At the start, 1inch of the yellow pencil gets smeared with wet paint. As the blue pencil is moved downward, a second inch of the blue pencils smears a second inch of the yellow pencil.
Each pair of down and up movesof the blue pencil smears 1 more inch of each pencil. 5 pairs of moves will smear 5 inches. This together with the initial inch, makes 6 inches for each pencil.
As the problem says the apprentice mixed up the hands so that the minute hand was short and the hour hand was long.
The first time the apprentice returned to the client was about 2 hours and 10 minutes after he had set the clock at six.The long had moved olny from twelve to a little past two. The little made two whole circles and an additional 10 minutes. Thus the clock showed the correct time.
The next day around 7:o5 a.m.he came a second time,13 hours and 15 minutes after he had set the clock for six. The long had, acting as the hour hand,covered 13 hours to reach 1. The short hand made 13 full circles and 5 minutes, reaching 7, So the clock showed the correct time again.
If the ping-pong ball rolls flush against the wall, the cast-iron ball cannot crush it.
Those who know geometry can determine that if the diameter of a large ball is at least 5.83 (3+2(square root of 2) times as large as the diameter of a little ball, then the little ball will be safe if it hugs the wall.
A cast-iron ball that is larger than a soccer ball is more than 4.83 times as large in diameter as a ping-pong ball.