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Petals Around the Rose

Posted by Locke on November 3, 2010 – 2:27 am

The name of the game is Petals Around the Rose, and that name is significant. Newcomers to the game can be told that much. They can also be told that every answer is zero or an even number. They can also be told the answer for every throw of the dice that are used in the game. And that’s all the information they get.

The person who has the dice and knows the game, rolls five dice and remarks almost instantly on the answer. For example: in Roll #1 the answer is two.

Roll #1.

4 1 6 3 6

“The answer is what?” says the new player.


“On that roll?”


“Would it still be two if I moved the dice without turning any of them over, just rearranging the pattern?”

“I can tell you only three things: the name of the game, the fact that the answer is always even, and the answer for any particular throw. In this case the answer is two.”

“So that’s how it is. What am I supposed to do?”

“You’re supposed to tell me the answer before I tell you. I’ll give you all the time you want, but don’t tell me your theory, just the answer. If you figure it out, you don’t want to give the idea away to these other jokers around you. Make them work for the answers, too. If you get the answer right on six successive rolls, I’ll take that as prima facie evidence that you understand the game.”

“OK, roll again.”

Roll #2.

5 6 5 4 4

“I give up. What’s the answer?”

“The answer is eight.”

“Roll again.”

Roll #3.

3 5 5 5 6
The answer is fourteen.

Roll #4.

2 6 2 1 4
The answer is zero.

Roll #5.

4 3 2 1 3
The answer is four.

Roll #6.

6 5 6 2 2

What is the answer for roll #6?

This post is under “Logic, Tom” and has 26 respond so far.
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26 Responds so far- Add one»

  1. 1. jimmy Said:


  2. 2. Gerri Said:

    4 of course.

  3. 3. BGONZ Said:

    The answer is 4.

  4. 4. MightBeWrong Said:

    i won’t give away the idea yet (since it is in the rules)

  5. 5. Paul H Said:

    Yeah, I agree too (4). Took me a little while. I’ll try this on the family. ;)

  6. 6. Karys Said:


    I was all “Ohhhhhhhh that’s iiiiit”

  7. 7. Eketahuna Said:

    Yep, I’ll agree with 4

  8. 8. Dave M Said:


  9. 9. James Said:

    Yup 4, Damn when it comes it’s obvious DUH! took me a while.

  10. 10. forsythe303 Said:

    OK, it has been long enough…

    and I just can’t take it anymore.

    Will someone please explain – and I’ll gladly take it on the chin for missing the obvious.

    Plus, I’m hoping to stump a couple of family puzzlers this weekend, but I can’t steal this one if I don’t get it myself. :-)

  11. 11. Eketahuna Said:

    I won’t give it away entirely, but think of the title of the puzzle and what a flower is often shaped like – and it should all ADD UP ! :-)

  12. 12. Your name Said:

    I dont get it still will someone please help me out

  13. 13. Karl Sharman Said:

    Yeeeaaaahhh! 4, and others agree. My lucky day.

  14. 14. Functionally Slow Said:


    That was nice. Thanks for the clue that I did not read entirely, Eketahuna!!

  15. 15. MightBeWrong Said:

    hint: if it does not have a “dot” in the middle, try ignoring it…

  16. 16. claire Said:

    pleaseee enlighten me to what the trick is?

  17. 17. Richard Said:

    4…. It seems to work every time and the name of the game fits

  18. 18. Carol G. Said:

    The answer is four.

  19. 19. smartue Said:

    the answer is eight the way you do it is tink of petals

  20. 20. John24 Said:


    Count the dots around any die with a dot in the center…ie 3 and 5 have 2 and 4 petals respectively.

  21. 21. BY Thomas Said:

    4…Rocks around the Campfire.

  22. 22. GeoCat Said:

    Ahh yeah, 4! It really is true, once you see it it’s so obvious!

  23. 23. ElectricKirby Said:

    I love this game. I mind-raped everyone in my 3rd Block class with it.

  24. 24. Your name Said:


  25. 25. Chris Said:


    See post 20.

  26. 26. Raghav Said:


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