was trying to start.
93.55 %
39 votes

logicmysteryscary

The Smith family

The Smith family is a very wealthy family that lives in a big, circular home. One morning, Mr. Smith woke up and found his gardener's body. He knew it was one of his employees who had killed him. So he asked them what they were doing in the morning and he got these replies. Driver: "I was outside washing the car." Maid: "I was dusting the corners of the house." Cook: "I was starting to make lunch for later." From the replies he knew who the killer was. Can you guess who it was?
The maid, because they lived in a circular house and she was apparently "dusting the corners" of the house at the time of the murder - the house is round, therefore it has no corners.
77.23 %
69 votes

cleanlogicmath

Take 2 from 5

How can you take 2 from 5 and leave 4?
F I V E. Remove the 2 letters F and E from five and you have IV.
89.81 %
41 votes

logicmystery

The greatest mystery ever

Paul is 20 years old in 1980, but only 15 years old in 1985. How is this possible?
The years are in B.C., not A.D. as you probably assumed. Based on the system we use to number the years, the years counted down in B.C. (but they weren't counting backwards back then).
90.04 %
42 votes

logic

Dead Man in the Desert

A man is found dead in the desert. He is wearing only his underwear. Half of a straw is found nearby. How did this man die?
The man was flying in a hot-air balloon with another man over the desert. The balloon started to go down because of excess weight. Both men would die if they ended up stranded in the desert, so they stripped down to their underwear and threw their clothes off the balloon to try to reduce the weight. Unfortunately, that didn't work well enough. So they drew straws to decide who would jump. The dead man pulled the short straw and jumped out of the balloon.
93.70 %
40 votes

logicmath

5 Pirates Fight for 100 Gold

There are 5 pirates in a ship. Pirates have hierarchy C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5.C1 designation is the highest and C5 is the lowest. These pirates have three characteristics : a. Every pirate is so greedy that he can even take lives to make more money. b. Every pirate desperately wants to stay alive. c. They are all very intelligent.There are total 100 gold coins on the ship. The person with the highest designation on the deck is expected to make the distribution. If the majority on the deck does not agree to the distribution proposed, the highest designation pirate will be thrown out of the ship (or simply killed). The first priority of the pirates is to stay alive and second to maximize the gold they get. Pirate 5 devises a plan which he knows will be accepted for sure and will maximize his gold. What is his plan?
To understand the answer,we need to reduce this problem to only 2 pirates. So what happens if there are only 2 pirates. Pirate 2 can easily propose that he gets all the 100 gold coins. Since he constitutes 50% of the pirates, the proposal has to be accepted leaving Pirate 1 with nothing. Now let’s look at 3 pirates situation, Pirate 3 knows that if his proposal does not get accepted, then pirate 2 will get all the gold and pirate 1 will get nothing. So he decides to bribe pirate 1 with one gold coin. Pirate 1 knows that one gold coin is better than nothing so he has to back pirate 3. Pirate 3 proposes {pirate 1, pirate 2, pirate 3} {1, 0, 99}. Since pirate 1 and 3 will vote for it, it will be accepted. If there are 4 pirates, pirate 4 needs to get one more pirate to vote for his proposal. Pirate 4 realizes that if he dies, pirate 2 will get nothing (according to the proposal with 3 pirates) so he can easily bribe pirate 2 with one gold coin to get his vote. So the distribution will be {0, 1, 0, 99}. Smart right? Now can you figure out the distribution with 5 pirates? Let’s see. Pirate 5 needs 2 votes and he knows that if he dies, pirate 1 and 3 will get nothing. He can easily bribe pirates 1 and 3 with one gold coin each to get their vote. In the end, he proposes {1, 0, 1, 0, 98}. This proposal will get accepted and provide the maximum amount of gold to pirate 5.
91.04 %
47 votes

animalcleanlogic

Horse

A horse is tied to a fifteen-foot rope and there is a bale of hay 25 feet away from him. The horse however is still able to eat from the hay. How is this possible?
The rope wasn't tied to anything.
94.48 %
46 votes

logicmathshort

7+2+5 = ?

5+3+2 = 151022 9+2+4 = 183652 8+6+3 = 482466 5+4+5 = 202541 Then; 7+2+5 = ?
143547.
89.33 %
39 votes