A few days ago I put up my second Brain Teasers post, following the success of the first one, and it seems I may have asked some tougher questions this time around (despite all coming from the same book, Enigma, which is discussed in both posts). Out of the 7 puzzles I posed, 6 of them have been answered correctly by different readers, but number 7 has not been cracked by anybody. If you want to have one last go at it before seeing the answer, by all means go back and attempt it and leave a comment on that page, otherwise, read on for the answers.
I’ve underlined the questions, so that they stand out against the answers.
Complete this logical series:
o t t f f s s
Count from one onwards, and think about the first letter of the word for each number. One, two, three, four, five…the next letter will therefore be e. Simple but clever.
In a battle, the king is decapitated, his eldest son is hung, and one of the squires has a severed head. Despite this, there are only two victims. How is this possible?
Many of you were close to getting this one, but needed to be more specific (though some of you were spot on, too). The squire is holding the king’s already decapitated head, thus only two victims.
I am four times the age you were when I was the age you are now. I am forty years old, how old are you?
25 years old. Essentially, you’re trying to find a halfway point between the age the “I” in the story is now, and the age the “You” was initially, which we can figure out is 10 years old from the clues given. So 25 is halfway between 10 and 40. There are ways to solve this with algebra too, if your mind is inclined that way.
Two fathers accompanied by their respective sons go fishing. Each person catches a fish. Only three fish, however, are caught. Why?
Most people got this one quite easily – there’s a son, father and grandfather, the father doubling up as a son.
How many times can 6 be subtracted from 36?
I’ve heard this one in several incarnations, but the gist is always the same – you can only subtract 6 from 36 once, and then it is no longer 36.
I am a shopaholic. I shop at five different places, and spend everything I have in my wallet. In each shop, I spend $10 more than half of what I had going into that shop. How much money did I have at the start of the day?
$620. There are lots of ways to work this out, but really the best way is just to work backwards. If we know that we finish off with no money, and at the last shop we’ve spent $10 more than half of what we had going in, the half we had going in must be $10 as well, as the total would have then been $20, which accounts for the 10 extra. Once you have this first figure, it’s just a tedious few minutes playing with the maths as you work backwards. Again, there is a way to do this with algebra, but I won’t explain it here – if you’re likely to use it, you probably already did.
Complete the next step of this logical sequence:
This was the tough one, the one that nobody could crack. Now I look at it, it is quite hard. Basically, each line is describing the line above it. So, the second line says one one, because there is one one in the top line. The third line says two one, because there is two ones in the second line. The fourth line says one two one one, because there is one two and one one in the third line, and so on. So the seventh line should read:
I hope you enjoyed these brain teasers! Well done to those of you who attempted these, and especially to those who got any of them right! I’ll probably give these posts a rest for now, but expect more a little later down the track.