- Tom's mother has three children. One is named April, one is named May. What is the third one named?
- You are a cook in a remote area with no clocks or other way of keeping time other than a four minute sandglass timer and a seven minute sandglass timer. (The kind you turn over - hourglass shaped) You do have a stove, however, with water in a pot already boiling. Somebody asks you for a nine-minute egg, and you know this person is a perfectionist and will be able to tell if you undercook or overcook the eggs by even a few seconds. What is the least amount of time it will take to prepare the egg? And how will you prepare it so that it is neither undercooked nor overcooked?
The answer is 9 minutes. First, flip both hourglasses over and drop the egg into the water. When the four minute timer runs out, flip it again. When the seven minute timer runs out, flip it over. The egg has been cooking seven minutes. Now when the four minute timer runs out again (after eight minutes) flip the seven minute timer back over. Since the seven minute timer has been running only a minute between flips, there's a minute worth of sand left. And when that minute runs out, the egg will have been cooking for exactly nine minutes.
- You have 50 quarters on the table in front of you. You are blindfolded and cannot discern whether a coin is heads up or tails up by feeling it. You are told that x coins are heads up, where 0 < x < 50. You are asked to separate the coins into two piles in such a way that the number of heads up coins in both piles is the same at the end. You may flip any coin over as many times as you want. How will you do it?
Take x coins, flip all of them and put them in one pile. The rest of the coins form the second pile.
- You are the bus driver. At your first stop, you pick up 29 people. On your second stop, 18 of those 29 people get off, and at the same time 10 new passengers arrive. At your next stop, 3 of those 10 passengers get off, and 13 new passengers come on. On your fourth stop 4 of the remaining 10 passengers get off, 6 of those new 13 passengers get off as well, then 17 new passengers get on. What is the color of the bus driver's eyes?
The eye color of the reader of this problem. The first sentence is the key: "You are the bus driver"
- Wheelbarrow Battle
Two men working at a construction site were up for a challenge, and they were pretty mad at each other. Finally, at lunch break, they confronted one another. One man, obviously stronger, said "See that wheelbarrow? I’m willin’ to bet $100 (that’s all I have in my wallet here) that anything you can wheel to that cone and back, I can wheel twice as far. Do we have a bet?"
The other man, too dignified to decline, shook his hand, but he had a plan formulating. He looked at the objects lying around: a pile of 400 bricks, a steel beam, the 10 men that had gathered around to watch, and a stack of ten bags of concrete mix; he thought for a while, and then finalized his plan.
"All right," he said, and revealed his object.
That night, the strong man went home thoroughly teased and $100 poorer. What was the weaker man’s object?
He looked the strong man right in the eye and said, "get in."
- A man and his son had a terrible car accident and were rushed to the hospital. The man died on the way, but the son was still alive and a surgeon was called in to operate. However, the surgeon saw the young boy and said, "I can't operate on this boy. He's my son."
How is this possible?
The surgeon was his mother.
- An Arab sheikh tells his two sons to race their camels to a distant city to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose camel is slower will win. The brothers, after wandering aimlessly for days, ask a wise man for advise. After hearing the advice they jump on the camels and race as fast as they can to the city. What does the wise man say?
The wise man tells them to switch camels.
- You're riding a horse. To the right of you is a cliff and in front of you is an elephant going the same pace as you and you can't overtake it. To the left of you is a hippo running at the same speed and behind you is a lion chasing you. How do you get to safety?
Get off the merry-go-round.
- A glass of water with a single ice cube sits on a table. When the ice has completely melted, will the level of the water have increased, decreased or remain unchanged?
Remain unchanged. When frozen, the ice cube displaces its weight.
- A wise king devised a contest to see who would receive the Princess' hand in marriage. The Princess was put in a 50x50 foot carpeted room. Each of her four suitors were put in one corner of the room with a small box to stand on. The first one to touch the Princess hand would be the winner and become the new King. The rules of the test were that the contestants could not walk over the carpet, cross the plane of the carpet, or hang from anything; nor could they use anything but their body and wits (i.e. no magic or telepathy, nor any items such as ladders, block and tackles etc). One suitor figured out a way and married the Princess and became the new King. What did he do?
Asked the princess to touch his hand.