Puzzles wanted

A place where beginners can participate, ask questions, and post their views. However, beginners typically ask a lot of questions about sources, tricks, books, and so on. In fact, all magicians are interested (or should be) in the provenance of tricks, ideas, and related matters. This department will service these needs.
Bill Mullins
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Puzzles wanted

Postby Bill Mullins » November 2nd, 2016, 9:19 pm

I work in a lab full of engineers and scientists. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote on one of the white boards:

"What is the last item in this sequence?
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,
1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,3,1,1,_"

After a few days, no one had written anything in it, so I put up the hint "3 = W", and eventually someone came up with the answer that the numbers represent the number of syllables of the letters of the alphabet.

I followed it last week with

"What is the next letter in this sequence?
O, T, T, F, F, S, S, _" and someone got it today.

Any suggestions for what I should put up next?

Joe Mckay
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe Mckay » November 2nd, 2016, 10:07 pm

This book might be of use.

Plus - the article has a nice puzzle involving the days of the week.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/behind-gchqs-fiendish-new-puzzle-book/

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Matthew Field
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Matthew Field » November 3rd, 2016, 9:09 am

Bill -- an oldie, but a goodie.

Matt Field

Bill Mullins
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Bill Mullins » November 3rd, 2016, 10:42 am

Thanks Joe, but we are all Americans and monolingual, so it wouldn't have a chance of getting solved.

But I came up with this:

"This set has seven elements. Name the missing one.
Sun
Moon
Norse god Tyr
Norse god Wodin
Norse god Thor
Norse god Freyja
XXXXX"

Joe Mckay
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe Mckay » November 3rd, 2016, 11:50 am

For the past few years - I have prepared xmas quizzes for work.

I will comb through them and pull out some questions that are more "puzzle" like in feel.

-------------------

Egypt one.

Greece two.

Turkey two.

Iraq one.

What am I referring to?

------------------

Using just the letters in the top row of a typewriter - what is the longest word you can spell?

Q W E R T Y U I O P

------------------

23°26′13.6″ north

23°26′13.6″ south

Author?

-----------------

February is the shortest month in the year, but which is the longest?

-----------------

On a clear day, from the top of Mount Rushmore, what is the furthest thing you can see?

----------------

What is the only word in the English language that ends in the letters "mt"?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard Wiseman had a great puzzle that went viral recently:

What value should ‘x’ be in the following sequence?

16 06 68 88 x 98

http://i.stack.imgur.com/CT56W.jpg

https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/20 ... uzzle-105/

Richard Wiseman has a collection of 101 puzzles here. He is a great writer since he has a knack of finding the most interesting stuff to write about of record for his youtube videos.

https://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/10 ... y-puzzles/

He also has an ebook containing 101 puzzles that he published previously:

https://www.amazon.com/PUZZLED-Cunning- ... 338&sr=1-1

Joe Mckay
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe Mckay » November 3rd, 2016, 11:59 am

I am not sure if this counts as a puzzle but something I noticed once is this...

How many days in a week? 7

How many weeks in a year? 52

How many days in a year? 365 (or 365.24 if you want to be exact)

So 52 x 7 = 365?

Wrong.

52 x 7 = 364.

What happened to the missing day?

Ian Kendall
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Ian Kendall » November 3rd, 2016, 1:10 pm

There are 52 weeks, and then the extra day, Without that, New Year would be on the same day every year.

brianarudolph
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby brianarudolph » November 3rd, 2016, 4:06 pm

Using only numbers expressed with Arabic numerals, fill in the blanks in the following statement so that it is true:

"This sentence contains _____ 0's, _____ 1's, _____ 2's, _____ 3's, _____ 4's, _____ 5's, _____ 6's, _____ 7's, _____ 8's, and _____ 9's."

There are TWO correct solutions. Get both solutions to earn the genius badge of honor!

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Ian Kendall » November 3rd, 2016, 5:03 pm

Bit of a paradox with the 2s in that one...

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erdnasephile
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby erdnasephile » November 3rd, 2016, 7:05 pm

I like this one. https://puzzlersworld.com/logical-puzzl ... qus_thread

After a series of math puzzles, it is very deceptive--especially if you are a math-oriented person.

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Ian Kendall » November 3rd, 2016, 8:05 pm

Joe posted that one above. I never found it deceptive, but I realise I'm not normal...

brianarudolph
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby brianarudolph » November 3rd, 2016, 8:09 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:Bit of a paradox with the 2s in that one...

Only with the 2's, Ian?

Obviously there's at least 1 of everything in the sentence ... but then all those 1's you put in the blanks alter the number of 1's in the sentence. So then you have to adjust that. And don't forget that if you write a number like 10, that puts another 0 and another 1 in the sentence, so your blanks for 0's and 1's may now be incorrect (again.)

It definitely takes some iterating!

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erdnasephile
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby erdnasephile » November 3rd, 2016, 10:19 pm


brianarudolph
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby brianarudolph » November 4th, 2016, 3:30 am

erdnasephile wrote:What about this one?

http://www.puzzles.com/PuzzlePlayground ... iraffe.htm

Too easy - just look for four matches that already have symmetry as a group and move the other one.

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Ian Kendall » November 4th, 2016, 3:46 am

Only with the 2's, Ian?

Obviously there's at least 1 of everything in the sentence ... but then all those 1's you put in the blanks alter the number of 1's in the sentence. So then you have to adjust that. And don't forget that if you write a number like 10, that puts another 0 and another 1 in the sentence, so your blanks for 0's and 1's may now be incorrect (again.)


I got as far as the 2s and gave up after the paradox. Writing 10 is moot, because there is not ten of anything.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby erdnasephile » November 4th, 2016, 6:07 am

brianarudolph wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:What about this one?

http://www.puzzles.com/PuzzlePlayground ... iraffe.htm

Too easy - just look for four matches that already have symmetry as a group and move the other one.


Actually, Martin Gardner wrote of this item: "I consider this the finest of all toothpick puzzles." (Impromptu, pg 788)

Dave Le Fevre
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Dave Le Fevre » November 4th, 2016, 6:24 am

I have two children.

One is a boy who was born on a Tuesday.

What is the probability that I have two boys?

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Dave Le Fevre » November 4th, 2016, 6:26 am

A mother is 21 years older than her son

In 6 years, she will be 5 times her son's age

Where is the father?


(An easy one)

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Dave Le Fevre » November 4th, 2016, 6:27 am

A guy is doing a door-to-door survey

“Excuse me madam, I'm sorry to bother you, but could I ask whether you have any children?”

“Why yes, I have three children”

“Could you tell me their ages, please?”

“If you multiply their ages together, you get 36”


He smiles, and says “Well, that doesn't tell me how old they are”

“And if you add their ages together, you get the number of this house”


He takes a pace back, looks at the house number, thinks briefly, and says “Well, that still doesn't tell me how old they are”

“And the youngest has red hair”

“Thank you, madam”
, and he writes down their ages and leaves

How old are the children?

Joe McIntyre
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe McIntyre » November 4th, 2016, 8:51 am

Martin Gardiner book. "my best mathematical and logic puzzles" can help you.

brianarudolph
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby brianarudolph » November 4th, 2016, 11:01 am

erdnasephile wrote:
brianarudolph wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:What about this one?

http://www.puzzles.com/PuzzlePlayground ... iraffe.htm

Too easy - just look for four matches that already have symmetry as a group and move the other one.


Actually, Martin Gardner wrote of this item: "I consider this the finest of all toothpick puzzles." (Impromptu, pg 788)

Finest does not automatically imply toughest.

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Matthew Field
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Matthew Field » November 4th, 2016, 1:44 pm

Punctuate the following so it makes sense:

Time flies we cannot their flight is too swift

Matt Field

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lybrary
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby lybrary » November 4th, 2016, 3:28 pm

Here is a really nice collection of puzzles with an unusual feature http://www.lybrary.com/cranium-conundrums-p-126100.html
Lybrary.com https://www.lybrary.com/s-w-erdnase-m-11.html
preserving magic one book at a time

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erdnasephile
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby erdnasephile » November 4th, 2016, 3:59 pm

brianarudolph wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:
brianarudolph wrote:Too easy - just look for four matches that already have symmetry as a group and move the other one.


Actually, Martin Gardner wrote of this item: "I consider this the finest of all toothpick puzzles." (Impromptu, pg 788)

Finest does not automatically imply toughest.


Fair enough--I found it tough. ;)

Pete McCabe
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Pete McCabe » November 4th, 2016, 7:46 pm

I created this one for a spec script I wrote many years ago, about a younger detective who trades these puzzles with his older partner.

What is the next letter in this sequence:

C O P S V W __



This is sort of a hint: This is a bit weird because it's not about the sequence, really, more about what those letters have in common, and which of the remaining letters also has that in common. Anyway, at least you haven't seen it before, since the movie never got made, so I never found out how easy or hard it is. Let me know.

Dave Le Fevre
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Dave Le Fevre » November 5th, 2016, 4:44 am

I'd posted three puzzles here. Incidentally, I didn’t actually post them for people here to solve them, I posted them because Bill asked for puzzles for his colleagues.

A PM dialogue about the boy-born-on-a-Tuesday puzzle has persuaded me to suggest that it's not suitable for Bill's purpose, because some people will disagree with the reasoning.

In case anybody's interested - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/m ... 735812.stm

Dave

Dave

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Matthew Field
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Matthew Field » November 5th, 2016, 5:24 am

Here's another punctuation problem. Punctuate the following so it makes (some) sense:

That that is is that that is not is not is not that that is not that that is not is not that that is not not that that it it is


Matt Field

Jack Shalom
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Jack Shalom » November 5th, 2016, 9:32 am

Ten people line up facing the same way in size order, with person #10, the tallest, at the back, and #1, the smallest, in front.

They each have on either a white hat or black hat, and can only see the hats of all the people with lower numbers than themselves. So, for example, person #5 can only see the hats of persons #4, 3, 2, and 1. They cannot turn around to look at hats of people with higher numbers, nor can they see their own hats.

Starting from #10, in order, onto #1, they each say only one word: either "White" or "Black."

They are allowed to discuss strategy beforehand; what strategy will allow at least nine of the ten to correctly say the color of the hat on their own head.

This is strictly a logic puzzle: no wires, threads, mirrors, or rough and smooth.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Bill Mullins » November 5th, 2016, 11:49 am

Thanks so much, and keep 'em coming.

For my purposes, the link to Richard Wiseman's work is most helpful.

Joe -- I have no idea about the Egypt/Greece/Turkey and Mt. Rushmore puzzles.

I like good matchstick/toothpick puzzles, but they aren't good for what I'm doing (hard to stick them on a blackboard on a wall!) See Roberto Giobbi's matchstick routine in Genii Oct 2007, where he puts together a small set with the giraffe puzzle, and builds on it and a couple of variations.

The two children one on Tuesday is a stumper. One year at the Gathering for Gardner, Gary Foshee did a talk on this one. This is a room with a couple of hundred high-powered mathematicians (John Conway, etc.), and I'm not sure he convinced everyone. Like the Monty Hall problem, people gonna argue no matter what.

Pete – I can't figure this one out.

Pete McCabe
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Pete McCabe » November 5th, 2016, 12:40 pm

Bill,

The letters C O P S V W all are the same shape in both lower and upper case. So the next letter would be X, then not Y, then Z.

Again, I never showed this to anyone so I have no idea if it seems valid, if that's the right word. Anything based on the shapes of letters is tricky because there is no "official" shape for letters. I would love to hear if other people think my explanation is sound or not.

In any event, you are welcome to use it if it serves your purposes.

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby brianarudolph » November 5th, 2016, 1:06 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:The two children one on Tuesday is a stumper. One year at the Gathering for Gardner, Gary Foshee did a talk on this one. This is a room with a couple of hundred high-powered mathematicians (John Conway, etc.), and I'm not sure he convinced everyone. Like the Monty Hall problem, people gonna argue no matter what.


I can see why arguments would arise from this one as there is a difference between "I have two children. What is the probability that I have two boys?" and "I have two children. If I now told you that one of them for certain is a boy, what is the probability that I have two boys?"

Many years ago before it was too well publicized, I posed the Monty Hall problem to my staff of IT folks. It generated a lot of arguments. When I revealed the solution, the biggest argument against it came from my head of software engineering. I told him to write a program to simulate it over a few thousand trials. When his own program proved the solution I gave was correct, he still wouldn't accept it - he figured his program was wrong. For all I know he's still off somewhere trying to debug it so it'll work "correctly."

Joe Mckay
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe Mckay » November 5th, 2016, 2:03 pm

Egypt one.

Greece two.

Turkey two.

Iraq one.

What am I referring to?

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

------------------

Using just the letters in the top row of a typewriter - what is the longest word you can spell?

Q W E R T Y U I O P

TYPEWRITER

------------------

23°26′13.6″ north

23°26′13.6″ south

Author?

Henry Miller - Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn

-----------------

February is the shortest month in the year, but which is the longest?

October - has 31 days and the clocks go back an hour (at least here in the UK)
-----------------

On a clear day, from the top of Mount Rushmore, what is the furthest thing you can see?

The Sun

----------------

What is the only word in the English language that ends in the letters "mt"?

Dreamt

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bill Mullins
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Bill Mullins » November 5th, 2016, 7:34 pm

February is the shortest month in the year, but which is the longest?

October - has 31 days and the clocks go back an hour (at least here in the UK)


Just for your info, we are jumping clocks at 2 a.m. tonight here.

If you ask most people "How many different lengths of a month can there be?" and they include leap days, you'll typically get 4. But Nov this year (for us) is 30 days + 1 hour, and March had 31 days less 1 hour. Before 2007, DST adjustments took place in April (30 days - 1hr) and Oct (31 days + 1 hr). And in last year, a leap second was added to June (30 days plus 1 sec), and this year one will be added to December (31 days + 1 sec).

John Conway has an interesting talk on anomalies of the calendar. It is written up in this book (p 191).

Pete -- your puzzle (and answer) make sense to me. But be advised that some comic book and comic strip letterers make their upper case "Y" the same shape as a typical lower case one -- what would be a vertical stroke is a diagonal extension of the right side. Mac King's cousin Bill does this. (and pedantically, should we be referring to majescule and miniscule letters?)

Pete McCabe
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Pete McCabe » November 6th, 2016, 1:36 am

Bill I knew that Y was tricky, but since the puzzle technically only asks for the next letter, X is the answer regardless.

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Ian Kendall » November 6th, 2016, 4:05 am

Egypt one.

Greece two.

Turkey two.

Iraq one.

What am I referring to?

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World


One could also argue that 'vowels' would be a legitimate answer :) (especially when the total in the puzzle is only six...)

Joe Mckay
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe Mckay » November 6th, 2016, 7:32 am

But Greece has 3 vowels not 2.

:-)

Jack Shalom
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Jack Shalom » November 6th, 2016, 8:32 am

Egypt one.

Greece two.

Turkey two.

Iraq one.

What am I referring to?

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World


Alternate answer: number of meanings to a radio audience.

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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Ian Kendall » November 6th, 2016, 11:59 am

Joe; very true :)

observer
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby observer » November 6th, 2016, 12:39 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:
Egypt one.
Greece two.
Turkey two.
Iraq one.
What am I referring to?
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World


the total in the puzzle is only six...)


Boy, the lighthouse of Alexandria gets no respect ...

Joe Mckay
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Re: Puzzles wanted

Postby Joe Mckay » November 6th, 2016, 5:41 pm

Got that question for a book.

Sorry if it is wrong! :-)

I know nothing about ancient history.


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