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Questions tagged [story]

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

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196 votes
26 answers
96k 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 ...
dwjohnston's user avatar
  • 2,280
22 votes
4 answers
3k views

I am an expression of a deer mint - Clue One

You wake up one morning, and immediately look over at the letter on your bedside table. It reads: Dear [redacted]: You have been chosen to assemble the most powerful thing in the world - the [...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 8,860
443 votes
4 answers
43k views

This is important. I need you to listen…

Look, you don't know me. We've never met. But, like I said, I need you to listen... I had the most disturbing dream the other night... Woke up in a cold sweat and couldn't get back to sleep. It wasn'...
Alconja's user avatar
  • 37.3k
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

I, for one, welcome our new

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #30: Metapuzzles... For two months, the ship had hovered above the world ... silent, unmoving, just relentlessly hovering in a fixed spot over a desolate ...
Rubio's user avatar
  • 41.7k
10 votes
2 answers
671 views

Twelve Labours - #09 House of Hippolyta

This puzzle is part of the ‘Twelve Labours’ series, but can be solved independently. Previous instalments can be found here: Prologue | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 The House of Hippolyta ...
Stiv's user avatar
  • 142k
146 votes
2 answers
10k views

A mysterious email from Andrew Void

You are a secret agent in the service of the KGB, about to embark on a highly dangerous mission to infiltrate MI6. You have your disguise, your papers, and your backstory all prepared. The night ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
861 views

That's a story for another time

I'm a fan of nested puzzles, and especially puzzles that tell a story. I'm finding that I am quite good at them, so I'd like to post this one for the community. I wish you all the best of luck! ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
505 views

Twelve Labours - #08 Dark Horse Bookmakers

This puzzle is part of the ‘Twelve Labours’ series, but can be solved independently. Previous instalments can be found here: Prologue | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 From the golf course Hercules ...
Stiv's user avatar
  • 142k
48 votes
12 answers
5k views

The SErial Killer (Part 1)

This is part of a series which I'll be continuing if this goes down well enough. If you have any feedback on the puzzle (too hard, too easy, not clear enough, etc) I'd appreciate it so that future ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 5,775
34 votes
4 answers
2k views

Good Apple Hunting

The boys brought him in for questioning, but I didn't think he had anything to do with this. Not really. I just had to know if he knew anything pertinent about that strange passage in the old man's ...
Chowzen's user avatar
  • 25.7k
27 votes
4 answers
3k views

The SErial Killer (Part 2)

This puzzle is part of a series - part 1 is here. Any comments I make on the OP are canonical and out of character (OOC). Any comments I post on answers are for flavour only. Update: As it turns out, ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 5,775
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

You'll need Thomas Jefferson more than you'd expect - Clue Twelve

<---Previous clue "[redacted]," you say aloud, following the instructions. And then a light shines through a crack in the wall, spreading until it shows an outline of a door. Then it swings open. ...
Scimonster's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
973 views

Reconstructing A Chess Game #2

My 5yo pupil, Magnus, is playing his first chess tournament. Although I missed his first game, @Elder helped me reconstruct this important first win from the few clues I could collect. Alas, the ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 6,270
55 votes
1 answer
4k views

Mithrandir has lost his keys!

Announcement: All puzzles are being delayed because my Puzzling notebook with all of my keys disappeared. :/ -- Mithrandir Some hours after discovering this devastating loss, Mithrandir went to bed. ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
52 votes
4 answers
6k views

Batman and the piano

Batman: Alfred. Are you there? Alfred: Yes, Master Bruce. How may I help you? Batman: ...
Khale_Kitha's user avatar
  • 8,442
44 votes
9 answers
33k 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 ...
Aggie Kidd's user avatar
  • 11.7k
44 votes
6 answers
4k 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 ...
2012rcampion's user avatar
  • 18.9k
35 votes
19 answers
13k views

Mysterious loss of weight

Now an entry into Fortnightly Topic Challenge #41: Short and Sweet A man enters a room and presses a button. Within seconds he loses 20 lbs body weight. How did he lose the weight?
Quark-epoch's user avatar
  • 1,695
34 votes
3 answers
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. ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
27 votes
1 answer
3k views

The new drink machine

At work today, they installed a new machine, it has a keyboard instead of the usual buttons to select my drink of choice. This morning, I went to take a coffee, so I typed in "coffee", and ...
Auribouros's user avatar
  • 6,581
26 votes
3 answers
2k views

Puzzle: Who is the winner of the Great Puzzling Trophy?

It’s the 10th annual award ceremony for the Puzzling StackExchange community! As the host and his attendants are handing out the awards to the best members of the community, they suddenly realize that ...
AnagramDatagram's user avatar
23 votes
3 answers
2k views

Don't clear your terminal history

You woke up this morning locked in a room. The only apparent exit is a door with a terminal. On the screen you see the following: ...
David Starkey's user avatar
18 votes
1 answer
555 views

The calamitous Captain Clumsy

I'm a communications engineer with the Royal Navy - it's a great job, and usually I love it. But there is this one guy who absolutely grinds my gears. I call him 'Captain Clumsy' (not to his face, ...
Stiv's user avatar
  • 142k
18 votes
4 answers
611 views

Reconstructing A Chess Game #1

My (very) young pupil, Magnus, is playing his first chess tournament! I went for a coffee at the beginning of his first game ; he was White against a boy slightly older than him, maybe a 6yo, so he ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 6,270
17 votes
1 answer
584 views

Not Bluebeard's Castle

This puzzle was intended to be formatted as a PDF; the puzzle PDF is available on Dropbox, and a screenshot of said PDF is hosted on Imgur. If you'd like to solve digitally, there is also a template ...
Deusovi's user avatar
  • 146k
15 votes
1 answer
963 views

Labryca -- Floor 1: Now, It Begins

Labrycean Navigator You are currently on: 1F 1F 2F 3F 4F 5F 6F 7F 8F 9F 10F 11F Background "Labryca" is a regular cipher-based puzzle series I plan to run and update roughly every two weeks with a ...
A. Mirabeau's user avatar
  • 1,116
14 votes
2 answers
871 views

Labryca — Floor 4: I've Just Seen a Face

Labrycean Navigator You are currently on: 4F 1F 2F 3F 4F 5F 6F 7F 8F 9F 10F 11F A Few Administrative Notes Yes, I’ve come back from the dead… for now, at least. All updates beginning from here should ...
A. Mirabeau's user avatar
  • 1,116
14 votes
4 answers
7k views

The Puzzle of the Locked Box

Here's an old puzzle I found in a book once. A box has some number of locks on it. It is guarded by a Grand Vizier and four slaves, each of which hold keys to the locks. The Grand Vizier and slaves ...
user avatar
13 votes
13 answers
16k views

The old man doesn't like seagull meat

An old man and his mute niece always wanted to visit some beautiful tropical island. "Before my sight leaves me, I want to see how a real palm looks like!", said the old man. He was lying. His sight ...
Narmer's user avatar
  • 3,567
12 votes
1 answer
571 views

Tell me a story!

I've seen a lot of prefix-infix-suffix/Riley riddles lately on the site and have decided to write one myself; however, those of ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
597 views

Labryca — Floor 3: Hotshots

All right. No more Mr. Nice Grinadel. Labrycean Navigator You are currently on: 3F 1F 2F 3F 4F 5F 6F 7F 8F 9F 10F 11F Second Floor: Conclusion You had thought Mr. Adams was weird, but Ms. Alperin ...
A. Mirabeau's user avatar
  • 1,116
9 votes
3 answers
713 views

Labryca -- Floor 2: No Cues

Labrycean Navigator You are currently on: 2F 1F 2F 3F 4F 5F 6F 7F 8F 9F 10F 11F Background Here is the second bi-weekly challenge from the "Labryca" series. I wish luck to anyone who is ...
A. Mirabeau's user avatar
  • 1,116
8 votes
2 answers
656 views

The Basalisk and the Boy of Fire

As promised in my last riddle, the story continues. For those who haven't read the riddle preceding this one, I heavily recommend you do. The door swung open, slamming the wall; our heroes burst ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
622 views

The Boy of Fire: The Final Battle

Welcome to the final part to the Boy of Fire. If you haven't read the previous parts you should do so prior to beginning this one. I've decided to take a different approach with this one as I've ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
196 views

Four Directions #6 - Where and what am I?

Inspired by metazen's riddles, I have decided to create my own To my west are a bunch of crooks To my north is a special fruit To my east is somewhere everyone wants to be To my ...
PotatoLatte's user avatar
  • 2,305
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

A long but relatively easy cipher - Clue Two

<-- Previous clue After submitting your answer in the email, you wait eagerly, on the edge of your seat. After about five minutes, your response comes back. It says: Wonderful. You have ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 8,860
3 votes
6 answers
416 views

The Boy of Fire: Into the Stronghold

When we last saw our heroes, they were resting after a long week in the Sea of Fire. They battled the great King of Serpents who despite his rage against the human race, assisted our heroes with a ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
100 votes
3 answers
10k views

Do I Work with an Orangutan?

This morning I found myself face-down in front of a large building. It was obvious that I had taken a great fall from one of the rooms above me, but now I apparently had amnesia. I went in. I could ...
Chowzen's user avatar
  • 25.7k
93 votes
6 answers
11k views

Fwd: Re: Karen is missing!

From: Ada Hughes <[email protected]> Sent: Thursday, April 7, 2016 7:03 PM To: Joe Dorsen <[email protected]> CC: Jason Bernz <[email protected]>; IT Guys <[email protected]> Subject: Re: ...
Khale_Kitha's user avatar
  • 8,442
58 votes
7 answers
9k 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 ...
Mike Earnest's user avatar
  • 32.4k
29 votes
6 answers
2k views

There's no place like Home Theater!

Dorothy, now 93 years old, was watching some of her favorite movies in her home theater when, as one would expect in tornadic climes such as Kansas, her house blew away to somewhere over the rainbow. "...
Chowzen's user avatar
  • 25.7k
29 votes
4 answers
1k views

The Catacombs of Cryptos, The Final Path

Previously, in The Catacombs of Cryptos: 1. The Entrance to the Catacombs The end came long ago. The wars are long since over. Little remains and those who have survived struggle. One of the ...
Khale_Kitha's user avatar
  • 8,442
28 votes
1 answer
1k views

PSE Advent Calendar 2021 (Day 11): What Child – Er, Game Is This?

This puzzle is part of the Puzzling StackExchange Advent Calendar 2021. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.< Previous Door Next Door > I. The story ...
Sciborg's user avatar
  • 3,379
27 votes
2 answers
861 views

The disappearance of Beastly Gerbil

Part 2: The entrapment of Beastly Gerbil Part 3: The escape of Beastly Gerbil This is an unusual call in. As a private detective you have been asked to investigate several odd cases, but this you're ...
Beastly Gerbil's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
7k views

Double whammy murder case! What happened?

It's Friday the 13th, and you and a group of 7 friends from the "Survivor" club belonging to University LeMao (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) go camping. You're all pretty good friends, and talk quite a ...
Aify's user avatar
  • 1,939
26 votes
3 answers
2k views

A Space Station 13 tricky situation

You are the Captain of the Space Station 13, and everything went bad very quickly. Most of the crew died, and it took you not so long to figure out that some people are not who they're supposed to be (...
Keelhaul's user avatar
  • 12.7k
25 votes
2 answers
3k views

Who killed Professor Cal?

Professor Cal was found murdered in his office. Luckily, security had been keeping tight track of all who entered and exited the building during the day, and were able to determine that the suspects ...
Aggie Kidd's user avatar
  • 11.7k
24 votes
2 answers
2k views

A mysterious letter and email

I received a letter recently. It wasn’t signed and I had no idea who it was from or why it was sent. I binned it thinking it was a joke from some idiot. Probably that weirdo a few doors down, he's ...
Beastly Gerbil's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
8k views

Mysterious Murder Mystery 3

Two of the officers arrest Detective Randy White; one was holding him, while the other was putting handcuffs on Mr. White. You see that the whole Investigation department talking, some whispering to ...
DemonicBirdFlu's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

Copycat Chess (Part 1/3)

This puzzle series is based on a chess story from the year 1934. It is also the first entry for the new fortnightly topic challenge. Li Chai was known as the best chess player in all villages in the ...
Sleafar's user avatar
  • 18.1k

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