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# Basic Puzzles

 The puzzles are marked with stars () that show the degree of difficulty of the given puzzle. back to the main page Copyright © 1996-2016. RJE-productions. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be published, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the authors.

## Climbing Snail

A snail is at the bottom of a 20 meters deep pit. Every day the snail climbs 5 meters upwards, but at night, it slides 4 meters back downwards.

The Question: How many days does it take before the snail reaches the top of the pit?

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## Segmented Numbers

Of all the numbers whose literal representations in capital letters consists only of straight-line segments (for example, FIVE), only one number has a value equal to the number of segments used to write it.

The Question: Which number has this property?

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## Day after Day

The day after tomorrow is the third day after Wednesday.

The Question: Which day was the day before yesterday?

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## Jolly Jungle

The Question: How do you put an elephant in the fridge?

Another Question: How do you put a giraffe in the fridge?

Yet Another Question: The lion king gives a party for all animals. Which animal is not at the party?

The Fourth Question: You must cross a river that is inhabited by crocodiles. You do not have a boat, there is nothing around that floats, and there is no bridge. How do you get to the other side?

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## Hans & Gerri

Hans is standing behind Gerri and at the same time Gerri is standing behind Hans.

The Question: How is this possible?

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## Tall Dutchmen

Rob is taller than Edwin is; Jurgen is shorter than Rob is.

Of only one of the following statements, we now certainly know it is correct:

1. Edwin is taller than Jurgen is
2. Jurgen is taller than Edwin is
3. It cannot be determined if Jurgen or Edwin is tallest.

The Question: Which of the statements is certainly correct?

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## Abracadabra with Apples

In Miss Miranda's class are eleven children. Miss Miranda has a bowl with eleven apples. Miss Miranda wants to divide the eleven apples among the children of her class, in such a way that each child in the end has an apple, but one apple still remains in the bowl.

The Question: Can you help Miss Miranda?

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## Tour de France

The Question: In the Tour de France, what is the position of a rider, after he passes the second placed rider?

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## Cracking the safe

At the start of a beautiful Sunday afternoon the lord of castle Loevestein walked into his study. He wanted to put a piece of jewelry, which he took out of the safe an hour before, back into the safe. He noticed that the safe had been cracked open and he called the police immediately.

When the police interrogated the staff on their activities during the hour in which the safe had been cracked, they gave the following alibis:

• the cook was preparing lunch;
• the gardener was pruning the hedge;
• the butler was fetching the mail;
• the maid was making the beds.

After the police heard all the alibis, the culprit was caught immediately.

The Question: Who was the culprit?

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## Chain Connection

You have five pieces of chain, each consisting of three links. You want to make one long chain of these five pieces. Breaking open a link costs 1 euro, and welding an open link costs 3 euros.

The Question: Is it possible to make one long chain of the five pieces, if you have just 15 euros?

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## Poor & Rich

The poor have it,
the rich want it,
but if you eat it, you will die.

The Question: What is this?

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## Twins Trouble

Julius and Vincent are brothers. "We are born within the same hour," says Julius, "on the same day of the same year." "But," says Vincent, "we are no twins!"

The Question: How is this possible?

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## One, Two, Three

Using the digits 1 up to 9, three numbers (of three digits each) can be formed, such that the second number is twice the first number, and the third number is three times the first number.

The Question: Which are these three numbers?

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## Ten Trees

Joyce has bought ten trees for her garden. She wants to plant these trees in five rows, with four trees in each row.

The Question: How must Joyce plant the trees?

Another Question: Joyce's neighbor George has bought nine trees for his garden. How can he plant these nine trees in ten rows, with three trees in each row?

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## Colored Grid

Consider a grid of size 4 by 4 (i.e. sixteen squares), where all squares should get a color. The colored grid should meet the following conditions:

• 4 squares should be colored blue,
• 3 squares should be colored red,
• 3 squares should be colored white,
• 3 squares should be colored green,
• 3 squares should be colored yellow, and
• no color may appear more than once in any horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line.

The Question: How can the grid be colored?

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## Consecutive Elements

The objects in this row have something in common:
One of the following three objects is the next element in the row.

The Question: Which one is the next element?

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## Two Pots

On the right, you see a silver pot and a golden pot. One of these pots contains a treasure and the other one is empty. Assume that you can determine from the text prints which pot contains the treasure.
The text prints on the pots are the following:
The silver pot: "This pot is empty."
The golden pot: "Exactly one of these texts is true."

The Question: Which pot contains the treasure?

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A man decides to buy a nice horse. He pays \$60 for it, and he is very content with the strong animal. After a year, the value of the horse has increased to \$70 and he decides to sell the horse. However, already a few days later he regrets his decision to sell the beautiful horse, and he buys it again. Unfortunately, he has to pay \$80 to get it back, so he loses \$10. After another year of owning the horse, he finally decides to sell the horse for \$90.

The Question: What is the overall profit the man makes?

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## Hotel Hocus

Three salesmen went into a hotel to rent a room. The manager stated that he had only one room left, but all three could use it for \$30.00 for the night. The three salesmen gave him \$10.00 each and went up to their room. Later, the manager decided that he had charged the salesmen too much so he called the bellhop over, gave him five one-dollar bills, and said: 'Take this \$5.00 up to the salesmen and tell them I had charged them too much for the room'.

On the way up, the bellhop knew that he could not divide the five one-dollar bills equally, so he put two of the one-dollar bills in his pocket and returned one one-dollar bill to each of the salesmen.

This means that each salesman paid \$9.00 for the room.
The bellhop kept \$2.00.
Three times nine is 27 plus two is 29...

The Question: What happened to the extra dollar?

Another Question: "During our holidays," tells Anthony, "we arrived - two fathers and two sons - in the small village of Zeelst on a cold evening. There we looked for a place to sleep in the only hotel. Unfortunately there were only three beds free. Still, everyone slept alone in a bed."

How is this possible?

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## Birthday Cake

The birthday cake on the picture must be cut into eight equally sized pieces. However, you may make only three straight cuts.

The Question: How can the cake be cut into eight pieces with only three straight cuts?

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## Silly Statements

Below are a number of statements:

 Precisely one of these statements is untrue. Precisely two of these statements are untrue. Precisely three of these statements are untrue. Precisely four of these statements are untrue. Precisely five of these statements are untrue. Precisely six of these statements are untrue. Precisely seven of these statements are untrue. Precisely eight of these statements are untrue. Precisely nine of these statements are untrue. Precisely ten of these statements are untrue.

The Question: Which of these statements is true?

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## Easy Equation

Each of the digits 1 up to 6 must be used exactly once in a multiplication of the following form:

... × ... = ...

The Question: How should the six digits be placed?

Another Question: Can you make the following equation correct by using each of the digits 2 up to 5 exactly once?

... + ... = ...

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## Happy Birthday

When Sandra had her birthday in the year 2000, she became 8 years old. However, she was born in the year 2008.

The Question: How can you explain this?

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## Splitting Shapes

The shape shown on the right must be partitioned into four identical pieces.

The Question: How can this be done?

Another Question: The shape shown below must be partitioned into four identical pieces (pieces may be "upside down").

This can be done in two ways. Which are these two ways?

Yet Another Question: The shape shown below must be partitioned into four identical pieces (pieces may be "upside down").

This can be done in two ways. Which are these two ways?

The Fourth Question: The shape shown below must be partitioned into three identical pieces.

How can this be done?

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## Smaller Squares

On the right, you see a square of 5 by 5 smaller squares. The purpose is to divide the square along the lines in four pieces, in such a way that you can make two smaller squares with these four pieces, without needing to rotate the pieces.

The Question: How should this be done?

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## Plus Puzzle

The six puzzle pieces shown below can be combined into a symmetrical plus sign.

The Question: How can this be done?

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## Strange Sequence

Here is a sequence of numbers:

1 11 21 1211 111221

It seems to be a strange sequence, but there is a system behind it...

The Question: What is the next term in this sequence?

Another Question: Here is another sequence of numbers:

1 11 21 1211 1231 131221

What is the next term in this sequence?

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## Ten Sentences

Given the following sentences:

 The number of times the digit 0 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 1 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 2 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 3 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 4 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 5 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 6 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 7 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 8 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 9 appears in this puzzle is _____.

Complete these sentences with digits until they are all true.

The Question: Which two solutions are possible?

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## Unusual Paragraph

This is a most unusual paragraph. How quickly can you find out what is so unusual about it? It looks so ordinary that you would think that nothing is wrong with it at all, and, in fact, nothing is. But it is unusual. Why? If you study it and think about it, you may find out, but I am not going to assist you in any way. You must do it without any hints or coaching. No doubt, if you work at it for a bit, it will dawn on you. Who knows? Go to work and try your skill. Good luck!

The Question: What is unusual about the above paragraph?