February 22, 2008


CodeWritinFool sends a link to this puzzle and says, "No cheating!"

This one will keep you occupied for a spell.

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December 03, 2007

How hard can it be?

The World's Hardest Easy Geometry Problem


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January 26, 2006

Which are you?

Obviously, I should have said that I do have expensive tastes.

I'm a Mazda Miata!


You like to soak up the sun, but your tastes are down to earth. Everyone thinks you're cute. Life is a winding road, and you like to take the curves in stride. Let other people compete in the rat race - you're just here to enjoy the ride.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Posted by joke du jour at 06:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 13, 2006


Althouse posted:

The etymology game. (Via Metafilter.) Ten multiple choice questions per game. Try to get a good score, but also learn some interesting info. Like, did you know the cheer "ole" comes from "Allah" and that "admiral" is based on "emir"?

Posted by joke du jour at 07:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Beer mathematics

This is cool beer math! DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST! It takes less than a minute.

Work this out as you read. Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out! This is not one of those wastes of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have a pint or a glass or two of wine. (Try for more than once.)

2. Multiply this number by 2 - just to be honest.

3 Add 5. (For Sunday.)

4. Multiply the result by 50. I'll wait while you get the calculator.

5. If your birthday has already occurred this year, add 1755. If not, add 1754.

6. Now subtract the four-digit year that you were born. You should have a three-digit number.

The first digit of this number was your starting number (i.e., how many times you want to have a pint each week).

The next two numbers are... your age!

From ChronWatch.

Posted by joke du jour at 08:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2005

A Drinking Problem

Another puzzle from The Chicken From Minsk (and another tip o' the hat to Erik).

Besides chess playing and problem solving, drinking is and always has been the most common form of recreation in Russia. Vassily has acquired a 12-liter bucket of vodka and wishes to share it with Pyotr. However, all Pyotr has is an empty 8-liter bottle and an empty 5-lite bottle. How can the vodka be divided evenly?

The authors add this note: Bottles were in short supply, particularly during the last stages of the Communist regime. Often, to fill a prescription it would be necessary to arrive at the pharmacy with an empty bottle.

See the figure below.

The amounts of vodka in each container are:
a. (12,0, 0) - initial condition
b. (4, 8, 0) - fill the 8-liter bottle from the 12-liter bucket
c. (4, 3, 5) - fill the 5-liter bottle from the 8-liter bottle
d. (9, 3, 0) - empty the 5-liter bottle into the bucket
e. (9, 0, 3) - pour the 3 liters from the 8-liter bottle into the 5-liter bottle
f. (1, 8, 3) - fill the 8-liter bottle from the bucket, leaving 1 liter behind
g. (1, 6, 5) - fille the 5-liter bottle by decanting 2 liters from the 8-liter bottle, leaving 6 liters behind.

You now have 6 liters in the 8-liter bottle. Empty the 5-liter bottle into the bucket and you have 6 liters for Vasily and 6 for Pyotr.


Posted by joke du jour at 06:59 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2005

Shopping with Boris and Marina

Another puzzle from The Chicken From Minsk (and another tip o' the hat to Erik). This one's pretty easy too.

Boris and Marina want to buy ice cream bars. However, Boris is 24 kopeks short of the price of a bar and Marina is 2 kopeks short. They decide to pool their money and buy a single bar. When they do, they find they still do not have enough money.

How much does an ice cream bar cost?

25 kopeks. If Boris had had 2 or more kopeks, then he and Marina would have had sufficient funds, since Marina was only 2 kopeks short. So Boris had 1 or 0 kopeks.

If 1, then because he was 24 kopeks short, the price is 25 and Marina is indeed 2 kopeks short. You may object to this answer, since if Boris had 0 kopeks, the price would be 24 kopeks. However, we will assume that Boris was not conning Marina and that he did have a coin in his pocket.

Posted by joke du jour at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2005

A Question of Art

This puzzle appears in The Chicken From Minsk by Chernyak & Rose. It comes from the "Warming Up" section of the book, so it's one of the easier ones.

A sculptor named White, a violinist named Black, and an artist named Red meet in a cafe. One of the three says, "I have black hair, and you two have red hair and white hair, respectively, but none of us has a hair color that matches his name."

White responds, "You are quite correct."

What color is the artist's hair?

Answer follows. (Tip o' the hat to Erik.)


Since White responded, the speaker isn't White. So s/he must be named either Black or Red. But s/he says s/he has black hair and since the hair color can't match the name, s/he must be named Red.

So the speaker - with black hair - must be the artist named Red.

Posted by joke du jour at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005

Riddle me this

A printable crossword with riddles for clues.

Posted by joke du jour at 08:12 PM

May 06, 2005

How many grandsons

One of the things I miss in the Commentary columns at James Randi's site is the puzzles he used to publish every week. Regrettably, he stopped doing that a few years back.

Since I have a collection of puzzles, I'm thinking of posting one once a week or so - I know I'm not the only person who likes them. Here's a simple one to start with. The answer's in the "Continue reading" section.

Mr. Gubbins, whose age is somewhere between 50 and 70, is fond of telling his friends, "Each of my sons has as many sons as brothers, and the combined number of my sons and grandsons is the same as my number of years."

How old was Gubbins, and how many grandsons did he have?

Gubbins was 64; he had 56 grandsons.

Let N equal the number of sons Gubbins had. Each son had N-1 brothers and, therefore, N-1 sons. Thus Gubbins had N*(N-1) - or (N**2 - N) - grandsons. His age equals the number of sons, N, plus the number of grandsons, (N**2 - N).

But N + N**2 - N is equal to N**2, and so Gubbins' age is a perfect square lying between 50 and 70. Since 64 is the only perfect square between 50 and 70, N**2 = 64 and N = 8. So Gubbins' age is 64 and he had N**2 - N, or 64 - 8 = 56, grandsons.

From 101 Mathematical Puzzles (1977 edition) by Don Reinfeld and David Rice.

Posted by joke du jour at 09:00 PM