# 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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### 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. ...
751 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 ...
6k views

### When to be sure that we have counted all the squares in such problems

My first question: how would one solve such problems (in general)? What should be the general technique? My second question: When to be sure that we have counted all the squares in such problems?
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 ...
2k views

### Strategy for finding the key to this cipher

A coworker and I are perplexed over this puzzle. We gave up and looked at the answer, but we cannot seem to understand how it works. Can anybody explain? Text version of the above image We've created ...
7k 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. ...
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 ...
2k views

### Why is "trapeze" the solution to this cryptic crossword clue?

I was doing a cryptic crossword this morning and I came across the following clue: Circus equipment has chimpanzee, say at the centre The answer is "TRAPEZE" (confirmed by "check answers"). The ...
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". ...
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. ...
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 ...
555 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?
903 views

### mistakes in analogous puzzles from The Tipping Point

In the book 'The Tipping Point', Malcolm Gladwell cites two puzzles and draws an analogy between them, in fact he claims the two are equivalent. I believe there are some problems with both puzzles, ...
16k views

### Explanation for the "I am whole but incomplete..." riddle?

I saw a riddle: I am whole but incomplete, I have no eyes, yet I see. You can see, and see right through me. My largest part is one fourth of what I once was. What am I? Apparently the answer is: ...
8k 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 ...
11k views

### Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers - Progressive Matrices Puzzle

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell presents the following puzzle: ...
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### 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 ...
28k 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 ...
328 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 ...
521 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 ...
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 ...
65k 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,...
254 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 ...
635 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.
460 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 ...
329 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?
687 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
190 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 ...
282 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 ...
213 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 ...
4k 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 ...
189 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&...
316 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 ...
1k views

### Explaining Cheryl's birthday

Relevant link : Cheryl's birthday I understand the solution. But it feels wrong to me, because Albert cannot possibly make the third statement with the information he has at the moment he makes it. ...
237 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 ...
266 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 ...
177 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 ...
638 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 ...
276 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 ...
113 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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### 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 \...
738 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?
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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### 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.
216 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 ...