21 February 2018

Another puzzle. Arranging digits

Do not write the answer in the Comments section. If you get the answer, simply message me on FB or write in the Comments section that you got it (without actually giving away the answer).

Can you come up with a 8 digited number where the digits are 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4 and the following are true:
There are exactly 4 digits between the two “4”s in the number.
There are exactly 3 digits between the two “3”s in the number.
There are exactly 2 digits between the two “2”s in the number.
There is exactly 1 digit between the two “1”s in the number.

So, 12344321 cannot be an answer since there are 6 digits between the “1”s, 4 digits between the “2”s etc etc etc.

What is the number? (Hint: There are two answers)

9 February 2018

Puzzle time!!

Sitting at the motorbike center (bike getting serviced), I am bored enough to see if I can bore you with one more puzzle to get the weekend rolling ….

There is a contest to judge the smartest couple of them all. Teams of husbands and wives show up for the contest and are soon read out the rules…

Each couple will be taken to a separate room by two officials. Each room will have two tables in diagonally opposite corners. The couple will be separated in the room and asked to go sit at the two tables in the two corners with their backs to each other. From that distance, they will not be able hear or see what is going on in the other table. Under no circumstances can any of the couple utter any sound. If they do, they would be automatically disqualified. Next to each table sat one of the two officials.

The husband and the wife will be given a dice (all dice are perfect dice – one sixth probability for each side). At the sound of a large gong, they will independently roll their own dice on their own table. And note whether they have an even face up or an odd face up. (Odd means 1, 3 or 5). Now, on a piece of paper, each have to write what they think came up on the OTHER table – odd or even. Once both have written their guesses, the two officials will shout out what was written.

If at least one of them guessed correctly about the other table, they continue. If both got it wrong, they will be escorted out of the room and eliminated from the event.

The last couple standing (actually sitting at their tables πŸ™‚ ) wins the event.

So those were the rules.

After all the rules were explained, the officials allowed each couple to talk for a few minutes in case they wanted to come up with a plan and then were escorted to their rooms for the competition to begin.

The smartest couple had devised a way such that they would always win. What strategy did they use?

Note that this is not a trick question like whispering or passing hand messages etc. They were really smart and came up with a way to never get escorted out.

If you know the answer / figured it out, please send me a personal message. I will respond there and also announce your name in the common forum.

29 January 2018

Here is a somewhat trickier puzzle – Catching a mouse

There are five adjoining rooms – linearly arranged (from left to right). You know there is a mouse in one of those rooms. You also know that the mouse, every night moves to the adjoining room – either left or right. It does not stay in the same room two days in succession – meaning it will definitely move. However, it is completely random whether it will go left or right – unless, of course it is in one of the end rooms in which case, it has to go to the other side.

Now, you are allowed to open any one random room in the morning. If the mouse is there, you can trap it and catch it. But if you do not find it, you are not allowed to go to other rooms. You have to come back the next day and open any room you want again (including the one you opened to today – totally your choice).

What is the strategy you will use (of targeting rooms to open each morning) to eventually catch the mouse?

29 January 2018

Merry Go Round Puzzle

This can be a very simple problem or a very confounding problem depending on the approach you take to solving it…

In a merry go round for kids in the mall, a kid rider observed “Two thirds the number of kids ahead of me added to three eighths the number of kids behind me add up to the total number of kids on this merry go round”.

How many kids were there in the merry go round?

28 September 2017

Presidential Trivia

To distract all my USA FB friends voicing their strong opinions for or against our current President’s tweets/statements on NFL players “taking the knee” (ha ha), here are some Presidential trivia questions. Hope both sides of the debate can work together to find the answers….

1. I was stunned to find out recently who our first President to have been born in a hospital was. Want to take a guess?

2. George Washington, of course, was our first President. Did you know that in both his terms, he was voted unanimously to be the President? Not a single electoral college of any party voted against him. Here is the question – which party did he represent in those two elections?

3. Kennedy, as we know was the youngest person to have been elected President. (Technically, Teddy Roosevelt became President when he was younger than Kennedy but that was not thru an election – previous President was assassinated). How about the oldest President to have been elected?

4. There has been only one President in the history of US who was a confirmed bachelor. Who was it?

5. On the other hand, there was another bachelor who was elected the President. And he married his sweetheart in White House while he was the President. In fact, even had his daughter born in the White House. Who was it?

6. We know many Presidents who have held the position multiple times. Almost always consecutively. (Of course, after Franklin Roosevelt’s 12 years of Presidency, there was a law promulgated that put a cap to 2 terms only). In fact, in the recent past, Obama, George W, Bill Clinton have been all 2 term presidents. There has been only one President who had 2 terms but not consecutively. He won, then lost a rebid and then won again the next time. Making him the only President who has 2 separate numbers for himself(like George HW Bush was 41 and his son was 43…). Who was it?

7. We have all heard about the crazy schedule of Presidents. President Obama, for example, wore the same color shirt and trousers to avoid wasting time in the morning in selecting clothes. On the other hand, there was a President that woke up every morning at 5AM only to practice piano for 2 long hours!! Who was it?

8. Being a President and being the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are two of the highest positions in US (in fact they are the highest positions in two of the three branches – Executive, Legislative and Judiciary wings). There was one President that has the distinction of being both (of course – at different times). Do you know who it is?

9. A sitting President was once pulled over and arrested for going too fast (eventually fined too). Who was it? I will give you a hint – he was crossing the speed limit while riding a horse!!

10. There was one fortunate President who survived two consecutive attempts to assassinate him within a space of 17 days – and I say fortunate since he survived both attempts. Here is the crazy thing. Both were attempted by women. In fact, those were the only instances of a woman ever attempting to assassinate a sitting US President. Who was that President?

Bonus question:
By most accounts, Anne Royall was the first female journalist of this country. She had tried, for months, to score the first ever woman conducted interview of a US President. The President just would have nothing if it. Anne came up with a devious plan. She had found out that the President regularly swam in the Potomac early mornings. In the nude!!! So, she simply snuck up on him one morning while he was in the river, gathered all his clothes and sat on them till he would agree to an interview! Who was that hapless President (no doubt he would consider himself lucky to be in the pre-selfie era πŸ™‚ )

31 August 2017

Some random facts that I have learnt over the years…

Here are five of them:

1. Do you know how the Romans whitened their teeth? Believe it or not, they used urine. Now, the chemically oriented ones among you obviously have figured out that it should work. And it does. But, please, please, DO NOT try this at home.

2. Since we dealt with the Romans, let’s talk about the Greeks. And their drinking. Drinking wine. I bet you that brings up images of Greeks drinking themselves silly thru the night in drinking orgies. Well, here is the deal, The Greeks drank wine. A lot of that. But they despised anybody who got overly drunk. You know what they did? They mixed what you and I call wine with water – one part of wine to five parts of water!! I can see all my wine enthusiast friends grimacing πŸ™‚

3. Can you imagine being struck by lightning? How about twice and living thru it? How about thrice and still living. Park Ranger Sullivan was struck seven times – SEVEN times – by lightning while on duty in park. You know how he eventually died? Self inflicted gun wound. Apparently while cleaning his guns!!

4. How long for light to emanate from the core of the sun to reach the earth. I know many of you are going eight and a half minutes. But that is the time taken for light to travel from the surface of the sun to the surface of earth. Actually a photon takes thousands of years to get from the center of the sun to the surface of the sun and then another eight and a half minutes to get to earth!

P.S. Does that we are really living in the past? πŸ™‚

5. Ratio of humans to ants. Want to take a guess?
There are 1.6 million ants to every human being!!
And all those ants put together – will weight about all the humans put together!!

Hope you enjoyed these. My friend from i2 – Dev Ghoshal – had once accurately remarked: I focus on inconsequential data πŸ™‚

11 July 2017

Five mind blowing facts I learnt last evening…

Late evening, Nikita decided to go for a swim and I went out to give her some company. Instead of actually jumping in, I stayed land side and started reading up on some geography trivia. Some of the things I learnt just blew my mind away. See how many of these you already know. After answering them, Google up and find out the answers!!

1. Which city first reached a population of 1 million?

2. Which country has the maximum number of pyramids?

3. What fraction of the Nile river’s total length flows thru Egypt?

4. In which continent is the driest place on earth?

5. There is a sea that has no coastline. Can you name it?

25 June 2017

A very interesting puzzle

I understand the problem is attributed to Pythagoras. (I am not sure of the veracity of the story). In any case, my friend Prodipto posted this in our school Whatsapp group. Try it…

In a party that had 100 guests, the first guest was given 1% of a large cake. The next guest got 2% of what was left. And the next got 3% of what was left…. on and on… the 99th guest got 99% whatever was left at that time and the 100th guest got the final (100% of) leftover.

Which guest got the largest piece?


Adding the answer here…


23 June 2017

A logic puzzle after a long time…

Found an interesting one from my friend Prodipta Chatterjee. Took me a few minutes till I realized that the trick is to not think of it as other problems of similar descriptions… Try it…

From a bag that has 26 bills (of three denominations – $1, $2 and $5), you pick out 20 of them blindfolded. You are guaranteed (probability = 1) that you will have at least one $1 bill AND two $2 bills and five $5 bills.

You have to solve for the following question: How much total money is there in the bag?