What’s the Angle?

what's the angle puzzle

AB = XY. Find z°.

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More Fun

If the proportion of blonds among blue-eyed people is greater than among the population as a whole, is it also true that the proportion of blue-eyed people among blonds is greater than among the population as a whole?

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Earnings Report


My employer has nine workers. The nine of us want to determine what our average salary is, but none of us wants to divulge his own salary. Can we find the average without doing so?

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Black and White

von meyenfeldt chess puzzle

A poser by F.H. von Meyenfeldt, 1967. What move must Black play to enable a forced mate in two by White?

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Some geometric legerdemain by Argentine magician Norberto Jansenson. (Thanks, Ron.)

Shifting Gears


A puzzle by French puzzle maven Pierre Berloquin:

Timothy rides a bicycle on a road that has four parts of equal length.

The first fourth is level, and he pedals at 10 kph.

The second fourth is uphill, and he pedals at 5 kph.

The third fourth is downhill, and he rides at 30 kph.

The fourth fourth is level again, but he has the wind at his back, so he goes 15 kph.

What is his average speed?

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Cruel and Unusual


A king is angry at two mathematicians, so he decrees the following punishment. The mathematicians will be imprisoned in towers at opposite ends of the kingdom. Each morning, a guard at each tower will flip a coin and show the result to his prisoner. Each prisoner must then guess the result of the coin flip at the other tower. If at least one of the two guesses is correct, they will live another day. But as soon as both guesses are incorrect, they will be executed.

On the way out of the throne room, the mathematicians manage to confer briefly, and they come up with a plan that will spare them indefinitely. What is it?

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Items requested in the 2000 Baylor College Linguistic Scavenger Hunt:

  1. the word for “cheese” in Estonian
  2. the longest word in English that uses no letter more than once
  3. a nine-letter English word that has only one syllable
  4. the sound that a dog makes in Swedish
  5. the regional word for “drinking fountain” that’s used in Wisconsin
  6. the language that Jesus spoke
  7. the American equivalent of the British word “ex-directory”
  8. five words that are legal plays in Scrabble and that have only two letters, one of which is “x”
  9. the motto of the Klingon Language Institute
  10. identity of the person who said, “England and America are two countries divided by a common language.”
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Black and White

kraemer chess problem

By Adolf Kraemer. White to mate in two moves.

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Getting More Fiber

You’re locked on the roof of a building that’s 800 feet tall, and you want to reach the ground uninjured. You can safely fall only about 5 feet. The walls of the building are completely smooth and featureless, except that one wall has a small ledge that’s 400 feet above the ground. There’s a hook on this ledge, and another hook directly above it at the edge of the roof.

You have 600 feet of rope and a knife. How can you reach the ground?

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