# The Norwegian Foreman

An American architect was in Norway for a business trip, and he was working with a Norwegian Foreman who was building a skyscraper. The Norwegian did not know how to say any numbers in English, but he did know a few English words which he used to communicate his thoughts to the architect. In one case, the American pointed to a wall on his blueprint: "What's the length of the wall in feet?" he asked. The Foreman drew three pictures next to one another:

• The first was of a pile of dirt
• The second was a large Maple tree
• The third was of a squating dog which was defecating.

What was the length of the wall (excluding units)?

Hint:

When the Norwegian was explaining the defecating dog, he didn't seem to be pointing at the dog

My apologies for the many edits, this is my first post here. I swear I'll be more straightforward next time!

• I was thinking something like "thirty-three feet" = "dirty tree feces", but then I remembered you said he didn't know any English numbers.
– user88
Nov 21, 2014 at 0:27
• So... is my answer right? You seem to have made a lot of clarifying edits in that direction...
– user88
Nov 21, 2014 at 0:34
• almost, but not quite :) Nov 21, 2014 at 0:40
• @FlorianF: The exact same question I have raised in my answerm :Note: I still doubt, if the foreman can made up words to sound like/similar to the number(number representing the height of wall), why can't he just say it loud?? Is he mute/the architect deaf and the foreman doesn't know how to write in English??: Nov 21, 2014 at 9:38
• Not to mention that I'm pretty sure numerals are the same in Norwegian as in English... Nov 21, 2014 at 16:10

The wall was

33 1/3 units long.

This is because

Dirt -> Thirt(y)
Tree -> Three
dog poop = turd > third

So it was

Dirt, a tree, and a turd.

30, 43.2 ft

Or in words;

Thirty-hundred, forty-three, dot two.

Or in OTHER words;

Three-thousand, forty-three, decimal two. (3043.2)

How I got it:

Thirty;

Dirty (pile of dirt) sounds like 30

Forty-three;

Maple (sounds like April, the 4th month of the year) tree (sounds like 3)

Dot two;

Dog poo, need I say anything else?

Credit to AeJay for;

The "dog" in dog poo meaning "dot"

• Nice interpretation, but that wall is simply too long :) Nov 21, 2014 at 2:17
• Well it is a skyscraper lol. +1 for creativity? Nov 21, 2014 at 2:38

I think it is

Just 33 feet

Pile of dirt

Dirty => Thirty

Maple Tree

Tree =>Three

a dog defecating

shit => feet?

• 33 Feet feet? It's a measurement of length, not area! Nov 21, 2014 at 2:47
• @schil227 well when someone asks "What's the length of the wall in feet?" I would reply "Some number feet" Nov 21, 2014 at 2:48
• @downvoter care to elaborate? Nov 21, 2014 at 13:54
• I'm guessing it was every user that swore in their answer, which I don't agree with (a riddle's a riddle, ya know?) Nov 21, 2014 at 16:00

I think the height of the wall is

33.4

The foreman may have used "The first was of a pile of dirt"

The second was a large Maple tree

to represent three

and The third was of a squatting dog which was defecating

is dog poo and it can be interpreted as dot four(.4)

Combining all these we get

dirty tree dog poo >> thirty three dot four (33.4)

## New Edits

From OP's comment on another answer ("It's a measurement of length, not area") I think he is looking for the area, not length.

So The last point "a squatting dog which was defecating" may be referring to

square feets (squat feces) [Since he is not English, he may be thinking as feets instead of feet]

So the final answers become

33 Sq.ft. (Thirty Three Square Feet)

Note: I still doubt, if the foreman can made up words to sound like/similar to the number(number representing the height of wall), why can't he just say it loud?? Is he mute/the architect deaf and the foreman doesn't know how to write in English??

• Quote: "God poo" LOL. Nov 21, 2014 at 1:48
• Sorry. It was a type. Yet a funny mistake. :P Nov 21, 2014 at 1:49
• You mean typo? Yes, I know. string.reverse("dog") == "god" Nov 21, 2014 at 1:50
• I'll give you a +1, and you'll see why when someone finds the right answer Nov 21, 2014 at 1:51
• nope, it's a measurement in feet; just looking for a number here (will update question) Nov 21, 2014 at 15:01