Petals Around the Rose is a simple brain teaser with an impressive pedigree — here’s how Bill Gates responded to the puzzle when he first encountered it.

Newcomers are told that the name of the game is important. Someone rolls five dice and announces the “answer,” which is always zero or an even number.

That’s it. On each roll, the initiate has to give the correct answer before he’s told. When he can do this consistently, he becomes a Potentate of the Rose, pledged “to be a cruel and heartless wretch who will never divulge the secret of the game to anyone else.”

I’m told that the puzzle is a good index of intelligence — smart people take longer to figure it out.