Monday, April 21, 2008

Puzzles and the like

Dad's Sliding Block Puzzle

Uncle Roy's Jigsaw Puzzle

This is one of my favorite tricks--guaranteed to astound your friends. Select an individual and tell this person that you can tell them the month and date of their birthday. They will need to follow your instructions and do some calculations.

1.) Ask the individual to multiply the number of the month of their birthday by 5.

2.) Add 7.

3.) Multiply by 4.

4.) Add 13.

5.) Multiply by 5.

6.) Add the day of the month.

Now, have the individual show or tell you the result. Mentally, subtract 205 from the given number.

Example January 29th

1.) 1x5=5.

2.) 5+7=12.

3.) 12x4=48.

4.) 48+13=61.

5.) 61x5=305.

6.) 305+29=334.

7.) 334-205=129 or 1 [January] 29th


A home has three clocks. On January 1st at midnight all three show the correct time. Only the first clock keeps perfect time. The second clock loses a minute every day. The third clock gains a minute every day. If the clocks were to continue in this way, how long would it be before all of them show the correct time again at the same time?


You have four solid cubes that are all made of the same material but have different heights. The first cube is 6 centimeters tall, the second is 8 centimeters tall, the third is 10 centimeters tall, and the fourth is 12 centimeters tall. If you were to place the cubes on the two pans of a balance, which cubes would you place in which pan so that the weights on both sides would be equal?

Clue: You would need to consider the volume of a cube rather than its height to determine which cubes go in which pan.

Einstein's Riddle:

"There are 5 houses in 5 different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

The question is: Who owns the fish?


The Brit lives in the red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the left of the white house.
The green homeowner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the center house drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.

Einstein wrote this riddle early during the 19th century. He said 98% of the world could not solve it. Its not hard, you just need to pay attention and be patient.


Fill all four flasks first and then the middle flask.

Lone Electron:

Help the "lone electron" at the top left make its way to the atom at the center. Bounce in a straight line from atom to atom following the arrows.


There are twelve balls.
One weighs more or less than the others.
Using a simple balance scale, discover the "oddball" in only three weighings.

Tongue Twisters:

Betty better butter Brad's bread.

Blue bluebird blinks.

Chop shops stock chops.

Ed had edited it.

Fat frogs flying past fast.

Friendly Frank flips fine flapjacks.

Give papa a cup of proper coffee in a copper coffee cup.

Knapsack straps.

Mrs. Smith's Fish Sauce Shop.

Peggy Babcock.

Penny's pretty pink piggy bank.

Plague-bearing prairie dogs.

She sifted thistles through her thistle-sifter.

Red lorry, yellow lorry, red lorry, yellow lorry.

Roger weaves red rugs.

Rubber baby buggy bumpers.

She sifted thistles through her thistle-sifter.

The sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

Silly Sally slid down a slippery slide.

Six sick slick slim sycamore saplings.

Six small slick seals.

Sly Sam slurps Sally's soup.

Sunshine City.

Thieves seize skis.

Three free throws.

Toy Boat, toy boat, toy boat.

We surely shall see the sun shine soon.

Which witch wished which wicked wish?

Which wrist watch is a Swiss wrist watch?

Wishy-washy Wanda watched her watch get washed.

Water Levels:

Say you are out fishing, in a boat on a lake, and you take the boat's anchor and drop it over the side, into the lake: Does the water level of the lake rise (since the anchor is now taking up space in the lake)? Or does the water level fall (because the boat is now floating higher in the water)? Or does the water level stay the same (because these two things cancel each other out)? Or is it impossible to determine what the water level will do without more information?

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