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How would you weigh a jet plane without using scales? Why are manhole covers round rather than square? Why do mirrors reverse right and left instead of up and down? Which way should the key turn in a car door to unlock it? Why is it that, when you turn on the hot water in a hotel, the hot water comes out instantly? How do they make M&Ms? If you are on a boat and toss a suitcase overboard, will the water level rise or fall? How many piano tuners are there in the world? How many gas stations are there in the United States? How much Mississippi River water flows past New Orleans each hour? What does all the ice in a hockey rink weigh? If you could remove any of the fifty U.S. states, which would it be? How many points are there on the globe where, by walking one mile south, one mile east, and one mile north, you reach the place where you started? How many times a day do a clock's hands overlap? Mike and Todd have $21 between them. Mike has $20 more than Todd. How much does each have? You can't use fractions in the answer. ? On the average, how many times would you have to flip open the Manhattan phone book to find a specific name? How do you cut a rectangular cake into two equal pieces when someone has already removed a rectangular piece from it? The removed piece can be pf any size or orientation. You are allowed just one straight cut. How would you design Bill Gates's bathroom? How would you design a microwave oven controlled by a computer? How would you design the controls for a VCR? Design a remote control for a Venetian blind. Design a spice rack for a blind person. How would you test a saltshaker? [A toaster? A teakettle? An elevator?] How would you locate a specific book in a big library? There's no cataloging system and no librarian to help you. Suppose you're hired as an IRS agent. Your first job is to find out whether a nanny agency is cheating on its taxes. How would you do it? You have eight billiard balls. One of them is "defective," meaning that it weighs more than the others. How do you tell, using a balance, which ball is defective in two weighings? You have five jars of pills. All the pills in one jar only are "contaminated." The only way to tell which pills are contaminated is by weight. A regular pill weighs 10 grams; a contaminated pill is 9 grams. You are given a scale and allowed to make just one measurement with it. How do you tell which jar is contaminated? There are three ants at the three corners of a regular triangle. Each ant starts moving on a straight line toward another, randomly chosen corner. What is the probability that none of the ants collide? There are four dogs, each at a corner of a large square. Each of the dogs begins chasing the dog clockwise from it. All of the dogs run at the same speed. All continuously adjust their direction so that they are always heading straight toward their clockwise neighbor. How long does it take for the dogs to catch each other? Where does this happen? A train leaves Los Angeles for New York at a constant speed of 15 miles an hour. At the same moment, a train leaves New York for Los Angeles on the same track. It travels at a constant 20 miles an hour. At still the same moment, a bird leaves the Los Angeles train station and flies toward New York, following the track, at a speed of 25 miles an hour. When it reaches the train from New York, it instantly reverses direction. It travels at the same speed until it reaches the train from Los Angeles, when it reverses again, and so forth. The bird flies back and forth between the two trains until the very moment they collide. How far will the bird have traveled? You have 26 constants, labeled A through Z. Let A equal 1. The other constants have values equal to the letter's position in the alphabet, raised to the power of the previous constant. That means that B (the second letter) = 2A = 21 = 2. C = 3B = 32 = 9, and so on. Find the exact


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numerical value for this expression: (X-A) * (X-B) * (X-C) * ... (X-Y)*(X-Z) ? Count in base negative 2. You have two jars and 100 marbles. Fifty of the marbles are red, and 50 are blue. One of the jars will be chosen at random; then 1 marble will be withdrawn from that jar at random. How do you maximize the chance that a red marble will be chosen? (You must place all 100 marbles in the jars.) What is the chance of selecting a red marble when using your scheme? You have a 3-quart bucket, a 5-quart bucket, and an infinite "supply of water. How can you measure out exactly 4 quarts? One of your employees insists on being paid daily in gold. You have a gold bar whose value is that of seven days' salary for this employee. The bar is already segmented into seven equal pieces. If you are allowed to make just two cuts in the bar, and must settle with the employee at the end of each day, how do you do it? You have b boxes and n dollar bills. Seal the money in the boxes so that, without thereafter opening any box, you can give someone any requested whole amount of dollars, from 0 to n. What are the restrictions on b and n? You have a bucket of jelly beans in three colors red, green, and blue. With your eyes closed, you have to reach in the bucket and take out two jelly beans of the same color. How many jelly beans do you have to take to be certain of getting two the same color? You have three picnic baskets filled with fruit. One has apples, one has oranges, and the third has a mixture of apples and oranges. You cannot see the fruit inside the baskets. Each basket is clearly labeled. Each label is wrong. You are permitted to close your eyes and pick one fruit from one basket, then examine it How can you determine what is in each basket? Every man in a village of fifty couples has been unfaithful to his wife. Every woman in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has philandered (you know how small towns are) but not when her own husband has ("always the last to know"). The village's no tolerance adultery statute requires that a woman who can prove her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. No woman would dream of disobeying this law. One day, the queen, who is known to be infallible, visits the village. She announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens? An evil demon captures a large, unspecified number of dwarfs. At each dwarfs entry interview, the demon plants a red or green gem in the dwarf's forehead. The demon informs the new recruit that he, the dwarf, has an unremovable red or green jewel in his forehead; that he, the demon, is not going to tell him which color, nor will anyone else (the dwarfs are strictly forbidden to speak); that one of the colors denotes sniveling company spies and the other color denotes those particularly luckless captives who are not even sniveling company spies; that the demon does not choose to tell him which color denotes which, nor will he tell him, ever. End of entry interview. Every day the dwarfs line up in formation so that the demon can count them, just to make sure no one has escaped. One day the demon gets tired of the dwarfs and decides to get rid of them. He announces that he will set the dwarfs free, provided they all deduce the color of their gems. As a hint, he tells them that there is at least one dwarf with a red gem, and at least one with a green gem. To earn their collective freedom, the dwarfs must signal wordlessly at the daily lineup. All of the dwarfs with red gems are to step one pace forward, while the dwarfs with green gems remain behind. If they are correct, then all the dwarfs are free to go back to their homes in the coal mines. If they are not correct, all the dwarfs will be slaughtered on the spot. The dwarfs are free to take as long as they want to determine the colors of their gems. They are all perfectly logical, and all are dying to get back to their homes. What should they do? Four people must cross a rickety footbridge at night. Many planks are missing, and the bridge can hold only two people at a time (any more than two, and the bridge collapses). The travelers must use a flashlight to guide their steps; otherwise they're sure to step through a missing space and fall to their death. There is only one flashlight. The four people each travel at different peeds. Adam can cross the bridge in one minute; Larry in two minutes; Edge takes five minutes; and the slowest person, Bono, needs ten minutes. The bridge is going to collapse in exactly seventeen minutes. How can all four people cross the bridge? Why are beer cans tapered at the top and bottom? How long would it take to move Mount Fuji?

43. There are three switches in a hallway. One switch controls a light fixture in a room at the far end of the hall. The door to the room is closed, and you can't see whether the light is on or off. You need to find out which of the three switches controls the light. How can you be certain of finding that out, making just one trip to the room? 44. You play this game with one other player: Starting with an empty rectangular table like this one, and an unlimited supply of quarters, each person takes a turn by putting a quarter anywhere on the table. The rules say only that you must place your quarter so that it doesn't touch any quarter already on the table. You and your opponent take turns placing quarters in succession, until the table is nearly full of quarters. The first player who is unable to add a quarter without touching a quarter already placed loses. You move first. What strategy would you use to play this game? 45. Five pirates on an island have one hundred gold coins to split among themselves. They divide the loot as follows: The senior pirate proposes a division, and everyone votes on it. Provided at least half the pirates vote for the proposal, they split the coins that way. If not, they kill the senior pirate and start over. The most senior (surviving) pirate proposes his own division plan, and they vote by the same rules and either divide the loot or kill the senior pirate, as the case may be. The process continues until one plan is accepted. Suppose you are the senior pirate. What division do you propose? (The pirates are all extremely logical and greedy, and all want to live.) 46. A high school has this ritual on the last day of school: The students go into the hall and stand by their closed lockers. At the first blow of a whistle, the students open every locker. At the second whistle, the students close every sec ond locker (lockers 2,4,6, etc., are slammed shut). At the third whistle, the students toggle every third locker. To "toggle" means to close it if it's open, and to open it if it's closed. They toggle lockers 3,6,9, etc At whistle four, they toggle every fourth locker. At whistle five, they toggle every fifth locker, and so on. Let's make things easy and say it's a small school with only 100 lockers. At the one hundredth whistle, the student standing next to locker 100 (and only that student) toggles his locker. How many lockers are then open? 47. You have two lengths of fuse. Each will burn for exactly one hour. But the fuses are not necessarily identical and do not burn at a constant rate. There are fast-burning sections and slow-burning sections. How do you measure forty-five minutes using only the fuses and a lighter? 48. You are in a boat in the exact center of a perfectly circular lake. There is a goblin on the shore of the lake. The goblin wants to do bad things to you. The goblin can't swim and doesn't have a boat. Provided you can make it to the shore and the goblin isn't there, waiting to grab you you can always outrun him oir land and get away. The problem is this: The goblin can run four times as fist as the maximum speed of your boat. He has perfect eyesight, never sleeps, and is extremely logical. He will do everything in his power to catch you. How would you escape the goblin? 49. Does the sun always rise in the east? 50. You've got six matchsticks. Arrange them so they form four equilateral triangles.

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