New Riddles, Old Solutions

This week’s riddles:

Jenga Puzzle:

If you have an unlimited supply of wooden blocks (the Jenga type) and you begin stacking them one on top of the other; how far from the edge of the table could the outermost block reach before they fall?

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Bartender Puzzle:

A wile bartender has two glasses, one filled with Jameson Irish Whiskey and the other filled with canada dry ginger ale, both of equal volume. Now the Bartender takes a shot from the Jameson glass, pours it into the ginger ale, and mixes it well. Then he takes a shot from the mixture (part Jameson, part ginger ale) and pours it back into the Jameson glass. He then says to you: “You can drink the bar dry for free if you can tell me whether there is more ginger ale in the Jameson glass or more Jameson in the ginger ale glass.” What is your answer?


In the spirit of Halloween…

A Golden Life:

You and your Physicist friend have the misfortune of being abducted and placed in a “Saw”- like game of good life and bad death. You are shackled to a post in a 20 ft. deep pool; the water level is currently just above your eyebrows. Your friend is placed on a boat surrounded on 3 sides by gold blocks. Your friend has a clear path to safety where he/she can search for the key to free you or just take the blocks of gold and join the 1%. Luckily for you, he/she chooses the prior and decides to save you. Despite taking 10 minutes to find the key, your friend the Physicist still saves you. How did he/she overcome the fact that you can’t hold your breath for 10 min?

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Light bulb:

Turn 2 of the 4 switches on and play angry birds for about 10 min. Then turn 1 of those switches off and turn one of the other 2 switches on. Walk into the room and touch the light bulb. If the light bulb is on but not very warm, then you know the last switch you turned on is the one that controls the light bulb. If the light bulb is on and hot then you know the switch you left on is the one that controls the light. If the light bulb is off, but still hot then the switch that controls the light is the one you turned off. Finally, if the light bulb is off and cool, then you know the switch you didn’t turn on is the one that controls the light.



Conor said “There is an African swallow on my head and it can carry coconuts while maintaining air-speed velocity”.

Jeff, being able to see the other two, would know which swallow was on his head only if both Michael and Conor had European swallows on their head (since there are only 2 European swallows out of the 5) and would say “African swallow” with absolute certainty. Since he does not speak up, Michael and Conor know at least one of them has an African swallow on their head. Knowing this, If Michael saw a European swallow on Conor’s head, then he would be able to say with absolute certainty “There is an African swallow on my head”. Since he does not speak up, Conor knows that Michael does not see a European swallow. Therefore, Conor concludes there is an African swallow on his head.

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