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

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Reverse hangman #12

Put in an "H", and you'll find that not many actually chase it. Put in a "C", this free and you're clean. Put in a "P", looks like you got it dirty. Put in an "L", it's small, but some things go in ...
11
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
740 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: ...
11
votes
3answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
413 views

The Key to the Door

I need to get into this building. Next to the only door is a keypad with a simple 10-key numeric keypad. I hear someone approaching so I hide in a nearby bush to observe. They walk up to the door, ...
11
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
481 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 ...
10
votes
10answers
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 (...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Ernie and the Mystery of Madame Mu

Quite a few years ago (I can't remember the date but it was obviously some time after I first met Ernie at a New Years Eve party in 2001) I got an unexpected phone call late one afternoon. It was ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

What mysterious whole number am I?

From my second point of view I copy that amount of first. I am the dominant side of two but for many I'm the worst. I'll be tricky to find but today might be your day, after all my neighbour is 2/3 of ...
9
votes
3answers
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, ...
9
votes
1answer
364 views

Youre a big drinker right? Can you interpret for the drunk?

Be gentle! I'm trying something new... I'd like a full translation/interpretation, and bonus points if you spot the pattern. I expect it'll be easy as pie so think of it as a race. A VERY drunken, ...
9
votes
1answer
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. ...
8
votes
11answers
1k views

Magic Time-travelling Baktun Wheel

I have an ancient mayan friend who emailed me the other day: From: BalajChanKawiil@google.az To: puzzleguy@google.com Subject: Hey! Hey how are you! I was wondering if you were ...
8
votes
4answers
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

I'm stumped on a simple roman numeral puzzle

I was working on this puzzle called cupid which listed a bunch of greek gods. I filled in all the answers in the answer grid which were their roman counterparts. Since these answers were now left ...
8
votes
2answers
236 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
2k 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. ...
8
votes
4answers
493 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
273 views

To Plunder Treasure Islands

Captain Etarip, wants to plunder all the treasure islands that he can. There is exactly one island for every $n\in\mathbb N$. The $n^{\text{th}}$ treasure island contains three cities, each with $n$ ...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
9answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Non-sensical talk from a drunk man

Uncle John drinks a lot. Yesterday when he was drunk he saw something and told me: A man put some threads in water and after his subsequent actions, residents of the house were captured and the ...
7
votes
3answers
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.
7
votes
2answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
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, ...
7
votes
1answer
403 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
610 views

Who attempted to betray the Boston King?

The Castle of Weshire recently declared war on the Castle of Boston. The two armies soon met, the Boston King and Weshire King giving out orders from behind their lines of soldiers, surround by their ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
743 views

About Grelling's Paradox

Grelling's Paradox is about certain types of words. An adjective is heterological if it does not describe itself; like 'long', 'German', or 'monosyllabic'. An adjective is autological if it does ...
7
votes
1answer
220 views

A group of friends at a restaurant.

Four groups of four friends each are having dinner at a restaurant. There are four tables, table A, B, C, and D, seating four each, arranged in a square like so. A B C D Each table looks like this. ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can you help the traveller

A traveller decided to explore a square desert. He started from a point on the edge to point B, travelling perpendicular to the edge of the desert he started on. On reaching B, he then decided to take ...
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
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! ...
6
votes
2answers
335 views

A puzzle for my family

A few years back I made this puzzle. I finally decided to update it and post it In my family my youngest sibling is 1 and my oldest sibling is 21. And the distance between ages is always 2 years. ...
6
votes
1answer
321 views

Is my friend insane?

My friend is soon going to an asylum. This is devastating. I have known him for years and he's a fine, sane man. But he sent me a note and it doesn't make any sense... Has he really lost his mind or ...
6
votes
1answer
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
250 views

The CompuTaria Quest - A young Wizard's journey

Once Upon A Time In A Land FAR, FAR Away... Our adventure begins in the enchanted land called "CompuTaria". You are, "Binaryian" a 3rd year Wizard In Training. Today began like any other day - you ...
6
votes
2answers
172 views

A Crucial Delivery

Planet Earth has been at war with the nefarious aliens of Planet XYZ for a while. The front lines are on Planet XYZ, and you, being Earth's lead scientists, need to find a way to get vital information ...
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Are you Really Smart

The government has introduced a standardised test to identify dumb people and make them ineligible to apply for any government jobs, a pass in the exam is mandatory for applications in future. It ...
5
votes
1answer
718 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
529 views

Rolling a dice - Expectation Question [closed]

I heard / read / acquired this puzzle from somewhere: Roll a die, win $2\times$ the value of the face if it is an even number, or win $1\times$ the value of the face if it is an odd number. How ...