Riddle #851


An iron horse with a flaxen tail

An iron horse with a flaxen tail. The faster the horse runs, the shorter his tail becomes. What is it?
A needle and thread.
93.70 %
40 votes

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The elevator

Swaff was traveling in an elevator, being cool, when he suddenly heard the cord supporting the elevator snap. Being the cool guy that he is, he knew of a myth where if you could jump at the right time, you could possibly be able to survive a plunge in an elevator. Now, when Swaff was a boy, he spent all of his math classes making fun of his female teacher's moustache. He never paid attention, so he was a tad bit slow in his mathematical calculations. He did, however, have a very bizarre talent, in which he could tell the exact speed he was traveling. That came in pretty lucky today. Swaff knew he was falling at an even rate of 50 miles per hour. When the cord snapped, he was exactly 110 feet above the ground. He knew that he must jump at the right time to have any hopes of surviving. Now, after doing the math, please tell me when Swaff jumped.
He never did. By the time Swaff figured out that he would have to jump in 1.5 seconds, he would already be dead. Not even the best of mathematicians could do all the math needed in 1 and half seconds. Swaff fell to his death.
93.39 %
38 votes


A clock

A clock chimes 5 times in 4 seconds. How many times will it chime in 10 seconds?
11 times. It chimes at zero and then once every second for 10 seconds.
92.67 %
34 votes


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


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


Escaped from jail

Jay escaped from jail and headed to the country. While walking along a rural road, he saw a police car speeding towards him. Jay ran toward it for a short time and then fled into the woods. Why did he run toward the car?
Jay was just starting to cross a bridge when he saw a police car. He ran toward the car to get off the bridge before running into the woods.
94.11 %
43 votes


Six glasses in a row

Six glasses are in a row. The first three are filled with milk and the last three are empty. By moving only one glass, can you arrange them so that the full and the empty glasses alternate?
93.39 %
38 votes


The bus driver

You are a bus driver. The bus starts out empty. At the first stop 4 people get on. At the second stop, 8 people get on and 3 get off. At the third stop, 2 people get off and 4 get on. The question is, what color are the bus driver's eyes?
Since the riddle starts out by saying you are the bus driver, the answer would be the color of your own eyes.
93.98 %
42 votes


Predicting the score of the football game

Joe bets Tony $100 that he can predict the score of the football game before it starts. Tony agrees, but loses the bet. Why did Tony lose the bet?
Joe said the score would be 0-0 and he was right. "Before" any football game starts, the score is always 0-0.
93.39 %
38 votes