Questions tagged [story]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
2answers
228 views

How many seats around the table?

This puzzle is very much inspired by a recent, excellent, one, posted here. If anyone, in particular the author of the other puzzle, prefers this one to disappear, I will immediately do so and I ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

The Mermaids' Rooms

You have been tasked with assigning rooms to some mermaids who have visited the hotel. There are 9 mermaids: One is bald and bare-skinned One has a layer of fur One has a thick bark on their back One ...
3
votes
3answers
158 views

A small pond-crossing

While walking through the flower gardens, you encounter a small group of fairies stuck on a lilypad. There are 2 red fairies, 2 yellow fairies, and 2 green fairies, and they have nothing besides a ...
13
votes
2answers
326 views

What's the name of the kind of puzzle where in-story solvers have more information than us, and how far they get is a clue?

It involves logical/mathematical puzzle(s), so no wishy washy different interpretations like in riddles. The puzzle in question tells a story involving a puzzle, but some details about the puzzle in ...
25
votes
13answers
4k views

Can the cop catch the thief?

The cop and the thief, both mathematical points, live in an open interval $(0,1)\subset \mathbb{R}$. That is, their universe is a line segment of length 1 without the 2 endpoints. We know that both ...
1
vote
2answers
206 views

Aliens have landed!

Aliens from planet Stirwet have landed on earth! Being hyper-intelligent and possessing superior technology, they immediately took over. After having a quick look around, they found humans and apes (...
7
votes
2answers
510 views

Locked in an alien crypt: Jewels on the floor

Dazed, you slowly regain consciousness. You don’t know how you got here, but one thing is certain – your exploration of this otherworldly planet has reached an ugly end. Trapped in an alien crypt, ...
8
votes
2answers
295 views

Ernie and the Cuboidal Crystals

When passing Ernie's letterbox this morning, I found a courier bag about the size of a shoe-box, resting inside (along with a smaller unlabelled bag). I immediately guessed that it was the special ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
409 views

Planet of Animals

Source: Planet of the Apes, 2001 In a world not too different from our own, the roles of men and animals are reversed. It is animals who have dominion over men, and men who submit to animals. In the ...
2
votes
1answer
657 views

Can you check the results of this chess match?

As the sun broke the horizon I could feel the cold breeze on my face mixing with the warming city air. Like most mornings, I could hear Mr. and Mrs. Shamming discussing their afternoon plans during ...
11
votes
1answer
378 views

The Wife's Notes

It was a typical Sunday morning: coffee in the sun room, me and the paper, the wife and her phone. But this day as I read, I became increasingly aware of the wife’s good mood. She was humming, swaying,...
1
vote
2answers
403 views

How many nails?

A man from Samsat tells you a true story. It goes as follows: The king of the horned cannibals goes out to the great forest. Suddenly, a herd of a dozen deer arrive and charge at the king. Though he ...
2
votes
0answers
342 views

The Popup Annoyance

The story Fred, a software designer, woke up, got dressed, took a shower, ate breakfast, then headed off for work. He sat down on his chair and booted up his computer, only to see that all the files ...
3
votes
3answers
254 views

Clearing the Snakes

While space was being cleared for a new building, a bunch of scitales came out of the water to munch on the worker's lunches, before falling asleep in the way of everything. You, having a knack for ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

A frugal canal-crossing

You've been sent out to round up some escaped animals. While you have some of them under control now, you've ended up trapped on the wrong side of a canal. Currently, you have 5 animals: A perivine, ...
10
votes
1answer
329 views

A puzzling stained glass window

On a recent trip to Europe, I visited a beautiful gothic abbey. Walking up the dark aisle between old wooden pews, the air heavy with the odour of incense, I could only marvel at the beautiful stained ...
7
votes
1answer
650 views

Lights in the Dungeon: Five by Five

This is the third in a series Lights in the Dungeon puzzles. previous (2nd) <-- | --> next (4th) You are practically skipping as you leave the four by four dungeon. This has been pretty easy so ...
10
votes
2answers
452 views

Clash of the Robinsons

"Ridiculous!" you think "What can be the odds? Either I'm hallucinating or the amateur writing this story plunged to new depths of incompetence." Both being equally likely you don'...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

The maze of everlasting flowers

You were recently caught trespassing on the queen's hunting grounds. The punishment for this crime is a miserable experience the locals call the maze of everlasting flowers: The full resolution of ...
3
votes
1answer
199 views

Choose your guardian wisely!

I must issue a word of caution dear traveler. As your journey nears its end, you have one final obstacle to overcome. Ahead lies the gate of the guardians. As you might suspect, the gate is protected ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

NASA analyzing message from space

$\hskip3in$Newsflash Since our space probes and radio beams first plumbed the cosmos, mankind has sent into the void numerous notices describing our location. Today NASA announced the recovery of a ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

Ernie and the Equi-area Tetrahedra

I enjoy spending time with Ernie when he is 'pottering' in his workshop. It is a large open-plan area filled with soldering-stations and oscilloscopes, lathes and milling machines, band-saws and drill-...
7
votes
1answer
481 views

Does this contain a cosmic riddle?

I have recently returned from travelling the globe, and while I saw many sights on my Ulyssian adventure, one in particular remains with me... While walking through an ancient Middle Eastern cave ...
11
votes
1answer
656 views

What was my friend talking about?

Can you help me understand what my friend was saying to me the other day? He's really smart (a math savant AND a huge fan of those cryptic crossword things), so I'm trying to spend time with him and ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

How to Sort the Bugs

There have been a lot more proto-bugs growing in the water at the bathhouse. Some of them have been caught, and you've been sent to sort them by kingdom. Unfortunately for you, you haven't been given ...
12
votes
3answers
487 views

My identity in high school

My first semester—no, my entire freshman year—in high school, I was all alone. As I started my sophomore year, I finally made a friend. Two, actually. They weren't in the same class as me, but for the ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

Can you destroy the kingdom without getting caught?

You are a shapeshifter that takes on the form of their victims and you've infiltrated the opposing kingdom's ranks, disguised as a lowly pawn . The opposing king has you presently assigned to the ...
4
votes
1answer
199 views

It's the roundest today! Add a merry feast to go with it!

What are Marc, Oliver, Olivia, and Noah talking about: Marc: It's sure round! Oliver: If it's not round I will eat my shoe! Olivia: Well, that's one opinion. It's sure gleaming off that nice bright ...
19
votes
1answer
310 views

Twenty Questions - a visual puzzle

"Okay, are you male?" "Yes. 19 left." "Are you alive?" "Well, that's... complicated..." "Okay, are you real?" "No – 17." "17? You're ...
8
votes
1answer
298 views

Taping a cardboard square is getting me fired!

I was mucking around in the storeroom today when I should have been working. I had a square $20\times20$ cm piece of cardboard, and a roll of masking tape I'd been using (I can't remember the tape's ...
-1
votes
1answer
99 views

Exploring the Myrmidon's Hive

While getting stuff from the basement, you find a panel concealing a tunnel leading into a myrmidon hive. This discovery, along with the overall freshness of the tunnel, prompts you to go find out if ...
9
votes
1answer
459 views

Sequence Puzzle - First Question of 42

Professor Tera was walking on Connecticut Road, where there are some public restrooms. Tera saw some students standing in a row. They seemed to be playing a game called Evolution. And it looked like ...
3
votes
1answer
203 views

How can the swear jar's balance sheet be recreated?

The boss, fed up with the scurrilous language flying around the office, instituted a "swear jar": employees overheard swearing would have to pay arbitrary fines, while those complimenting or ...
1
vote
2answers
456 views

The Unsolvable Mystery

Imagine one day, out of nowhere, someone emails you a cipher. You can't solve it, so you post it online. You ask people what it means. But all they tell you is, "Your friend must be up to ...
8
votes
1answer
325 views

Ernie and the Social Network

Ernie finally made it home over the weekend, so I dropped in to give him a bit of help tidying the house (the house sitters hadn't been the most dependable people). We were just finishing the ...
1
vote
2answers
237 views

Organs of the Enterpeton

An enterpeton has arrived at the bathhouse. Enterpetons are strange reptiles with exposed organs. Four of these organs can answer questions, and follow certain rules. These organs are: the heart, ...
0
votes
2answers
269 views

Elementals and Aliens

Rules/Story You have been kidnapped and locked in the maze under the bathhouse you work at by 5 aliens: a Mercurian, Venusian, Martian, Jovian, and Saturnian. Currently, the aliens are spread ...
6
votes
1answer
217 views

The Serpent-Tail

After defeating the octangular spirits, you find yourself needing some laundry powder. However, you can't find any at your usual shop, and so you have to ask one of the employees, who happens to be a ...
9
votes
1answer
336 views

Fire and Vengeance

"Daring" Ashe surveyed the towering structures and stagnant open spaces of the Temple of the Giraffes, licking her lips. On a previous expedition she'd sneaked away a bejewelled treasure, ...
-2
votes
1answer
128 views

Which Piece is Which?

A patron at the bathhouse has dropped a chess set, and you have to pick up the pieces. All the pieces are circular tokens, with something painted on the top. The box has 5 slots for the pieces, each ...
7
votes
2answers
472 views

Judgment-free construction of a playlist

Alice and Bob are planning a long car trip and need to come up with a playlist for it. For any given song, they have one of four opinions on it: "That's, like, my favorite song ever" (love), ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

When will I see my friend?

My friend and I both sing in the choir of our local episcopal church, but our choir director is really strict. He doesn't like people talking much. At our last rehearsal, right at the end of a break, ...
15
votes
2answers
743 views

A journey through letters and numbers

In the year 2407476658354979366708415043923125501315337890943021769230219230892355006879909214795402102204224, as cosmopolitanism is in the air and companies are more than ever bound to ...
4
votes
9answers
2k views

The London safes and their mysterious combinations

Here's the first riddle I invented for Puzzling SE. Hope you'll enjoy solving it. This story takes place during World War II. A German spy is assigned the task to sneak overnight into a military base ...
7
votes
2answers
488 views

A timely late arrival in The Future

It is The Future, and you're living in it. Flying cars haven't arrived yet, but self-driving cars are a thing. Sort of. After the latest AI uprising, integrated route planners were banned: you have ...
1
vote
5answers
844 views

A strange sound always comes in the hotel

I had a sister who was very brave and and didn't fear ghosts or believe in them, and would try to find evidence on them. One day she wanted to visit a hotel that was believed to be haunted to some ...
188
votes
25answers
89k views

In the 100 blue eyes problem - why is the oracle necessary?

The riddle Randall Munroe (of xkcd fame) has, a bit hidden on his site, a logic puzzle: A group of people with assorted eye colors live on an island. They are all perfect logicians -- if a ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

Cryptics from the perspective of an American satirist

One segment of a certain satirical TV series began like this: Good evening everyone. Today I'm going to rant about cryptic clues and cryptic crosswords – not our type, of course. Some say that Mike ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

No Time to Die, Period

Inside MI6's server farm in the middle of the night, the operator's eyes skittered frantically over an intercepted message: The development of our new APG code has been coming along nicely; I've ...

1
2 3 4 5
21