logicA new student met the Zen Master after traveling hundreds of miles by yak cart. He was understandably pleased with himself for being selected to learn at the great master's feet .
The first time they formally met, the Zen Master asked, "May I ask you a simple question?" "It would be an honor!" replied the student.
"Which is greater, that which has no beginning or that which has no end?" queried the Zen Master. "Come back when you have the answer and can explain why."
After the student made many frustrated trips back with answers which the master quickly cast off with a disapproving negative nod, the Zen Master finally said, "Perhaps I should ask you another question?"
"Oh, please do!" pleaded the exasperated student.
The Zen Master then asked, "Since you do not know that, answer this much simpler riddle. When can a pebble hold back the sea?" Again the student was rebuffed time and again. Several more questions followed with the same result. Each time, the student could not find the correct answer. Finally, completely exasperated, the student began to weep, "Master, I am a complete idiot. I can not solve even the simplest riddle from you!"
Suddenly, the student stopped, sat down, and said, "I am ready for my second lesson."
What was the Zen Master's first lesson?

The student's first lesson was that in order to learn from the Zen Master, the student should be asking the questions and not the Zen Master.

## Similar riddles

See also best riddles or new riddles.

logicmathshortHow many times can you subtract 5 from 25?

Just once, because after you subtract anything from it, it's not 25 anymore.

cleanfunnylogicpoemsshortThirty white horses on a red hill.
First they champ,
Then they stamp,
Then they stand still.
Who are they?

Teeth.

logicmathThere are 1 million closed school lockers in a row, labeled 1 through 1,000,000.
You first go through and flip every locker open.
Then you go through and flip every other locker (locker 2, 4, 6, etc...). When you're done, all the even-numbered lockers are closed.
You then go through and flip every third locker (3, 6, 9, etc...). "Flipping" mean you open it if it's closed, and close it if it's open. For example, as you go through this time, you close locker 3 (because it was still open after the previous run through), but you open locker 6, since you had closed it in the previous run through.
Then you go through and flip every fourth locker (4, 8, 12, etc...), then every fifth locker (5, 10, 15, etc...), then every sixth locker (6, 12, 18, etc...) and so on. At the end, you're going through and flipping every 999,998th locker (which is just locker 999,998), then every 999,999th locker (which is just locker 999,999), and finally, every 1,000,000th locker (which is just locker 1,000,000).
At the end of this, is locker 1,000,000 open or closed?

Locker 1,000,000 will be open.
If you think about it, the number of times that each locker is flipped is equal to the number of factors it has. For example, locker 12 has factors 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, and will thus be flipped 6 times (it will end be flipped when you flip every one, every 2nd, every 3rd, every 4th, every 6th, and every 12th locker). It will end up closed, since flipping an even number of times will return it to its starting position. You can see that if a locker number has an even number of factors, it will end up closed. If it has an odd number of factors, it will end up open.
As it turns out, the only types of numbers that have an odd number of factors are squares. This is because factors come in pairs, and for squares, one of those pairs is the square root, which is duplicated and thus doesn't count twice as a factor. For example, 12's factors are 1 x 12, 2 x 6, and 3 x 4 (6 total factors). On the other hand, 16's factors are 1 x 16, 2 x 8, and 4 x 4 (5 total factors).
So lockers 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, etc... will all be open. Since 1,000,000 is a square number (1000 x 1000), it will be open as well.

logicYou have a sock drawer. It has 4 black socks, 8 brown socks, 2 white socks and 8 tan socks. You need to pull out a matching pair of socks in the dark. There is no light and you couldn’t see the socks. How many socks you should pull out in the dark to get one matching pair of socks?
.

Five. You have only four different colors of socks. If you pick 5, you can surely get one pair of matching socks.

logicmathSam has got three daughters. The eldest daughter is the most honest girl in the universe and she always speaks truth. The middle daughter is a modest woman. She speaks truth and lies according to the situations. The youngest one never speaks truth. Not a single word she spoke was true and would never be true.
Sam brought a marriage proposal for one of his girls. It was John. John wanted to marry either the eldest or the youngest daughter of Sam as he can easily identify whether the girl speaks truth or lie!
John told his desire to Sam. However, Sam laid a condition. He told John that he will not say who the eldest, middle or youngest one is. Also, he allowed john to ask only one question to identify the eldest or youngest so he can marry one.
John asked one question and found the right girl. What was the question and whom should he pick?
He asks this question to one of the daughters.
If he asked this question to older daughter pointing at other two, he probably would know the youngest one! NO matter, she always speaks truth.
If he asked the question to middle one, probably he can choose either.
If he asked the youngest one, she always lies and he can find eldest one! No matter, he has to choose the youngest one based on the answer.

The question he asked is, ‘Is she older than her!’
He asks this question to one of the daughters.
If he asked this question to older daughter pointing at other two, he probably would know the youngest one! NO matter, she always speaks truth.
If he asked the question to middle one, probably he can choose either.
If he asked the youngest one, she always lies and he can find eldest one. No matter, he has to choose the youngest one based on the answer.

logicmathshortWe all know that square root of number 121 is 11. But do you know what si the square root of the number "12345678987654321" ?

111111111
Explanation:
It's a maths magical square root series as :
Square root of number 121 is 11
Square root of number 12321 is 111
Square root of number 1234321 is 1111
Square root of number 123454321 is 11111
Square root of number 12345654321 is 111111
Square root of number 1234567654321 is 1111111
Square root of number 123456787654321 is 11111111
Square root of number 12345678987654321 is 111111111 (answer)

logicprobabilityYou and a friend are standing in front of two houses. In each house lives a family with two children.
"The family on the left has a boy who loves history, but their other child prefers math," your friend tells you.
"The family on the right has a 7-year old boy, and they just had a new baby," he explains.
"Does either family have a girl?" you ask.
"I'm not sure," your friend says. "But pick the family that you think is more likely to have a girl. If they do have a girl, I'll give you $100."
Which family should you pick, or does it not matter?

You should pick the house on the left. Specifically, there is a 2/3 chance that the family on the left has a girl, whereas there's only a 1/2 chance that the house on the right has a girl.
This is a very counterintuitive riddle. It seems like there should always be a 1/2 chance that a given child is a girl. And in fact there is. The key word there is "given". Because we are not asking about a "given" child for the house on the left. We are asking about what could be either child. Whereas for the house on the right, we are asking about a "given" child...specifically, we're asking about the younger child.
There are 3 possibilities for the children in the first house:
Younger Older
Girl Boy
Boy Girl
Boy Boy
There is no "Girl, Girl" option because we know the house on the left has at least one boy. Since each of these 3 options is equally likely, and 2 of them have one girl, there is a 2/3 chance of there being a girl in the house on the left.
For the house on the right, because we already know the older child is a boy, there are only two possibilities:
Younger Older
Girl Boy
Boy Boy
And as we can see, there is a 1/2 chance for the house on the right having a girl.

logicmysteryscaryOn the first day of the school a young girl was found murdered. Police suspect four male teachers and question them. They were asked what they were doing at 8:00 am.
Mr. Walter: I was driving to school and I was late.
Mr. Thomas: I was checking English exam papers.
Mr. Benjamin: I was reading the newspaper.
Mr. Calvin: I was with my wife in my office.
The police arrested the killer. How did the police find the murderer?

Mr.Thomas as he cannot be checking exam papers on the first day of school.

cleanlogicshortA girl is sitting in a house at night that has no lights on at all. There is no lamp, no candle, nothing. Yet she is reading. How?

The woman is blind and is reading braille.

logicmathshortTwo planes take off at the same exact moment. They are flying across the Atlantic. One leaves New York and is flying to Paris at 500 miles per hour. The other leaves Paris and is flying to New York at only 450 miles per hour. Which one will be closer to Paris when they meet?

They will both the same distance from Paris when they meet!