We scoure the riddle archives every week to select a challenging problem or puzzle to feature.
A riddle problem is a question or statement intentionally phrased so as to require ingenuity in ascertaining its answer or meaning, typically presented as a game. Below are a list of the past problem of the week riddles in descending chronological order.
A man told his son that he would give him $1000 if he could accomplish the following task. The father gave his son ten envelopes and a thousand dollars, all in one dollar bills. He told his son, "Place the money in the envelopes in such a manner that no matter what number of dollars I ask for, you can give me one or more of the envelopes, containing the exact amount I asked for without having to open any of the envelopes. If you can do this, you will keep the $1000." When the father asked for a sum of money, the son was able to give him envelopes containing the exact amount of money asked for. How did the son distribute the money among the ten envelopes?
The contents or the ten envelopes (in dollar bills) should be as follows: $1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 489. The first nine numbers are in geometrical progression, and their sum, deducted from 1,000, gives the contents of the tenth envelope.
An item is made from lead blanks in a lathe shop. Each blank suffices for 1 item. Lead shavings accumulated for making 6 items can be melted and made into a blank. How many items can be made from 36 blanks.
From 36 blanks there are 36 items made. The lead shavings are enough to make 6 blanks. Which make 6 more items. But don't stop here. The new shavings are good for 1 more item. Total: 43
Not far off shore a ship stands with a rope ladder hanging over her side. The rope has 10 rungs. The distance between each rung is 12 inches. The lowest rung touches the water. The ocean is calm. Because of the incoming tide, the surface of the water rises 4 inches per hour. How soon will the water cover the third rung from the top rung of the rope ladder?
When a problem deals with a physical phenonmenon, the phenonmenon should be considered as well as the numbers given. As the water rises, so does the rope ladder. The water will never cover the rung.
To see more past Problem of the Week's refer to the Riddles Newsletter annals.
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