Riddle #924


Vanilla ice cream

This teaser is based on a weird but true story from a few years ago. A complaint was received by the president of a major car company: "This is the fourth time I have written you, and I don't blame you for not answering me because I must sound crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of having ice cream for dessert after dinner each night. Every night after we've eaten, the family votes on which flavor of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. I recently purchased a new Pantsmobile from your company and since then my trips to the store have created a problem. You see, every time I buy vanilla ice cream my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds: 'What is there about a Pantsmobile that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?'" The Pantsmobile company President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but he sent an engineer to check it out anyway. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the grocery store. The man bought vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car it wouldn't start for several minutes. The engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, the man got chocolate. The car started right away. The second night, he got strawberry and again the car started right up. The third night he bought vanilla and the car failed to start. There was a logical reason why the man's car wouldn't start when he bought vanilla ice cream. What was it? HINT: The man lived in an extremely hot city, and this took place during the summer. Also, the layout of the grocery store was such that it took the man less time to buy vanilla ice cream.
Vanilla ice cream was the most popular flavor and was on display in a little case near the express check out, while the other flavors were in the back of the store and took more time to select and check out. This mattered because the man's car was experiencing vapor lock, which is excess heat boiling the fuel in the fuel line and the resulting air bubbles blocking the flow of fuel until the car has enough time to cool.. When the car was running there was enough pressure to move the bubbles along, but not when the car was trying to start.
93.55 %
39 votes

Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.


Two Hourglasses

You have two sand hourglasses, one that measures exactly 4 minutes and one that measures exactly 7 minutes. You need to measure out exactly 2 minutes to boil an egg. Using only these two hourglasses, how can you measure out exactly 2 minutes to boil your egg?
Flip over both hourglasses at the same time. After 4 minutes, the 4-minute hourglass will be done, and there will be 3 minutes left in the 7-minute hourglass. Immediately flip the 4-minute hourglass over again. After 3 more minutes, the 7-minute hourglass will be done, and there will be exactly 1 minute left in the 4-minute hourglass. Immediately flip the 7-minute hourglass over again. After 1 more minute, the 4-minute hourglass will be done again, and there will be exactly 6 minutes left in the 7-minute hourglass. Immediately flip over the 4-minute hourglass. After 4 more minutes, the 4-minute hourglass will be done again, and there will be exactly 2 minutes left in the 7-minute hourglass. At this point, put your egg in the boiling water. When the 7-minute hourglass is done, it will have been exactly 2 more minutes, and your egg will have boiled just right.
94.48 %
46 votes


The wise man and the dove

A wise man lived on a hill above a small town. The townspeople often approached him to solve their difficult problems and riddles. One day, two lads decided to fool him. They took a dove and set off up the hill. Standing before him, one of the lads said "Tell me, wise man, is the dove I hold behind my back dead or alive?" The man smiled and said "I cannot answer your question correctly". Even though the wise man knew the condition of the dove, why wouldn't he state whether it was dead or alive?
The man told the two lads, "If I say the dove is alive, you will the bird and show me that it is dead. If I say that it is dead, you will release the dove and it will fly away. So you see I cannot answer your question.
94.36 %
45 votes


Last place you would look

Every time you lose something, you always find it in the very last place you would look. Why is this?
It is the last place you would look because once you find it there is no need to keep looking.
92.86 %
35 votes


Speedy service station

Shadow drove into the Speedy Service Station and pulled up to the pumps. "Fill it up, please," said Shadow. "This may sound strange," said the owner, "but I'd rather fill two cars from out of town than one car from this town." Shadow looked across the small town and replied, "I know just what you mean." Why would the owner feel this way?
The owner would rather fill two cars from anywhere than one car from town because he would make twice the amount of money.
92.86 %
35 votes


Sequence of numbers

Finish the sequence: 7 8 5 5 3 4 4 ?
6 - the number of letters in the month august; (January has 7 letters, February has 8 etc.)
93.22 %
37 votes


Stop fighting

Sally and her younger brother were fighting. Their mother was tired of the fighting, and decided to punish them by making them stand on the same piece of newspaper in such a way that they couldn't touch each other. How did she accomplish this?
Sally's mother slid a newspaper under a door and made Sally stand on one side of the door and her brother on the other.
93.22 %
37 votes


One equals two

Consider the following explanation for why 1=2: 1. Start out Let y = x 2. Multiply through by x xy = x2 3. Subtract y2 from each side xy - y2 = x2 - y2 4. Factor each side y(x-y) = (x+y)(x-y) 5. Divide both sides by (x-y) y = x+y 6. Divide both sides by y y/y = x/y + y/y 7. And so... 1 = x/y + 1 8. Since x=y, x/y = 1 1 = 1 + 1 8. And so... 1 = 2 How is this possible?
Step 5 is invalid, because we are dividing by (x-y), and since x=y, we are thus dividing by 0. This is an invalid mathematical operation (division by 0), and so by not followinng basic mathematical rules, we are able to get strange results like these.
93.55 %
39 votes


Five daughters

Mary’s father has 5 daughters – Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughters name?
If you answered Nunu, you are wrong. It’s Mary!
91.77 %
30 votes


Three brothers

Dean Sam and Castiel are three brothers. Interestingly their current age is prime. What's more interesting that difference between their ages is also prime. How old are they?
Sam : 2 Dean : 5 Castiel : 7 Age diff 7 - 2 = '5' is prime 7 - 5 = '2' is prime 5 - 2 = '3' is prime
93.05 %
36 votes


Number 7

How do you make the number 7 an even number without addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?
Drop the "S".
92.86 %
35 votes