Meteors are more commonly seen between midnight and dawn than between dusk and midnight. Why?
By Ivan Pavlovich Ropet. White to mate in two moves.
Here are four new lateral thinking puzzles to test your wits! Solve along with us as we explore some strange situations using only yes-or-no questions.
Puzzles 1 and 2 are from Kyle Hendrickson’s 1998 book Mental Fitness Puzzles and Jed’s List of Situation Puzzles.
Thanks to listeners Saber and Tommy Honton for puzzles 3 and 4. Here are two corroborating links — these spoil the puzzles, so don’t click until you’ve listened to the episode:
Use this link to get video and audio lectures at up to 80 percent off the original price from The Great Courses.
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If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!
By Georges Legentil. White to mate in two moves.
I have just baked a rectangular cake when my wife comes home and barbarically cuts out a piece for herself. The piece she cuts is rectangular, but it’s not in any convenient proportion to the rest of the cake, and its sides aren’t even parallel to the cake’s sides. I want to divide the remaining cake into two equal-sized halves with a single straight cut. How can I do it?
By Juri Ischty. White to mate in two moves.
You’re on a drug regimen that requires you to take one pill a day from each of two bottles, A and B. One day you tap one pill into your palm from the A bottle and, inadvertently, two pills from the B bottle. Unfortunately the A and B pills are indistinguishable, and taking more than one B pill per day is fatal. And the pills are very expensive, so you can’t afford to throw out the handful and start over. How can you arrange to take the correct dose without wasting any pills?
A problem from the second Balkan Mathematical Olympiad, 1985:
Of the 1985 people attending an international meeting, no one speaks more than five languages, and in any subset of three attendees, at least two speak a common language. Prove that some language is spoken by at least 200 of the attendees.
By Sam Loyd. White to mate in two moves.
You’re planning to make the wire skeleton of a cube by arranging 12 equal lengths of wire as shown and soldering them at the corners.
It occurs to you that you might be able to simplify the job by using one or more longer lengths of wire and bending them into right angles at the cube’s corners.
If you adopt that plan, what’s the smallest number of corners where soldering will still be necessary?