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Juan and Pedro agreed to race against each other. After arriving at the exact same moment at the finish line, Juan declared that he won. Pedro, as well as all their friends who watched, agreed.

How come?


Clarifications

Absolutely no one was cheating.

They started at the same time.

There were no handicaps.

No one used a stop watch or any kind of timer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does the same "moment" refer to a point of time, or maybe the moment of inertia? Did they start at the same place/line? Is the finish line common, or are there two? $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2021 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ Hidden spoiler-formatted hints are not clarifications. If something is required to give your puzzle a single objective answer, it's not a hint, it's an integral part of the puzzle. Now, it'd be perfectly fine to have a list of non-spoilered clarifications below the rest, but as for now I'm close-voting as Speculative Answers $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 23, 2021 at 14:56

5 Answers 5

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They had individual start, Pedro started first.

Individual start is when racers start at a set intervals and each racer time is tracked separately. Juan started later and finished at the same time as Pedro, therefore he was faster.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nothing like that. There were no "handicaps". $\endgroup$
    – Helix Quar
    Dec 23, 2021 at 5:58
  • $\begingroup$ So, they started at the same moment? $\endgroup$
    – Morris
    Dec 23, 2021 at 6:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, they started at the same moment. $\endgroup$
    – Helix Quar
    Dec 23, 2021 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ @HelixQuar That was not about any 'handicaps' at all. Imagine, for example, a street marathon race – there are thousands participants (for example, over 25,000 people finished the NY marathon in 2021 link), and it may take a noticable time until all cross the start line. So each of them may have different start times, but the time of completion is determined for each participant separately, with respect to their individual start times. Then the scenario by Morris is pretty reasonable. $\endgroup$
    – CiaPan
    Jan 31 at 9:53
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Another possibility: they ran

on a closed (round) track and Juan doubled Pedro,

so when they crossed the finish line

Juan completed his distance whilst Pedro was one circle before the end.

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The finish line was in the middle and both had to race equal distance from opposite ends to the middle in an open ground.

Juan was running against the wind while Pedro was running with it. The wind assistance Pedro received meant he would have finished later than Juan had there been no wind and so Juan was the winner.

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  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't this count as a handicap? $\endgroup$
    – Morris
    Dec 23, 2021 at 10:35
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It seems that the question is not telling enough to have only one acceptable answer. Please specify more details so that there would be only one true answer. My answer is

The race is not about the time taken (therefore how fast one is) but some other aspect. As an example this is humans running from start to finish line. The winner is declared how funny he is while running. The one who declares himself to be the winner is dressed as clown and he clearly sees how much everyone is laughing while he performs the act of running.

Another possibility which would make one a clear winner is that the race is about how short distance each competitor travels. One is clever enough to find a shortcut while another travels much faster but travels much longer distance.

Also this could be a race where they drive vehicles. The competition is again not about who arrives to finish line first but who has takes least damage at the end. The winner did not hit any obstacles on the track they were driving and the opponent hit a lot of obstacles having the vehicle in visibly poor condition upon arriving to the finish line.

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This question is open to many different solutions, but trying to not add any elements that weren't already mentioned in the question:

Maybe there are several finish lines, or portions of a finish line, and the winner is decided by where exactly they arrive.

One such "race" would be the (formerly olympic) sport of

Tug-of-war.

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