The Pirate Tombstone

July 24th, 2017

It was a bright blue sunny Caribbean day with occasional fluffy clouds sailing by like galleons over an island with abundant jungle growth and a lively variety of bird chatter.

“Look there, Arby. Isn’t that a tombstone,” shouted Pascal, assistant to explorer Dr. Arbuthnot Smythe, as he ran to inspect a black rock hidden among foliage under some palm trees on the remote uninhabited Caribbean island Esmeralda.

“Well spotted,” Dr. Smythe followed Pascal to inspect the black rock. “Clean up the surface so we can see what’s written on it,” said Dr. Smythe, following close behind.

Pascal was already busy brushing the black rock free of debris and growth, revealing the large letters R I P with the name Jack Black Silver below.

“Could be treasure decoy work by Capt. Kidd, indicating that we are on the right track based on the parchment incrusted with an emerald and black seal we found in an old ship’s log at Boggs’ Antiquary in London,” said Dr. Smythe after examining the black tombstone.

“There is more text chiseled in under the name,” said Pascal enthusiastically. “Very strange, there are three large numbers with letters.” Pascal scratched his head with a puzzled look on his face.

“What are the numbers,” asked Dr. Smythe, standing ready with notebook and pen.

“Arby, they read as follows: 180XYZ34, 158XYZ and 982XYZ8, one number above the other,” replied a befuddled Pascal.

“I say, definitely not coordinates,” observed Dr. Arbuthnot Smythe, tapping his pen on the pad.

“Wait, I see some small writing below which reads:

By dyviding the dyvisor, ye pace 19 rest N, then pace 12 rest W.’

What in the world could all that gibberish mean?” exclaimed Pascal.

“Hmm,” said Dr. Smythe, scratching his van Dyke beard, concentrating on the numbers. “I would say we need to work out what the letters stand for. I believe Capt. Kidd’s treasure chest could be buried nearby,” said Dr. Smythe deep in thought.

“Maybe the word ‘rest’ means ‘remainder’,” commented Pascal.

“Inspired thought, Pascal, I think you are on the right track. Get your calculator out and let’s solve this riddle,” said Dr. Arbuthnot Smythe with enthusiasm.

About how many paces from the black tombstone would you say the treasure is located?

The Brimchester Football Bar

July 14th, 2017

Marco Slivovitz, owner of The Brimchester Football Bar – dedicated to all fans of the honorable soccer sport – had just installed a perfect number of spherical beer kegs, painted to resemble footballs, which were placed around a large circular bar room.

Enthusiastic  fans celebrating the most recent victory of their beloved team could freely tap and drink beer from any one of the perfect number of spherical football kegs, conveniently placed around the extensive bar area – instant payment being made by card, and large beer mugs provided by saucily dressed waitresses.

Marco had a problem.  As the bar guests would usually empty all the kegs during an evening’s merrymaking, he needed a delivery truck with the correct spherical capacity to fill his perfect number of spherical beer kegs so they would be ready for the next bout. The radius of each of his spherical beer kegs was 21 inches.

Being a practical man, he turned to the yellow pages of the phone book to check for a firm specializing in beer delivery trucks with spherical containers, keeping in harmony with his own containers.

Luckily, after a persistent search, Marcho Slivovitz found the right company for his purposes, Acme Spherical Deliveries.

After contacting Acme Spherical Deliveries and giving the friendly sales person the details regarding his spherical beer kegs, Marco was delighted to hear that two spherical delivery trucks could actually be made available on a regular basis for his purpose, however each with a different diameter.

With the situation happily resolved, being a practical man, Marco Slivovitz proceeded to have one of his waitresses help him test his spherical beer kegs for proper functionality.

 

Can you work out the radii of the spherical containers on the Acme Spherical Deliveries trucks that will  completely fill up Marco’s empty spherical beer mugs after a spirited football victory celebration?

 

Captain John’s Boat

June 30th, 2017

Captain John has a boat with a crew consisting of his family: his wife Jeannie, sons Jack and Marvin, daughters Mary and Molly, and Troi the parrot.

Captain John is very proud of his boat, especially its length in feet, and travels the world with his family to share the rich adventures of sea life.

The bow of his boat is graced by a beautiful mermaid along with the boat’s name in golden letters, Sea Nymph. Lower down the number 288064524 is painted in black.

How old are the family members, the parrot and what is the length of the boat?

The Speedy Pigeon

June 30th, 2017

“Hurry, hurry, try your luck, folks. Get lucky and win a thousand dollars with one shot,” shouted the hawker at full lung power to announce the new game stand at the Jolly Woods Amusement Park.

People flocked to the stand in droves to learn more about this intriguing new game. When they arrived they saw a large semicircular amphitheater with a huge screen about 50 m away facing the spectators. The setup reminded them of a drive-in movie theater of old.

They were told that a yellow virtual pigeon with a blinking red light would be shot out on the screen at a very high speed, leaving a trail of light. To win a thousand dollars a player had to hit the pigeon using a special laser gun each seat was equipped with.

One shot cost $10 and players were told that the chance of hitting the speedy virtual pigeon was 4 in a thousand. Payment was via a card slot at each seat, wins immediately transferred to the card.

Another feature was that for $500 a player could once invite up to two hundred friends to simultaneously take a shot at the pigeon for free.

“C’mon Charlie, lets give it a shot,” shouted one burly onlooker, taking a seat and picking up the laser gun.

How many friends would you invite to this game to have a fifty percent chance of hitting the virtual speedy pigeon and winning five hundred dollars?

The Curious Amount

June 28th, 2017

Accountant Seymour Smythe III was about to enter a shopping mall with some money in his pocket.

As was his custom before entering any mall, he scribbled the amount of money in his pocket into a small black notebook he carried for this purpose.

While in the mall, Seymour Smythe III spent half of the money in his pocket.

On leaving the mall, Seymour Smythe III pulled out his black notebook again to make an entry of the money he had left after making his purchases.

Looking at his previous entry, he was astounded that the number of dollars in his pocket was equal to half the number of cents he noted in his black notebook before entering the mall to splurge on shopping.

Moreover, the number of cents he had in his pocket on leaving the mall was the same as number of dollars of his previous entry in his black notebook.

Seymour Smythe III thought this was rather curious, if not strange.

…Was the great Accountant in the Sky monitoring his pecuniary activities?

Can you work out the amount of money Seymour Smythe III had in his pocket on entering the mall?

 

The Special Coins

June 16th, 2017

During a cold and crisp January afternoon with azure blue skies setting off peaked snow-capped mountains, Jack and Jill were enjoying a skiing holiday at a resort in the Bavarian Alps. They were busy checking out Dr. Feynstein’s souvenir shop.

“Jack, I want to buy you that cute lederhosen leather breeches outfit the strapping male model in that glass exhibition booth is wearing,” said Jill enthusiastically, pulling on his arm and pointing.

“I really like the colorful feather in his hat, and you’ll look great in that outfit,” said Jill clapping her hands with joy.

“I would prefer the five liter beer mug displayed in that other case over there, the one with a colored image of a castle,” said Jack sedately, scratching his Van Dyke beard.

“Sure, we can get that too, but the lederhosen outfit will really impress my uncle Fritz, who was raised in Bavaria,” said Jill.

“Jill, I think uncle Fritz will probably be more impressed with the beer mug,” said Jack laughing.

“Ok Jack, you win, you buy the lederhosen outfit, and I’ll buy the beer mug,” said Jill quickly.

“Deal?”

Jack mumbled something. “Well ok, Jill, but I’ll only wear it at uncle Fritz’ parties.”

“Fine, Jack, but you’ll change your mind when we go to the German bar with the Oompah band,” said Jill.

Jill, who spoke German, asked the salesman, a beer-bellied fellow named Herr Berger, how much the lederhosen and the beer mug cost.

Herr Berger explained that all items displayed in a glass case were created by the eccentric designer Dr. Gustav Feynstein.

To obtain such goods customers would have to purchase the special coins Dr. Feynstein had made for use in constructing a mini model of a Bavarian town he planned to become mayor of.

Dr Feynstein believed his election victory would be ensured  by the rational thought power imbued into the special coins by intelligent purchasers of his goods.

Herr Berger explained further that the correct combination of coins dumped into the funnel by the glass exhibition booths would open the respective door so the desired goods could be removed.

Herr Berger stated that the coins had holes of three types:  round, triangular and square in the center.

In conclusion, Herr Berger informed that the respective prices of the round, triangular and square coins were 190/29, 280/29 and 340/29 euros. All credit cards accepted for payment, of course.

Jill took some notes and then explained the procedure to Jack, who was dumbfounded shaking his head – but agreed anyway.

“You mean that the price of the beer mug is 160 euros and the lederhosen outfit costs 1600. What a ripoff, Jill,” groaned Jack.

“And we have to figure out how many coins are needed to pay for this stuff – incredible.”

“Yes, but think of how great conversation pieces they will be back home,” replied Jill.

Jack worked out the number of coins needed on his notebook and paid for both the lederhosen and the beer mug. Jill, with a big smile, dumped all the coins clanking away into the funnel.

“Jill, I’m thirsty. Let’s go to the nearest Hofbräuhaus to test the goods,” said Jack eagerly. Jill followed holding bags with the lederhosen and the beer mug.

How many coins in total did Jack and Jill need to purchase these items?

The Reversed Check

May 31st, 2017

Dapper and broke young Jasper went to a local bank to cash a check he had received for mowing Mr. McCloud’s lawn and doing some gardening work.

The cashier, a cross-eyed blonde named Lotta, was distracted by Jasper’s good looks and in her flustered state managed to cash the check in transposed order about the decimal point, that is, she moved the right-side part of the amount to the front and the dollars part to the back, and paid accordingly.

Jasper did not notice the payment error due to Lotta’s handing him her phone number on a pink bank slip with a coy smile.

Only later after he had spent twenty-one dollars and forty-six cents for a hearty meal at an Indian curry restaurant did he check how much cash he had left.

To his great surprise, it turned out that he had twice as much money in his pocket as the value of the check he had cashed in the bank.

…What a lucky cashier. Will have to follow up on her…

 

Can you work out the amount the check was made out for?

The Triple Pyramid

May 28th, 2017

A man named Chadwick wanted to build a square pyramid with three levels to house his wife and kids.

Chadwick wanted the ground floor to be 2000 square feet larger in area than the first floor, which would have 2000 square feet more than the second floor, where he figured to do some meditation and store a good deal of food for his wife Mabel.

Chadwick decided that the length of a slanting edge of the pyramid should be 1.5 times the height of the pyramid.

Can you work out the respective lengths of the side of each floor?

What do you figure is the height of the pyramid?

The Ringing Bells

May 22nd, 2017

The small village of Bloemenfontein had two churches which were located quite near each other. The bells of the churches rang with different periods, the Church of the Five Trinities ringing every 5/3 seconds, the Church of the Eleven Pentalphan Saints every 11/5 seconds.

To summon the members of the congregations for service on Sundays, both churches would sound their bells for 12 minutes precisely at 11 am in the morning.

A peculiar effect with these bells was that every now and then people could only hear one bell ringing, which would confuse members of the congregations, resulting in an equal proportion going to the wrong church.

But this did not matter much, as the preachers of the churches actually were twins and would switch roles every other week or so, thus saving time in writing sermons to give more free time for their hobby of fishing.

The local bicycle shop owner Joop Visser, who was also the mayor of Bloemenfontein, had worked out that when the clappers of the bells struck within an interval of 0.6 seconds of each other, only one bell ring could be heard.

Visser, being a meticulous person, had also counted the number of bell rings with the aid of a sound recorder.

Being a business man, mayor Visser decided to hang up a poster on the large, spreading oak tree in the main plaza of the village.

The poster stated that the first person who could correctly say how many bell rings in total were heard during a period of 12 minutes each Sunday would win a new, red bicycle.

Entry fee for submitting an answer to Visser was ten guilders.

Visser received numerous payments and responses very quickly, but the first correct one was from a young computer nerd.

Under these conditions, what would you say is the number of rings heard from these bells sounding on Sunday mornings?

On the average how many congregation members do you figure would wind up at the wrong church on a Sunday?

 

The Elevator

May 11th, 2017

At the hotel Excelsior, Melvyn had stopped by the security office run by his friend Zack. They were watching the elevator on the split screen monitor, with one screen for each of the ten floors of the hotel and the ground floor.

“Zack, you see the seven people entering the elevator on the ground floor?”

“Sure, Melvyn, especially that hot blonde that just wiggled in before the door closed,” said Zack, chewing on his bubble gum.

“Zack, I’ll bet you a hundred bucks that there will not be a group of exactly three people getting off the elevator at any floor,” said Melvyn.

“You’re on, I could really use a hundred bucks,” chuckled Zack.

“Are you really sure that three persons will be getting off at some floor?” quieried Melvyn, raising an eyebrow.

“That’s what I’m betting on, Melvyn.”

“Well, let’s see how it goes, Zack.” Melvyn made himself comfortable in an armchair to watch the monitor.

What do you figure are the chances that Melvyn will win his bet with Zack?

Can you work out the probability that only one person gets off the elevator at each stop?