You 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
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.
See also best riddles or new riddles.cleanlogicshort
In a one storey brown house, there was a brown person with a brown computer, brown telephone, and brown chair. He also had a brown cat and a brown fish – Just about everything was brown – What colour was the stairs?
As it was a one-storey house – there were no stairs.funnylogicmath
An infinite number of mathematicians are standing behind a bar. The first asks the barman for half a pint of beer, the second for a quarter pint, the third an eighth, and so on. How many pints of beer will the barman need to fulfill all mathematicians' wishes?
Mad Ade's Uncle, Phil Space, who doesn't like what passes for art these days, ran into the National Gallery and caused millions of pounds of damage to several masterpieces. Later that day, Uncle Phil was invited to meet the manager and was warmly thanked for his actions. How come?
Uncle Phil is a fireman The water from his house damaged the paintings as he put out a fire in the Gallery, but in the process rescuing hundreds of millions of pounds worth. logic
A man told his son that he would give him $1000 if he could accomplish the following task. The father gave his son ten envelopes and a thousand dollars, all in one dollar bills. He told his son, "Place the money in the envelopes in such a manner that no matter what number of dollars I ask for, you can give me one or more of the envelopes, containing the exact amount I asked for without having to open any of the envelopes. If you can do this, you will keep the $1000."
When the father asked for a sum of money, the son was able to give him envelopes containing the exact amount of money asked for. How did the son distribute the money among the ten envelopes?
The contents or the ten envelopes (in dollar bills) hould be as follows: $1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 489. The first nine numbers are in geometrical progression, and their sum, deducted from 1,000, gives the contents of the tenth envelope. funnylogic
A petshop owner had a parrot with a sign on its cage that said "Parrot repeats everything it hears". Davey bought the parrot and for two weeks he spoke to it and it didn't say a word. He returned the parrot but the shopkeeper said he never lied about the parrot.
How can this be?
The parrot was deaf.logicshort
Two baseball teams played a game. One team won but no man touched base. How could that be?
They were all girl teams.logic
Frank and some of the boys were exchanging old war stories. James offered one about how his grandfather (Captain Smith) led a battalion against a German division during World War I. Through brilliant maneuvers he defeated them and captured valuable territory. Within a few months after the battle he was presented with a sword bearing the inscription: "To Captain Smith for Bravery, Daring and Leadership, World War One, from the Men of Battalion 8." Frank looked at James and said, "You really don't expect anyone to believe that yarn, do you?" 7
What is wrong with the story?
It wasn't valled World War One until much later. It was called the Great War at first, because they did not know during that war and immediately afterward that there would be a second World War (WW II). cleanlogic
A man wanted to enter an exclusive club but did not know the password that was required. He waited by the door and listened. A club member knocked on the door and the doorman said, "twelve." The member replied, "six " and was let in. A second member came to the door and the doorman said, "six." The member replied, "three" and was let in. The man thought he had heard enough and walked up to the door. The doorman said ,"ten" and the man replied, "five." But he was not let in. What was the right answer then?
Three. The doorman lets in those who answer with the number of letters in the word the doorman says.logicshort
A boat has a ladder that has six rungs, each rung is one foot apart. The bottom rung is one foot from the water. The tide rises at 12 inches every 15 minutes. High tide peaks in one hour. When the tide is at it's highest, how many rungs are under water?
None, the boat rises with the tide. logic
The 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.