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Here's a slightly different, fairly easy one.

Three men travel for almost a day across an unknown distance to a meeting point. One travelled by car, another by horse and the other by boat. When they arrived they were all asked how they had been able to reach the meeting place. They all gave different answers, but only one word was heard.

What word(s) did they speak?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm perhaps the ending should be "They all gave different answers, but only one word was heard." This eliminates some of the ambiguity, I mean they quite simply could have said "Travel" or something similar. $\endgroup$
    – Greg
    Jul 7 '16 at 5:35
  • $\begingroup$ I've put this puzzle on hold as too broad; I think, in this case, that the vagueness around the word "how" allows for too many answers, all of which would nominally be correct. Looking at the answers below, nearly all of them fit, with different interpretations of the word "how." $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Jul 7 '16 at 8:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Emrakul I've updated the question to try and remedy the problem but I completely agree that the question was far too broad. Regretfully, as I'd admitted previously, I clearly hadn't put enough thought into this puzzle. I apologise to the submitters of valid answers below who's answers may have been invalidated by my update(s). Greg - thanks for the suggestion. I've snatched your wording. $\endgroup$ Jul 7 '16 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers That's fair! I think this edit definitely helps with a decent part of the broadness, too. I'll leave it to voters in the VTRO queue, since I'm on the fence about whether it's still too broad, but yeah, this helps. And it's alright, it happens! A closed question here or there doesn't hurt. $\endgroup$
    – user20
    Jul 7 '16 at 8:32

11 Answers 11

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They all said

/rōd/
{rowed, road, rode}

Horseback:

I rode a horse.

Car:

My car travelled on the road.

Boat:

I rowed the boat.

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    $\begingroup$ Yep. You got it. +1 $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 11:30
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    $\begingroup$ @BrentHackers so you were looking for a homophone. $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ I.e. they didn't all give the same one-word answer. $\endgroup$
    – LarsH
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @LeppyR64: Just because it sounds the same doesn't mean it's the same answer. $\endgroup$
    – LarsH
    Jul 6 '16 at 18:13
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    $\begingroup$ @LarsH What the OP says goes though $\endgroup$
    – Insane
    Jul 6 '16 at 23:03
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They all said

"Mustang", giving the brand of the car and boat and the breed of horse

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    $\begingroup$ Damn. No. But I love it. Can' fault it. I clearly should have spent more time on this one. +1 $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 11:29
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    $\begingroup$ This should be accepted as answer since it's one word as requested. $\endgroup$
    – newzad
    Jul 4 '16 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ This answer is superior since the words are homonyms instead of merely homophones. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Jul 5 '16 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ @MarchHo While I like the answer, I disagree that it is better. It is actually exploiting a not too well defined question, but by using a Name you can fit anything. f.e. "They all said Hobo", because that's what they call a "means-of-transport". They all said "Boat", because that was the name of the horse and the nickname of the rather large car. etc. etc. $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jul 5 '16 at 7:13
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    $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest Your argument isn't as strong as presented, since the strength of the answers stems from the fact that the names are not merely arbitrary, but are in fact both popular brands of cars and boats. $\endgroup$
    – March Ho
    Jul 5 '16 at 7:15
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They all said:

alone

Valid if not 100% useful.

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    $\begingroup$ Not a homonym but clever. I like it. +1 $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 14:06
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Note: Since the question didn't mention the homonym requirement and I only noticed the tag after reading other answers, the following are not homonyms.

I think there are lots of answers that could work here, but I'll go with this.

They all said:

Quickly

Alternately:

Slowly

Alternately:

Noneya

Alternately:

Tired

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15
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They all answered

"Ferry"...


The car drives onto the ferry, the horse rides over on it, and the man who went by boat simply walked onto it

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Puns are allowed? They all said:

'mare, mare, meer-mer.

The car driver who went through a

'mare because the traffic jam was painful (short slang for nightmare, related to a very unpleasant or frustrating experience),

the horse rider who rode

a female horse (mare),

and the sailor, speaking a germanic (in some German regions, in Dutch) or french language in which a large body of water allowing a boat ("sea" or "lake") is sometimes called

"meer" or "mer".

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    $\begingroup$ Well it certainly is a creative answer. $\endgroup$ Jul 4 '16 at 12:52
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    $\begingroup$ Though in Dutch, that actually means "lake" (it's a 'false friend' to the German word). $\endgroup$
    – CompuChip
    Jul 5 '16 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ @CompuChip Well, "the other by boat", could be on a lake too. Recorrecting $\endgroup$ Jul 6 '16 at 7:41
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With your wording, the answer could be

traveling.

After all, they all

did travel to get there.

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  • $\begingroup$ That was my first thought as well. $\endgroup$
    – Wildcard
    Jul 5 '16 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed with your 1st option. $\endgroup$
    – Overmind
    Jul 6 '16 at 11:40
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Also not the intended answer, but they certainly arrived

tired

because they

travelled almost a day.

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Of course they all arrived...

Safely.

Because after all...

That is what they assumed the question was about - not how they got there, but how they were personally.

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Not the intended answer, but it could also be

North, or any other arbitrary direction.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sort of, but that doesn't answer the question how... $\endgroup$
    – Cullub
    Jul 6 '16 at 3:09
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Despite there being an accepted answer, I can't resist suggesting another word:

"together".

It fails the intention of the homonym/homophone tag as well as the spirit of the question, but nothing in the question directly contradicts the possibility of

the men travelling along a canal path to a town hall or pub or other "meeting point" -- a place where people meet in general.

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