Questions tagged [real]

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

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24
votes
4answers
4k views

The "Loop of rope" dilemma

It's a "dilemma" that I encountered in real life problems. I believe that it's not new and is quite easy to explain, but may look puzzling at first glance. Alice and Bob are playing with a ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

What are these two athletes talking about?

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon are currently the two drivers driving for Alpine Racing Team in the 2021 Formula 1 season. Earlier today, Fernando and Esteban had this conversation in clearly coded ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

Simple puzzle, but that's not the point - what's the significance of the spacing of the shelves?

We had a cabinet that used to contain CDs. We liked the cabinet but had to admit that we hadn't taken them out for years. We decided to put some shelves in the middle (the outer ones will have hanging ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Reconstructing sport climbing results

Sport climbing at the 2020 Summer Olympics – Women's combined Warmup Sport climbing is a new event (one of four) at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and it just finished. Two events were held, one ...
8
votes
2answers
514 views

Largest rectangle from 20 Lego bricks

You have twenty 2x4 Lego bricks, like the one shown below What is the area of the largest rectangle you can make satisfying the following conditions: All bricks must be connected in a single ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

Where is this coat of arms from? [closed]

My father found an old glass during a recent move and has no idea where it's from. It looks vaguely familiar to me (maybe all coats of arms look vaguely familiar), but I've looked up the places we're ...
6
votes
1answer
381 views

Discounts in a shop

I came across this sign in a shop and thought it could make a nice puzzle. So you can buy items and get discounts depending on how many items you got. You can combine discounts and use as many as you ...
7
votes
1answer
265 views

Cracking prices

I recently went to a furniture store where people spend my annual salary on a garish commodes and ostentatious vitrines. I note a curious code at the bottom of each item’s description label. Some ...
7
votes
3answers
338 views

Riding on non-circular wheels

The mathematician Stan Wagon built a tricycle with square wheels that can ride smoothly on a carefully crafted curved surface: Now I have some puzzles for you: Is there a surface that allows one to ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Reverse Engineer Chess Software Calculations

TLDR Just the Puzzle Given a number n and a weight w the function f will result in a weighted number r as follows. f(n, w) = r n can be a number from 0 to 200 w can be a number from -100 to 100 (...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

The Greenhouse Problem

While I was playing a certain popular indie farming game, I came across a dilemma. I have a greenhouse that I'd like to fill as efficiently as possible. How many plants can I fit in the greenhouse? ...
5
votes
1answer
288 views

A real-life puzzle. I'm mystified

I am not sure that this (or anywhere) is the right place to ask. I'm just puzzled about some things that happened today. Genuinely happened - this is not a set-up for an ordinary puzzle. This morning ...
8
votes
2answers
386 views

Rack 'Em Up! 🎱

In a game of English eight-ball pool, a set of 15 balls are arranged or 'racked' in the shape of an equilateral triangle. In order for the balls to be racked fairly, they must be arranged like so: <...
4
votes
2answers
273 views

Explain these dirty tire tracks

The image below shows a clean Jeep and dirty tire tracks on a black paved parking lot. The tracks are dirtiest near the Jeep, less dirty at the bottom of the image, and even less dirty on the right ...
7
votes
2answers
948 views

Why did the number of islands change?

There is a cluster of islands, which a private pilot flies over at dawn. The pilot can see 17 islands. A week later, she makes the same flight, at dawn, following the same altitude, speed, path and ...
15
votes
1answer
591 views

Explain this holiday calendar oddity

Happy Boxing Day! Yesterday was Christmas Day, and in a few days, it will be New Year's Day. Each holiday season, those two holidays are always on the same day of the week (in this case, Friday). But ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Explain this bad parking job

One bright Monday morning, I drove to work and parked my car in Lot A. That morning, others also parked in Lot A, and we all found each other’s parking jobs to be satisfactory. That afternoon, a co-...
0
votes
1answer
292 views

Another Zodiac Killer Puzzle

This is a multi-part puzzle concerning the Zodiac Killer "Pines" card sent to the San Francisco Chronicle on March 22, 1971. I will ask it as a series of questions and hints, as I think it's ...
14
votes
3answers
720 views

Reconstructing World Cup results

In the group stage of the World Cup, teams compete within eight groups of four teams each. Each group plays a round-robin tournament, in which each team plays three matches, one against each other ...
5
votes
2answers
387 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
308 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 . . . . . . ...
10
votes
3answers
580 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
187 views

Travelling out of the country

Where did Kate go? Below is a fictitious conversation: ...
2
votes
1answer
76 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
231 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
222 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
440 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
381 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
182 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,...
3
votes
0answers
310 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
299 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
2k views

How do you solve/understand this problem of who owes who?

There are people A,D,G,P "A" needs $2.50 from D,G,P "P" needs $2.50 from A,D,G As far as who paid "A" what. "D" paid "A" \$5 (So "A" owes ...
10
votes
4answers
478 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
297 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
238 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
144 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
242 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
205 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
514 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
175 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
7answers
820 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
264 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 ...