The Riddle Thread….

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    Esav and Yishmael were standing 11 inches apart back to back?


    Esav and Ishmael question-

    Obviously, if it was the UN trying to stop the fighting, they would just tell them to aggree on hating the Jews! The two ex-enemies would only be so glad! (they would be on opposite sides of the line but not wanting to harm each other because one would help the other in wiping the Jewish Nation and Israel off the map.

    Or, Esav and Ishmael are the names of two pets.


    “ORDERED them to each stand on one half of the paper”

    precludes them being two bugs or snails or the like


    Dr. Pepper-

    What’s next:

    “I think the pattern starts earlier, 1,4,9,61,52,63,94,46,18,001,121,441,961,691,522…”


    Whole numbers starting from 4 are squared, then the resulting number has its digits reversed.

    (you could’ve said “…9,4,1,0,1,4,9,61,52,63,94,46,18…” if you REALLY wanted earlier)

    Are you a math teacher?

    If so, were my results for Squeak’s puzzle correct? What approach would you have taken?



    What’s black and white and red/read/redt all over?

    – I think “Pravda” would fit all of the above criteria and spellings.



    “You take a cigarette out of the box. You don’t have a lighter, flint stones, matches, candle, anyone else near you and no lit cigarettes either. How do you light it?”

    If a “serious” puzzle:

    1) you have some phosphorous handy.

    2) crack an incandescent bulbs glass, and use the filament.


    1) shake a few tobacco leaves from the cigarette. you’ve now made a cigarette lighter!


    Spaced out:

    The earth takes exactly 24 hours to complete one full roatation, right?

    Explain your answer.

    Hint: Wrong! It’s a few minutes off from 24 hours. Because…


    ICOT- its not a full 24 hours because the Earth does not pass by the sun at equal points throughout the year. We say a rotation is from high-noon to high-noon the next day but the two days are of different lengths! That is why we have a leap year- to make up for all the different time frames and make them equal the time it takes for “a year”- full rotation about the sun. To explain it better,I looked it up…I was not able to say it quite as well… here is from someone with a PHD in science… “The time for one true rotation is the interval between the times that a distant star is highest in the sky, “fixed star to fixed star.” This interval is known as a “sidereal” day, which is 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.06 seconds.”


    This ones a little longer and took me a while to figure out but…

    (you might have to be a little bored to try to work this one out)


    1. There are 5 houses in 5 different colors

    2. In each house lives a person with a different nationality

    3. These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.

    4. No owner has the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.


    1. The British lives in a red house

    2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets

    3. The Dane drinks tea

    4. The green house is on teft of the white house (next door to each other)

    5. The green house owner drinks coffee

    6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds

    7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill

    8. The man living in the house rght in the center drinks milk

    9. The Norwegian lives in the first house

    10. The man who smokes Blend lives nextto the man who smokes Dunhill

    11. he man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill

    12. The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer

    13. The German smokes Prine

    14. The norwegian lives next to the blue house

    15. The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who inks water.

    The question is: WHO KEEPS THE FISH?


    Who keeps the fish?

    That depends on whether prine, dunhill, or blue master is the name of a fish. It might be easier if they all smoked fish and served it with bagels and cream cheese. Hey, sounds like the Norwegian would fit that bill.



    “This interval is known as a “sidereal” day, which is 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.06 seconds.”


    The (almost) quarter-day that must be compensated for is due to the fact that the earth takes about 365.24 days to circle the sun.

    The length of each day is the same, although the amount of daylight differs.

    The orbit itself is not a perfect circle – we are closer to the sun during the northern hemisphere’s winter.

    The best way I can think of to explain why more than a full rotation is needed in a 24 hour period is:

    Let’s imagine the earth as a marble, circling around the outide of a clock. The sun is the center of the clock. Let’s say (for simplicity’s sake) the year is only four days long. If the marble (earth) moves from the 9 o’clock position to the 12 o’clock position (one day), and the marble rotates 360 degrees, the part of the marble which faced the sun is now facing off to the right. It must rotate an extra quarter turn for the part that faced the sun to again face the sun.

    This less-the-24-hour rotation equaling a 24-hour day is because the earth rotates counter-clockwise when viewed from a spaceship parked over the north pole. If it rotated clockwise and the day was still 24 hours, a full rotation would be longer than a 24-hour day-night cycle.


    Feivel is right. The paper was placed under a door. (though other creative answers are interesting to me as well – such as they are tiny pets 🙂

    zimby – that is quite a riddle. Actually, a complicated puzzle. Do you want to start a puzzle thread instead?


    if these riddles, puzzles and science lessons continue, the moderator may need to frequent the “alcoholic mixes” thread. LoL


    Order Nationality Drink House Pet Smoke

    1 Norway Water Yellow Dunhil

    2 Dane Tea Blue Horse Blend

    3 Brit Milk Red Bird Pall Mall

    4 German Coffee Green Prine

    5 Swede Beer White Dog Blue Master

    The fish could belong to either the German or the Norweigian (you only listed four pets)


    Spaced out: (continued)

    This question actually has halachic issues at its core, and is nogeah lehalocha.

    Did you ever notice that for a short period each year the zman tfila in the morning is getting later, but shkiah is also getting later? How is this possible? If the day is getting longer, it should do so at both the beginning and the end, and vice versa!

    The answer is, because the earth’s position within its orbit has changed,a part of it will remain in its previous state (light or dark) later than it would have in its previous spot. Therefore if the change of the day’s length is less than the amount of additional daylight the new position would give it, the day will still end later, even if it is not longer.

    (Rabbi Premock and anyone who has worked on a luach could probably explain this exponentially better)


    “shake a few tobacco leaves from the cigarette. you’ve now made a cigarette lighter!”

    Well done! That’s the correct answer.



    My first is in tea but not in leaf

    My second is in teapot and also in teeth

    My third is in caddy but not in cosy

    My fourth is in cup but not in rosy

    My fifth is in herbal and also in health

    My sixth is in peppermint and always in wealth

    My last is in drink, so what can I be?


    Noitallmr: A teacher!





    Thank you, from a fellow corn-meister.


    Change is good!

    Using only coins currently in circulation (no half-cents, two-cent pieces, commemorative hundred-dollar coins, etc.), what is the highest value in coinage you can have without being able to make change for any other current coin or bill?


    4 pennies, 0 nickels, 4 dimes, 3 quarters. 119 cents.

    4 pennies, 9 dimes and 1 quarter would be the same answer.

    Dr. Pepper

    Reb “I can only try”,

    I saw this somewhere before (possibly when I took the SATs…).

    Here’s how I did it-

    40 MPH = (2/3) MPM (Miles Per Minute)

    30 MPH = (1/2) MPM

    => x*(2/3) = (60-x)*(1/2) => x = 180/7 = 25.71429 and (60-x) = 34.28571.

    The weighted average is (25.71429/60)*40 + (34.28571/60)*30 = 34.28571, which was choice A.

    How did you know I was a teacher? Were you a student of mine? I was actually a teacher while I was going for my Ph.D (hence the Dr. title) but no longer teach.

    If you like these math riddles let me know, I’ve got some more of them which might be too technical for most people reading this thread.

    Also I was just kidding about the answer being A, I don’t remember the choices.


    “shake a few tobacco leaves from the cigarette. you’ve now made a cigarette lighter!”

    Well done! That’s the correct answer.

    Impressive!!! “

    I will second that~!!!!!!!!


    34 2/7 MPH is correct. Nice!

    A simple formula that I derived to solve this equation is

    time * (2 * Miles1/hour * Miles2/hour) / (Miles1/hour + Miles2/hour)


    1 hour * (2 * 40 * 30) / (40 + 30) = 34 2/7




    if these riddles, puzzles and science lessons continue, the moderator may need to frequent the “alcoholic mixes” thread. LoL

    A little brainfood never hurt anyone….. I meant the riddles, not the alcohol!


    Dr. Pepper-

    I’m happy to see your methodology is close to mine (I think), although yours is much more concise.

    I appreciate your taking the time to explain it so clearly.

    I never had a teacher named “Pepper”, nor did I realize you have a PhD.

    I did not know you were a teacher – it was a guess.

    Your English usage is very precise, hence your earlier statement “Here’s one from the textbook I used for calculus” clued me in that you might be a teacher.

    A student would more likely say “Here’s one from the textbook I HAD for calculus” or “Here’s one from the textbook WE used for calculus”.

    I like “playing detective” – sometimes I’m right and sometimes I’m wrong. I don’t feel too bad when I’m wrong – even Sherlock Holmes had his “The Yellow Face” misadventure.

    I do enjoy math and other puzzles, but it’s quite likely any advanced ones will be over my head – my education didn’t include college.

    (It goes without saying – please provide some anyway).


    Thank you for your kind words, but don’t give me too much credit – that was my seventh guess.


    “(2 * 40 * 30) / (40 + 30)”

    For someone who dislikes math, that’s an awfully elegant solution.

    Re: Change is good!- nice try, but I half to remind you that you may half forgotten something 😉


    A Little Light Thinking:

    Good King Xerxes (he had done tshuva) had a problem. One of his key advisors had recently been hanged for high treason, and now a new spot in the king’s cabinet needed to be filled.

    Since one of the prerequisites of being on the king’s staff was the ability to think logically, King Xerxes devised a puzzle that applicants needed to solve to the best of their abilities in order to be considered.

    The king had two adjacent rooms wired up, so that room “A” had four switches on the wall, and room “B” had four 100-watt incandescent bulbs, each controlled by one switch (you don’t REALLY believe there were no electric bulbs before Edison, do you?). There was a 100% lightproof door installed between the two rooms. The door was kept closed.

    Each applicant was allowed to set any switch to any position in the “switch room”, and take as long as he wanted to do so. Once he declared himself ready, the door to the “light” room was opened, and the switches locked in place. The applicant then had to determine which switch controlled which bulb.

    Given these conditions, is it possible to determine the connection between all four switches and bulbs? How?

    Dr. Pepper

    Good Morning Reb “I can only try”,

    It’s scary what others can deduce just by looking at the choice of words one uses in a seemingly innocent paragraph!

    Here’s another riddle that can be solved both mathematically and visually:

    Let’s say that you are playing a game with a friend and you are shown three curtains. Behind one of the curtains is a prize, and there is nothing behind the other two. To win the prize, you simply have to choose which curtain it is behind. When you choose a curtain, your friend opens one of the curtains you have not chosen, and shows you that there is nothing behind it. You are then given a choice; you may stick with your original choice, or you may switch to the remaining closed curtain.

    Will your chances of winning increase or stay the same if you now choose the other curtain?


    Dr. Pepper-

    Good morning.

    That is one of my favorite puzzles, and possibly the one I was going to post next.

    I saw it several years ago in Parade magazine.

    It would be wrong of me to “chap” it away from someone else, I won’t say any more until the solution is posted.


    the famous “monty hall dilemma”

    always switch!

    this seems to many to be incorrect


    your odds when you chose were 1 in 3 that it was behind the curtain you chose

    and 2 in 3 that it was behind one of the other two

    revealing the empty curtain does not change the odds

    always switch.


    As for the light bulb one, turn on a switch, wait a minute, turn it off and turn on another one. Then open the door. One bulb will be hot, that is the one that was on then off. The one that is on is the second switch. For the other 2, you have a 50/50 chance at guessing. Or you could try the on/off trick twice – one bulb will be very hot, the next a little bit warm, a third on and a fourth off.

    For the monty hall problem, I find that people don’t believe the solution very quickly. If you expand the odds by changing the problem to 100 curtains, choose 1 and then 98 are opened, I think everyone quickly sees that odds are better if you switch to the last one.



    “A Little Light Thinking”


    The switches are A, B, C and D

    Turn on A and B and leave them on for five minutes so the bulbs (including the bases) get good and hot.

    Then turn off B, turn on C and immediately go into the “light” room.

    The results will be:



    C=on,slightly warm


    Dr. Pepper-

    The “game show” puzzle was so counterintuitive that I refused to believe it until actually trying it out myself.


    ICOT – as I pointed out, it is counterintuitive to most people. That’s why I suggested thinking about the problem with 100 curtains (or doors), instead of 3.

    You pick one. Chances are it’s not the right one.

    They show 98 empty ones out of the remaining 99.

    Isn’t it obvious that your best bet is to guess that the prize is behind the 99th? After all, they didn’t open 98 randomly. 99% chance that they opened all of the empty ones and left the one with the prize closed.

    Same with 3.



    You’re right.

    I downloaded Microsoft’s old QBASIC.EXE program, and used it to write a a few lines of code that proved this.

    (If you’ve written an Excel or Word macro, qbasic uses the same language).



    (no politics involved)

    ABCDE x 4 = EDCBA

    Where A,B,C,D and E represent a whole single digit from 1 thru 9.

    (from a magazine)

    Dr. Pepper

    ABCDE x 4 = EDCBA

    ABCDE < 25,000 or ABCDE x 4 would be greater than 99,999 => A = 1 or 2.

    If A = 1 then 1BCDE x 4 = EDCB1, this would mean that the units digit in the product of E x 4 is 1, but the units digit of the product of an even number and any other integer must be even => A <> 1 so A = 2.

    We now have 2BCDE x 4 = EDCB2.

    The units digit of E x 4 must eqaul 2 => E = 3 or 8. E can not = 3 since 2BCDE x 4 > 80,000 so E must be either 8 or 9 => E = 8.

    We now have 2BCD8 x 4 = 8DCB2.

    B can be only 1. (B Can’t be 2 since A already is and if B is 3 than 23CD8 x 4 will be greater than 90,000 and we already determined that E = 8.)

    We now have 21CD8 x 4 = 8DC12.

    D can only be 2 or 7 since the product ends in 12 => D8 x 4 ends in 12 (which is only acheived with 2 or 7) and since A = 2 => D = 7.

    We now have 21C78 x 4 = 87C12.

    The fastest way to get C is probably by trial and error.

    C happens to be 9.

    21978 x 4 = 87912


    21978 * 4 = 87912


    OUCH…my head hurts. Panadol anyone????


    Dr. Pepper-


    Correct! (although after Dr. Pepper’s step-by-step instructions, I think my haskama is superfluous)

    Dr. Pepper-

    Very impressive. As the editor responsible for the math section of Logic Magazine, I’d like to offer you a position in our department as …..just kidding, of course. But still, very impressive.


    tylenol anyone


    Meow Mix:

    (every answer contains the word “cat”)

    1) Tzuflogen

    2) Model of car (not Catillac, that’s a make)

    3) Feline narcotic

    4) Type of coin

    5) A royal “shidduch” resulted in this

    6) Holder of a J.D.

    7) The Hindenburg was one

    8) Elderly monitor

    9) Done to a banana atop ice cream

    10) Spelunkers go there

    11) Start the ball rolling

    12) Ancient war machine

    13) Process of elucidation

    14) Phone call and email are two types

    15) Unoriginal

    16) Often preceeded 19th century railroads

    17) A property of lace

    18) Copy (solution 1)

    19) Copy (solution 2)

    20) Toiveling

    21) Be mikadaish

    22) Career

    23) Ofter occurs on Purim

    24) Escape without damage

    25) To deceive or confuse

    Gut Shabbos

    Dr. Pepper

    I wouldn’t call this a riddle (it’s more like a trick) but some of you may find it as interesting as some of my students did. (This is how I’d bribe them to behave. If, for example, they would go a whole week without anyone making a silly reference to a popular soft drink with the same name, then I’d show them a trick.)

    Have someone pick a two digit number and cube it (let’s pick 58; 58 x 58 x 58 = 195,112). Now they tell you what the result is and you calculate the cube root in your head and tell them the original number.

    Here’s how to do it:

    If the number is in the following range The first digit is

    0 to 1,000 0

    1,000 to 8,000 1

    8,000 to 27,000 2

    27,000 to 64,000 3

    64,000 to 125,000 4

    125,000 to 216,000 5

    216,000 to 343,000 6

    343,000 to 512,000 7

    512,000 to 729,000 8

    729,000 to 1,000,000 9

    If the number ends in The second digit is

    0 0

    1 1

    2 8

    3 7

    4 4

    5 5

    6 6

    7 3

    8 2

    9 9

    Getting back to our example- 195,112 is in the range 125,000 to 216,000 => the first digit is 5 and 195,112 ends with a 2 => the second digit is 8 and we get our original number 58.

    Disclaimer- I wouldn’t advise performing this trick on a first date, but if you must- be sure to bring a calculator. Most of the girls I dated couldn’t even square a two digit number in their head, let alone cube a number.

    You all have a Gut Shabbos now.

    Dr. Pepper

    Sorry about the formatting in post # 193, I tried leaving spaces so that it would look like two columns but I don’t know where they went. I’m going to put semicolons in this time.

    If the number is in the following range; The first digit is

    0 to 1,000; 0

    1,000 to 8,000; 1

    8,000 to 27,000; 2

    27,000 to 64,000; 3

    64,000 to 125,000; 4

    125,000 to 216,000; 5

    216,000 to 343,000; 6

    343,000 to 512,000; 7

    512,000 to 729,000; 8

    729,000 to 1,000,000; 9

    If the number ends in; The second digit is

    0; 0

    1; 1

    2; 8

    3; 7

    4; 4

    5; 5

    6; 6

    7; 3

    8; 2

    9; 9

    I hope this makes the process easier to understand.


    Easy as pi.



    14) communiCATion

    15) copyCAT

    17) intriCATe

    18) dupliCATe

    20) purifiCATion

    24) unsCAThed

    The rest have me stumped.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Q: What starts with a J, has an FEM in the name, and always gets into trouble?



    Did you ever post the answer to the SS# riddle (way back on page 1)? i am absolutly DYING of curiosity to know the answer and how you get to it. PLEEEEEEAASEEE POST the answer!!!!



    Your entries are all correct. The “lace” one is not one I thought of, but it is also correct.

    The answers:

    1) Tzuflogen


    2) Model of car (not CATillac, that’s a make)

    -CATalina (Pontiac)

    3) Feline narcotic


    4) Type of coin


    5) A royal “shidduch” resulted in this

    -abdiCATion( England’s Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson)

    6) Holder of a J.D.


    7) The Hindenburg was one


    8) Elderly monitor

    -CAThode ray tube

    9) Done to a banana atop ice cream


    10) Spelunkers go there

    – Paris’s CATacombs

    11) Start the ball rolling


    12) Ancient war machine


    13) Process of elucidation


    14) Phone call and email are two types


    15) Unoriginal


    16) Often preceded 19th century railroads


    17) A property of lace


    18) Copy (solution 1)


    19) Copy (solution 2)


    20) Toiveling


    21) Be mikadaish


    22) Career


    23) Often occurs on Purim

    -intoxiCATion (lesheim shomayim, of course, to be yotzeh ad diloi yoda)

    24) Escape without damage


    25) To deceive or confuse



    What’s Next?

    (this one is a little obscure, and is math-based)





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