Questions tagged [real]

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

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3 answers
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How can this be?

I was driving on the highway and saw a car with the following sign: "Caution: blind driver". I checked and the sign was describing true events. How can this be possible?
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
21 votes
10 answers
4k views

What did I photograph?

What did I capture in these photos and how did it happen? This is straight from my camera without any edits or filters. Hint 1: Hint 2: Hint 3:
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
25 votes
5 answers
2k views

Colouring a rug

I have a rectangular rug in my living room composed of coloured patches (shown below). For convenience I have labelled each distinct colour from 1 to 6. Let's suppose that it was created by starting ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
312 views

Waffleing my Egg

This morning I had a waffle and a fried egg for breakfast. The fried egg was cooked with a mold, so it was perfectly round and three inches in diameter. The waffle was a 3-inch by 4-inch grid of one ...
DqwertyC's user avatar
  • 8,136
127 votes
5 answers
141k views

Is this duplo train track under too much tension?

My kids were making this train track of duplo the other day, and this is what they put together. They are still very young, and for them, this is something big. They were really proud that they ...
Lezzup's user avatar
  • 4,886
3 votes
1 answer
286 views

What food am I making?

I was planning to make two portions, but didn't have enough potable water. Then I decided to make four portions, and the water was plentiful. What food was I making? Hint 1: Hint 2:
jpa's user avatar
  • 287
4 votes
2 answers
770 views

Martin's magic teapot

Martin really likes tea. In fact he likes it so much that he made his own magic teapot. The first time he pours from it he gets black tea, the second time he pours milk, and finally he pours tea with ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Lifting 5 bricks with one hand

There are 5 identical standard bricks lying on the table. Your hand is large enough to wrap around one brick only. How can you lift all 5 bricks at once with just one hand? You cannot use any other ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

A strange construction of locks

This gate is locked with 6 locks. What is the purpose of this construction?
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
351 views

Boxeslayers to the rescue

This is about layering boxes, not about slaying them. We have 1,830 2×5 boxes to stack safely as 10 alternating contiguous layer patterns of 183 boxes each. Layers have identical silhouettes that fit ...
humn's user avatar
  • 21.8k
-1 votes
2 answers
197 views

Football winners without scoring [closed]

A football (soccer) team didn't score any goals, yet they still won the game. How is this possible?
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
262 views

The case of a piece that could go missing

What piece of hardware was after all unnecessary? And how? These diagrams, though somewhat schematic, are meant to directly represent everything pertinent. Nothing has been omitted or added to ...
humn's user avatar
  • 21.8k
9 votes
1 answer
513 views

Reconstructing the Candidates Tournament 2018

The Candidates Tournament 2018 was an eight-player double round-robin chess tournament, which was held in Berlin, Germany, between 10–28 March 2018. The winner, Fabiano Caruana, earned the right to ...
A. Rex's user avatar
  • 955
8 votes
11 answers
2k views

Beware of raining cephalopods

The picture depicts a real traffic sign painted in South Africa. It was intended to be an official traffic sign - but the painter, being unfamiliar with them, painted this according to the brief he ...
Konchog's user avatar
  • 929
0 votes
6 answers
642 views

How can you drive back without refueling? [closed]

My husband and I set out for a day trip towards a tourist town 20km away from our location. We only have enough fuel to reach the town, but my husband assured me that we will easily drive back to our ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
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 ...
WhatsUp's user avatar
  • 7,357
6 votes
1 answer
269 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 ...
Sid's user avatar
  • 15.2k
8 votes
1 answer
356 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 ...
Dr Xorile's user avatar
  • 22.9k
4 votes
1 answer
154 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 ...
A. Rex's user avatar
  • 955
8 votes
2 answers
597 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 ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
169 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 ...
Dr Xorile's user avatar
  • 22.9k
7 votes
1 answer
412 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 ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
313 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 ...
Nick Darvey's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
484 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 ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
166 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 (...
thinktt's user avatar
  • 111
20 votes
5 answers
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? ...
Nilster's user avatar
  • 874
5 votes
1 answer
317 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 ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
449 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: <...
Ambo100's user avatar
  • 1,221
4 votes
2 answers
311 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 ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
15 votes
1 answer
633 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 ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
18 votes
3 answers
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-...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
-2 votes
1 answer
451 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 ...
George Barwood's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
803 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 ...
A. Rex's user avatar
  • 955
5 votes
2 answers
404 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 ...
Thomas Blue's user avatar
  • 6,912
5 votes
4 answers
381 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 ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
6 votes
3 answers
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 . . . . . . ...
humn's user avatar
  • 21.8k
10 votes
3 answers
745 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 ...
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
198 views

Travelling out of the country

Where did Kate go? Below is a fictitious conversation: ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 205
2 votes
1 answer
99 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 ...
Nick's user avatar
  • 1,695
8 votes
1 answer
270 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 ...
Brian's user avatar
  • 205
7 votes
19 answers
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?
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
412 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 ...
WhatsUp's user avatar
  • 7,357
22 votes
11 answers
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 ...
John's user avatar
  • 371
8 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Exal's user avatar
  • 3,770
8 votes
5 answers
760 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 ...
Joel Moreland's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
415 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 ...
forget me not's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
235 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?
Dmitry Kamenetsky's user avatar
4 votes
8 answers
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,...
Nick's user avatar
  • 1,695
3 votes
0 answers
339 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 ...
Bardic Wizard's user avatar