The Riddle Thread….

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    Let me reword it.

    1 in 70 have the carpet fiber allergy.

    A new test for the allergy is proven to give a “positive” reading 92% of the time that the subject has the allergy.

    It also gives a false “positive” in 2% of people who don’t have the allergy.

    If Sneezy is tested, and the result is positive, what are the chances that Sneezy is allergic to the fibers?



    (460 / 500) * (1 / 70) = 1.31428571% chance of a “real” hit

    (10 / 500) * (69 / 70) = 1.97142857% chance of a “fake” hit

    (((460 / 500) * (1 / 70)) + ((10 / 500) * (69 / 70))) * 100 = 3.28571429% chance of real or fake hit

    (((460 / 500) * (1 / 70)) / (((460 / 500) * (1 / 70)) + ((10 / 500) * (69 / 70)))) * 100 = 40% chance that the “hit” is real.

    (((10 / 500) * (69 / 70)) / (((460 / 500) * (1 / 70)) + ((10 / 500) * (69 / 70)))) * 100 = 60% chance that the “hit” is fake.


    Well, since his name is sneezy I think we can reasonably assume that he is allergic.


    Going to the Dogs – Answers


    6) Buck is the main character of this early 20th-century novel, set in 19th-century Alaska. The Call of the Wild by Jack London [yet another depressing-ending story by this author] (squeak)

    7) The annual Iditarod race commemorates the delivery of life-saving serum to Nome, Alaska by packs of sled dogs, thereby bring an end to the outbreak of this disease. Diphtheria. [The plane which was supposed to deliver the serum had engine trouble, leaving dogsleds as the only alternative.] (squeak)

    8) Balto, the most famous of the serum-delivering dogs is memorialized with a statue in this park. Central Park (squeak [another one I didn’t think anyone would get])

    [As pointed out by “squeak”, she had puppies, but they haven’t made an appearance in many years] (squeak)

    11) Winston Churchill and Orel Hershiser share this nickname. Bulldog (squeak)

    [The USSR sent it into orbit with no means of safely retuning it, so the dog quickly suffocated] (squeak)

    13) Nipper famously listened for (and to) this. His master’s voice. [Although people are familiar with the picture, I didn’t think anyone knew the dog’s name. The picture was of a real dog listening to its deceased master’s recorded voice. There is a landmarked large model of Nipper atop a building in upstate Albany, NY – the only one of its kind remaining in the U.S.] (squeak)

    14) This U.S. President had him as a Buddy. Bill Clinton (squeak)

    [The famous “Dog that didn’t bark”] (squeak)
    [Savage Sam (its sequel) would’ve been acceptable, but this was the correct answer] (squeak)

    17) The “Dog Star”. Sirius. [Also, the brightest star in the sky] (squeak)

    18) A small tent. Pup Tent (squeak)

    19) A type of three-masted sailing ship. Barque. [Alternative spellings are barc or bark]

    20) “Searchlight” is Little Willy’s dog in this popular 1980 children’s novel by John Reynolds Gardiner about a dogsled race. Stone Fox (squeak)


    You’re always welcome to jump in with answers.

    IMO, it’s only considered “chapping” if you aren’t part of the explicitly stated target audience (i.e. a kid’s riddle), or if you already heard the answer to a puzzle/riddle.


    Thanks, ICOT. I am a bit of a trivia hound (bonus trivia riddle: What is the correct term to describe this? hint- I was afraid of the mods misunderstanding).

    BTW, you got the correct response to my riddle! Very impressive. You see, I expected that most people wouldn’t catch the need to look at it conditionally. If told that a test comes back positive on 92% of people with a condition, most people would assume that this is the same as saying 92% of people who get a positive have the condition.

    I’d still like to see Dr. Pepper solve this with Venn diagrams 🙂

    Dr. Pepper

    squeak and ICOT-

    The method is correct but I like to set it up differently.

    This riddle falls under the category of Bayesian Estimation with a Discrete Prior. (Sounds innocent to me?)

    I like setting it up in a table like a spreadsheet.

    There is one column for each category, in this case two.

    Line one is the “Prior Probability”, or the probability of being in the category.

    Line two is the probability of of that outcome for that group.

    Line three is the product of line one and two. It is summed at the end.

    Line four is line three divided by the sum of line three. It gives us what’s called the “posterior probabilities”.

    in Excel-

    0.014285714	0.985714286
    0.92 0.02
    0.013142857 0.019714286 0.032857143
    0.4 0.6

    Using formulas:

    =1/70	=69/70
    =0.92 =0.02
    =A1*A2 =B1*B2 =SUM(A3:B3)
    =A3/C3 =B3/C3

    So there is a .4 or 40% chance of having the allergy given that he had the allergic reaction.

    The benefit of this method is that one doesn’t need a Venn Diagram to solve it.

    Dr. Pepper

    What bracha in the regular weekday shemona esrei mentions a person and his grandson but not his son?


    We’ve had this question before (slightly differently).

    And I feel a bit let down about the Venn diagrams. Clearly you were able to use Bayesian formulas to solve the problem, but I wanted to see the diagrams (for two reasons: I have no idea how you would get them into a post and because I have no idea how you could use them to solve the problem)

    Dr. Pepper

    I think you knew good and well that there is no way to solve this using a Venn Diagram- it’s not a problem involving subsets.

    My original intentions was to get you to divulge what the “wagon” is (and the Venn Diagram involved in that case) but that didn’t work.

    If Moish01 ever comes back to visit maybe he’ll show us how to make Venn Diagrams out of text.


    I think Moish is a little older now, so he’d be Moish02 or Moish03 already.

    The wagon may have been a one time thing. I’ve been back to that area since then, but haven’t seen it.

    Dr. Pepper

    Can you at least say what it is? (Or should I just dust off my “Jump to Conclusion” mat?)


    Go ahead and jump. Maybe next time I’m there you’ll see me 🙂


    Nobody ever posted the explanation to

    15,8 S

    9,6 T

    2,1 O

    7,5 T

    11,3 ?

    Okay, I found the answer, but that doesn’t get us much farther.

    Could we have a really small hint?


    heres a hint






    Yeah, I just got it a minute ago…


    Three Canteens – Answer

    Two men wandering in the desert come upon a trail. In hope of finding help sooner, they decide to split up, each taking half of their remaining water, and to set off in opposite directions.

    They have only one 14-cup canteen full of water, and two empty canteens that will hold nine cups and five cups, respectively.

    The only way for them to measure water is by pouting water from one canteen into the other until the first is empty or the second is full.

    How can they measure seven cups into each of the two larger canteens?

    (from a puzzle magazine)

    the answer

    First of all, a correction.

    Here are the steps:

    a) 14(14) 9(0) 5(0) starting point


    What’s missing?

    Place the same three-letter word in each blank below to complete four different words:





    (the first and second words aren’t that common)

    (from a puzzle calendar)






    The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called the sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambur, is a species of sunflower native to the eastern United States, from Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas.[1] It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.[2]


    Definition of SUNDER

    transitive verb

    : to break apart or in two : separate by or as if by violence or by intervening time or space

    intransitive verb

    : to become parted, disunited, or severed

    Examples of SUNDER

    1. a family sundered by scandal

    2. <during the cold war East and West Berlin were sundered by an impenetrable wall>


    Let no one put aSUNDER (to split apart)


    Nothing in common

    What’s the difference between a violinist and a geologist?


    Before and After

    If a judge is disrobed when removed from his job, would a fired electrician be delighted?

    Match the fifteen jobs below with their post-job descriptions:


    1) angler

    2) banker

    3) barber

    4) calculus teacher

    5) cashier

    6) innkeeper

    7) journalist

    8) magician

    9) model

    10) pastry chef

    11) podiatrist

    12) politician

    13) teacher

    14) trapper

    15) vintner


    a) deported

    b) distorted

    c) deposed

    d) disillusioned

    e) degraded

    f) disintegrated

    g) depressed

    h) dislodged

    i) deferred

    j) distilled

    k) devoted

    l) disinterested

    m) departed

    n) defeated

    o) debated

    (from a puzzle magazine)


    Freshly Minted

    A bowl contains between 50 and 100 mints.

    When you divide all the mints into groups of five, there are four left over (which you eat).

    You then take all the mints, put them back into the bowl, and divide them into groups of four. Three are left over (which you eat).

    You now take all the mints, put them back into the bowl, and divide them into groups of three. Two are left over (guess what happens to them – hint: chomp,chomp).

    Yet again, you take all the mints and put them back into the bowl. Now, you divide them into groups of two. None are left over (you already ate enough).

    How many mints were originally in the bowl?

    (from a puzzle magazine)


    ICOT- k it might take awhile but here are a few

    #12 is O

    #13 is K

    #8 is D

    Am i right so far?



    “#8 is D” is correct ?


    1. angler is debated (or perhaps, unhooked)

    2. banker is disinterested.

    3. barber is departed.

    4. calculus teacher is disintegrated.


    A politician is, of course, devoted. But it is more likely that he will retire on account of illness: the voters get sick of him.


    Your joking! politicians debate and teachers are devoted!

    is #9 G?


    I think models are deposed.


    Oh! i get it now! i took it too literally!

    #12 is K

    #13 is E




    #10 is B

    #15 is J


    in the immortal words of Henry Higgins, “By George, I think she’s got it.”


    Thank you ronrsr- is it raining in spain? 🙂

    #11 is N

    #14 is I

    #6 is H

    #7 is G

    #5 is A- i dont get this one but it was the only one left

    Thank you icot for getting my brain thinking today and for posting something that simple ppl can figure out:)


    Marad yarad b’drom sfarad b’erev.




    it is from the delightful translation of “My Fair Lady” into Hebrew. It means, Hail fell in Southern Spain Last Evening. But it scans like “the rain in spain . . . . ,” so you can sing it.


    lol! but can you explain how #5 is A?


    Before and After – Answers

    1) angler            o) debated         (ronrsr)
    2) banker l) disinterested (ronrsr)
    3) barber m) departed (ronrsr)
    4) calculus teacher f) disintegrated (ronrsr)
    5) cashier j) distilled
    6) innkeeper h) dislodged (blinky)
    7) journalist g) depressed (blinky)
    8) magician d) disillusioned (blinky)
    9) model c) deposed (ronrsr)
    10) pastry chef b) distorted (blinky)
    11) podiatrist n) defeated (blinky)
    12) politician k) devoted (ronrsr, blinky)
    13) teacher e) degraded (blinky)
    14) trapper i) deferred (blinky)
    15) vintner a) deported

    The unfortunate vintner can no longer manufacture port.


    What’s the difference between a violinist and a geologist

    Oh thats easy a violinist plays a stringed instrument and a geologist looks for artifacts- now whats so hard about that? 🙂

    ICOT- i really liked the before and after riddle- any more of such coming????? (hint hint)


    a thief broke into mozarts crypt

    he found the ghost of mozart sitting at a table and erasing notes from sheet music

    he said: “what are you doing?”

    mozart answered: “decomposing”


    a) broadcaster

    b) model

    c) spelunker

    1) exposed

    2) excavated

    3) excommunicated

    baron fritz

    a=3 b=1 c=2


    bravo, baron!


    Nothing in common – Answer

    What’s the difference between a violinist and a geologist?

    A geologist works with various strata.

    A violinist is more likely to work with a Stradivarius. ?

    (don’t bother groaning – it only encourages me)



    i really liked the before and after riddle- any more of such coming????? (hint hint)

    Since I cribbed the ones above, I don’t know when & if the next batch will be available (sorry). If you like word puzzles, you can start at the beginning of this thread – there are several along the way.


    I saw a slightly different version of that joke in Readers Digest a few years back – I think it had someone outside his tomb hearing the composer’s songs being played backwards.


    I think your talents are in demand, by “blinky” for one.

    “With great power comes great responsibility”.


    whats the difference between a jeweler and a jailer?


    what is the difference between a woman and a postage stamp?

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