logicYou have 25 horses. When they race, each horse runs at a different, constant pace. A horse will always run at the same pace no matter how many times it races.
You want to figure out which are your 3 fastest horses. You are allowed to race at most 5 horses against each other at a time. You don't have a stopwatch so all you can learn from each race is which order the horses finish in.
What is the least number of races you can conduct to figure out which 3 horses are fastest?

You need to conduct 7 races.
First, separate the horses into 5 groups of 5 horses each, and race the horses in each of these groups. Let's call these groups A, B, C, D and E, and within each group let's label them in the order they finished. So for example, in group A, A1 finished 1st, A2 finished 2nd, A3 finished 3rd, and so on.
We can rule out the bottom two finishers in each race (A4 and A5, B4 and B5, C4 and C5, D4 and D5, and E4 and E5), since we know of at least 3 horses that are faster than them (specifically, the horses that beat them in their respective races).
This table shows our remaining horses:
A1 B1 C1 D1 E1
A2 B2 C2 D2 E2
A3 B3 C3 D3 E3
For our 6th race, let's race the top finishers in each group: A1, B1, C1, D1 and E1. Let's assume that the order of finishers is: A1, B1, C1, D1, E1 (so A1 finished first, E1 finished last).
We now know that horse D1 cannot be in the top 3, because it is slower than C1, B1 and A1 (it lost to them in the 6th race). Thus, D2 and D3 can also not be in the to 3 (since they are slower than D1).
Similarly, E1, E2 and E3 cannot be in the top 3 because they are all slower than D1 (which we already know isn't in the top 3).
Let's look at our updated table, having removed these horses that can't be in the top 3:
A1 B1 C1
A2 B2 C2
A3 B3 C3
We can actually rule out a few more horses. C2 and C3 cannot be in the top 3 because they are both slower than C1 (and thus are also slower than B1 and A1). And B3 also can't be in the top 3 because it is slower than B2 and B1 (and thus is also slower than A1). So let's further update our table:
A1 B1 C1
A2 B2
A3
We actually already know that A1 is our fastest horse (since it directly or indirectly beat all the remaining horses). So now we just need to find the other two fastest horses out of A2, A3, B1, B2 and C1. So for our 7th race, we simply race these 5 horses, and the top two finishers, plus A1, are our 3 fastest horses.

## Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.

logic Fred went to a hardware store in Boston with Alex, Ben, and George. He noted that a hammer cost ten times as much as a screwdriver and a power saw cost ten times as much as a hammer. The storekeeper said that Ben could buy a power saw, George could buy a screwdriver and Alex could buy a hammer. Based on this what would the storekeeper let Fred buy?
Alex's full name is Alexander and Ben's full name is Benjamin. George was Alex's boss and good friend.

Fred could buy all three (the power saw, hammer and screw driver) since he had $111 with him (a $1 bill - George Washington, a $10 Alexander Hamilton, and a $100 bill - Ben Franklin). Boston is in the USA and therefore uses the US currency I just described.

cleanfunnylogicshortWhat can go up a chimney down but not down a chimney up?

An umbrella.

logicmathHow to measure exactly 4 gallon of water from 3 gallon and 5 gallon jars, given, you have unlimited water supply from a running tap.

Step 1. Fill 3 gallon jar with water. ( 5p – 0, 3p – 3)
Step 2. Pour all its water into 5 gallon jar. (5p – 3, 3p – 0)
Step 3. Fill 3 gallon jar again. ( 5p – 3, 3p – 3)
Step 4. Pour its water into 5 gallon jar untill it is full. Now you will have exactly 1 gallon water remaining in 3 gallon jar. (5p – 5, 3p – 1)
Step 5. Empty 5 gallon jar, pour 1 gallon water from 3 gallon jar into it. Now 5 gallon jar has exactly 1 gallon of water. (5p – 1, 3p – 0)
Step 6. Fill 3 gallon jar again and pour all its water into 5 gallon jar, thus 5 gallon jar will have exactly 4 gallon of water. (5p – 4, 3p – 0)
We are done !

logicshortWhat has many keys but can't open any doors?

Piano.

cleanlogicshortWhat goes through towns up hills but never moves?

A road.

logicshortwhat am IAlone I am 24th, with a friend I am 20.
Another friend and I am unclean.
What am I?

The ‘?’ is ‘L8′. All of the numbers, when read upside down, are the numbers 86 – 91.

logicmysteryA dead body is found at the bottom of a multistory building. Seeing the position of the body, it is evident that the person jumped from one of the floors, committing suicide.
A homicide detective is called to look after the case. He goes to the first floor and walks in the room facing the direction in which the body was found.
He opens the window in that direction and flips a coin towards the floor. Then he goes to the second floor and repeats the process. He keeps on doing this until he reaches the last floor. Then, when he climbs down he tells the team that it is a murder not suicide.
How did he come to know that it was a murder?

None of the windows were left open. If the person jumped, who closed the window?

logicA monk leaves at sunrise and walks on a path from the front door of his monastery to the top of a nearby mountain. He arrives at the mountain summit exactly at sundown. The next day, he rises again at sunrise and descends down to his monastery, following the same path that he took up the mountain.
Assuming sunrise and sunset occured at the same time on each of the two days, prove that the monk must have been at some spot on the path at the same exact time on both days.

Imagine that instead of the same monk walking down the mountain on the second day, that it was actually a different monk. Let's call the monk who walked up the mountain monk A, and the monk who walked down the mountain monk B. Now pretend that instead of walking down the mountain on the second day, monk B actually walked down the mountain on the first day (the same day monk A walks up the mountain).
Monk A and monk B will walk past each other at some point on their walks. This moment when they cross paths is the time of day at which the actual monk was at the same point on both days. Because in the new scenario monk A and monk B MUST cross paths, this moment must exist.

animalcleanfunnylogicshortA bird, squirrel, and a monkey are running to the top of a coconut tree to get a banana - who will be the first to get to the banana?

None – you cannot get a banana from a coconut tree.

cleanfunnylogicshortA man was driving a black truck. His lights were not on. The moon was not out. A lady was crossing the street. How did the man see her?

It was a bright, sunny day.