Questions tagged [real]

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

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10
votes
4answers
431 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
179 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
213 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
122 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
213 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
170 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
224 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
149 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
516 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
249 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
9k 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
669 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
409 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
566 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
324 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
347 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
639 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
210 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
226 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
383 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
344 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
183 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
120 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
484 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
357 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

My teacher gave me a puzzle one day

I told my teacher that I liked riddles and puzzles. As a matter of fact, I introduced him to the Puzzling Stack Exchange! Then, he got a sheet of paper, asked for a pen, and when he found one (I didn'...
7
votes
2answers
354 views

Identical-Looking Keys on a Ring

The number of keys on your key ring has been growing steadily over time, and now you already have 15 keys to keep track of! Unfortunately, you are unable to distinguish one key from another (apart ...
7
votes
5answers
273 views

Selecting the starting player [closed]

The board game is about to begin. And suddenly we realize that we need to decide the starting player. The dice procedure is tiresome. And we can't find our dice right now. Or any other artifact that ...
9
votes
1answer
327 views

We're gonna need a bigger bowl!

It's time for lunch, and I want to eat my favorite Regresso™ Chicken Noodle Soup. Ideally, I would pour all the soup from the can to my bowl, microwave the bowl, then eat the soup. Unfortunately, ...
1
vote
2answers
252 views

What are the chances on watching the clock? [closed]

This is a relatively straightforward little puzzle, but the answers are somewhat unintuitive or can prompt a new perspective. It might be an interesting little puzzle for a probability teaching ...
7
votes
1answer
685 views

Is there a hidden message this old Polybius listing?

I recently watched this video about the mythical arcade game Polybius. It's a well-crafted investigation that thoroughly debunks the myth, but there's a segment in which the investigator suspects a ...
4
votes
2answers
877 views

The Fenn Treasure Hunt (REAL!)

I heard of this riddle and wanted to pass it on to see if you expert puzzlers could solve it! These are clues for real treasure hidden somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. As I have gone alone in there ...
31
votes
9answers
9k views

Should I Take the Bus or Refill My Bottle First?

This is a real-life puzzle encountered by one of my friends. I want to arrive early to my class today. Exactly every $7$ minutes, there is a bus that arrives at the station near my dorm and will ...
69
votes
7answers
24k views

My friend sent me a photo of his keyboard, but there's something I can't figure out about it

Two months ago, my friend bought a new Chromebook. He told me yesterday that while he is happy with the computer overall, he's not that impressed by the quality of the keyboard. My friend is an ...
12
votes
1answer
862 views

Who can solve this cipher?

The following cipher is moderately difficult but not impossible. It is (IMO) probably easily solvable for an experienced professional code breaker. ...
1
vote
4answers
491 views

The helicopter position?

Helicopter fly from New Jersey to the north for 500 km and then to the east 500 km, then to the south 500 km and then to the west 500 km where is she now? Can it arrive at a position where ...
38
votes
6answers
5k views

Changing baby's shirt

Baby needs a change of shirt, but baby is also sucking on a bottle (see this stock photo for a visual). If the bottle leaves baby's mouth, baby will start crying. Also, baby loves holding the ...
0
votes
4answers
444 views

What is the name of the novel?

Yesterday, after I picked up my son from fencing practice, we stopped at Krispy Kreme to get doughnuts, as per our tradition. The total was $3.19. I paid with a five dollar bill and when I got my ...
1
vote
1answer
273 views

Scheduling Meetings

I came across this problem in real life and thought it could be made into an interesting puzzle. I will enjoy seeing how my eventual solution could be improved! Here's the situation. There ...
9
votes
1answer
669 views

What does this symbol mean

This is a real life question. I have a hat that has this symbol on it I can't figure out what it means. I have asked everyone I know. But I didn't get good answers. So What does it mean? Even if ...
24
votes
15answers
12k views

Separate the milk!

You have a jug of milk and a jug of water. You must empty both jugs into a nine gallon barrel. You must be able to: Differentiate between the milk and the water Separate the milk from the water You ...
-2
votes
9answers
2k views

Ice Cube Lifting Puzzle [closed]

Here's an interesting scientific problem. Drop a small ice cube into a partially filled glass of water. Next, get a foot-long piece of thread or string. The puzzle is to remove the ice cube from ...