BRAIN TEASERS

Date Received: Wed, 14 May 1997


1. There is one word in the English language that is always pronounced incorrectly. What is it?

2. A man gave one son 10 cents and another son was given 15 cents. What time is it?

3. A boat has a ladder that has six rungs, each rung is one foot apart. The bottom rung is one foot from the water. The tide rises at 12 inches every 15 minutes. High tide peaks in one hour. When the tide is at it's highest, how many rungs are under water?

4. There is a house with four walls. Each wall faces south. There is a window in each wall. A bear walks by one of the windows. What color is the bear?

5. Is half of two plus two equal to two or three?

6. There is a room. The shutters are blowing in. There is broken glass on the floor. There is water on the floor. You find Sloppy dead on the floor. How did sloppy die?

7. How much dirt would be in a hole 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide that has been dug with a square edged shovel?

8. If I were in Hawaii and dropped a bowling ball in a bucket of water which is 45 degrees F, and dropped another ball of the same weight, mass, and size in a bucket at 30 degrees F, them at the same time, which ball would hit the bottom of the bucket first? Same question, but the location is in Canada?

9. What is the significance of the following: The year is 1978, thirty-four minutes past noon on May 6th.

10. What can go up a chimney down, but can't go down a chimney up?

11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in the center field?

12. What is it that goes up and goes down but does not move?

13. Paul is 20 years old in 1980, but only 15 years old in 1985. How is this possible?

14. What has four legs but only one foot?

15. How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark?

16. Kindly old Grandfather Lunn
Is twice as old as his son
Twenty-five years ago
Their age ratio
Strange enough was three to one
When does Grandfather celebrate his centenary?

17. Said a certain young lady named Gwen
Of her tally of smitten young men
"one less and three more
Divided by four
Together give one more than ten"
How many boyfriends had she?

18. There was a young fellow named Clive
Whose bees number ten power five
The daughters to each son
Were as nineteen to one,
A truly remarkable hive.
How many sons (drones) were in the hive?

19. A team's opening batter named Nero
Squared his number of hits, the big hero!
After subtracting his score
He took off ten and two more
And the final result was a "zero".
How many hits did Nero make:

20. Some freshman from Trinity Hall
Played hockey with a wonderful ball;
Two times its weight
Plus weight squared, minus eight,
Gave "nothing" in ounces at all.
What was the weight of the ball?

21. The Bar Z ranch was a dude ranch. One day a new "dude" asked one of the stable hands how many men were tending the horses in the corral. Having a mischievous sense of humor, he replied, "I saw eighty-two feet and twenty-six heads". He then walked away, leaving the dude scratching his head trying to figure it out. How many men were tending the horses?

22. One morning as Paul was getting his newspaper, he noticed on his new house something that needed to be fixed. Heading over to the hardware store, he spoke to the manager, describing his problem. The manager said, "I know just what you need". He led Paul down some aisles and stopped in front of some bins. Digging down into some of the bins, he set something up on the shelf. "I saw your house when it was built", the manager said. "Here's all that you'll need and how much it'll cost... five will be 15 cents while fifty will be 30 cents, 250 will be 45 cents, while 2507 will only cost you 60 cents. One lady, about 20 blocks from your house, bought 30247 and only paid 75 cents! These are black, but they also come in gold and silver." What was the manager selling?
23. If it takes 3 people to dig a hole, how many does it take to dig half a hole?

24. What is the beginning of eternity. The end of time and space. The beginning of every end. And the end of every place?

The Answers

1. Incorrectly.

2. 1:45. The man gave away a total of 25 cents. He divided it between two people. Therefore, he gave a quarter to two.

3. None, the boat rises with the tide. Duh.

4. White. If all the walls face south, the house is at the north pole, and the bear, therefore, is a polar bear.

5. Three. Well, it seems that it could almost be either, but if you follow the mathematical orders of operation, division is performed before addition. So... half of two is one. Then add two, and the answer is three.

6. Sloppy is a goldfish. The wind blew the shutters in, which knocked his goldfish-bowl off the table, and it broke, killing him.

7. None. No matter how big a hole is, it's still a hole: the absence of dirt. (And those of you who said 36 cubic feet are wrong for another reason, too. You would have needed the length measurement too. So you don't even know how much air is in the hole.)

8. Both questions, same answer: the ball in the bucket of 45 degree F water hits the bottom of the bucket last. Did you think that the water in the 30 degree F bucket is frozen? Think again. The question said nothing about that bucket having anything in it. Therefore, there is no water (or ice) to slow the ball down...

9. The time and month/date/year are 12:34, 5/6/78.

10. An umbrella.

11. One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big stack.

12. The temperature.

13. The years are in B.C., not A.D. as you probably assumed. Based on the system we use to number the years, the years counted down in B.C. (but they weren't counting backwards back then).

14. A bed.

15. None. Moses didn't take animals on the ark. Noah did.

16. This year. He is 100, and his son is 50.

17. Gwen had forty-two boyfriends. 42-1=41. 41+3=44. 44/4=11. 11-1=10.

18. Five Thousand. Ten power five = 100,000. Divide that out (it was a 19:1 ratio) and you get a ratio of 95,000:5,000 (daughters:sons).

19. Four. If you square it, you get 16. Subtract his number of hits and you get 12. Subtract 10 and then 2 more and you get 0.

20. Two ounces. (Beach ball, or ping-pong ball?) 2x2=4. 4+2^2=8. 8-8=0.

21. Eleven men (and 15 horses). 11 (men) x 2 (feet per man)=22, 15 (horses) x 4 (feet per horse)=60, and 22 (men's feet) + 60 (horse's feet) = 82 feet. Also, 11 (men) + 15 (horses) = 26 (total heads).

22. House numbers. Each digit costs 15 cents.

23. It's impossible to dig a half of a hole. Either you have a hole, or you don't.

24. The letter E.

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