The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

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
4
votes
2answers
888 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. ...
7
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
402 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
255 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 ...
21
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
92
votes
9answers
16k 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
753 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
505 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 ...
36
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. ...
-2
votes
2answers
475 views

The Trek to Mount Tarantoola - Redux!

Opal awoke with a start- exhausted in her trek, she had momentarily slipped into a dream of a hastily written and terribly vague puzzle that was based entirely too much on an improvised scene she had ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Tipsy Time Travel

One late night on a hill in Innsbruck, Doug struggled to organize his memories. He picked up the “present” which looked like a cross between an IPad and a giant Blackberry (whatever the hell those ...
31
votes
6answers
1k views

Magician, assistant, nine dice, and two cups

A magician and her assistant are performing a magic show today, and you are the only audience member. Since it is a Thursday, the magician is saving her strength for the inevitable dragon attack and ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

The secret research of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth (a murder mystery puzzle)

The poster on the university bulletin board is definitely trying to drum up some hype: One Night Only Be one of the privileged individuals present when Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth reveals ...
41
votes
4answers
2k views

Hamlet and the theatre

Hamlet is preparing a play to find out the truth about his father's death. The theatre has $2015$ numbered seats and can contain all the members of King Claudius's court. He gives to each member a ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

The man and the woods

A man is being chased into the woods by an evil king. The king has stated the man will not be chased once he is leaving the forest. The king is slightly mad, but knows the entire forest is too long ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Sherlock Holmes and the road to perdition

"Ah, Sherlock, we were waiting for you. Something horrible has happened and we need your help." Sherlock Holmes had barely entered the Security Council room. Only a few hours ago, he was summoned ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

When is Mr. Hill's birthday?

Jack and Jill are students of Mr. Hill. Mr. Hill's birthday is on $M$ month, $D$ day. Neither student knows when Mr. Hill's birthday is, but both know it is one of the dates below. Mr. Hill told Jack ...
133
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
275 views

Recipe for Success

One evening you receive an e-mail from an acquaintance, asking for your help. The e-mail runs as follows: Dear friend, I need your help! I've forgotten the combination to my safe and I need ...
6
votes
2answers
996 views

Man’s Best Friend

I loved my best friend. He was always there for me. I brought him home on my own when I was young, but my parents didn’t like him at all. They would always yell at me whenever I’d share my food with ...
26
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
189 views

A picture of Gaspard Monge

In Paris, a famous Nobel prize winner was found murdered in his kitchen. The door of the refrigerator stood wide open, and a small piece of butter had fallen on the floor. On the kitchen table, there ...
-1
votes
4answers
2k views

The greatest thief in the world

Bob is the chief of security at an exhibition hall. His job is to make sure that all the trade shows which happen there are safe and secure events. This weekend is a big consumer expo where many ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Over the Bridge, If You Dare [closed]

A young man walks through the forest. He comes to a bridge. In front of the bridge is a large man carrying an axe. The man says, "If you want to cross this bridge, you must tell me something. If ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

The Sinister Killer

The body was lying naked on the floor of an apartment living room. Crime scene investigators and forensics were inspecting the body and the nearby area. You, detective Randy, opened the door and ...
160
votes
1answer
12k views

Internship Available!* - Figure out what you're being asked to do before you sign up

Sine waves bound in rectangles shaped into prisms. Mass increases, position changes twice, and mass decreases. The prisms become rectangles and are either discarded or stored for later use. If that ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Mysterious Murder Mystery 4

The sky is dark, filled with black clouds. The sun, high in the sky, still shining, trying to cut through the dark, thick, black clouds. The moon, slowly turning red, slowly taking over. You hear a ...
6
votes
1answer
857 views

The man, the weapons, the time

STORY: He awakes, covered in quite a thick layer of dust. Quite clearly suffering from some form of memory loss, this man begins to look around, eyes blurry, almost sticky in feeling. There's bodies ...
19
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

The SErial Killer (Part 3)

This puzzle is part of a series - part 1 is here and part 2 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. Since ...
27
votes
4answers
2k 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, ...
46
votes
12answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
10k views

Mysterious Murder Mystery 2

"Take her away!" commands the police officer, as two other officers handcuff the blonde woman. "Good work, Detective! I can see why you were named the number one detective. Keep up the great work!". ...
41
votes
9answers
9k views

Nobody knows me. Nobody wants me

You are going through the belongings of your recently deceased uncle and come upon a small wooden box with the following inscription, presumably describing its contents. Those who take me, won't ...
10
votes
13answers
14k 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 ...
33
votes
15answers
39k views

Mysterious Murder Mystery [closed]

Last year, December 21, 2013, you were awarded the "#1 Detective in the World" for solving more than 50 murders. Your boss gave you a promotion, contingent upon your moving to Chicago. You agreed and ...
5
votes
3answers
973 views

The robbery of the Black Forest Inn

in December 1496, after a rainy day, an inn somewhere in the Black Forest, on one of the major north-south roads, was visited by a group of highwaymen in the middle of a freezing cold night. ...
-1
votes
2answers
875 views

The Impossible Game?

You meet a clever, and dark man. He wants to steal your mind and sell it to the dumbies (an imaginary species of shadows that have an IQ of less than -150) He offers you to play a game, if you win, ...
-2
votes
3answers
631 views

A Forked Path in the Forest [closed]

You, a young adventurer, are travelling through the forest. Suddenly, your path splits in 2. You have no map or compass - well, you do but your compass is broken. You know you have to keep travelling ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Sherlock and the Luncheon

Sherlock had been invited to lunch by a rich man in London. He went to the man's house and found that the lunch was actually a huge party and there were a lot of people around. Dreadful, he thought....
-6
votes
2answers
639 views

The Long Bus Ride [closed]

I expect multiple answers to this, however only 1 of them is correct. A bus was scheduled to stop 10 times today. Each time, 7 people got on the bus and 5 got off. At the last stop, how many people ...
167
votes
22answers
73k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...