Well... my first attempt to enter a Secret Club wasn't successful (see: The Secret Club), but this time I'm sure that nothing can stop me from reaching my goal...
I've discovered this new club, whose members are some puzzle fanatics who love wasting time creating and solving riddles... what losers!
By the way I don't really care what they do in that club, but I want to be a part of it!

A fat guy is standing at the door, waiting for members to come.
And (you wouldn't believe it...) every time that someone approaches the door, this guy asks him in a very loud voice some strange question... let's listen what he's going to ask to those guys coming to the club...

First guy: "Hi buddy, can I come in?"
Fat guardian, screaming: "Tell me... what number immediately follows 7?"
"Mmm... 8, I guess!"
"Ok, come in!"

A second guy approaches, and the guy at the door screams again:

"13 - 12?"
"Too easy... 1!"

answers the second guy, and once listened to his words the guardian lets him in.

"What number comes before ten?", asks the guardian to a third guy walking to the club's door... "Well... 9, without any doubt!"
The fat guy nods, then asks again "1+2?"
"Hey buddy, who do you thing you are talking to?!? Everybody knows that the answer is 3!" answers the guy, and the guardian lets him in friendly patting his back.

(- Once again, it seems clear that entering a club is just a matter of elementary maths... Why is it always so?!? -)

One last guy approaches the club, the guardian smiles at him then yells:

"Hey buddy! Give me a five!"
"Hi Bob!" tells the guy, giving an high-five to the fat guardian and entering the club's doors.

(- Well, it seems this last guy is really well known... Anyway, it's my turn!... let's go! -)

"...ehm... Hey Bob! How's your day?... Can I come in?..."

The guardian doesn't seem very friendly... he looks at me askance then yells:

"Tell me... 2 and 2 make...?"
"I know the answer! I know it! It's 4! It's 4!!"

I scream... once again, just a second before the guardian kicks me away, telling me to never come back!

So I keep wondering...

Hint 1

You don't need any particular knowledge to answer the guardian's questions (except elementary maths, of course...).

Hint 2

Not everything in this puzzle is what it seems.
"HEY! IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE A HINT?!?", I can hear you screaming... Yes, it IS!

Hint 3

Among things that arent what they seem: NUMBERS. Try not to consider them as (just) numbers. And be sure you have actually found all the clues hidden in my 2nd hint...

Hint 4

Try thinking out-of-the-box, and try changing something in the text of the puzzle according to my first 3 hints (in particular, n° 2 and 3). Isn't it strange the way the guardian speaks? Why does he keep SCREAMING?!?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is it possible that his name is just not Bob and he was offended that you guessed it instead of asking? $\endgroup$
    – Deacon
    Jun 24, 2015 at 15:21
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ "who love wasting time creating and solving riddles" - Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time ;-) $\endgroup$
    – PirateSoul
    Jun 25, 2015 at 8:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Give me a five" induces the reaction "Hi Bob" ... the only thing I can think of is old British currency and the 5-bob note! $\endgroup$ Jun 25, 2015 at 9:22
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "who do you thing you are talking to?" Ah ha, the guard is actually The Thing, somehow de-powered and now working as a bouncer. He kicked you out because "four" (fantastic or otherwise) is a sore subject for him. $\endgroup$
    – Kevin
    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It seems every question/request from the bouncer and every answer from the members have a certain emotion corresponding to it. Maybe this has something to do with it? $\endgroup$
    – Cerberus
    Jun 25, 2015 at 12:34

4 Answers 4


Jeez, I finally got it (well, at least I hope so).

The logic for admission is a classic one, but with a silly twist:

The value of a sentence/question is given by the total amount of closed areas in the letters of which it is composed. You know, the ones you would fill up with a coloured pencil to kill time.

This doesn't seem to work exactly right, so here's the twist:

You have to uppercase (like screaming) the sentence, writing out the numbers as words.

So this is what happens:

"TELL ME... WHAT NUMBER IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS SEVEN?" has eight closed areas (A = 1, B = 2, R=1, O = 1). "THIRTEEN MINUS TWELVE?" has just one in the R, and so on.

About the high-five guy:

The guardian asks for a five, so he gives a sentence with a value of 5, showing that he knows the logic.

Finally, the correct answer for the author:


  • $\begingroup$ Good job Aioros ! $\endgroup$
    – Hunter
    Jun 29, 2015 at 11:20

The guardian

is mostly deaf, hence the shouting. He won't allow anyone in who is loud enough for him to hear

Everyone else's answers

were accompanied by them holding up the relevant number of fingers.

The person who didn't seem to answer a question

actually did, by showing 5 fingers in response.

You should have said:

Absolutely anything, but not loudly enough for the guardian to hear. You should also have held up four fingers

second guess (to be expounded upon if correct)

Is the answer 22?

  • $\begingroup$ Really interesting try (worthing a +1)! But this is not the solution... The guardian is NOT deaf, and the members who entered the club didn't need to use their hands to answer. Your solution would have been perfect for this puzzle if it had been a "100% lateral-thinking" puzzle; in this case, the "percentage of laterality" is no more than 30%, IMHO... ;) $\endgroup$
    – Hunter
    Jun 25, 2015 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Logician, your second guess is uncorrect $\endgroup$
    – Hunter
    Jun 25, 2015 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ @MOehm: Let's say that this answers misses the "pattern" part of the question (whose explanation needs a bit of laterality...) $\endgroup$
    – Hunter
    Jun 25, 2015 at 13:51

I think it might be

the Romans Club.

The OP at first put "8 comes before 9" for the third guy, but then said this was a mistake and changed it to "9 comes before 10"; that was what gave me this idea.

8 immediately follows 7 because

an extra I on VII gives VIII.

13-12 is 1 because

XIII take away XII is I.

9 comes before ten because

X with an I before is IX.

1+2 is 3 because

I and II make III.

The high-five was

the guy making the symbol V with his hand.

2 and 2 do not make 4 because

II and II do not make IV.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 Not really convincing for me (what could possibly be a right answer to the last question?), but a good one nonetheless. $\endgroup$
    – Aioros
    Jun 26, 2015 at 15:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but this is not the right answer (even if it's really interesting). Unfortunately the "high-five guy" doesn't make any other gesture except the high five... By the way, you are getting (a little bit) closer to the solution of the puzzle (yet still far.. ;) ). I consider hint n°2 really useful, if you can read between the lines... $\endgroup$
    – Hunter
    Jun 26, 2015 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Hunter Given that everything happens verbally, I assume the punctuation (especially ? and !) isn't important? $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2015 at 16:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @randal'thor: no, the punctuation is not relevant. $\endgroup$
    – Hunter
    Jun 26, 2015 at 16:27

I think the club might be

A music club


Numbers represent musical notes on a keyboard (A = 1, A# = 2, B = 3...), and operations are number or color changes on the keys.

7 is followed by 8 because

7 represents D# (black key) and the next white key is E (8)

13 - 12 = 1 because

There is one change of color between 13 (A, white key) and 12 (G#, black key)

9 preceeds 10 because

9 is F (white) and 10 is F# (black)

1+2 = 3 because

1 is A (white), and +2 means change the color two times (-> A# -> B), B is number 3

"Give me a five" does not require an answer because

The member sings "Hi Bob!" in C# (key number 5)

So you should have said

5 (C#), because 2 is note A#, and +2 means change color 2 times (-> B -> C#)

Bonus: the guardian screams because

There is a lot of noise and music coming from the inside


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