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Questions tagged [story]

A puzzle that is dressed up as a story or a longer description of a situation.

18
votes
6answers
4k views

How Can I Safely Double The Length of A Ladder?

I'm posting this from the roof of a building because I can't figure out a safe way down. I've scoured the roof for anything useful, and all I found was a coping saw. I also found a 100 foot ladder, ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Emeralds bet - A round world

It was the 15 October 1502, just a few hours before midnight in an old tavern at the docks. Emerald raised two fingers, after repeatedly looking at his three cards, before finally answering the ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

The Survivors of Dictionaria

STORY: The land of Dictionaria was once a utopia where all words lived together in perfect harmony. Words respected each other and the big words always found a place among their smaller compatriots. ...
8
votes
1answer
201 views

A Railcar for L. & J. Railroad

In the land of the tetrominos, the twins L. and J. have set out to revolutionize travel by rail. Contemporaries' passenger cars are boxy and boring, and humdrum symmetric passenger ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Puzzling puzzling phrases

Intro: I found this strange, tattered journal while walking through the woods behind my house, and wondered if you could make sense of it all. From what I could glean, it was written by a nomadic ...
3
votes
2answers
265 views

Riddles in the Dark? Nah, just ciphers in the shadows

Annatar stepped into Celebrimbor's forge, watching for a second. Then, he spoke. "I wish to test you, to see whether your mind is as good as your smithing." Like any Noldor would, Celebrimbor ...
1
vote
1answer
354 views

Defy the corrupt executioner! [duplicate]

Smough the Executioner leads you up to to the chopping block, set between two torches like lonely sentinels. A row of authorities and guards, with the king at the epicenter, sit shrouded in darkness ...
5
votes
3answers
300 views

Creation of… Curses? [closed]

Pretend I was some sort of budding author. A bit of a stretch, but… Now that you've done that, I had a bit of an idea related to writing curses, and breaking them. But the method is slightly absent. ...
59
votes
5answers
10k views

The Jeweller's Dilemma

You are well known as the best jeweller in Puzzovania; your shop is always well stocked and your pockets are always bulging. One day, the local 'godfather' of Puzzovania's organised crime comes into ...
10
votes
1answer
841 views

Who stole my laptop?

It’s obvious that one of my “friends” was lying to me back in March this year. Someone who knew I’d be gone stole my $1,500 laptop and my crappy old broken microwave (I probably won’t ask for that one ...
23
votes
5answers
8k views

The Riddle of Life, to Ease all Your Strife

-- Side Story: Please skip ahead if you want the riddle -- Intro: Everyone knows of The Oracle: After months of dodging dragons and trolls and sneaky gods and the wrath of the entire world, you are ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

The Pie-Maker's Son

Preface: There's a lot of background story here. Most of it is just for fun but there are definitely clues sprinkled throughout. If you want the strict puzzle, skip on down to the bottom. For many ...
37
votes
6answers
3k views

Deciphering an Alien Signal

I have a strange problem that you may be able to help me with. I was recently hired by company that manages several communications satellites, and I've gotten stuck with the overnight shift. Earlier ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Burning Island - how to survive the fire? [closed]

A man is stranded on an island covered in forest. There are no other humans or animals, he is the only one who lives on the island. One day, when the wind is blowing from the west, lightning ...
6
votes
2answers
716 views

Cultural Patrimony

Few month ago, I was on vacation visiting an old friend in his own country. We were sitting on his balcony enjoying the sea view from up the hill and listening to his old favorite music when he asked ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

The Islanders and their Birthday Presents

Once upon a time, a band of colonists, all having distinct birthdays, settled on a remote island. They had brought some mementos from the old country, around which certain mores regarding friendships ...
41
votes
8answers
30k views

How did the police know?

One night, a man receives a call from the police. The police tell the man that his wife was robbed, murdered, and her body dumped in a remote location, and that he should reach the crime scene as soon ...
12
votes
4answers
929 views
7
votes
1answer
384 views

The Robostanchion Exam (a puzzle about game-graph connectedness)

The St. Čapek Crowd Control Academy, June, 2115. Commander Gall is worried. On one hand, the graduating class this year is the most promising in the institution's history, every cadet's reasoning ...
9
votes
1answer
577 views

Building a cheap road

The governor of Reniets (a land far, far away!) is known to be very stingy. He has to build a road which connects all the five cities in the region, which are oddly arranged on the vertices of a ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

A Cave in the Black Mountains

Across the Deadly River, among the Black Mountains, is a mystical cave. Anyone who enters the cave finds within it a single gold coin, which may be freely taken. Once you leave the cave, you can never ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Disaster in Madrid!

A couple were in a car racing madly through Madrid in the middle of the night. Suddenly the engine juddered, whirred, and died. The broken-down car rolled to a halt, leaving them stranded with nobody ...
49
votes
3answers
4k views

The vicious wizard…and you!

The vicious wizard Neville has trapped you in the middle of a magical circle of radius $10000$, and you have to find a way out. Every time you want to take a step (of length $1$) in a certain ...
6
votes
2answers
540 views

Labeling wires in a *damaged* bundle

Variant of: Labeling wires in a bundle At a remote location, you just finished trenching a data cable across a large plot of land. The cable has 64 individual wires that are not color-coded or ...
44
votes
7answers
5k views

The Circular Prison of Unknown Size

You are the president of a secret society of mathematicians with $n$ members, including yourself. No one in the society knows what $n$ is. The dictator of the world, in an effort to erase mathematics ...
-4
votes
2answers
225 views

The Mysterious Stranger and the Shark [closed]

I have just experienced a stranger, who doesn't look at all like a fishing man, putting a shark in a bag happily. Why would anyone put a shark in a bag? Has it got anything to do with the bag or the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is strange in this puzzle?

I entered a room where there was no one around me so I waited for years and years for my friend to enter. My friend had sent me to this room for a reason I do not know. As years began to pass I ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

The lighting expert and the prima donna

Phil arrived at the Broadway theater. Mr. Smith, the director, had called him in for an emergency. Phil: What is the problem, David? David: Thank god you've arrived. We have a serious issue for ...
8
votes
2answers
517 views

John's first pixel drawing

Story continuation based from this first riddle and this other riddle. Bob was enjoying his day off at home when he received a message from John. John sent him a picture of a piece of art, the first ...
9
votes
5answers
8k views

The Morality of Rice [closed]

This is a classic riddle of mine. Please read the scenario below for the setup. You are sitting around a campfire and a friend smiles and says: Sam: I have a riddle. Intrigued, you ask him what ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Murderer, Car and Colour

I'm not sure if this riddle has been posted here before, but this is an old (not too great) riddle I've heard a long time ago: One hot summer weekend there was an emergency call to the police that ...
4
votes
4answers
395 views

Queue in the bank

Six men are queuing in the bank when the clerk decides to take a break for 10 minutes! Before leaving, he gives to the six men a numbered ticket, in the same order of the queue (ticket #1 to the first ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

Murder of a Cryptologist

Your friend, the Cryptologist Mr. Toboggan, has been murdered in his house. You being a detective and a Cryptologist yourself have been asked to lend a hand in solving the murder. You arrive at the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

The Messed Up Family and the Lost Brother

My dear brother, It has been almost nine years since we lost you. We’re a big family so losing just one may not seem like much of a loss but it has left a hole nonetheless. You’re still here ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

There are at least three Kevins on Puzzling. I plan to trap them in my labyrinth

Note: please do not edit the title! It originates in a challenge in Stack Overflow chat. I have rounded up all ten (currently) of the Puzzling SE users named Kevin and trapped them in my labyrinth. ...
4
votes
2answers
865 views

A mysterious signal from space

It's late in the evening when your friend Mike, a brilliant astronomy student, points his radio telescope to Omega Centauri, a large globular cluster distant almost 16000 light-years from the Earth. ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

A fork in the road

Once, there were two travelers going down a winding forest path. The travelers come to a fork in the road. Unfortunately, the woods are so densely wooded, you cannot see more than a few feet down each ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

Robot Long and Robot High

Note: supercat's answer was the closest to what I was intending. I've started a second question to ask a better way to phrase this puzzle that will allow more people to recognize the solution without ...
5
votes
2answers
398 views

The Punic Wars are back!

The Roman Empire is at war with Carthage. Hannibal's army is composed of $a$ archers, $b$ ballistae, $c$ cavalrymen, $d$ dart-shooters, $e$ elephants and $f$ fighters. In each round of the battle, ...
2
votes
2answers
252 views

Alien Classroom Calendar

A teacher on a foreign planet wants to make a classroom calendar out of cubic blocks. She wants to individually count each day by drawing a number on the faces of a block. There are 209 days in this ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the maximum number of cities that can be destroyed?

As a commander of an army battalion, you have to plan the attack on some enemy cities which are connected by road-network. Before starting the attack, you have information about all the cities and ...
1
vote
6answers
1k views

A murder in Manchester

Harrison and George are best friends, they both live in Manchester. One day, Harrison goes to George's house to visit him, but after opening the door, he finds his friend dead near the desk, with a ...
20
votes
1answer
988 views

Reverse Hangman at double difficulty

So I was there, playing Hangman with my friend, when I found myself in a bit of a tough situation. I'd guessed five of the seven letters, and thus needed to get the last two. But I only had three ...
91
votes
9answers
15k views

Five coloured doors, which leads to freedom?

You have been incarcerated in a high-security prison for several nefarious crimes which we need not go into here. The warden, being a kindly logician, offers you a single chance to escape. You are ...
3
votes
2answers
630 views

The Pirates and the Mangoes [duplicate]

A group of hardy pirates are sailing along when they encounter the Royal Navy of Lord Richard. The battle is long and vicious. Sadly, the pirate ship is sunk. The only survivors are five of the crew ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

All You Zombies

All You Zombies is a short story by Robert Heinlein, which outlines a rather bizarre time travel paradox. Here is an outline of the paradox with a few key moments missing. Jane is dropped off at an ...
6
votes
1answer
498 views

Lights in the theatre

A play of Romeo and Juliet is being held in the theatre tonight, hundred of people have been waiting this moment for months. Many people are currently working hard in the theatre to adjust the final ...
29
votes
8answers
5k views

A long, lonely drive

It's early in the wee hours of the morning when a lonely farmer loads up his truck with his goods to sell. He lives far from the city and if he wants to ensure a good spot at the bazaar, he will need ...
34
votes
5answers
10k views

Sabotage at Sea - Cursed Cruise liner?

(Warning: Heavy reading incoming. I suggest writing stuff down...) It's now the year 2150, and you're one of the few people who didn't leave earth twenty years ago. Why? A deadly disease overtook the ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Abducted and taken to which city?

Yesterday (April 22, 2015), Dr Jerico Wong, a prominent researcher and experimental physicist at SciCorp Industries in Chattanooga, Tennessee, had monumental successes in his cold fusion experiments. ...