Questions tagged [explanation]

The answer to a problem may be known but it is not understood. These questions explicitly request additional details on how a problem is solved or why the current solution is appropriate.

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Why are all numbers from 1 to 2N covered by weights with powers of 3?

This is from What's the fewest weights you need to balance any weight from 1 to 40 pounds? Suppose you want to create a set of weights so that any object with an integer weight from 1 to N pounds ...
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5 votes
2 answers
200 views

Need Thorough Explanation of Coin Weighing Puzzle Solution

One of the coolest things I've seen on Puzzling is this puzzle, and especially the solution in 7 static weighings posted by Julian Rosen. I have revisited that solution many times over the years, ...
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6 votes
1 answer
348 views

Explanations for three clues in a cryptic crossword

I've just solved a cryptic by LR that was originally published on 22 June 2020. My best effort at explaining the clues is below, spoilered in case you want to try the crossword yourself: As indicated ...
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  • 3,681
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

A duck for a well-known bowler (5): How to solve it?

The following is a cryptic clue1: A duck for a well-known bowler (5) I know that the answer is: While I understand that: How does it relate to the cryptic clue? 1 The source for this cryptic clue ...
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2 votes
1 answer
259 views

Why can R1c3 not be a 4?

Take the following Killer Sudoku (from the app "Killer Sudoku" by Studio Goya LLC) I have been struggling with for the last few hours. "Penciled" numbers are my notes about which ...
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  • 123
-2 votes
2 answers
166 views

How to solve this problem on overlapping?

In cases of problems involving order and ranking where there are two indices (namely left and right) there is a particular chance of overlapping. Let us take an example to justify this: Ranjan is ...
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32 votes
7 answers
3k views

Two out of a dozen cartons have Easter eggs. Two people try to find one Easter egg carton, each using a different strategy. Who is expected to win?

I have found a counter intuitive puzzle. I have read the answer given at the source and understand it completely. But, what I am unable to understand is why my intuition turned out to be wrong. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
515 views

100 blue-eyed people riddle N=4

The solution of this riddle is usually given with explicit reasoning for two cases: Case where there is only 1 blue-eyed person, Case where there are 2 blue-eyed people. That logic is clear, and I ...
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4 votes
2 answers
197 views

Cyclic squaring

Find a complex number $a$, which satisfies the following conditions: If you square $a$, you get a different complex number $b$. If you square $b$, you get a complex number $c$, which is different ...
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5 votes
1 answer
343 views

Very modest contract: leading with a king makes good sense (5)

This is from a Times puzzle in an old book: (DOWN) 4. Very modest contract: leading with a king makes good sense (5) I know the answer is LOGIC but I can't see why - please can somebody explain it?
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3 votes
2 answers
358 views

3 hats with numbers, where 2 hats sum to the third

I have outlined a puzzle below, and provided two sources which provide answers. I am disputing that the answer provided in the sources is correct, and I am looking for others to validate or invalidate ...
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3 votes
1 answer
235 views

How is "OPPOSE" the answer to "Don't act like a pro (6)"?

Clue from the West Australian Cryptic Crossword 13/5/2021: "Don't act like a pro (6)" Answer: OPPOSE I can see that "act" gives POSE", but how do you get to "OPPOSE&...
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-3 votes
1 answer
310 views

Open dice Problem

The following figure is folded to form a box. Choose from the alternatives (A), (B), (C) and (D) the boxes that is similar to the box formed. Source: YouTube Video How to answer these type of ...
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16 votes
5 answers
8k views

Why is "lion" the answer to "Take the first left turn at the zoo?"

From The Evening Standard's Cryptic Crossword - Apr 23 2021, the clue for 36-Across is: Take the first left turn at the zoo (4) And the answer is "lion". I get that the first left is L. ...
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  • 161
0 votes
1 answer
150 views

Coloring 5 largest numbers in each row and column yields at least 25 double-colored numbers

I have a question about the answer given to this problem. The problem is reproduced below: This is a question from a very old American Mathematical Monthly, if I recall correctly. It has a very nice ...
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3 votes
1 answer
202 views

9 people sitting at a round table

I am unable to figure out how to solve this question @Joffan has given an answer but he hasn't mentioned much regarding his approach. I requested him but he still didn't give a clear answer. This is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
285 views

Arrange candies without repeating pattern

The following puzzle had been posted before but I couldn't understand the only answer that was given there, which was by @neodne . So, I created this post asking someone to explain neodne's answer to ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is “AFTS” the solution to the crossword clue "Times before eves, in ads"?

I was doing a crossword from the NY Times (from Mon, Feb 11, 2019 by Portia Lundie / Will Shortz) and I got the following clue. 51 ACROSS - Times before eves, in ads The answer is "AFTS". ...
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1 vote
1 answer
110 views

Why is 'logjam' the answer to 'function held up by traffic blockage'?

Why is 'logjam' the answer to 'function held up by traffic blockage'? I guess 'log' is function, and logjam is blockage but why 'jam/maj'? L,G & A are all correct.
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is “HADAT” the solution to the crossword clue "went after"?

I was doing crossword from NY Times, from Mon, Feb 11, 2019 by Howard Barkin + Will Shortz and I got the following clue. Went after The answer is "HADAT". However, I can not find ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is RYE the answer to "Grass over pretty Cambridge backs"?

The clue is: Grass over pretty Cambridge backs The answer is RYE. I get the grass part, but what is the connection in the rest of the clue? This is from the Saturday Telegraph Cryptic, clue no. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
279 views

Why is the answer to "Newspaper had a box for the sweetmeat" FUDGE?

This is a clue from a cryptic crossword published in the NZ Herald on January 1st 2021: Newspaper had a box for the sweetmeat. All I can see is that FUDGE is a sweet often kept in a box or tin, but ...
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5 votes
1 answer
666 views

Why is "issued" the answer to "Fire corners if one-a-side matches haven't begun"?

Why is "issued" the answer to "Fire corners if one-a-side matches haven't begun"? This was published in the NZ Herald cryptic crossword on 8th December 2020.
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  • 59
4 votes
1 answer
270 views

Explain the solution to a cryptic clue for ORIGAMI

Cryptic crossword clue 21 down from Telegraph puzzle #29,363. Sort of art foundation almost inspiring amateur (7) We have the letters O_I_A_I. We believe the ...
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  • 405
10 votes
1 answer
558 views

Why is "alienated" the answer to "One caregiver in particular turned indifferent"?

The clue is: One caregiver in particular turned indifferent. (9) I think the answer may be "alienated" but I can't really explain it. Can anyone else provide a good explanation?
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17 votes
1 answer
2k views

One thousand year old riddle (from the Exeter Book)

This riddle is from the Exeter Book, circa 960-990 A.D.: Clothes make no sound when I tread ground Or dwell in dwellings or disturb the flow. And lofty air and gear at times Above men's towns ...
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  • 1,870
2 votes
1 answer
213 views

Pattern Recognition: $7 \star 8$ =?

The following pattern was given to me by one of my friends: If $$\quad 5 \star 5 = 10$$ $$\quad 6 \star 6=18$$ $$\quad 7 \star 7=36$$ then $$\quad 7 \star 8 = ?$$ a) $54 \quad$ b) $51 \...
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  • 430
4 votes
2 answers
287 views

Why are 2s not possible in these Sudoku cells?

I recently was playing Sudoku on my iPad. As I was stuck on the puzzle I clicked on "Tip" to receive a hint on how I can solve this Sudoku (I am still learning the game) - so please don't ...
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4 votes
2 answers
336 views

What's the problem with the prisoner to be hanged logic puzzle

A criminal is imprisoned on Monday, and told "you will have been hanged by the weekend, but you won't know which day we'll hang you." If it gets to Thursday midnight and he's not been hanged yet, he ...
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4 votes
12 answers
3k views

English Logic Puzzle [closed]

On this site, I found this: "If some Smaugs are Thors and some Thors are Thrains, then some Smaugs are definitely Thrains." Options: TRUE, FALSE, NEITHER The answer given is FALSE. However, I ...
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2 votes
2 answers
119 views

Astonishing Analogies

An analogy can compare a comparison. What is the answer to the following question? Alarm is to Bread as Course is to Dot - Explain
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-2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the correct solution to 16/4(4)? [closed]

This has been circulated recently. We all know the order of the calculation: BEDMAS. B rackets and Parentheses: First Priority E xponents: Second Priority D ivision: Third Priority M ultiplication: ...
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7 votes
14 answers
43k views

How to prove that this man has a profit of 20 and not 10?

This is not actually a puzzle per se, but I'm asking for an explanation about the puzzle's answer. The puzzle goes like this: A man bought a goat for 60. He then sold it for 70. Later, he bought that ...
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7 votes
2 answers
342 views

Teacup geometry

Inspired by the three utilities puzzle from prog_SAHIL I'm now posting a similar puzzle that makes use of the topology of a cup with a handle: The question is: How many distinct points can you ...
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6 votes
1 answer
272 views

How many dimensions?

You have $n+1$ points in $n$-dimensional Euclidean space, such that the mutual distance between each pair of points is the same. Now imagine an $n$-dimensional generalization of a sphere, such that ...
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  • 5,646
5 votes
2 answers
720 views

two of A, B and C in each row column and diagonal

This puzzle comes from a book called "Braintraining Puzzles" (The one with a blue-green cover). It involves a 6x6 grid which needs to be filled with two copies of A, B and C in each row, column and ...
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  • 3,674
4 votes
2 answers
5k views

Alternate answer to the 2 guard 2 door question?

I asked a friend the classic question about the two guards and two doors that goes as follows: The rules are clear: there are two doors. One leads to the castle, the other, to certain death. You may ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

How is this the correct answer in this number sequence?

I have this sequence: 24, 63, 10, 48, 35, 72, 44.... The next number is How is this the correct answer?
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do I solve this logic puzzle?

I am trying to improve my logical thinking and I came across this puzzle problem. I need some help solving the puzzle below. Two weeks ago, four enthusiasts made sightings of objects in the sky in ...
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8 votes
2 answers
9k views

Homer's Riddle Understanding

I recently heard the riddle that Homer, reportedly, died trying to solve. Homer approaches some fisherman and they say to him, "What we caught, we threw away, what we didn't catch, we kept. I ...
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6 votes
5 answers
79k views

Why does this answer to "two doors with two guards" work?

On this post: Two doors with two guards - one lies, one tells the truth the most common answer for this riddle is given. However, while the answer marked as correct is the most common solution I found,...
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  • 87
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

Single letter chemical elements on a 2x2 grid

In the past somebody showed me the puzzle below. I remember the answer but not the entire solution. Here it goes: On a grid of 2x2 put four single letter chemical elements. The result should have ...
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13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Logic behind numeric sequence

There was this sequence on a magazine and the reader has to find the next number: 10, 2, 4, 6, 2, 8 I couldn't find one, then I found the answer in the next magazine. They say the number is 5, so ...
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  • 155
19 votes
1 answer
752 views

Salon workers, for short?

The clue is "Salon workers, for short?", and the answer is "EDS". I've spent hours trying to find an EXPLANATION for this answer. Why are there so many sites that simply GIVE you the answer without ...
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  • 199
1 vote
4 answers
750 views

Clock time Puzzle

What will be the time when the hour, minute, and second hands will all coincide in between 6 O'Clock and 7 O'Clock? How should I approach this type of question? Can anyone explain it?
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why are these shapes impossible to draw with the given rules?

The image above shows a group of shapes, all with lines leading to their center point. These shapes cannot be drawn with the following rules: You may not trace over over an already existing line. You ...
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7 votes
4 answers
532 views

How do you transport 42 cars?

You're a soldier in the dictator's army. The dictator is very impressed with your incredible abilities. He asks you this question: There are 42 cars in this parking lot over there. How do you ...
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  • 289
5 votes
0 answers
2k views

Mensa IQ test question: complete the logical sequence [closed]

I tried taking the Mensa practice test. One of the question involved completing a series of figures with the most logical option. This is the base sequence: And we have to choose the additional ...
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2 votes
3 answers
658 views

Clarifications on the unexpected hanging paradox

I read through the wiki on the unexpected hanging paradox . A judge tells a condemned prisoner that he will be hanged at noon on one weekday in the following week but that the execution will be a ...
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8 votes
4 answers
12k views

Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers - Progressive Matrices Puzzle

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell presents the following puzzle: ...
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