Questions tagged [real]

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

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13
votes
6answers
348 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
377 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
524 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 ...
25
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
317 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
311 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
610 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
185 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
197 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 ...
5
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
341 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
200 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
172 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
90 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
476 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
986 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
335 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
322 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
265 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
307 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
236 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
446 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
746 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 ...
30
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 ...
65
votes
7answers
23k 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
821 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
476 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 ...
36
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
437 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
269 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
648 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
11k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
257 views

Longest autological loop?

A word is said to be autological if it describes itself. This can be a property of both nouns and adjectives; for example, "noun" is a noun and "pentasyllabic" is pentasyllabic. We can also construct ...
9
votes
2answers
931 views

Find Four Pins of 50 in this Image! — A Hidden Object Puzzle

Tonight, my friends and I went to the mall. We planned to buy some shirts and pants, but suddenly... we found this! These are number/size pins. They are typically used in hanger to denote the size of ...
2
votes
2answers
389 views

How to Charge Our Devices in this Machine?

Warning: It is actually a simple "puzzle" which is silly but debatably unique as it really happens to me in real life. I'm amazed with nowadays technology. When I go to one of the shopping mall in ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Optimal Money-Saving on the NYC Metro

You are on vacation in New York City. You didn't bring your car, and it's currently around $-50^\circ C$, so it's probably a good idea to take the NYC metro subway to move around. You need a metro ...
0
votes
2answers
149 views

Pray they can hold it in for two hours? [closed]

I use to to help with the nursery at a very small church. The Nursery was downstairs next to the the two small restrooms for males/females. Whenever I had to go out to a restroom to get towels or ...
-6
votes
3answers
452 views

What do these two places have in common?

In the United States of America, the New York City Borough of Queens lies at the west end of Long Island. More than 5000km across the Atlantic ocean lies the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, a borough ...
5
votes
2answers
400 views

Improve my 3D puzzle

3D View of one solutions http://autode.sk/2Dg4FWx I designed a 4x4x4 soma cube in AutoCad and then built it with wood cubes. There are twelve pentacubes and one tetracubes. Each piece is unique and ...
15
votes
1answer
713 views

Code Cracking 1984

This is a code from an old home computer magazine. Still it is unknown the cipher used for it, although they gave the solution: ...
-4
votes
2answers
368 views

Length of mystery object

What everyday object is ${n}^{-1/4}$ metres long, where $n$ is an integer? Hint: n= Note there may be some cultural dependence here.
-3
votes
2answers
228 views

A toy needs 3 batteries, but I only have 2 batteries [closed]

I have a boy, he has a toy which need 3 batteries, but I only have 2 batteries. With an easy hack I can switch on the toy to work properly. What did I do?
56
votes
22answers
15k views

Can you open the bathroom door? [closed]

This happened to me in a rental apartment and I had to be creative to solve it. The geniuses who designed the bathroom managed to fit a drawer about a centimeter behind the door, and eventually what ...
24
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the solution to Lewis Carroll's “Froggy's Problem”, and what is the “trap”?

Froggy's Problem was presented in Lewis Carroll's Symbolic Logic, with a note that it "contains a marvellous trap". Because Carroll never released Part 2 of Symbolic Logic, its solution is unknown. ...
3
votes
1answer
292 views

Floored and foiled

Scene 1 – A hallway There I was, in a corporate hallway 110 shaftments long (approximately 18 m or 60 ft) and unspooling a 100 -shaftment length of cable from a reel. All too ...
9
votes
1answer
629 views

The tomb with the answer to life

Diophantus was a famous ancient Greek mathematician. This was carved on his tomb: Herein lies the remains of Diophantus. God vouchsafed that he should be a boy for the sixth part of his life; when ...
5
votes
0answers
558 views

Need help with a cipher

I am trying to figure out a cipher I think I found in a book from 1982 and it's a 36 year old mystery we are trying to solve (I will reveal the book if this turns out to be something so everyone can ...