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brain teasers Options
TheCatsMeow
#41 Posted : Monday, May 4, 2015 2:48:40 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401


CABLE CONTEST
RAY: Some engineers were contemplating building a suspension bridge across the gorge at Niagara Falls. You know what a gorge is, right?

TOM: It's what I do at Thanksgiving.

RAY: Exactly. So, you’ve got a raging river below, and you've got to get cables for the suspension bridge from one side to the other. But, there's no way to get the cables across, because there was no boat that could fight that current.

The engineers and builders figured out how to do it, and they staged a contest on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The contest was open to the public, and the purpose was to help get these massive cables across the gorge.

The contest was won by a young boy. And shortly after the contest was completed, they were able to run the cables from one side of the gorge to the other.

What was the contest?
TheCatsMeow
#42 Posted : Monday, May 11, 2015 6:06:51 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401

Car Talk
MAINE MURDER MYSTERY
RAY: A woman and her husband spent a week vacationing in Maine last summer, where they rented a small cabin, not too far from town and some well-known tourist attractions. About two months after they had returned home, the woman called the police department in that small town and reported a body - yes, a human body lying face down in the brush behind the very cabin they had rented.
The detective to whom she spoke said there had indeed been a murder, and only recently was the victim found in that exact spot. The detective was angry, though, and demanded to know why she had not called sooner.
He asked, "What, were you in a coma or something? Or maybe you were abducted by Martians?"
She said, "Oh no. It was nothing like that," and she explained her actions.
The detective said, "Oh, I see," and thanked her for her call.
What had she said? I'll give a hint. The hint is "vacation."
TheCatsMeow
#43 Posted : Monday, May 18, 2015 12:58:10 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401

BILLY BOB'S 50-CENT HABIT
RAY: Every morning on his way to work, Billy Bob Beaumont stops at the corner gas station and spends 25 cents for gas. Every evening on his way home, he stops at the same station and again spends 25 cents for gas. He continues this pattern for some months. The amount he spends never varies. Nor does the twice-a-day schedule.
Finally the attendant, who has observed Billy Bob's routine says, "You know, if you'd spend about $10 on a repair, you wouldn't have to stop here so often."
What is the simple repair the attendant has in mind? And the hint, which I have to give, is that it has nothing to do with the fuel system.
TheCatsMeow
#44 Posted : Monday, May 25, 2015 12:41:59 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
MORE MATCHSTICK MATH
RAY: Go out and get yourself 16 matchsticks. You're going to use the matchsticks to make the following Roman numeral sequence. One, then two matchsticks to make a plus sign. Plus Roman numeral two. Plus Roman numeral three. Plus Roman numeral four, which is not "IV," but, in this case, "IIII."

So your equation looks like this: : I + II + III + IIII

TOM: If you add this up, one plus two plus three plus four, it adds up to 10.

RAY: Right. The question is, can you move one matchstick, without removing it, still using them all -- and make that equal to four?
TheCatsMeow
#45 Posted : Tuesday, June 2, 2015 2:09:27 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
THE ALTERNATOR SOLUTION
RAY: This was sent to us by Judy Belland, who writes: "My sister's wedding had been the day before in Hagerstown, Maryland. I was getting a ride back to my home in Michigan with two of my sister's friends, Robin and John.
"We were only about an hour into the drive when John's alternator light came on. After a few more hours of driving, his car began having trouble. It was bogging down and some of the electrical stuff wasn't working.
"We got off the highway and found a mechanic’s that was open. We charged the battery, which took about an hour and a half.
"Things looked grim. It was normally a 12-hour trip. But if we stopped for an hour and a half every two hours—assuming we were lucky enough to find a battery charger every time we needed it—it was going to take us something like 15 days to get home.
"Well, within seconds of merging back onto the highway, who went whizzing by us but my aunt and uncle. They too were heading back to Michigan from the wedding. We pulled up alongside, rolled down the window, and said, 'We're having trouble! Pull over!'
We found a place to stop, and John explained the situation to my uncle. My uncle, sounding regretful, said, 'I could help, but I don't have any tools.'
"John said, 'I have some tools. I have a pair of pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a vise grip.'
"The uncle said, 'We don't even have a new alternator to put in! How could I possibly help?'
"But they were able to devise a plan! And, we made it back to Michigan with no difficulty-- and virtually no delay."
How did they do it?
TheCatsMeow
#46 Posted : Monday, June 15, 2015 10:31:26 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401

NEW BARBER MATH
RAY: A barber had his first customer of the day, who happened to be a friend. When he was done, the barber refused to take the money from the customer. The fellow said, "Look, I know we're friends, but, business is business. I want to pay for my haircut."

The barber said, "Here's what we'll do. You open the cash register. I don't have any idea how much money is in there. But, you match whatever is in there, and then take out 20 bucks."

The customer says, "Okay," and he does that.

The barber says, "Gee, I kind of like this." So, the next customer comes in, he gets his haircut, and the barber says, "You can do the same thing my first customer did. Open the cash register, match what's in there, and then take out 20 bucks."

The second customer does that, and he leaves. The third customer does the same. The fourth customer, after receiving his haircut, opens the cash register, and says, "I can't do it. "

The barber says, "Why not?"

"There's no money in here. Not a cent."

The question is, how much money was in there to start?
TheCatsMeow
#47 Posted : Monday, June 29, 2015 5:24:30 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
THE COUNTERFEIT QUARTERS
RAY: This puzzler came to us from Clive Woods. Clive writes:

“I work in the Anti-Counterfeit Department of the U.S. Treasury. The other day, my assistant was sent 100 U.S. quarters, and he found that 10 of them were bo-o-o-o-gus.

“He sorted the 10 bogus coins into one pile, and being an organized sort of chap, he made 9 piles, each containing 10 of the real coins. The weight of the counterfeit coins in this case was different from the weight of a real quarter by 1 gram. However, he forgot whether it was 1 gram more or 1 gram less, but, he knew that the bogus coins were all 1 gram heavier or 1 gram lighter than the real coins.

“He was called away to another job, and he left the 10 piles on his desk. I had to determine which was the bogus pile. To do it, I had a calibrated scale that would tell me the weight placed on it within a fraction of a gram. The question is, how could I figure which was the pile of bogus coins in one weighing?”
TheCatsMeow
#48 Posted : Monday, July 13, 2015 6:48:25 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
THE FLAT FRONT TIRES
RAY: The other day, I had to go to my buddy Pete's repair shop early in the morning. I was returning a tool...

TOM: ... that you had borrowed two years ago.

RAY: Something like that. Anyway, they had a customer’s vehicle parked in the bay next to the lift, and it had two flat tires in the front. I said to Pete, "Huh? What happened to that thing? Did it fall off the tow truck when it came in?"

He said, "Oh, no, nothing like that. Jerry's replacing the water pump."

I said, "Oh, of course."

The question is, what the heck is going on here?
TheCatsMeow
#49 Posted : Monday, July 27, 2015 11:21:39 AM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
THE CANDY-BAR SOLUTION
RAY: Many years ago, it was a bright and sunny day and Tommy was driving our dad's '51 Dodge. Suddenly he noticed steam coming out from under the hood. He pulled over and located a slit in one of the two heater hoses, about two inches long.

He carefully removed the radiator cap to relieve the pressure, and he was pleased to find that he'd lost very little coolant. He opened the trunk, confident that he would find tools there. To his surprise, the trunk was empty.

Ever the optimist, he began walking and found a corner store. He pulled out the only money he had -- a one-dollar bill -- and bought a five-cent candy bar. He returned to the car and was soon back on the road.

How did he fix the car?
TheCatsMeow
#50 Posted : Monday, August 3, 2015 6:19:31 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
THE TALE OF THE TRAVELING SALESMAN
RAY: About 40 years ago, a guy took a job as a traveling salesman. He immediately fell out of favor with his boss, who assigned him to spend the winter traveling around exotic places like Moose Jaw, Maine and Freeze-Your-Butt, New Hampshire. He had to travel by car from one location to another, so he often found himself driving from town to town in the winter looking for cheap motels in which to spend the night.

He began to notice a disturbing thing. When he would stop at these motels, oftentimes the owner of the motel was also the clerk, and they'd have you fill out that little card--you know, name, address, home phone--in case you skipped out in the middle of the night. Also, the motel owner would ask him what he did for a living.

When he said he was a salesman, he would almost always be assigned a room on the second floor. I asked him if it had anything to do with the car that he drove. And he said, "I guess you could say so. At the time I was driving a Volkswagen." And that's your hint.

Why was he always assigned to a room on the second floor?
TheCatsMeow
#51 Posted : Monday, August 10, 2015 11:17:32 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401

THE SKEPTICAL BROTHER
RAY: A man was on his way to a family reunion when he noticed the odometer on his car was about to turn over at 100,000 miles. A big deal, right? When he arrived he told his family that he had watched as it happened. His skeptical brother said, "I don't think so. I bet you really missed it. I think you just discovered that it turned over when you arrived and turned off the engine and you saw that it was over 100K miles."
But the man was prepared. He said, "No, I watched it turn over and I can prove it." And no. . . he didn't take a picture or video. He didn't have a camera phone or anything like that. Still, what he showed his brother did the trick. What did he point out when they both went out to the car?
TheCatsMeow
#52 Posted : Tuesday, August 18, 2015 7:03:47 AM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401

THE LOCKED BOX
RAY: Imagine you have a friend who lives in an authoritarian country where the government spies on everyone and everything. You want to send a valuable object to this friend. So you have a box which is more than large enough to contain the object and you have several locks with keys.
Now this box, I suppose you could call it a strongbox, has a lock ring that can accommodate several padlocks. But your friend does not have the key to any lock that you have. You can't send a key in the mail because the government will intercept it and copy it. And you can’t leave the box unlocked, because the object is very valuable. You have to send it through the mail. You can't hand deliver it. You want to lock it so that your friend can open it, but the spies can't.
The question is, how would you do it?




(use a combination lock)?
TheCatsMeow
#53 Posted : Monday, August 24, 2015 2:15:45 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
#1534: Gail, The Tollbooth Fugitive

(Flickr/vxla)
Original Air Date: 08.22.2015
4

Listen to full show Show Podcast (FREE) Best Moment 01:27

Description:
This week on The Best of Car Talk, one of our all-time favorite wackos. Gail is on the run from the law in three states, after evading a bridge toll because she didn’t have exact change. Can Tom and Ray help bring her in from the cold? Elsewhere, Rebecca was living the dream with her Dart until it ran out of foil, and now she’s living the nightmare; Kat’s Volvo problems could disappear with a new transmission, or if she takes up a career in flower arranging; and newly single Justin needs a new babe magnet car, but doesn’t trust his Corvette-driving brother’s recommendations. All this and more, this week on the Best of Car Talk.
TheCatsMeow
#54 Posted : Monday, August 31, 2015 8:00:21 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401

THE EXTRA 40 POUNDS

RAY: This came from a fellow named Josh Kokendolfer who says, "This is a true story”:
It was a brisk December morning. A co-worker and I had a simple job to do that day: clean out a job site and take the trash to the local landfill. And we had an F-350 pickup that was outfitted with a dump-truck bed. We filled it up and headed out. When we arrived at the landfill we pulled the truck onto the scale that weighed our vehicle and the woman in the office waved us through.
We unloaded and headed back out to the scale. Once again our truck was weighed. Before getting into the truck I noticed that one of the back tires was low. I decided to stop at one of the local gas stations to check it out and fill all the tires just in case.
After lunch we loaded the truck a second time at the site and headed back to the landfill. Everything went just like the first time. After we were weighed on exiting, I went to pay the bill. My co-worker looked at the paperwork and noticed something strange.
The first time we left we weighed 6,480 lbs. And the second time we exited we weighed 6,440 lbs - a difference of 40 lbs. We were being charged for an extra 40 pounds of trash that we didn't have. I immediately complained to the office manager. She grinned and said, "There's nothing wrong with our scales." Well, if that's the case, what happened?

Remember last week's puzzler?
THE ASYMMETRIC COMMUTE

RAY: Two young guys are discussing their jobs. One says, "I set my trip odometer the first day I started my job and the round trip is exactly 20 miles."
"Wow, that's great," the other guy says. "I wish my job was only 10 miles from home."
"Oh, no," number one guy says, "it's only 5 miles to get to work, but 15 miles to get home."
"What are you driving, an ice cream truck or something like that?"
"No, no, no, no."
"Oh, I know, you're taking a detour to visit your girlfriend."
"Nope, not at all. I drive directly from home to work, taking the shortest route. And I return from work, also taking the shortest route. No detours, no side trips. I come directly home and it's 15 miles to get home, making it a 20-mile round-trip to work and home from work."
And he goes on to say: "Last week the boss called and asked me to report to another location for a few days to fill in for someone who was on vacation. Ready for this? On those days I drove 15 miles to get to work, but then the ride home was only 5 miles."
The question is - how can this be?
Think you know the answer?

IF ANYONE KNOWS THE ANSWER TO THESE PUZZLES PLEASE POST AFTER A FEW DAYS. THANK YOU. THE MANAGEMENT
TheCatsMeow
#55 Posted : Monday, September 7, 2015 9:54:45 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
TO STOP A CAR THIEF

RAY: Back in the 1960s a mechanic I knew had a gas station/repair shop, which meant that many of his customer's cars were left outside in the lot overnight. He had some stolen and couldn't protect them from the hotwire thieves that came at night. Back in those days, hotwiring a car and driving it away was a pretty easy thing to do. So he came up with a quick, simple and effective way to discourage them.
He would pop the hood, reach under and in a few seconds render the car unstartable. The neat thing was that if anyone tried to start it, it would seem to want to start. It would cough and hit on an occasional cylinder, like vroom, vroom vroom, and even if they opened the hood, examination under there revealed nothing obvious.
The next morning he would reach under the hood and in 10 seconds or less have the car running. The question is, what was he doing?

Switch two spark plug wires
TheCatsMeow
#56 Posted : Monday, September 14, 2015 1:30:30 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401



RAY: On a recent Saturday afternoon, I saw a boy and his mother at the neighborhood diner where I often go for lunch. From my vantage point I could see they were working on some arithmetic problems. The problems seemed simple enough and the kid was getting all the correct answers. For example, the first one was 25 + 8 and he wrote down 33. And the next one was 12 + 5 and he wrote down 17. The next was 35 + 13 and he wrote 48.
Then his mother posed the last two problems. 45 - 8. The boy said 47 but I thought the answer was 37. The next one was 42 + 15. The boy said 43. I thought it should have been 57. His mother accepted both of those answers. When I saw how the kid was dressed, I did too. What was going on?
TheCatsMeow
#57 Posted : Monday, September 21, 2015 4:00:09 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
THE PRINCIPAL FIX

RAY: There's a high school election for senior class president, and there are three kids running, Tom, Tad, and Tim. As luck would have it they each get exactly the same number of votes: One. There's a lot of apathy in that particular school, I guess. Anyway, the principal calls Tom, Tad and Tim into his office and says, "Look guys, we could have another election but there's a pretty good chance that the count's going to come out exactly the same. So let's just throw each of your names into a hat, and I'll pull one out, and that'll be the winner, OK?"

They all agree. So he takes a clean sheet, you know, of plain white paper, eight and a half by eleven, and he folds it into thirds, and then like teachers often do, holding the paper on the sharp edge of his desk he tears the paper so that three pieces are exactly or pretty much exactly the same size. He hands each kid a piece and says, "Write your name here." And just to make sure it's on the up and up, he says, "Guys, you can blindfold me and I'm going to hold the hat. We're going to put the three names in a hat, and I'm going to hold the hat above my head and I'm going to reach in and pull out the winner's name."

Now the principal wants Tad to win because the other two kids are knuckleheads and he thinks, "If either one of these kids becomes president the school is going down, and I'm going to lose my job." So the question is how does the principal fix it so Tad wins?

THIS ONE WAS EASY IF I AM RIGHT:O)
he gave tad the middle as it is torn on both sides where the others have one cut edge..easily identifiable even feeling it.
TheCatsMeow
#58 Posted : Tuesday, September 22, 2015 12:47:25 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401
RECEIVED THIS EMAIL YESTERDAY. SOUNDS LIKE I MIGHT HAVE GOT THE RIGHT ANSWER. NEVER RECEIVED THIS BEFORE. IF A NAME IS SAID ON THE RADIO SHOW THE ONLY WAY I WILL KNOW, I GUESS I WILL NEVER KNOW. THESE GUYS ARE CHARACTERS.Laugh


Thanks for sending us your answer to this week's Car Talk puzzler!

In case you were wondering, here's the process we go through to select each week's winner:

First, we have to be certain you have the correct answer. We start by sending your answer to Paul Murky, at Murky Research. Murky, working with our Statistician Marge Innovera, will place your puzzler answer in one of two heaps: "not even close" and "pretty much right."

Assuming it passes by Paul and Marge, your answer will then be zipped along to Central Processing, where it will be date and time stamped, and searched for attached currency. Next, it will be shipped electronically to our Correct Answer Verification Center, where our legions of lackeys once again search your answer for any lingering currency -- just in case someone at Central Processing missed it. Then, they make certain that your response fits the criterion we have established for correct answers.

Please note that since we're often unsure of what the right answer is ourselves, we have very wide latitude in determining what constitutes a correct answer. Incorrect answers, however, will be sent to Nigerian Email Schemers.

Lastly, correct answers will be sent to Ms. Shirley Wright, who operates under the auspices of the Committee for Reviewing Answers to Puzzlers. There, operating under complete secrecy, Ms. Wright will pick a winner.

If your response is selected as this week's winning entry, we'll announce your name on the air. You'll also get a $26 gift certificate to our Shameless Commerce Division-- but only if you catch us. Which means, what? You'll need to e mail us and mention that you heard your name on the air. If you're smart, you'll then trade your new Shameless Commerce Gift Certificate to an unsuspecting co-worker, for a cup of coffee and twenty-five cents. Why $26? Simple. It used to be $25... but we adjusted for inflation. About ten years ago. (No kidding.)

Cordially,

Tom and Ray Magliozzi
Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers


If you wish to see my answer you can high light with your mouse over the area at the end of the post yesterday and WALASmile
TheCatsMeow
#59 Posted : Monday, September 28, 2015 4:21:09 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401


Reply-To: Lackey@cartalk.com


This Week's Puzzler

TIM AND JETHRO'S
PUMP-SIDE WAGER

RAY: Tim and Jethro were happy to have their jobs at the new self-serve gas station in town. And, since the Farmer's Almanac had predicted this to be the coldest winter since the last ice age, they were happy to be working indoors, while the customers pumped their own gas.
This station had a video camera for each of the pumps, and a TV monitor that would show the rear of everyone's vehicles as soon as they pulled up to the pumps.
When the boredom of their jobs finally set in, Tim and Jethro began playing a little game. The game involved trying to figure out which customers had pulled up to a pump with the fuel door on the wrong side-- that is, facing away from the pump.
Now, they couldn't see the cars pull into the gas station. The video cameras were only aimed at the back of the vehicles. So, there was no time during which they could see the side of a vehicle where the fuel door was located. They could only see the vehicle after it was in position to refuel.
They had to make their bets before the driver shut off the key and exited the vehicle-- before he dope slapped himself for pulling in on the wrong side.
Jethro was correct 99 percent of the time. Tim was correct about 50 percent of the time, because he was just guessing.
What did Jethro know that enabled him to tell when a driver had pulled up to the pump with the fuel door facing the wrong way?
TheCatsMeow
#60 Posted : Monday, October 5, 2015 10:13:45 PM
Rank: Advanced Member


Joined: 7/1/2008
Posts: 220,401


Reply-To: Lackey@cartalk.com


This Week's Puzzler

THE CAPTURED SPY

RAY: David Thorndike had been operating as a spy behind the German lines. As the son of an English father and a German mother, he was perfectly suited for the job. His knowledge of the language, German culture, music and history were unsurpassed.

And yet he was not above suspicion. He was watched carefully, but never a false move did he make. As the war wore on and invasion plans materialized, he became encouraged, even euphoric, that soon the war would end and he would return to jolly old England.

Then one day he was in Berlin, lost in his thoughts, thinking about his return to merry old England. He was standing there on a busy street corner, ready to cross the street, and he feels a tug on his sleeve and a pistol in his ribs. He's been discovered. How did they know?!

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