Thinking Thursdays, Trivia

Thinking Thursdays – Riddles and Brainteasers

It’s time again for our Riddles and Brainteasers post for the month. Last month’s post really got your brain working out. Hopefully, today’s questions have you testing your mental agility again! As usual, we will post the 10 riddles below, then the answers, with a graphic separating the two, so hopefully you will notice if you start to scroll too far (but I won’t tell anyone if you cheat and peek at the answers!)

Don’t forget to tell us in the comments how you did!

  1. One sunny afternoon, three men go for a ride on a hot air balloon over the Sahara desert. An hour into the trip, the balloon begins to lose altitude. A month later, someone found one of the ballooners laying on the desert sand dead, naked, and holding half a toothpick. What happened to him?
  2. A donkey travels a certain distance each day. Strangely enough, two of its legs travel 30 miles each day and the other two legs travel nearly 31 miles. It would seem that two of the donkey’s legs must be one mile ahead of the other two legs, but of course this can’t be true. Since the donkey is normal, how is this situation possible?
  3. Some say we are red, some say we are green. Some play us, some spray us. What are we?
  4. As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Every wife had seven sacks, every sack had seven cats. Every cat had seven kittens. Kittens, cats, sacks, and wives, how many were going to St. Ives?
  5. The king dies and two men, the true heir and an impostor, both claim to be his long-lost son. Both fit the description of the rightful heir: about the right age, height, coloring and general appearance. Finally, one of the elders proposes a test to identify the true heir. One man agrees to the test while the other flatly refuses. The one who agreed is immediately sent on his way, and the one who re-fused is correctly identified as the rightful heir. Can you figure out why?
  6. A mother has three sick children. She has a 24-ounce bottle of medicine and needs to give each child eight ounces of the medicine. She is unable to get to the store and has only three clean containers, which measure 5, 11 and 13 ounces. The electricity is out and she has no way of heating water to wash the containers and doesn’t want to spread germs. How can she divide the medicine to give each child an equal portion without having any two children drink from the same container?
  7. A wealthy wise old woman feared that her daughter was lazy and as a result rather stupid. When the old woman died, her will stipulated that her assets were to be liquidated and a check was to be written for the full amount. The check was to be placed in one of three envelopes. The other two envelopes would contain a blank piece of paper. If the daughter could determine from the writing on the envelope which envelope contained the check, she would inherit her mother’s fortune. Otherwise, the fortune would go to the old woman’s favorite charity for animals. The daughter was not allowed to touch the envelopes. Her decision had to be made based on the writing on the envelopes. The daughter was told that only one envelope had a true statement and that the other two statements were false. The envelopes had the following writing: 1. This envelope does not have the check 2. This envelope has the check 3. The second envelope does not have the check. Which envelope should the daughter pick?
  8. Jack has 8 bricks. 7 of them weights the same amount and one is slightly heavier. Using a balance scale, how can Jack find the heavier brick in two weighings?
  9. What word starts with E and ends with E but only has one letter in it?
  10. A bus driver goes the wrong way on a one-way street. He passes the cops but they don’t stop him. Why?

The Answers

  1. As the balloon lost altitude, the men took off their clothes and threw them overboard to decrease the weight of the balloon. The balloon continued to drop so the men drew straws to see who would be forced to jump. The dead man in the desert drew the shortest one (the half toothpick).
  2. The donkey operates a mill and travels in a circular clockwise direction. The two outside legs will travel a greater distance than the two inside legs.
  3. Pepper
  4. One. The man, his wives, sacks, cats, and kittens aren’t going anywhere.
  5. The test was a blood test. The elders remembered that the true prince was a hemophiliac.
  6. Fill the 5 oz. and 11 oz. containers from the 24 oz. container. This leaves 8 oz. in the 24 oz. bottle. Next empty the 11 oz. bottle by pouring the contents into the 13 oz. bottle. Fill the 13 oz. bottle from the 5 oz. container (with 2 oz.) and put the remaining 3 oz. in the 11 oz. bottle. This leaves the 5 oz. container empty. Now pour 5 oz. from the 13 oz. bottle into the 5 oz. bottle leaving 8 oz. in the 13 oz. bottle. Finally pour the 5 oz. bottle contents into the 11 oz. bottle giving 8 oz. in this container.
  7. The daughter should pick envelope 1. If the check was in envelope 2, statements 1 and 2 would both be true. If the check was in envelope 3, statements 1 and 3 would both be true. If the check was in envelope 1, that would make statement 1 false, statement 2 false and statement 3 is the only true statement, making it the envelope with the cheque.
  8. First he split them in to piles of 3, 3, and 2 bricks. Then he weighs both groups of 3 with each other. If they balance he knows the brick is one of the 2 unweighed bricks and he can weigh them to find the heaver one. If the the stacks of 3 bricks do not balance, he will weigh 2 of the 3 bricks. If they balance he will know the brick left unweighed is heavier, or if they do not balance, he will find the heavier one.
  9. Envelope
  10. He was walking.

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