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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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122 votes
7 answers
30k views

100 Prisoners' Names in Boxes

Names in Boxes The names of 100 prisoners are placed in 100 wooden boxes, one name to a box, and the boxes are lined up on a table in a room. One by one, the prisoners are led into the room; each may ...
Jaydles's user avatar
  • 2,007
27 votes
4 answers
9k views

How do you solve a word puzzle when you have no idea where to start?

When you're looking at a logical word puzzle, what sorts of clues should you try to look for to solve them? There have been quite a few puzzles posted to this site so far that I spent a few minutes ...
WendiKidd's user avatar
  • 2,423
27 votes
2 answers
4k views

What's the password?

War has broken out in the kingdom. The king's castle is guarded pretty heavily, by guards with instructions to kill anyone who can't produce the correct password. Unbeknownst to the guards, the ...
SQB's user avatar
  • 5,138
21 votes
3 answers
7k views

N pirates steal their share of bananas to the benefit of a monkey

The following is a type of logic / math puzzle I've yet to see on this site. I feel it belongs because the kernel of this problem can be reworked into other puzzles. $N$ pirates find themselves ...
kaine's user avatar
  • 9,112
9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Travellers across a desert

This is a problem I once found in a math textbook a tutor used with me. A group of explorers is trying to get from their base camp to another camp which is eight days' walk through the desert. ...
user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
4k views

Guess the object - What Am I Riddle (Part 3)

I'm lying down, with a dah-ditty-dah, in the middle of the end, I'd hang upside-down similarly with my friend, Were I to flip over, with a dah-ditty-dah, it'd be the middle of the day, Right way up I ...
d'alar'cop's user avatar
  • 12.9k
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

First day of school

Here's a pretty easy one. A new student (a male) was wandering down the hall of his new school looking for the boys' locker room. He asks a nearby student (who happens to be the school bully) to ...
Matt Malone's user avatar
  • 5,143
30 votes
1 answer
5k views

The Comforting Death Message

Linda sadly passes away in a stampede of elephants and when she reaches St. Peter, she is distressed because she doesn't think she'll be buried properly on the family grave plot and having to listen ...
JamesENL's user avatar
  • 1,157
29 votes
7 answers
9k views

Aside from brute force, how can I solve this puzzle?

Once upon a time, and old lady went to sell her vast quantity of eggs at the local market. When asked how many she had, she replied: Son, I can't count past 100 but I know that: If you ...
WendiKidd's user avatar
  • 2,423
12 votes
3 answers
193k 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. ...
Wouter's user avatar
  • 1,378
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Stranded Nomad Riddle

Background Story A nomad is injured in the desert. And he can't move, but fortunately an oasis is nearby, and he can stay there for enough time until rescue arrives. But the water is a magical water, ...
justhalf's user avatar
  • 6,042
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

Guess the object - What Am I Riddle (Part 1)

In one form I can stretch to infinity, in another I have a clearly defined limit. In one form I am very flexible, in another I am exceedingly rigid. In one form intersections are catastrophic, in ...
JamesENL's user avatar
  • 1,157
34 votes
9 answers
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 ...
user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
843 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 ...
Hugh Meyers's user avatar
  • 23.7k
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

A grammatically valid sentence in English containing seven "that"'s in a row?

About 20 years ago on a forum now long gone, someone posted the above question. After people had had a chance to try it, he also posted the answer. I no longer remember the answer but really wish I ...
MWT's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
1 answer
845 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 ...
MooneyA's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
2 answers
406 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, ...
LN6595's user avatar
  • 2,013
1 vote
5 answers
1k 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 ...
leoll2's user avatar
  • 12.6k
42 votes
3 answers
1k views

The telltale code

The other night, while writing this Java class that could be serialized into a socket, I fell asleep and had a weird dream. In my dream, when I ran the program, the socket and the class object ...
KeyboardWielder's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
Penguino's user avatar
  • 14k
28 votes
4 answers
2k views

Ernie and the Pirates of the Caribbean

A few weeks ago, I dropped in to see Ernie to ask if he was willing to look after the cat while I was on holiday in the Caribbean. “No problem.” he replied then showed me an old leather-covered book, ...
Penguino's user avatar
  • 14k
25 votes
7 answers
11k 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 ...
DemonicBirdFlu's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers
3k views

Five loaves and the extra traveller [duplicate]

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 ...
Mircea's user avatar
  • 455
20 votes
3 answers
5k views

Too Many Damn Buffalos [closed]

"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" The sentence above is an actual sentence which makes perfect sense and is not wrong. The word "Buffalo" has three meanings: ...
HumanlyRespectable's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Penguino's user avatar
  • 14k
16 votes
1 answer
952 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 ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 1,728
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Ernie and the unfair division of the dessert

I was pleased to get an invitation to Ernie's place for dinner last Wednesday. The triplets were staying for the week so I knew Ernie would be making an extra effort to cook a gourmet home-cooked ...
Penguino's user avatar
  • 14k
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

End of the world - on a Sunday?

If the end of the world was supposed to come on the first day of a new century, what would be the chances that it would happen on a Sunday?
John Bupit's user avatar
  • 1,239
12 votes
2 answers
810 views

The Mysterious Disappearance of Doctor F. Andrews [Part 1]

This is my first real puzzle, so I hope you enjoy it! Sorry if the writing is a little poor, etc.. You are the unstoppable Detective Joshua Brown, and no puzzle can stand in your way! The Case: ...
For I In Range's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
567 views

Oh boi! Dis waas never Engliz! #2

This puzzle is second in the series, the first one being this. But these are related in no way. Below are some weird combinations of letters, which are actually words translated in some different ...
Eagle's user avatar
  • 1,107
8 votes
4 answers
522 views

The Knights and the Hounds

(With thanks and congratulations to Lee Leon) We rejoin our heroes several days after the events of The Knights' Gift, at the head of a pack of enormous staghounds, 1000 strong. Such a pack ...
Selvek's user avatar
  • 738
8 votes
3 answers
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 ...
DemonicBirdFlu's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
655 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 ...
MathET's user avatar
  • 1,925
8 votes
2 answers
269 views

Half and Double Value

A 3 year old child tried to input or copy a number (written on the paper) to a calculator but he messed up with the digit places. All the digits are there but the value of the number he inputed ...
TSLF's user avatar
  • 6,656
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

What Am I - Riddle Part 7

In one form I am very tall, in another, elegant In one form I am happiness, in another, an eyesore In one form I am metal, in another, paper In one form Sasaki's lament, in another Greek ingenuity ...
JamesENL's user avatar
  • 1,157
7 votes
1 answer
772 views

Ernie and the Mastermind

Recently Ernie's twin niece and nephew Maria and Mario were spending a few days staying at his place. When I dropped in on a rainy Friday morning I found them a little dissatisfied with the ...
Penguino's user avatar
  • 14k
7 votes
1 answer
531 views

Oh boi! Dis aint Engliz! #1

First some Engliz: These weird combination of letters are actually words translated in some different languages, and concatenated. Each line has one word translated in different languages. These ...
Eagle's user avatar
  • 1,107
6 votes
2 answers
598 views

The Security to the Party [Part 13]

After pretty sick 12 parties, obviously 13th party occured during "Halloween". Halloween themed party is being held at a local mansion. The host is very rich and his success is because of one thing ~...
shy's user avatar
  • 1,875
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Guess The Object - What Am I Riddle (Part 5)

Since part 4 is dragging it's feet, What am I? Puny mortals, I control your very lives! When I'm angry, you cease motion, but yield to my envy, Without me you descend into chaos, I am ...
JamesENL's user avatar
  • 1,157
5 votes
1 answer
847 views

Grandma's Simple Puzzle Box

One day, after a long morning walk, my Grandma came home with a box in her hand and told us the story of how she got it. She said that she met six women in the park who were sitting together in a ...
Anurag's user avatar
  • 676