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Weigh an elephant

Posted by Karys under Tom (27 Responds)

There is a chinese short story telling about a minister (or whatever) who weighs the Emperor’s elephant.

How could he have done that, without having to make any giant weighing machine ?

You are not specifically asked to find the story where this came from. Here, originality and practicability are the key.

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The Night After the Staff Party

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (10 Responds)

After one staff party, you awake to find yourself in somewhat of a quandary…

You have to break into your boss’s office. Why? After waking up with a truly nasty hangover and an even more unpleasant memory of your action at the Christmas party the night before, you realise that either you get rid of the security tapes, the photographs, and the Xerox copies of their own behind, all of which were stored in the bosses office, or you might as well clear out your desk and leave before your boss orders you to.

You easily gain access to the building and slip by the security guards and cameras without raising even the smallest hint of suspicion… until you reach your boss’s office.

There you find a note pinned to the door reading: “Attn: If you’re reading this you’re probably trying to break into my office to cover your tracks. Well, if you think I’m going to give up such juicy material without a fight, you’re wrong. If you can break past my security lock, then you deserve your stuff back. However, if you don’t, you’re fired!”

The security lock was an alphanumeric keypad with every letter of the alphabet on it and the numbers 0-9.

Below it was another note reading: “P.S. I thought I’d give you a fighting chance. The password is twelve digits long and is made up of 3 four letter long words, and here’s some more help!”

timid isle – index – true lies – timepiece – stained truth attack tom – inferior type – italian – start – main price – toil – reptilian

Unfortunately for you, your boss was a bit of a puzzle fiend….. but that wasn’t going to stop you…. Was it?

What is the code?

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Letter Crunching

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (13 Responds)

I have a 5 letter word written in front of me. If you ask me any five letter word, I will tell you how many letters in common your word has with mine. If my word is BLACK and yours is WHITE, I will tell you 0. If my word is PLUME and yours is AMPLE I will tell you 4. Knowing that my word contains no duplicated letters, you should be able to deduce my word with only a handful of guesses or comparisons.

Then I tell you I have a list of 26 words; One for every letter of the alphabet. No duplicated letters in any words. I then take the word beginning with A and compare it to all the the other words on my list and give you the scores. I then take the word beginning with B and so on. With the exception of the X, all words are common words, so words like YURTA can be eliminated.

Your task is to find all 26 words.

Letter Grid

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Stamps from the Post Office

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (6 Responds)

My small village post office, in the village of Diophantine, is selling 1st class stamps and 2nd class stamps in a book costing £3. If a 1st class stamp is 27p and a 2nd class stamp is 21p, how many ways can a £3 book be filled?

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My Cats Request

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (20 Responds)

Your lovely new home has a window on the first floor which overlooks a beautiful lake. One day you come home to find the following note taped to the window, probably by your cat…

Dear Owner,
The window lets in too much light. Please tint it, though not all of it. Tint (on the inside) a solid square four feet high by four feet wide, leaving half the window untinted.
Sincerely,
Mittens

After realising that your cat can read and write, and that fame and fortune shortly awaits on YouTube, you carefully consider his request…
The glass portion of the window, you observe, measures four feet high by four feet wide. Can you complete the request as written?

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Eketahuna’s Party

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (18 Responds)

Eketahuna is having a party. The party was to be held in his private mansion in the city of Puzzlaria. The city, conveniently, is laid out in a perfect grid. Every house’s address is composed of two positive numbers, indicating its relative position to the Town-hall in the southwest corner. For example, House 3-8 is two houses east of the Town Hall and seven houses north.
Currently Puzzlaria is one hundred by one hundred houses in area, and that includes the Town Hall – 1-1.

Two of his esteemed guests, Cam and Chris, were both given the address weeks in advance. And while both were quick-witted, they also were short memoried.

Only a few hours before the party the following dialog occurred:

Cam: I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the address. I can only remember the product of the two numbers, and that the first number wasn’t greater than the second.
Chris: I’ve forgotten it too, but can only remember the sum of the two numbers, and that neither number was 1.
Cam: I can’t figure out where the party is.
Chris: I knew that.
Cam: OK, I know where the party is.
Chris: OK, so do I.

Cam and Chris were being perfectly truthful, and no other information was exchanged apart from this dialog.

What was the party’s address?

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My Name is Bond, James…..

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (25 Responds)

As is typical in your line of work, you find yourself trapped in a room with only one possibility of escape. On this occasion, Doctor No leaves you a puzzle to solve.

You wake up in a room with a single door, which you observe is the only way out of the room. On the door are 10 dials, which can be turned so that the digits 0-9 can appear. There is also a small red button. Next to the door is a wooden table with a computer. The computer interface only has 10 buttons, one for each digit. The screen has two rows of 10 squares.

On the wall, you see a note: “Since you are reading this, you must be awake. I could have just killed you, but the scriptwriters would never allow this, so they thought you should be given some chance to escape. The room you are in is equipped with exactly two means of killing you. One is some poison gas vents. The other is the floor, which can open, causing you to fall into a pit of alligators, poisonous snakes, and whatever other deadly things my trainee henchman has brought in.

When you select a code on the door and press the little red button, the door will open in 10 minutes. However, first one of the two traps will probably go off. Shame I couldn’t use both, really, but it wouldn’t do to kill off all my lovely pets.

You may have noticed the computer in the room. This is a special computer that works on a certain rule. You can enter a 10 digit number, and based on the rule, the computer will output a new 10 digit number. The door mechanism is related to the computer. For any given 10 digit number, x, and its output, y, if setting the dials on the door to x opens the floor, then setting them to y will cause the poison to flood the room. And, conversely, if x brings poison the room, y will open the floor.

Good luck, old bean.
Sincerely,
Doctor No”

You go back to the computer for a second look, and try a few random numbers. When you input 9630751442, you get 1111211101. When you input 6626012798, you get 1120003111. When you input 3578545411, you get 0201230110. When you input 4720309962, you get 2021101102. You obviously don’t want to try to survive 10 minutes in a poisoned room, or in a pit of deadly animals.

But how can you get out?

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A Trophy Hunter

Posted by Karl Sharman under Tom (27 Responds)

In deepest, darkest, Africa, a hunter stalks a monkey. He wants to shoot him with his tranquilizer gun and take him back to America for display at the zoo. The monkey, on the other hand, wants to stay in the jungle and swing in the trees.

This particular monkey is more cunning than most. He’s observed that the hunter carries a big long stick which he points at other monkeys. When the stick jerks back, a split second later the monkey he was pointing at falls from the tree. In an amazing leap over the evolutionary chain, the cunning monkey has decided that something must be coming out of the long stick and knocking the other monkeys out. He reasons that if lets go of the tree branch he is hanging from as soon as he sees the stick jerk back, the hunter will miss and the monkey will escape.

And it works.

For days, whenever the hunter sees the monkey, he takes aim with his excellent marksmanship, fires, but the monkey drops out of the way.

Eventually the hunter figures out what’s going on. The next time he sees the monkey, a mere 10 meters away, he changes his aim, fires, and it’s bedtime for the monkey.

Where did the hunter point his gun?

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Compass Correlation

Posted by Random Guy under Tom (17 Responds)

You have two pairs of compasses. One is set to length A, and the other is set to length B. The compasses cannot be adjusted. How do you determine the ratio of length A to length B using only a straight edge and a pencil?

Impossible Cipher

Posted by rajesh under Tom (10 Responds)

Here is one for some of you to try.