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brain teasers Options
TheCatsMeow
#181 Posted : Monday, November 13, 2017 4:55:32 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

Jumping Batteries, Batman!
RAY: This is from my delivery truck series and it was sent in by Rob Gretigney.

He writes:

I once worked as a delivery truck driver. The truck I drove was about 25 feet in length. One of the places that I routinely delivered to required that I pull into a narrow alley in order to unload my truck. One cold January day after making my delivery I discovered that my battery was as dead as a hammer. I had probably left my lights on when I went for coffee.

Another delivery driver had pulled into the alley right behind me and I asked if he had a set of jumper cables and a strong battery that I could use. He did but the jumper cables were only 16-feet long and wouldn't reach from his battery to mine. The alley was too narrow to park the truck with the good battery next to mine, and my truck was too heavy to be pushed into a better position. We did think about temporarily replacing my battery with the one from the other truck so that we could at least get out of the alley, but the cable connections were so corroded on both vehicles that they wouldn't budge. And, to top it off, we didn't have any tools anyway.

Then I struck upon an idea that allowed us to get my truck started in only a few short minutes. What was the idea?
TheCatsMeow
#182 Posted : Monday, November 20, 2017 1:47:24 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
The Endless Mile
RAY: This was sent in by John Kelly and he writes with a true story:

"While living in the Bronx a friend, who will remain anonymous, bought a car in White Plains about 21 miles north of the city. He didn't have anyone to help him pick it up so he decided to do it all by himself." (Now whenever someone says, "a friend who will remain anonymous," and then the rest of the story is something harebrained, you know it's him! So John, we're with you, brother!)

"And because he wasn't trading the car in, he came up with this ingenious plan. He drove his old car 21 miles north and parked it in the dealer's lot, picked up the new car, paid for it and got the keys, and drove it one mile south. He locked it up, walked back north one mile to the dealer, picked up his old car drove it two miles. He locked it up, walked back one mile, picked up the new car, drove it two miles south, locked it up, walked one mile back to the other car, etc., etc., etc., until he reached home with both cars."

So the question is, at the end of the very long, long day, how many total miles did he walk and drive? Sounds simple, right, but be careful!
TheCatsMeow
#183 Posted : Monday, November 27, 2017 1:19:17 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
Camping With Water
RAY: I stole this puzzler from a little book by Terry Stickles, and there's a foreword in here by Will Shortz, who, of course, is the puzzle editor of the New York Times and a frequent visitor to National Public Radio.
You've been invited to go on a camping trip in the woods with 30 of your closest buddies, and you've rented a cabin in the woods. You pile into your cars and drive to the cabin. The next morning, everyone gets up and decides that Cookie is going to make homemade pancakes for everyone, but he needs to add to the recipe exactly two gallons of water. So you are sent to the well to fetch two gallons of water with no measuring device. When you get to the well, you discover there are two jugs there. One says 13 gallons, and the other says seven gallons. And your job, if you choose to accept it, is to come back with exactly two gallons of water.
TOM: Can you make two trips to the well?
RAY: No, you can't! They're earthenware jugs! They're very heavy, and you've got a bad ticker, a bad back and a bad front. So you're allowed one trip. You got it?
TOM: Yeah, I got it.
TheCatsMeow
#184 Posted : Monday, December 04, 2017 1:21:13 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

The Case of the Whacked Out Clock
RAY: We have a friend, Tommy and I, who shall remain nameless, who works at a government facility and does very, very important work.
TOM: Yes.
RAY: And one day, he's at his desk working away, reading some very technical manual when he's awakened … I mean, startled by the sound of his stomach growling. He turns in his seat and looks at the electric clock on the wall behind him. This is one of these clocks that's been there for, like, a thousand years. It plugs into the wall.
TOM: Big analog round thing.
RAY: Right. He looks at the clock, and as he turns back to his work, he says, "Well, it's obviously too early to eat lunch. I must have forgotten to eat breakfast." He begins to work. A short time later, he's again awakened, startled, by the growling of his stomach. And this time, he turns to look at the clock another time. You with me so far?
TOM: Yeah.
RAY: He looks at the clock another time, and he notices that it first of all says a time later than what it did the first time he looked at it. The second hand is sweeping. The hour hand has moved from where it was the last time he looked at it, and the minute hand is in a different position. And as he turns back to his desk, again thinking that he must have forgotten to eat breakfast and he doesn't know how he's going to make it to lunchtime, his stomach growls a third time, and he says, "The clock is broken." And yet, everything seemed to be working.
TOM: Yeah.
RAY: Now, I may have to give a hint. The question is: How did he know the clock was broken?
TOM: Well, the minute hand, the second hand and the hour hand have all moved, you said.
RAY: Yeah. The two hands are exactly 180 degrees apart, like they would be at 6:00. That's the hint I was going to give.
TheCatsMeow
#185 Posted : Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:30:51 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

Vinnie Goombatz and the 247 Arm Wrestlers
RAY: This is stolen somewhat from an e-mail I got a long time ago. Here we go. Our erstwhile companion and chief mechanic, Vinnie Goombatz, being renowned for his prowess in arm wrestling, is asked to set up a tournament at the local watering hole where he goes and gets stewed every night. It's to be a single elimination tournament, i.e., once you lose, you're out. No ties allowed. This is arm wrestling; you can't have a tie in arm wrestling, right?

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: To his horror, 247 people have signed up for this tournament, and the barkeeper wants to know how many bouts have to be fought. Figuring a bout takes about five minutes, he wants to know at what time he should start the event so that it will conclude before closing time.

So Vinnie is in a tizzy now, because he's thinking about, Oh, I gotta set up a branching tree, count all the branches, and since he can't count much beyond 14, he's in a tizzy.

Fortunately, there's a little guy sitting next to Vinnie at the bar, and the guy says, "I know the answer." Vinnie says, "What are you, some kind of genius or sump'm?" The guy says, "No, but there is a simple reasoning process which will allow you to instantly know how many bouts have to be fought."

The question is: If there are 247 people that signed up, how many bouts will there have to be in order to determine one winner?

TOM: With a single-round elimination.

RAY: And show your work. And, by the way when the bout starts, both hands of the clock are 180 degrees apart.
TheCatsMeow
#186 Posted : Monday, December 18, 2017 2:16:14 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
The Caddie in Winter
RAY: This puzzler was submitted by Shelly Payne. Here it is:

Several years ago my father-in-law, who lives in Minnesota had trouble with his late model Cadillac DeVille. His battery kept dying every couple of days. He would get it jump started and it would run fine for a few days, but then would die again. So he took it to the dealership. They checked it out. They couldn't find anything wrong.

One morning after there had been several inches of snow he went out and sure enough, what? The battery was dead. So he jump started it and went into town to get a cup of coffee at the local drug store. Now being that he lives in such a small town, he went and parked right in front of the drug store. And while he was drinking his coffee, he complained to the pharmacist about how his car was driving him nuts. The pharmacist asked, "Is that your car right out there?"

And he said, "Why, yes, that is my car." And the pharmacist said, "I know why your battery is dying."

What did the pharmacist notice?
TheCatsMeow
#187 Posted : Monday, December 25, 2017 4:53:43 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

Following the City Bus
RAY: Most city buses are ugly, noisy, smelly, big, and slow. And in Our Fair City, they don't even have the decency to pull over to discharge or admit passengers -- they stop in the middle of the street.
But I discovered something interesting lately. About half the time when I drive to work in the morning, I don't mind following the city bus. In fact, I look forward to it. The question is: Why? Here's a hint: If it's snowing, I don't want to follow the bus.
TheCatsMeow
#188 Posted : Monday, January 08, 2018 3:03:12 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
it appears there may not be anymore car talk puzzler.Sad
TheCatsMeow
#189 Posted : Friday, January 19, 2018 6:31:23 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

The Contrary Building's Name
RAY: This is another in the series of my "driving back and forth to work" puzzlers. To get home, I wind my way through the back streets of Cambridge, going through various neighborhoods, some of which have businesses of one kind or another: industrial buildings, little factories, warehouses or office buildings and the like.

There's one building I pass every day that makes me chuckle. This building bears the name of the enterprise contained within its walls. I laugh because its name seems incongruous with the building.

There are many other buildings just like this one. And, as a matter of fact, if you went into this building to ask for a demonstration of the product they sell...

TOM: They wouldn't be able to give you one.

RAY: Right! However, if they took you to a building, perhaps next door or a few doors down, they could easily give you a demonstration of the product that they sell.

Here's a hint: I can safely say that each and every one of us has used the product that they sell.
Answer the Puzzler »
Remember last week's puzzler?
Rowena and the Three Boxes
RAY: This comes from the days of knights and kings and fair maidens and...
TOM: And people named Rowena.
RAY: Rowena. There you go. Turns out that the fair maiden Rowena wishes to wed. And her father, the evil king, has devised a way to drive off suitors. He has a little quiz for them, and here it is.
It's very simple. There are three boxes on the table, OK? One is made of gold. One is made of silver. And the third is made of...
TOM: Tofu.
RAY: Lead. Inside one of these boxes is a picture of the fair Rowena. And it is the job of the knight, the white knight, to figure out which--without opening them, of course, which one has her picture. Now, to assist him in this endeavor there are inscriptions on each of the boxes.
The gold box says, "Rowena's picture is in this box."
The silver box says, "The picture ain't in this box."
And the lead box says, "The picture ain't in the gold box."
TOM: Yeah. But he also gives him a hint, right? He's going to give him a hint.
RAY: Yes. The hint is, one of the statements, and only one, is true.
TOM: Excellent!
RAY: The question is: Where's the picture?
TheCatsMeow
#190 Posted : Monday, January 22, 2018 2:33:05 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
David's Mystery Corolla
RAY: As promised, this week's puzzler is automotive in nature, although you don't need elaborate automotive knowledge to figure it out.

TOM: Will there be declarification? Obfuscation? Will inky shadows be mentioned?

RAY: You never know! This was sent in by David Lane. He writes,

"One day, I drove my very reliable 1993 Toyota Corolla to the store. When I came out, it wouldn't start. The starter motor was silent. I turned the key, and there was no sound whatsoever. Repeatedly turning the key sometimes produced some clicking sounds under the dash but most of the time it produced nothing.

"I kept trying and, finally, after many tries, the starter motor kicked in and the car started right up. I considered myself pretty lucky.

"On the way home, I glanced at the dashboard. All the gauges read normal, and there were no warning lights on. But I noticed something, and immediately knew what the problem was.

"When I got home, I fixed it in just a few minutes."

So, what was wrong with David's car?
TheCatsMeow
#191 Posted : Thursday, January 25, 2018 4:58:29 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
There is a new game going on with I think they said there are so far 150,000 participants. It is called HQTRIVIA. No necessarily in caps. It is on at 3pm est every day. There are 8 questions given in rapid succession. You only have seconds to answer each one. I believe it is probably an app for a cell phone although I don't know for sure. There are prizes and I am assuming the biggest is for the first one to get them all right.
One woman won 12 dollars and was so excited and happy to which people were wondering whats so grand about 12 dollars. It wasn't the amount but the fact that she got all 8 right among all of the contestants. The speed would be my problem.
GL

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HQ_Trivia
TheCatsMeow
#192 Posted : Monday, February 05, 2018 5:16:10 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

Bloody Brakes
RAY: This was sent by a guy named John Tomasetti from somewhere out there, some dot com place, dot com. Anyway, he says this is a real-life situation, actually happened to me, etc., etc.

He has a 1982 Jeep CJ7, and it had sticky front-brake calipers. So he decided that he was going to rebuild them himself.

"So," he said, "I bought the rebuilding kits for both front wheels and proceeded to rebuild the calipers myself. The rebuilding kits included all the necessary o-rings and dust boots, as well as new steel pistons to complete the job. I proceeded to rebuild both of these front calipers, feeling good that I had no spare parts left over. I was satisfied that I did the rebuild job correctly, and, in fact, that my work was flawless.

"However," he goes on, "when I finished the job, I couldn't seem to bleed the brakes properly. The pedal went to the floor as if there were air trapped in the system. I must have bled a gallon of brake fluid through the system to no avail, but there were no leaks. Finally, I took the Jeep to a shop, and, using their professional equipment, they bled them--to no avail."

TOM: Wow!

RAY: Finally they say, "You need a new master cylinder." They, what? Replaced the master cylinder three times to no avail. They checked the lines, they checked the rear brakes--everything in perfect condition. They gave up.

After five days, three more master cylinders, and many more gallons of brake fluid, he takes the thing to the Jeep dealer. They bleed the brakes, they put in master cylinders, they do all this and, finally, someone figures it out, and it cost no money to get it fixed.

So, what did they do? What did this one brilliant guy notice?
Answer the Puzzler »
Remember last week's puzzler?
The Hat in the River
RAY: Imagine this: It's the first day of summer. You decide to rent a little rowboat at the dock and go for a ride. You begin to paddle upstream. Did I tell you you've got two oars in the water?

TOM: People say I don't have two oars in the water. What do they mean by that?

RAY: You're rowing upstream. You get a mile from where you put your boat in the water, and your hat flies off. You say, "Ah, forget it!" You keep rowing.

Suddenly, you realize that your two tickets to that night's Sleepy LaBeef concert are inside the sweatband of the hat. At that moment, when you realize you've also lost the tickets, you've rowed away from the hat for 10 minutes.

You turn around and you start rowing again, trying to get to the hat. You're rowing with the same intensity that you were when you were going upstream.

You catch up with the hat right at the point that you first put the boat in the water.

How fast is the current moving?
TheCatsMeow
#193 Posted : Monday, February 05, 2018 5:17:25 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156

Bloody Brakes
RAY: This was sent by a guy named John Tomasetti from somewhere out there, some dot com place, dot com. Anyway, he says this is a real-life situation, actually happened to me, etc., etc.

He has a 1982 Jeep CJ7, and it had sticky front-brake calipers. So he decided that he was going to rebuild them himself.

"So," he said, "I bought the rebuilding kits for both front wheels and proceeded to rebuild the calipers myself. The rebuilding kits included all the necessary o-rings and dust boots, as well as new steel pistons to complete the job. I proceeded to rebuild both of these front calipers, feeling good that I had no spare parts left over. I was satisfied that I did the rebuild job correctly, and, in fact, that my work was flawless.

"However," he goes on, "when I finished the job, I couldn't seem to bleed the brakes properly. The pedal went to the floor as if there were air trapped in the system. I must have bled a gallon of brake fluid through the system to no avail, but there were no leaks. Finally, I took the Jeep to a shop, and, using their professional equipment, they bled them--to no avail."

TOM: Wow!

RAY: Finally they say, "You need a new master cylinder." They, what? Replaced the master cylinder three times to no avail. They checked the lines, they checked the rear brakes--everything in perfect condition. They gave up.

After five days, three more master cylinders, and many more gallons of brake fluid, he takes the thing to the Jeep dealer. They bleed the brakes, they put in master cylinders, they do all this and, finally, someone figures it out, and it cost no money to get it fixed.

So, what did they do? What did this one brilliant guy notice?
Answer the Puzzler »
Remember last week's puzzler?
The Hat in the River
RAY: Imagine this: It's the first day of summer. You decide to rent a little rowboat at the dock and go for a ride. You begin to paddle upstream. Did I tell you you've got two oars in the water?

TOM: People say I don't have two oars in the water. What do they mean by that?

RAY: You're rowing upstream. You get a mile from where you put your boat in the water, and your hat flies off. You say, "Ah, forget it!" You keep rowing.

Suddenly, you realize that your two tickets to that night's Sleepy LaBeef concert are inside the sweatband of the hat. At that moment, when you realize you've also lost the tickets, you've rowed away from the hat for 10 minutes.

You turn around and you start rowing again, trying to get to the hat. You're rowing with the same intensity that you were when you were going upstream.

You catch up with the hat right at the point that you first put the boat in the water.

How fast is the current moving?
TheCatsMeow
#194 Posted : Monday, February 12, 2018 3:31:49 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,156
From Rags to Britches
RAY: Now, this puzzler is lengthy and complex and obfuscated and full of useless information. So pay attention.

Our producer, Dougie Berman, is walking home from work late one afternoon. About 2:15, as he approaches his house, he notices that there is a car parked in front of his house with the engine running. And in the driver's seat is a man and while this car is sitting there Dougie notices someone coming from the direction of his house carrying what looks like a huge pile of rags. The man opens the back door, throws the rags in the back seat and jumps in the car. The driver puts the thing in gear and they speed away.

Dougie goes into the house. He plays with the dogs. He opens his mail. He takes a nap. Et cetera, et cetera. Several days later he notices that all of his clothes have been stolen.

TOM: Took him a few days to notice.

RAY: So, he calls the police to make a report, and they come down. You know, the inspector comes down and says, well, what happened? And Dougie explains everything. And Dougie's standing there in his underwear, because what? All of his clothes have been stolen.
And the police asked him if he noticed anything about the guys. Dougie said, no, they were average height, average build, average weight. Then they asked, what about the car? Do you know something about that? Well, Dougie said, I happened to be a student of the automotive field, and I did notice that it was an '89 Corolla, midnight blue. I noticed of course that the engine was running. I noticed that it had Massachusetts license plates, and there was a dent in the trunk. And the police said, we'll get back to you. Weeks go by. Weeks.

Finally, the police call him up and say, we have the car and two suspects and we just need you to come down and identify your stuff.

Dougie comes down to the police station and he looks at the two guys, but he doesn't recognize them because he's not that attentive to details. He goes up into the parking lot, and sure enough, there's the car. There's an '89 blue Corolla, midnight blue, Mass. plates, dent in the trunk.

And Dougie remembers that there was one thing that he forgot to tell the police about the car. He walks over very quickly and looks inside the car for one second, and walks away and says that's not the car. These aren't the guys. What did Dougie look at? A quick look inside and walked away and Dougie said, can't go to work for another two weeks. I won't have any clothes.

So that's the question: What did Dougie look at?
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