Riddle #846


Three Childrens' Ages

A deliveryman comes to a house to drop off a package. He asks the woman who lives there how many children she has. "Three," she says. "And I bet you can't guess their ages." "Ok, give me a hint," the deliveryman says. "Well, if you multiply their ages together, you get 36," she says. "And if you add their ages together, the sum is equal to our house number." The deliveryman looks at the house number nailed to the front of her house. "I need another hint," he says. The woman thinks for a moment. "My youngest son will have a lot to learn from his older brothers," she says. The deliveryman's eyes light up and he tells her the ages of her three children. What are their ages?
Their ages are 1, 6, and 6. We can figure this out as follows: Given that their ages multiply out to 36, the possible ages for the children are: 1, 1, 36 (sum = 38) 1, 2, 18 (sum = 21) 1, 3, 12 (sum = 16) 1, 4, 9 (sum = 14) 1, 6, 6 (sum = 13) 2, 2, 9 (sum = 13) 2, 3, 6 (sum = 11) 3, 3, 4 (sum = 10) When the woman tells the deliveryman that the children's ages add up to her street number, he still doesn't know their ages. The only way this could happen is that there is more than one possible way for the children's ages to add up to the number on the house (or else he would have known their ages when he looked at the house number). Looking back at the possible values for the children's ages, you can see that there is only one situation in which there are multiple possible values for the children's ages that add up to the same sum, and that is if their ages are either 1, 6, and 6 (sums up to 13), or 2, 2, and 9 (also sums up to 13). So these are now the only possible values for their ages. When the woman then tells him that her youngest son has two older brothers (who we can tell are clearly a number of years older), the only possible situation is that their ages are 1, 6, and 6.
94.24 %
44 votes

Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.


Cassette Tape

A man was found dead with a cassette recorder in one hand and a gun in the other. When the police came in, they immediately pressed the play button on the cassette. He said "I have nothing else to live for. I can't go on," then the sound of a gunshot. After listening to the cassette tape, the police knew that it was not a suicide, but a homicide. How did they know?
If the man shot himself while he was recording, how did he rewind the cassette tape?
93.70 %
40 votes


Two baseball teams

Two baseball teams played a game. One team won but no man touched base. How could that be?
They were all girl teams.
93.22 %
37 votes


Kicked off the train

A hobo had just been kicked off the train by one of the bosses. As he made his way down a dusty side road, he noticed a saffron robed man sitting next to a campfire apparently deep in thought. A wonderful smelling stew was bubbling in a pot next to him. It had been a full day since the hobo's last meal, so he went over to the man and tapped him on the shoulder. "I see by your robes that you are some kind of holy man," said the hobo. The Zen Master turned to the hobo and said, "You speak the truth." The hobo spoke, "I would sure like to try the stew you have on the campfire there; perhaps if I could tell you something to increase your wisdom, you will agree to share your meal." The Zen Master turned to the hobo and said, "Please, you are welcome to share my meal because you have already increased my wisdom!" What had the Zen Master learned from the hobo to increase his wisdom?
The Zen Master learned that he should find a more privace place to meditate if he doesn't want to be interrupted by every vagabond that happens by.
93.39 %
38 votes


Two tape recorders

Marty and Jill want to copy three 60 minute tapes. They have two tape recorders that will dub the tapes for them, so they can do two at a time. It takes 30 minutes for each side to complete; therefore in one hour two tapes will be done, and in another hour the third will be done. Jill says all three tapes can be made in 90 minutes. How?
Jill will rotate the three tapes. Let's call them tapes 1,2, and 3 with sides A and B. In the first 30 minutes they will tape 1A and 2A, in the second 3 minutes they will tape 1B and 3A (Tape 1 is now done). Finally, in the last 30 minutes, they will tape 2B and 3B.
93.22 %
37 votes


Hanging above water

A man is found hanging in a room 30 feet off the ground. There is nothing else in the room except for a large puddle of water on the ground. The police can't see any way the man could have climbed the walls to get to where he is hanging. How did this man hang himself?
He stood on a tall block of ice and put the noose around his neck. Once the ice melted, he was hung, and all that was left was a puddle of water on the ground.
93.22 %
37 votes


Maths logical problem

The digits 0-9(0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) can be rearranged into 3628800 distinct 10 digits numbers. How many of these numbers are prime?
None. The sum of numbers from 0-9(0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9) is 45 and therefore can be divisible by 3 and 9.
93.05 %
36 votes


Prisoner sentenced to death

You are a prisoner sentenced to death. The Emperor offers you a chance to live by playing a simple game. He gives you 50 black marbles, 50 white marbles and 2 empty bowls. He then says, "Divide these 100 marbles into these 2 bowls. You can divide them any way you like as long as you use all the marbles. Then I will blindfold you and mix the bowls around. You then can choose one bowl and remove ONE marble. If the marble is WHITE you will live, but if the marble is BLACK... you will die." How do you divide the marbles up so that you have the greatest probability of choosing a WHITE marble? HINT: The answer does not guarantee 100% you will chose a white marble, but you have a much better chance.
Place 1 white marble in the bowl, and place the rest of the marbles in the other bowl (49 whites, and 50 blacks). This way you begin a 50/50 chance of choosing the bowl with just one white marble, therefore life! BUT even if you choose the other bowl, you still have almost a 50/50 chance at picking one of the 49 white marbles.
90.47 %
44 votes


Word rebus

What word does this rebus represents? meta meta meta meta
Metaphor (Meta 4).
93.84 %
41 votes