• # Brain Teasers & Puzzles

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• A corporate businessman has two cubes on his office desk. Every day he arranges both cubes so that the front faces show the current day of the month.

What numbers are on the faces of the cubes to allow this?

Note: You can’t represent the day “7” with a single cube with a side that says 7 on it. You have to use both cubes all the time. So the 7th day would be “07”.

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• You have two strings whose only known property is that when you light one end of either string it takes exactly one hour to burn. The rate at which the strings will burn is completely random and each string is different.

How do you measure 45 minutes?

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• You are mixing cement and the recipe calls for five gallons of water. You have a garden hose giving you all the water you need. The problem is that you only have a four gallon bucket and a seven gallon bucket and nether has graduation marks. Find a method to measure five gallons.

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• There are two beautiful yet remote islands in the south pacific. The Islanders born on one island always tell the truth, and the Islanders from the other island always lie.

You are on one of the islands, and meet three Islanders. You ask the first which island they are from in the most appropriate Polynesian tongue, and he indicates that the other two Islanders are from the same Island. You ask the second Islander the same question, and he also indicates that the other two Islanders are from the same island.

Can you guess what the third Islander will answer to the same question?

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• You have a three gallon and a five gallon measuring device. You wish to measure out four gallons.

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• Below the four parts have been reorganized. The four partitions are exactly the same in both arrangements. Why is there a hole?

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• The warden meets with 23 new prisoners when they arrive. He tells them, “You may meet today and plan a strategy. But after today, you will be in isolated cells and will have no communication with one another.

“In the prison is a switch room, which contains two light switches labeled 1 and 2, each of which can be in either up or the down position. I am not telling you their present positions. The switches are not connected to anything.

“After today, from time to time whenever I feel so inclined, I will select one prisoner at random and escort him to the switch room. This prisoner will select one of the two switches and reverse its position. He must flip one switch when he visits the switch room, and may only flip one of the switches. Then he’ll be led back to his cell.

“No one else will be allowed to alter the switches until I lead the next prisoner into the switch room. I’m going to choose prisoners at random. I may choose the same guy three times in a row, or I may jump around and come back. I will not touch the switches, if I wanted you dead you would already be dead.

“Given enough time, everyone will eventually visit the switch room the same number of times as everyone else. At any time, anyone may declare to me, ‘We have all visited the switch room.’

“If it is true, then you will all be set free. If it is false, and somebody has not yet visited the switch room, you will all die horribly. You will be carefully monitored, and any attempt to break any of these rules will result in instant death to all of you”

What is the strategy they come up with so that they can be free?

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• I ask Alex to pick any 5 cards out of a deck with no Jokers.

He can inspect then shuffle the deck before picking any five cards. He picks out 5 cards then hands them to me (Peter can’t see any of this). I look at the cards and I pick 1 card out and give it back to Alex. I then arrange the other four cards in a special way, and give those 4 cards all face down, and in a neat pile, to Peter.

Peter looks at the 4 cards i gave him, and says out loud which card Alex is holding (suit and number). How?

The solution uses pure logic, not sleight of hand. All Peter needs to know is the order of the cards and what is on their face, nothing more.

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• A 120 wire cable has been laid firmly underground between two telephone exchanges located 10km apart.

Unfortunately after the cable was laid it was discovered to be the wrong type, the problem is the individual wires are not labeled. There is no visual way of knowing which wire is which and thus connections at either end is not immediately possible.

You are a trainee technician and your boss has asked you to identify and label the wires at both ends without ripping it all up. You have no transport and only a battery and light bulb to test continuity. You do have tape and pen for labeling the wires.

What is the shortest distance in kilometers you will need to walk to correctly identify and label each wire?

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• Both triangles are made of identical parts. In the bottom one is one empty square though. How is it possible?

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• ## More puzzles to try-

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