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Even More Old Questions

Go To List Of Questions

Answers to the previous problems are down below. Just scroll down for them. Scroll carefully because the questions come up first, so if you want to try them before you see the answer, don't scroll all the way down.

My Birthday:

In 1998 my birthday was on the day we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr's Birthday. The third Monday in January. When will my birthday be on MLK day again??? (Hint: my birthday is on January 19.)

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The answer is the year 2004.

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The Elevator and the Man??

A man live on the 17th floor of a building. Everyday, he takes the elevator to the first floor to fo to work or to go shopping. When he returns, he always takes the elevator to the seventh floor and then walks the remaining flights of stairs to his apartment on the 17th floor. Why does he do this??

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Answer: The man is extremely short and can not reach the button for the 17th floor. He can only reach as high as the seventh floor button.

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Boys & Girls are Silly!

This is a trial and error type of problem...

A student came up to me last year and said that she can prove that boys, when put in a group, will be silly. I said ok show me... She then wrote this down...

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Then another student jumped up and said that girls were just as silly when put into groups and wrote this on the same paper.

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Can you find the numbers that would prove them each right!!! (Each letter stands for a different number. Each problem is different also... so the letters have different values in the boys problem than in the girls problem.)

For the boys problem b=?, o=?, y=?, s=?, i =?, and l=?

For the girls problem g=?, i=?, r=? l=?, s=?, and y=?


For the boys: b = 6, o = 7, y = 2, s = 1, 3, and l = 4.

For the girls: g = 1, i = 9, r = 5, l = 0, s = 3, and y = 6 OR g = 3, i = 0, r = 4, l = 9, s = 6, and y = 2

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The Bigger Half

A piece of cake is to be divided between two children. It is important to each that it is cut evenly, so that each gets an equal piece. How can they be sure that they will get an equal share of the cake.

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Answer: It is really quite a simple solution....let one child cut the cake and the other decide who gets which piece. Making sure that both children know that this will happen.

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What to Light First???

This problem comes from a friend who asked me this over the weekend and I was almost stumped...almost... then I realized what the question was.

After snowboarding for a while, you get lost in a blizzard and finally spot a cabin in the distance. You make your way to the cabin and go inside. You see in front of you a kerosene lamp, a wood-burning stove, an oil burner, and a candle. You pull out of your pocket a pack of matches and open the book only to discover that you have one match left... what will you light first???

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The answer is plain and quite simple.... the match must be lit first.

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The Tournament

In a local tennis tournament, the champion is to be determined from among 100 competitors by elimination. As soon as one of the competitors loses a match, he joins the ranks of the spectators. How many matches are needed in order to determine the winner?

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There are two ways to think of the answer: 1) There are one hundred people and each must play a game in round one. That leaves us with 50 people for round two. In round two, there are 25 games played and that leaves us with 25 people. The third round has one person not playing (that is called a by for the round), so there are 12 games played. In the fourth round 6 games are played and in the fifth round 3 games are played and in the sixth round there is 2 game played and finally the last 1 game to determine the winner is played for a total of 99 games. 2) The other way to think of the answer is even easier... there are 100 people and all must lose one to get a winner so 99 people must lose hahahahaha.

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The Pitcher Problem

I have two pitchers: a three liter pitcher and a 5 liter pitcher. I need to get exactly one liter of liquid in my 5 liter pitcher. If I can only use these two pitchers how can this be done?

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Answer: There are two ways to complete this task. 1) Fill the 5 liter pitcher to the top and then pour the contents into the 3 liter pitcher, spill out the 3 liter and now pour what's left of the 5 liter into the three. You now have two liter in the 3 liter pitcher. Fill the 5 again and pour as much of it's contents as you can into the partially filled 3 liter, now pour out the 3 liter so that it is empty. You now have four liters in the 5 liter pitcher. Pour what is in the 5 liter pitcher into the 3 and you have one liter left in the 5 liter pitcher. 2) This was is much easier: Fill the 3 liter pitcher and pour it's contents into the 5 liter pitcher. Fill the 3 liter again and pour as much as you can of it's contents on top of what is already in the 5 liter pitcher. What you have left in the 3 liter pitcher is one liter of liquid.

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A Three Die Question:

When I roll three six-sided dice, what is the probability that I will get a sum of 9?

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Answer: Well, there are 216 possible roles (outcomes) when we roll 3 dice together. There are 25 ways to roll a 9. So, the probability is 25/216.

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Three's Company at the Greasy Spoon

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Inspector Donna DiAnsa and police informer Stu Pidgeon sat together at a table in the Greasy Spoon Diner. Across the room, three men sat, talking.

"You say those three are known as Slick, Smiley and Mug," said the Inspector, taking out her notebook, "but which is which, Stu? My guess is that the one smoking the cigar is Smiley, the one wearing the hat is Slick, and the one with the mustache is Mug."

"Wrong. All wrong," said Stu.

Just then, the one with the mustache got up from the table. "It's time we took off, Slick," he said. The two got up and all three left, without another word.

"Take another guess," said Stu. "Which one is which?"

"I don't need to guess," Donna DiAnsa said, putting her notebook away, and she correctly named the three men.

"Your telling me I guessed all wrong-and those few words from the one with the mustache-was all I needed to put the right labels on them."

Can you correctly label the three men?

Answer: Slick was smoking; Mug was wearing the hat; Smiley had the mustache.

Slick, wrongly guessed by the detective as the man wearing the hat, was spoken to by the one with the mustache, so he couldn't be either of them. Therefore he must be the man smoking the cigar.

Mug was wrongly guessed to be the one with the mustache, and since Slick is the smoker, Mug must be the one in the hat.

Smiley is, therefore, the one with the mustache.

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The Clinking Glasses?

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I went to a party this past weekend to celebrate a friend's birthday. Before the big party started we had eleven people to make a toast to her. During the toast each person clinked their glass with every other person - only once. How many times did the glasses clink???

Answer: 55. The first person touched glasses with 10 people, the second touched with only 9, the third person touched with only 8, and so on down the line until the tenth who only touches 1, and the eleventh has touched with everybody already. So,

10 + 9 + 8 + 7 + 6 + 5+ 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 55

the glasses clinked 55 times.

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Page by: Mathman (Bruce A. Titen) 1998

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