An efficiency-minded pharmacist has just received a shipment of 10 bottles of pills when the manufacturer calls to say that there’s been an error — nine of the bottles contain pills that weigh 5 grams apiece, which is correct, but the pills in the remaining bottle weigh 6 grams apiece. The pharmacist could find the bad batch by simply weighing one pill from each bottle, but he hits on a way to accomplish this with a single weighing. What does he do?
This week’s puzzle has a twist: Imagine that the board has been rolled into a cylinder so that the a- and h-files are joined and pieces can move across the boundary. How can White mate in two moves?
The first 10 letters of the alphabet, ABCDEFGHIJ, form a cipher that conceals the name of a number less than 100. What is the number?
- How does a deaf man indicate to a hardware clerk that he wants to buy a saw?
- How can you aim your car north on a straight road, drive for a hundred yards, and find yourself a hundred yards south of where you started?
- What runs fore to aft on one side of a ship and aft to fore on the other?
- A very fast train travels from City A to City B in an hour and a quarter. But the return trip, made under identical conditions, requires 75 minutes. Why?
- Does Canada have a 4th of July?
- Exhausted, you go to bed at 8 p.m., but you don’t want to miss an appointment at 10 a.m. the next day, so you set your alarm clock for 9. How many hours do you sleep?
By William Anthony Shinkman. White to mate in two moves.
Imagine a die that exactly covers one square of a checkerboard. Place the die in the top left corner with the 6 uppermost. Now, by tipping the die over successively onto each new square, can you roll it through each of the board’s 64 squares once and arrive in the upper right, so that the 6 is exposed at the beginning and end but never elsewhere?
In a photograph, is there a way to distinguish between a landscape and its reflection?
By Viktor Holst. White to mate in two moves.
n. the distance between two stopping places
Another puzzle by Sam Loyd: Two ferry boats ply the same route between ports on opposite sides of a river. They set out simultaneously from opposite ports, but one is faster than the other, so they meet at a point 720 yards from the nearest shore. When each boat reaches its destination, it waits 10 minutes to change passengers, then begins its return trip. Now the boats meet at a point 400 yards from the other shore. How wide is the river?
“The problem shows how the average person, who follows the cut-and-dried rules of mathematics, will be puzzled by a simple problem that requires only a slight knowledge of elementary arithmetic. It can be explained to a child, yet I hazard the opinion that ninety-nine out of every hundred of our shrewdest businessmen would fail to solve it in a week. So much for learning mathematics by rule instead of common sense which teaches the reason why!”