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Questions tagged [word-problem]

A mathematical puzzle that's stated in words, usually in terms of a story or a situation that dresses the problem up.

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460 views

Where am I? A scene of death

Hint (for those of you who are stuck): In this question, I have given a total of 5 hints (or even more). Once you have the answer, please include how these hints worked.
332 views

Solving Simpletonian Security

Simpletonia had an army at last. Ed, the Big Boss, was thrilled and delighted. Jo, the Other Boss, was also thrilled and delighted. Di, Su, Al, Mo, Sy... everybody was overjoyed that now they had a ...
633 views

Bottles of wine, poisoned with time

You are the ruler of a medieval kingdom. This time, you've decided to throw a royal party with 10,000 bottles of wine, rather than just 1,000. You remember the problems the courtier gave you with the ...
420 views

Ernie and the Revisitation of the Aunts

I was hanging around at home last week, a little lost for something to do, when I got a phone call from Ernie. He was in a bit of a panic because a guest was going to drop in later in the day. He had ...
1k views

The Secret Agent Who Got Shot

You are a top secret agent trying to get into a enemy hide out. When you arrive at the enemy base, you see two guards at the door. You could take them out but that would make a ruckus and the enemies ...
381 views

Fuzzy the Fuzzball

Fuzzy the fuzzball was very sad. He had lost his fuzz. Everyone knew if you lost your Fuzz you could no longer be a fuzzball. Fuzzy went to this friend Frizzy and shared his dilemma. "Don't worry, ...
258 views

Try and find the words

Each line refers to one word - find them! 26. Who needs a best friend? 26. all powerful. 50. Doctors lose business. 63. Judging books now, are we? 73. I point and squeak! 94. Clay-making magic! ...
280 views

A Story in the Sea Shanty?

A bottle washed ashore this morning and I found a note inside. This seems like it may just be a sea shanty, but I feel there is meaning in the words, and I'd like to know what inspired it. A crew ...
2k views

Mysterious Murder Mystery - The Four Brothers

You get a call in the middle of the night which wakes you up violently—a call which you were not expecting. Your cell phone rings loudly because you have forgotten to turn the ringer off from the day ...
721 views

Uncle Mort's Idiots

Uncle Mort was dead. Samuelson, the family lawyer, read the will. It stated that since he had no children of his own, his whole estate was to be divided between his two nieces, Roseanne and Chelsea ...
529 views

A Question Concerning Alice In Cryptic

After her adventures in Wonderland and The Looking Glass Alice led a varied and interesting life. One day, when she had grown to be an attractive young woman, she found herself in the town of Cryptic. ...
3k views

The Dwarves' Test

One day, the chief of the dwarves decided he wanted to test his tribe. So that night, he told the dwarves that he would paint on each dwarf's back a dot colored either red or blue. Each dwarf will ...
1k views

Ernie and the Cake Cutting

Ernie had spent most of the afternoon at my place, helping me with the tile grouting in my new bathroom. It had been a difficult and messy job, so when he asked if I could do him a "small favour" I ...
1k views

Ernie and the slice of Pi

Ernie is a renowned polyglot. Why just last week I saw him helping out at a Mathematics conference by acting as a simultaneous translator for seven guests who only spoke Hungarian, Icelandic, Swahili, ...
385 views

A Secret Message In Plain(ish) Sight

I think my math teacher is a spy. On the first day of class, they wrote most of a secret message on the board - teacher said there were some letters missing. They said that anyone who could solve it ...
558 views

Ernie and the Grand Tour

It had sounded like a great idea at the time. Ernie had been gifted a travel package for himself plus eight companions (he chose to bring along seven friends from his Wine Club, plus me) by the ...
565 views

This ant sure is smart. But how fast is it?

A mad scientist uses ethically questionable methods to study the spatial cognition of ants. Last time, he left his lab ant in a cubic room and filled it with painfully intoxicating gas, capable of ...
827 views

Similar to knight/knave puzzle: Insane asylum

Premise: These are like the knight-knave puzzles; only now we are visiting insane asylums, where there are only patients and doctors. Moreover, each of them are either insane or sane. Sane inhabitants ...
907 views

Ernie and the Artificial Emmental

I dropped in on Ernie last week to help him prepare for his annual hosting of the Wine and Cheese Club party. This was a special occasion because the invited guest was the famous oenophile and ...
392 views

How was your day at work?

A woman was employed as a temporary receptionist. She met her boss, was given some brief instructions then sat down at the desk and waited for clients. The first client examined the magazines and ...
1k views

Ernie and the Unexpectedly Exposed PIN

I dropped in on Ernie a few days ago. As I pushed open the door to his workshop I could hear a clanking, hissing noise and then saw Ernie emerging from a great clouds of steam, his face blackened with ...
4k views

Evil Kidnappers are the worst!

You wake up to the sight of a lamp hanging from a grey ceiling. You ask yourself, Where am I? The last thing you remember is falling asleep in bed last night. Sitting up, you look around. You're on ...
475 views

Two Affinity, and Byonde!

A group of 10 students in a summer learning camp (fun times!) is asked to complete a brief survey to help them determine which of their new classmates they're most compatible with. The survey lists 10 ...
342 views

Which candidate is most washed up?

Donovan Clump and Hermione Timmon are political candidates in the electoral race for "Most Thankless Job in Modern History". Both candidates set out into the wilderness at the same time. Rains are ...
1k views

Finding Mr. Rich's Password

It was a slow day at the office. Despite its name, Problem City was fairly quiet as of late. Joey was slowly melting into his chair when he recieved a phone call. Joey slowly swiveled his chair to ...
612 views

MC Frontalot 80085

MC Frontalot is a musician, and one of his songs is a word problem that seems to me like it belongs here. If you want to listen to it instead of just reading the lyrics, a quick video search of "MC ...
477 views

What happened to the missing £10? [duplicate]

I have come across a puzzle, which makes no sense. Does anyone know the answer to the below? You and two friends go on holiday. When checking out, the total bill comes to £300. You pay the bill ...
712 views

Jack Sparrow and The quest for the missing Compass . Part 1

Hopefully this puzzle is not as easy as the last one. Jack Sparrow wakes up startled just when he was deep in slumber, after his night out with the "Ladies". He checks his pocket and finds it empty. ...
924 views

Two lists of favorite words

My great aunt Edith keeps this list of her favorite words tacked on the refrigerator: Atlas Chance Detail Frost Hand Magnet Orange Ring Sand Tiger Winter Wolf My great uncle ...
632 views

A Murder Most Foul: Alicia Adams

Forgive me if this matches an existing murder mystery. I tried to search before writing this one up Outside the office building, sirens wailed and flashing lights illuminated the snow covered ground. ...
2k views

Which data file is genuine?

NASA has spent hundreds of millions of dollars gathering data about cave systems in one region of the planet Mars. The project just finished up, and analysts will soon be ready to start analyzing the ...
135k views

5 Letter Word, Removing letters

Take away my first letter, and I still sound the same. Take away my last letter, I still sound the same. Even take away my letter in the middle, I will still sound the same. I am a five letter word. ...
2k views

Ernie and the Alien Invasion

Yesterday I dropped in on Ernie to show off my new j-watch. Ernie wouldn't be impressed by instant wrist-mounted access to social media sites like me-tube, tweeter and farce-book so I thought I would ...
1k views

Diabolic Substance

What is it : Colloquially, it is a Diabolic way to win at athletic events. Take a single one, and it might be shaped like a star.
6k views

Find the composite poison in the wine bottles

You are the ruler of a medieval kingdom who loves throwing parties. The courtier who tried to poison one of your wine bottles last time was furious to learn that you managed to identify which bottle ...
949 views

Obi-Wan vs Grievous

19 BBY, the Galactic Republic spots General Grievous in Utapau, the Separatists' Council Base; the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi is sent there to deal with him. After a long search, Obi-Wan comes face to face ...
504 views

Puzzle: Covert spy investigation

You are working for the CIA as a spy. One day you get a secret offer from the US president to spy on the CIA for him and to go and investigate the truth about a CIA covert operation which happened 10 ...
5k views

Two Clever and Thirsty Soda Packaging Workers

You and your friend Roger are in charge of a soda packaging line. The sodas arrive on a pallet that is shaped like a cube. The two of you must take sodas from the pallet and fill four-pack holders (...
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 ...
3k views

Five loaves and the extra traveller

Two people are travelling together. One of them has three loaves of bread; the other one has two. At some point they stop to eat lunch. A third traveler that happens to walk by joins them. They split ...
882 views

Secrets over the phone [closed]

Let's say, for instance, your friend needs one of your passwords to do something while you're away. He calls you and asks for it. Thing is, you don't want him to know your password. How then would ...
1k views

Our spies are listed, but which one is actually next to be hit?

Berlin, 1973 We knew that they were on to several of our people, but unfortunately we weren't sure which ones. Pulling them out before we were certain would needlessly disrupt important sources of ...
567 views

How Many Coins Were There

There were three men in a boat. They received an amount of coins in a chest from 200 - 300 as a reward for surviving the storm without damaging anything. One night, the first man thought that he would ...
3k views

Ernie and the Island of Stability

Unfortunately, it appears that I may have misled you a little in this puzzle (as you probably know - my memory of events isn't always perfect). When I was writing it, I re-checked the Kzijekistanian ...
826 views

Ernie and the Calendar

I had taken an extended summer break over the Christmas New Year period but finally returned to the city at the end of January, feeling relaxed and tanned. I was looking forwards to getting back in ...
2k views

Find the width of the river

You find yourself with a friend on a completely deserted (devoid of objects or people) and flat plane. The only thing of note is a wide river; you can just manage to see the other side of it. There is ...
727 views

A village of pick pockets!

There is a small village of 100 people. An unknown number of these villagers are pick pockets. Each day, you're allowed to take as many villagers as you wish out of the village. When a pick pocket has ...
2k views

The mad king and the 100 men who each have to guess the colour of their own hat [duplicate]

The following is the puzzle that I am trying to figure out. I know the "expected solution of 99". But honestly, I think this puzzle is flawed. How exactly can each wise man know the number of hats ...