Archive for November, 2017

The Boxes of Wine

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

A wealthy merchant decided to send 63 boxes containing bottles of wine plus seven individual bottles to 23 relatives in New York for their New Year’s celebration.

The bottles were to be shared equally among the relatives.

Any relative who could guess how many bottles of wine there were in each box would win another box full of bottles of champagne.

How many bottles would you say there were in each box of wine?

A Case of Lockjaw

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

It was a dark night in a snow-laden town high up in the Swiss alps and Mrs. Vogel was worried.

Yesterday, her young son Fritz had received a tetanus vaccination from Dr. Schwanzenbrenner and today her son was sweating, had a fever, headache and his jaw muscles were steadily tightening.

Mrs. Vogel had dispatched her husband Bruno to hunt down Dr. Schwanzenbrenner for assistance, without result.

Recently, on her birthday, Mrs. Vogel’s cousin Irma Spätzli had given her a multifunctional robot called Iggy, a small robot that, among other services, such as vacuum cleaning, could issue a homeopathic prescription for acute illnesses after receiving a verbal description.

Mrs. Vogel summoned Iggy who zoomed rapidly over to her, making humming agreeable noises, lights blinking brightly.

“Iggy: Fritz’ jaw muscles are steadily becoming more tense, he is sweating and has a headache. What do you prescribe?” entreated Mrs. Vogel, nervously stroking strands of falling hair into place.

Before Iggy could speak, Caesar, the family dog, appeared out of nowhere and jumped Iggy, thinking that Mrs. Vogel was being attacked. Iggy toppled over and his speaking mechanism turned into a thin squawk. Mrs. Vogel scolded the growling Caesar, made him back off and sit obediently.

However, Iggy had managed to issue a paper strip from its mouth with the following text printed on it: ”GvFizeuPlsr20ociertLdmaute0Cne.”

Mrs. Vogel surmised that Iggy’s communication circuits had been disturbed by the fall, causing the prescription to come out in a kind of code.

In desperation, Mrs. Vogel somehow worked out Iggy’s prescription and went to fetch the homeopathic remedy kit Irma Spätzli had given her.

After giving the indicated remedy to Fritz, he became more calm and the tension in his jaw muscles subsided. Fritz fell asleep and woke up the next day much improved.

Can you work out which homeopathic remedy Iggy prescribed?

The 1001 Arabian Nights

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

The new harem of Caliph Mustafa ibn Mafeesh ben Rasheed – of which he was very proud – consisted of 14 particularly well-chosen prime virgins.

Having heard of the “Tales of 1001 Nights” and being a man who strongly believed in the cultural education of his people, Caliph Mustafa ibn Mafeesh ben Rasheed decided to have a different group of wives from his new harem entertained and edified each night with a story from this classical work.

Scheherazade, one of his older wives, was an enchanting story teller, so Caliph Mustafa ibn Mafeesh ben Rasheed decided she should be present each night to read a different story to the group selected from the new harem.

Caliph Mustafa wanted a different group of new wives to appear for 1001 nights so all the tales could be told for their cultural edification.

Problem was, he didn’t know what the size of the group should be so it would be different for each of the 1001 nights – not counting himself and Scheherazade. Caliph Mustafa ibn Mafeesh ben Rasheed wanted the group to be as large as possible to maximize the cultural education effort.

Can you help Caliph Mustafa ibn Mafeesh ben Rasheed work out the maximum size of the group so that for 1001 nights the composition of the group of new wives would be different?

The Dance Academy

Friday, November 17th, 2017

Jean-Pierre was walking down the Rue de la Bonne Chance in Paris one early spring evening when through a large display window he saw many couples dancing in what appeared to be a softly lit dance academy, and noticed the graceful movements of a beautiful young woman.

Jean-Pierre instantly fell in love and walked through a door above which a large, blinking neon-lit sign read: “Chez Antoine de le Boeuf École de Danse” to speak with a registrar.

Jacqueline, the registrar, explained that for each dance lesson ten male students would be lined up at random to face ten female students arranged in a line at random.

The instructor, Madame le Coeur, would push a button on a hand calculator with her long, red fingernail to generate a ten digit number each time a line of students had to be arranged, the students lining up according to their own number.

The eager Jean-Pierre was told he could buy various packages, such as for 7, 14, 21 or 28 lessons.

Jean-Pierre tried to work out how many lessons he would need to be 50% sure of being paired with the enticing woman, he found out was called Emmanuelle, for a dancing session.

Jean-Pierre figured that if the first session package did not work out, he could always buy some more packages.

Which lesson package would you suggest Jean-Pierre should buy to be able to dance with Emmanuelle with a certainty of 50%?

If the first package didn’t work, how many more packages should Jean-Pierre buy to achieve a success rate of 90%?

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