Questions tagged [real]

For puzzles that presented themselves, with real parameters and consequences, during otherwise non-puzzling activities.

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5
votes
1answer
260 views

Starred, as to the crew's aid

The flavour text (except for the puzzle's name) is not a hint, but a true story I didn't really have any ideas for a puzzle, but my everyday life gave me one. I think, the puzzle could be better if I ...
5
votes
4answers
238 views

Explain this pattern of water spots in a parking space

Today, I found this pattern of water spots in a parking space. Other parking spaces with cars in them also had similar patterns of water spots. What caused this pattern, and why are there more water ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Aliens Attack Apartments?

Difficulty level: fair to middling Pose level: too tempting to resist When attempting to fill in a bureaucratic blank, a friend serendipitously snapped this cameraphone picture . . . . . . ...
9
votes
2answers
349 views

Optimal refueling strategy

On the way home from work, I want to refuel my car. There are 5 petrol stations along the way that all have a different price for petrol. I know that the prices will be in the range [A, B], chosen ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

Travelling out of the country

Where did Kate go? Below is a fictitious conversation: ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Can you produce a wolf's template? Part 2

Here is the first question. You are given a square piece of paper with no marks on it. With this paper, you have to make a wolf's template. You are given no tools such as a ruler or scissors, and all ...
8
votes
1answer
211 views

The key with no door

I was given this key, along with an attached seating assignment, at a wedding reception. While many guests assumed it was merely a decorative key, a few clever guests quickly realized the truth. The ...
7
votes
19answers
2k views

Drawing a perfect circle without any tools [closed]

You are given a pen and a large piece of paper. Without using any additional tools (eg., ruler, compass, string etc) how can you draw a perfect circle?
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Calculate total score from average score

A class of students have taken $8$ exams. The average scores of the exams are: 1st: $80.12$ 2nd: $74.59$ 3rd: $77.83$ 4th: $77.34$ 5th: $82.07$ 6th: $81.25$ 7th: $78.90$ 8th: $75.44$ What is the total ...
21
votes
11answers
5k views

Why is the pavement wet?

Saw this the other day. So I took this picture. There was another nearly identical wet patch 2 spaces away. Why is the pavement wet? Note: This is a straight forward physics puzzle. This is a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Someone Shoot Me!

Real-life situation, this time. I was at work the other day and had just done something. I needed to tell a coworker he needed to do it as well, but he was on the phone at the time. Not wanting to ...
7
votes
4answers
415 views

Buying weight plates for a home gym, what is the fewest number I need

I'm buying a home gym set-up for my son (really!) and I want to know the fewest number of weight plates I need to buy to be able to go up in 5kg increments to 170kg. The bar weighs 20kg and the ...
11
votes
1answer
350 views

Cryptic images have been posted around University of Central Florida campus. Can you help crack the cipher?

Recently there have been sightings of images duct-taped to various poles and such, reminiscent of a large house with windows within the UCF campus. On closer inspection, there is obviously a cryptic ...
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Curved brick wall

Below is a fully functioning curved brick wall. Amazingly it uses fewer bricks than a functioning straight brick wall of comparable length. How is this possible?
4
votes
8answers
1k views

How to find half volume of tetrahedron?

Let's say you have a few juice packs that are shaped as regular tetrahedra. Question. Is it possible to measure half of the juice there is in one pack? Edit. You do not have any measuring tools (rules,...
2
votes
0answers
277 views

Can you help me recover this message?

So, in May 2018, a friend and I were sitting in study hall, bored. Both of us had finished our homework early, and we were trading ciphers over email. I sent something that I had encoded, and neither ...
5
votes
1answer
277 views

On which date was this photo taken?

On which date was this photo taken? Here are your clues: A simple, handheld camera phone faithfully captured what the eye saw. No artificial filters, lighting or trick photography was used. It was a ...
10
votes
4answers
445 views

This number sequence has entered my life recently

Just recently, I've noticed this sequence of numbers has become a pretty big part of my life. It goes like this: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12 So here's the mystery: What is this sequence? Where do I keep seeing ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

Help! My Ring & Post puzzle is stuck

I have a fairly basic Ring and Wooden Post puzzle that I can usually solve. However, at a recent family gathering (pre-Covid); the ring was tangled into a weird spot and I cannot figure it out. Here ...
1
vote
1answer
225 views

Steganography - Coded Blocks Ricoh Color Copy machine

I am somewhat new to this. Forgive if my description is not clear. I have two code blocks. I know that each block, in part, codes for a serial number (which I know). Part of the code probably ...
2
votes
3answers
138 views

Village with no boys [closed]

This is a true story. There is a Polish village with no boys born in the last 10 years. How is this possible?
7
votes
1answer
228 views

Catch 21: Lies in Advertising

I posted a few Dominosa puzzles this week to celebrate adding Dominosa to my Donimoes collection of domino puzzles and games. Now, I want to finish the week with something a little different. What ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Determine water temperature without touching the water

I've come up with a riddle that I use on a daily basis to solve a simple problem. In a kitchen, you have a water tap that can run cold and hot water (or a mixture). The more fancy ones have a handle ...
7
votes
0answers
273 views

Signatures of serial killer Edward Wayne Edwards?

This is from a real-life murder-mystery. In 2009 Edward Wayne Edwards was arrested and convicted of five murders, following a tip-off from his daughter April. Former detective John A. Cameron ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Cheapest strategy on average to find specific items in a set

The problem You have a set on N (around 15-30) seemingly-identical objects, which in fact comprises a small number D (unknown, between 1-3) of defective objects and the rest (N-D) are good. There is a ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Reversical Engineerimicating

Ok, like, OMG!, this is totally true. I was looking through an old Notepad++ file I had and saw the following statements, verbatim, as I found them: ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

Hungry for pistachios [closed]

You are locked in a completely empty room with no tools. You are given a bag with cooked pistachios. Most of the pistachios are fully open, but some are only partially open. You are not able to open ...
3
votes
6answers
564 views

Why are the tires flat on one side?

I have a long commute, so I spend a lot of time staring at the cars ahead of me. One unusual thing I've observed is that on most cars the left-hand side tires look like they have less air than the ...
7
votes
2answers
252 views

Turning a fan on

I bought an air purifier which has [off, low, medium, high] settings and a single button. If it is on, the first button press activates the lights and subsequent presses increment the level with off ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

The falling broom handle

As the reaction to my previous physics puzzle was somewhat mixed, I'll try again. I found this in an online physics book. You hold a broom as shown in the following picture: The head of the broom is ...
27
votes
6answers
10k views

Cut a cake into 3 equal portions with only a knife

You have to determine a way to cut a circular cake into exactly three portions of equal size. The only marking on the cake is a candle in the very center. All you have to work with is a knife that is ...
34
votes
3answers
3k views

Is this more than a packing puzzle?

I bought this set of wooden blocks at a garage sale today, and although it was a challenge to fit them in the box, I suspected they were more than just a packing puzzle. Can you guess what else they ...
13
votes
6answers
816 views

Pulling Apart a Jigsaw Puzzle

Assume you have a jigsaw puzzle that is also a tessellation. This means every piece has an identical shape and can be assembled into a 2D pattern that fills the plane with no gaps. Such a jigsaw ...
10
votes
4answers
419 views

Not-Quite-Sufficiently-Advanced-Technology Square

This was given as an assignment to a group of sixth graders, who were told they could use calculators. Beyond that, no real assistance was provided. They were not working on it as a group, so ...
5
votes
2answers
573 views

Gold, silver and bronze in the balance

Equivalent to finding three heaviest coins in order of weight, on a balance that holds one coin on each side. (Simplified, with some Wikipedia references corrected, from the original puzzle. The ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

That's an odd coin - I wonder why [closed]

Around the world, there are several roughly polygonal coins. Here's an example: One thing you'll notice is that they all have an odd number of sides. It turns out that this is universally true for ...
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Real life puzzle: Unknown alphabet or shorthand

User JellicleCat posted this on linguistics stackexhange a few years ago. None of us were able to come up with a satisfying answer but most seemed to agree that it was an idiosyncratic cipher or ...
6
votes
7answers
325 views

Find minimum number of meeting periods to reach 2 degrees of separation for a group [closed]

I am running a training course and I want to arrange a set of 1:1 meeting periods between the participants such that at the end of the day there is a maximum of 2 degrees of separation between any of ...
6
votes
2answers
352 views

A real-world puzzler - find the pattern!

This is a bit of an unusual puzzle - one that is purely "real world" :) My console can produce a load of colours. But I can't find any obvious way to relate the colour to its number. I'd hoped that ...
7
votes
2answers
645 views

What's that movie? (Geriatric Edition)

True story: My mother, 80 years old, asked me "What's that movie?" "What movie?" "You know, the one with that guy..." "..." "Run... Homer..." "Homer Simpson?" "No. Maybe. Was it Homer Simpson? ...
3
votes
2answers
215 views

Should I Rest at the Travelator or Not at the Travelator?

This is a real-life puzzle encountered by one of my friends, again. After landing and arriving at the airport, I want to pick my baggage up quickly. The problem is that the baggage claim is $500$ m ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

What do these symbols mean?

On top of a door in a small Bavarian town, I found the following symbols: Given the circumstances, I assume that they mean either a date or some kind of blessing or epigram. The latter is ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a secret message in the first decimals of PI?

Is there a secret message encoded in the first decimals of $\pi$? Source: Vi Hart
8
votes
2answers
391 views

Decode the letters from a criminal organization

Last Saturday (2018-12-08), the Brazilian police caught those letters written by the bosses of a big brazilian criminal organization in jail intended to be delivered to their men in the streets. The ...
5
votes
3answers
391 views

Buzz Buzz Busy Male Bees

A male bee is born from an unfertilized egg, a female bee from a fertilized egg. In other words, a male bee has only a mother, whereas a female bee has a mother and a father. How many total ancestors ...
6
votes
2answers
184 views

Trees and dates

A friend of mine in Sydney, Australia, asked for help in explaining these stones. I don't know if this is really a puzzle, but he's definitely puzzled. In one of our local parks someone has put ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

How to make a 2v2 rotation with 5 people

I'm running a volleyball club at school and we currently have 5 active members. Is there a way of having everybody play in a duo with everybody else and have one person sit out each game practising? I ...
8
votes
1answer
485 views

A Marvelous Meal

S.H.I.E.L.D. Universe Okoye Ironman Cosmic Invisible-Girl Lois-Lane Electra Deadpool Yellowjacket Logan Loki Ant-man Captin-America Infinity-Warfare Groot Avengers ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Don't put yourself out, dear

I asked my mother the other day, "What do you want for dinner? I'll get you anything your little heart desires." My mother, true to form, radiated the stereotypical motherly vibe: "Don't worry about ...
7
votes
6answers
369 views

Flipping a coin across the internet

Suppose you wish to "flip a coin across the internet". ie. You want to show other people that you've flipped just ONE coin, and show them the result. I'm currently trying to think of the simplest ...