Monday, July 27, 2015

The Devil's Muse

It's everybody's fate, but unfortunately for you today it's yours. You die and wander through a long tunnel towards a light. But, wait a second, that's not white light? It's crimson red!

Indeed, going through the gate at the end you face an enormous deity, cloaked in flames, holding a gigantic trident in one hand. On this trident you can make out two bodies speared to it... beads of sweat start to form on your forehead, and they're not from the heat that's omnipresent in this room.
"Hahaha", the Devil laughs, "don't be afraid. You won't necessarily end up like them... they're just the souls of Mickey and Tung. They sold them to me in exchange for the ability to create awesome websites, or something like that, never kept contact with them though... Now, the fact you're here is that this millennium it's my turn to decide who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell. St. Peter really needed that 1000 year vacation, so I'm on duty now. Since I'm the boss, I get to decide who goes where. And, to be completely honest, this 'Good/Bad'behaviour thingy... it's a bit outdated, isn't it ?

devil's muse riddle

Instead, I would like to read some poetry to you."

And so the Devil starts to recite :

Evil am I.
Evil,
as so to die not sane.

Menace I lay.
A stab mocks.
I revolt.
No din is still.

I kidnap and I kill.
It's sin I don't love.
Risk combat.
Say a lie.

Cane men.
A stone I do toss!
Alive,
I'm alive.

"Now", the Devil says. "If you can point out the single most peculiar thing about this poem to me, I'll let you go and you can take that elevator over there.... what ? ... yeah yeah, the one with hostesses dressed like poultry at its doors... now start thinking, 'cause I ain't got all day!".

Right at that moment you notice that there's still one spike unoccupied on Satan's trident...

What is so special about the Devil's poem?

The Devil's Muse Puzzle Solution

It's a palindrome.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Diagram

Bob looked up from his book and noticed that Joe was staring at the VCR clock, holding a pencil and a pad of paper. He knew the clock was set correctly, having set it himself. But he noticed that Joe would occasionally write something down.

Finally Bob's curiosity got the best of him: "What are you doing, Joe?"

"Just another minute" came the reply.

"How long are you going to stare at the clock like that?" As Bob finished he noticed the clock advance a minute.

At this, Joe started scribbling some more until he produced this diagram:
8
6 8
7
4 9
7
"Why, just ten minutes, of course", Joe beamed as he showed the diagram to Bob.

What was Joe doing, and what does his diagram mean?

The Diagram Puzzle Solution

Joe counted how many times each of the 7 LEDs lit up for all 10 digits...
 _
|_|
|_|

Friday, July 17, 2015

How Many Monks?

how many monks riddle
There's a monastry of fifty monks that have taken a vow of silence. They go through the same routine every day. They wake up, pray. They go to lunch, their only meal of the day, were they all sit round a big circular table, and eat a simple meal. Then they go back to their rooms and pray. Then they fall asleep.

One day, the head monk of the area comes to visit. He's a bit different - he's allowed to talk and has a life outside the monastry. He tells them that there is currently a plague ravaging the land. People everywhere are dying. The disease manifests itself as red blotches on the forehead. The blotches are the only manifestation of the disease for three months, whereupon the next stage starts, a horribly painful death.

The head monk tells them that at least one of their midst will have the disease, probably more. Anybody with the disease should kill themselves, to save all of the pain and suffering. By killing themselves, they will restrict the movement of the disease, and will go to heaven. Anybody with the disease will show the first symptoms within a month. The chief monk then leaves. He returns two months later, to find that all of the infected monks have killed themselves, and they all did it on the same day.

Bear in mind the following:
  • They have no mirrors or any other way of seeing themselves
  • The blotches appear only on the forehead and cannot be seen by the monk
  • Infected monks feel no different - the only manifestation of the first part of the disease are the blotches.
  • The monks cannot talk to each other or in any other way communicate.
  • Any monks with the disease will display the blotches within a month of the head monk leaving.
  • At least one monk definitely has the disease.
  • The monks only see each other once per day, at lunch, when they are all sat round the round table.
  • These monks are brighter than the average monk....
How did they know whether or not they were infected and why did they all kill themselves on the same day?

How Many Monks? Puzzle Solution

The way they work this out and the reason it happens on the same day is as follows. It is important to note that not only are the monks intelligent but they all know all their fellow monks are as well.
Start with one monk:

He knows he is the only one who can have the disease so he kills himself on
day 1.

Then two monks:
They know that either one of them has the disease or both do. If monk1
doesn't see the mark of the disease on monk2 then he will realise that he
must have it so will kill himself. If he sees the mark then he knows that
monk2 will following the same reasoning and kill himself. If the next day
the other monk is still alive then he realises that the other monk must have
seen the mark on him and so they both have the disease and he must kill
himself. Both follow the same reasoning and kill themselves on day 2.

Three monks:
If only one of the monks has the disease he will see no mark on the other
two and so diagnose himself. He will kill himself on day one. If two monks
have the disease then they will each see one monk with the mark and one
without. When they see each other again the next day they will deduce that
the monk they see with the mark would only not have killed himself if he
could see someone else with the mark. They know it is not the third monk so
it must be them. Both diseased monks follow the same reasoning and kill
themselves on day two. If all three monks have the disease then they are all
in the same position as the healthy monk in looking on in the previous
example. Each of them can see two diseased men. When they haven't both
killed themselves on day two there can be only one reason - the viewing monk
must have the mark as well. All taking the same reasoning they all kill
themselves on day three.

And so on...
N monks all with the disease will all kill themselves on day N.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Geneaology

Tom and Tim, time tested twice troublesome twins, entered the kitchen at ten o'clock on a Tuesday evening. "Mom, mom, look what I found" said Tom, waving a sheet of faded paper.

"No, I found it." said Tim.

"What is it, Tom?" Mom asks.

"I don't know, mom, but it talks about Genies."

"really?" she replied as she took the paper from him. It was a copy of the family geneaology she had been looking for so she could do some research. "where was it?"

"It was in that Bible on the mantle." said Tim, "Between page 588 and 589."

"No," said Tom, "it was between pages 1201 and 1202!"

Mom gave Tom a dirty look, and said to Tim, "thanks for finding this sweetie." She looks at Tom.

"Why did you lie to me, Tom?"

How did Mom know that Tom was lying?

The Geneaology Puzzle Solution

Page 1 in a book is the page just inside the front cover. Page 2 is the other side of the same sheet.

Pages 1201 and 1202 are opposite sides of the same sheet of paper, so finding something between these two is highly improbable.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How Old is the Vicar?

There once was a choirmaster.
One day three people came in and asked to join the choir.
The choirmaster, who believes that there should be age for his choir's members, asks their ages.

To that question, one of them replied: "We can't tell you our ages, but we can tell you the following: the product of our ages is 2450, and the sum of our ages is twice your age."

The choirmaster is puzzled: "That's not enough information!"

Just then, the vicar walked in and said: "But I'm older than all of them"

The choirmaster, who knew the vicar's age, then exlaimed: "Ah! Now I know."

How old is the vicar?

How Old is the Vicar? Puzzle Solution

The vicar is 50.

The way to solve this puzzle, is to first of all write down all the possible permutations of three numbers whose product is 2450.
Starting Numbers Product Sum Choirmaster
1, 1, 2450 2450 2452 1226
1, 2, 1225 2450 1228 614
1, 5, 490 2450 496 248
1, 7, 350 2450 358 179
1, 10, 245 2450 256 128
1, 14, 175 2450 190 95
1, 25, 98 2450 124 62
1, 35, 70 2450 106 53
1, 49, 50 2450 100 50
2, 5, 245 2450 252 126
2, 7, 175 2450 184 92
2, 25, 49 2450 76 38
2, 35, 35 2450 72 36
5, 5, 98 2450 108 54
5, 7, 70 2450 82 41
5, 10, 49 2450 64 32
5, 14, 35 2450 54 27
7, 7, 50 2450 64 32
7, 10, 35 2450 52 26
7, 14, 25 2450 46 23

Since the choirmaster, after being told that the product of the ages is 2450 and that the sum is twice his age, still can't work out the ages, we can deduce that there are two (or more) combinations with the same sum. Those combinations have been highlighted in the table above.

The vicar then claims to be older than all of them. The oldest of the three is 49 in the first remaining combination, and 50 in the other. The choirmaster knows the vicar's age, and after his claim, he deduces everyone's age. The only way he's able to do so is if the vicar is 50, leaving the combination 7, 7, 50 logically impossible (the vicar has to be older, that is at least 1 year older than the others), and therefore learning that the people's ages are 5, 10, and 49.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Maze

maze logic game
One day you attempt to solve the ultimate maze. A massive underground labyrinth with countless twists and turns.

After entering the maze the first junction you come to is a 'T' intersection where you may continue to the left or the right. You decide to turn right. A short while later you come to another seemingly identical intersection, this time you turn to the left.

Hours later, after arriving at several hundred identical intersections and more or less randomly choosing left or right you eventually decide to head back (it's being some time since your last meal).

Unfortunately you can't remember the way you came and you didn't bring anything useful with you such as chalk or string.

What do you do?

The Maze Puzzle Solution

If there are only T junctions, then all you have to do to get back is take all of the side passages that you come across, as they are the T junctions that were taken from your original perspective.

Effectively, every side passage you come across was a T junction that was taken earlier.

Of course, defining this the "ultimate" maze was a bit of an exaggeration on our part...