logicAt 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.

## Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.

logicmathThe owner of a banana plantation has a camel. He wants to transport his 3000 bananas to the market, which is located after the desert. The distance between his banana plantation and the market is about 1000 kilometer. So he decided to take his camel to carry the bananas. The camel can carry at the maximum of 1000 bananas at a time, and it eats one banana for every kilometer it travels.
What is the most bananas you can bring over to your destination?

First of all, the brute-force approach does not work. If the Camel starts by picking up the 1000 bananas and try to reach point B, then he will eat up all the 1000 bananas on the way and there will be no bananas left for him to return to point A.
So we have to take an approach that the Camel drops the bananas in between and then returns to point A to pick up bananas again.
Since there are 3000 bananas and the Camel can only carry 1000 bananas, he will have to make 3 trips to carry them all to any point in between.
When bananas are reduced to 2000 then the Camel can shift them to another point in 2 trips and when the number of bananas left are <= 1000, then he should not return and only move forward.
In the first part, P1, to shift the bananas by 1Km, the Camel will have to
Move forward with 1000 bananas – Will eat up 1 banana in the way forward
Leave 998 banana after 1 km and return with 1 banana – will eat up 1 banana in the way back
Pick up the next 1000 bananas and move forward – Will eat up 1 banana in the way forward
Leave 998 banana after 1 km and return with 1 banana – will eat up 1 banana in the way back
Will carry the last 1000 bananas from point a and move forward – will eat up 1 banana
Note: After point 5 the Camel does not need to return to point A again.
So to shift 3000 bananas by 1km, the Camel will eat up 5 bananas.
After moving to 200 km the Camel would have eaten up 1000 bananas and is now left with 2000 bananas.
Now in the Part P2, the Camel needs to do the following to shift the Bananas by 1km.
Move forward with 1000 bananas – Will eat up 1 banana in the way forward
Leave 998 banana after 1 km and return with 1 banana – will eat up this 1 banana in the way back
Pick up the next 1000 bananas and move forward – Will eat up 1 banana in the way forward
Note: After point 3 the Camel does not need to return to the starting point of P2.
So to shift 2000 bananas by 1km, the Camel will eat up 3 bananas.
After moving to 333 km the camel would have eaten up 1000 bananas and is now left with the last 1000 bananas.
The Camel will actually be able to cover 333.33 km, I have ignored the decimal part because it will not make a difference in this example.
Hence the length of part P2 is 333 Km.
Now, for the last part, P3, the Camel only has to move forward. He has already covered 533 (200+333) out of 1000 km in Parts P1 & P2. Now he has to cover only 467 km and he has 1000 bananas.
He will eat up 467 bananas on the way forward, and at point B the Camel will be left with only 533 Bananas.

logicmathA witch owns a field containing many gold mines. She hires one man at a time to mine this gold for her. She promises 10% of what a man mines in a day, and he gives her the rest. Because she is blind, she has three magic bags who can talk. They report how much gold they held each day, and this is how she finds out if men are cheating her. Upon getting the job, each man agrees that if he isn't honest, then he will be turned into stone. So around the witch's mines, many statues lay!
Now comes an honest man named Garry. He accepts the job gladly. The witch, who didn't trust him said, "If I wrongly accuse you of cheating me, then I'll be turned into stone."
That night, Garry, having honestly done his first day's job, overheard the bags talking to the witch. He then formulated a plan... The next night, he submitted his gold, and kept 1.6 pounds of gold. Later, the witch talked with her bags. The first bag said it held 16 pounds that day. The second one said it held 5 pounds. The third one said it held 2 pounds. Beaming, the witch confronted Garry. "You scoundrel, you think you could fool me. Now you shall turn into stone!" the witch cried. One second later, the witch was hard as a rock, and very grey-looking. How did Garry brilliantly deceive the witch?

Garry put 2 lbs. in bag #1. 3 lbs. were put in bag #2. 11 lb. were put into bag #3. He then put bag #2 into bag #3, and bag #1 into bag #2. The bags only felt the weight of the gold above it. Thus they inadvertently gave the message that 23 lbs. were taken.

logicA poor miller living with his daughter comes onto hard times and is not able to pay his rent. His evil landlord threatens to evict them unless the daughter marries him.
The daughter, not wanting to marry the landlord but fearing that her father won't be able to take being evicted, suggests the following proposition to the landlord. He will put two stones, one white and one black, into a bag in front of the rest of the townspeople. She will pick one stone out of the bag. If she picks the white stone, the landlord will forgive their debt and let them stay, but if she picks the black stone, she will marry the landlord, and her father will be evicted anyway.
The landlord agrees to the proposal. Everybody meets in the center of the town. The landlord picks up two stones to put in the bag, but the daughter notices that he secretly picked two black stones.
She is about to reveal his deception but realizes that this would embarrass him in front of the townspeople, and he would evict them. She quickly comes up with another plan. What can she do that will allow the landlord save face, while also ensuring that she and her father can stay and that she won't have to marry the landlord?

The daughter picks a stone out, keeps it in her closed hand, and proclaims "this is my stone." She then throws it to the ground, and says "look at the other stone in the bag, and if it's black, that means I picked the white stone." The landlord will reveal the other stone, which is obviously black, and the daughter will have succeeded. The landlord was never revealed as a cheater and thus was able to save face.

cleanlogicshortWhat 8 letter word can have a letter taken away and it still makes a word. Take another letter away and it still makes a word. Keep on doing that until you have one letter left. What is the word?

The word is starting! starting, staring, string, sting, sing, sin, in, i.

cleanfunnylogicshortA man rode out of town on Sunday, he stayed a whole night at a hotel and rode back to town the next day on Sunday. How is this possible?

His Horse was called Sunday!

cleanlogicshortWhat has a foot but no legs?

A snail.

logicThe Pope, Beyonce, Barack Obama, and Bill Gates are on the same plane.
There are only 3 parachutes left for the 4 of them.
Obama says: "As the President, I think I should have the right to have a parachute, because I rule millions of people in the greatest nation of all."
Beyonce says: "As one of the greatest singers of all-time, I think I should deserve to be safe. I bring tears and laughter to millions of people, and I'm an important contributor to pop music."
Bill Gates says: "As one of the richest successful company owners, I think I should live because I'm on top of the economics cycle, creating jobs and incomes for millions of people. I am a wealthy and intelligent man."
Finally, the Pope says: "I'm an old, religious man. I lived a life that's full, I helped millions of people find their way through God, I'm ready to let go of a parachute and to face my fate."
Which one of them will abandon the parachute and die?

Did I ever mention that the plane was crashing? No one's gonna die.

logicAn iron horse with a flaxen tail.
The faster the horse runs,
the shorter his tail becomes.
What is it?

A needle and thread.

cleanlogicmathshortIf you multiply all the numbers on the telephone, what is the answer?

0 (Remember, their is a zero!)

logicmathprobabilityYou have a basket of infinite size (meaning it can hold an infinite number of objects). You also have an infinite number of balls, each with a different number on it, starting at 1 and going up (1, 2, 3, etc...).
A genie suddenly appears and proposes a game that will take exactly one minute. The game is as follows: The genie will start timing 1 minute on his stopwatch. Where there is 1/2 a minute remaining in the game, he'll put balls 1, 2, and 3 into the basket. At the exact same moment, you will grab a ball out of the basket (which could be one of the balls he just put in, or any ball that is already in the basket) and throw it away.
Then when 3/4 of the minute has passed, he'll put in balls 4, 5, and 6, and again, you'll take a ball out and throw it away.
Similarly, at 7/8 of a minute, he'll put in balls 7, 8, and 9, and you'll take out and throw away one ball.
Similarly, at 15/16 of a minute, he'll put in balls 10, 11, and 12, and you'll take out and throw away one ball.
And so on....After the minute is up, the genie will have put in an infinite number of balls, and you'll have thrown away an infinite number of balls.
Assume that you pull out a ball at the exact same time the genie puts in 3 balls, and that the amount of time this takes is infinitesimally small.
You are allowed to choose each ball that you pull out as the game progresses (for example, you could choose to always pull out the ball that is divisible by 3, which would be 3, then 6, then 9, and so on...).
You play the game, and after the minute is up, you note that there are an infinite number of balls in the basket.
The next day you tell your friend about the game you played with the genie. "That's weird," your friend says. "I played the exact same game with the genie yesterday, except that at the end of my game there were 0 balls left in the basket."
How is it possible that you could end up with these two different results?

Your strategy for choosing which ball to throw away could have been one of many. One such strategy that would leave an infinite number of balls in the basket at the end of the game is to always choose the ball that is divisible by 3 (so 3, then 6, then 9, and so on...). Thus, at the end of the game, any ball of the format 3n+1 (i.e. 1, 4, 7, etc...), or of the format 3n+2 (i.e. 2, 5, 8, etc...) would still be in the basket. Since there will be an infinite number of such balls that the genie has put in, there will be an infinite number of balls in the basket.
Your friend could have had a number of strategies for leaving 0 balls in the basket. Any strategy that guarantees that every ball n will be removed after an infinite number of removals will result in 0 balls in the basket.
One such strategy is to always choose the lowest-numbered ball in the basket. So first 1, then 2, then 3, and so on. This will result in an empty basket at the game's end. To see this, assume that there is some ball in the basket at the end of the game. This ball must have some number n. But we know this ball was thrown out after the n-th round of throwing balls away, so it couldn't be in there. This contradiction shows that there couldn't be any balls left in the basket at the end of the game.
An interesting aside is that your friend could have also used the strategy of choosing a ball at random to throw away, and this would have resulted in an empty basket at the end of the game. This is because after an infinite number of balls being thrown away, the probability of any given ball being thrown away reaches 100% when they are chosen at random.