Basic Puzzles

The puzzles are marked with stars (★) that show the degree of difficulty of the given puzzle.

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Climbing Snail ★

A snail is at the bottom of a 20 meters deep pit. Every day the snail climbs 5 meters upwards, but at night, it slides 4 meters back downwards.

The question: How many days does it take before the snail reaches the top of the pit?

Segmented Numbers ★

Of all the numbers whose literal representations in capital letters consists only of straight-line segments (for example, FIVE), only one number has a value equal to the number of segments used to write it.

The question: Which number has this property?

Day after Day ★

The day after tomorrow is the third day after Wednesday.

The question: Which day was the day before yesterday?

Jolly Jungle ★

The question: How do you put an elephant in the fridge?

Another question: How do you put a giraffe in the fridge?

Yet another question: The lion king gives a party for all animals. Which animal is not at the party?

The fourth question: You must cross a river that is inhabited by crocodiles. You do not have a boat, there is nothing around that floats, and there is no bridge. How do you get to the other side?

Hans & Gerri ★

Hans is standing behind Gerri and at the same time Gerri is standing behind Hans.

The question: How is this possible?

Tall Dutchmen ★

Rob is taller than Edwin is; Jurgen is shorter than Rob is.

Of only one of the following statements, we now certainly know it is correct:

1. Edwin is taller than Jurgen is
2. Jurgen is taller than Edwin is
3. It cannot be determined if Jurgen or Edwin is tallest.

The question: Which of the statements is certainly correct?

In Miss Miranda's class are eleven children. Miss Miranda has a bowl with eleven apples. Miss Miranda wants to divide the eleven apples among the children of her class, in such a way that each child in the end has an apple, but one apple still remains in the bowl.

The question: Can you help Miss Miranda?

Tour de France ★

The question: In the Tour de France, what is the position of a rider, after he passes the second placed rider?

Cracking the safe ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

At the start of a beautiful Sunday afternoon the lord of castle Loevestein walked into his study. He wanted to put a piece of jewelry, which he took out of the safe an hour before, back into the safe. He noticed that the safe had been cracked open and he called the police immediately.

When the police interrogated the staff on their activities during the hour in which the safe had been cracked, they gave the following alibis:

• the cook was preparing lunch;
• the gardener was pruning the hedge;
• the butler was fetching the mail;
• the maid was making the beds.

After the police heard all the alibis, the culprit was caught immediately.

The question: Who was the culprit?

Chain Connection ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

You have five pieces of chain, each consisting of three links. You want to make one long chain of these five pieces. Breaking open a link costs 1 euro, and welding an open link costs 3 euros.

The question: Is it possible to make one long chain of the five pieces, if you have just 15 euros?

Poor & Rich ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

The poor have it,
the rich want it,
but if you eat it, you will die.

The question: What is this?

Twins Trouble ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Julius and Vincent are brothers. "We are born within the same hour," says Julius, "on the same day of the same year." "But," says Vincent, "we are no twins!"

The question: How is this possible?

One, Two, Three ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Using the nine digits 1 up to 9, three numbers (of three digits each) can be formed, such that the second number is twice the first number, and the third number is three times the first number. Each of the nine digits is used exactly once.

The question: Which are these three numbers?

Ten Trees ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Joyce has bought ten trees for her garden. She wants to plant these trees in five rows, with four trees in each row.

The question: How must Joyce plant the trees?

Another question: Joyce's neighbor George has bought nine trees for his garden. How can he plant these nine trees in ten rows, with three trees in each row?

Colored Grid ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Consider a grid of size 4 by 4 (i.e. sixteen squares), where all squares should get a color. The colored grid should meet the following conditions:

• 4 squares should be colored blue,
• 3 squares should be colored red,
• 3 squares should be colored white,
• 3 squares should be colored green,
• 3 squares should be colored yellow, and
• no color may appear more than once in any horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line.

The question: How can the grid be colored?

Consecutive Elements ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

The objects in this row have something in common:
One of the following three objects is the next element in the row.

The question: Which one is the next element?

Two Pots ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Below, you see a silver pot and a golden pot. One of these pots contains a treasure and the other one is empty. Assume that you can determine from the text prints which pot contains the treasure.

The text prints on the pots are the following:
The silver pot: "This pot is empty."
The golden pot: "Exactly one of these texts is true."

The question: Which pot contains the treasure?

A man decides to buy a nice horse. He pays \$60 for it, and he is very content with the strong animal. After a year, the value of the horse has increased to \$70 and he decides to sell the horse. However, already a few days later he regrets his decision to sell the beautiful horse, and he buys it again. Unfortunately, he has to pay \$80 to get it back, so he loses \$10. After another year of owning the horse, he finally decides to sell the horse for \$90.

The question: What is the overall profit the man makes?

Hotel Hocus ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Three salesmen went into a hotel to rent a room. The manager stated that he had only one room left, but all three could use it for \$30.00 for the night. The three salesmen gave him \$10.00 each and went up to their room. Later, the manager decided that he had charged the salesmen too much so he called the bellhop over, gave him five one-dollar bills, and said: 'Take this \$5.00 up to the salesmen and tell them I had charged them too much for the room'.

On the way up, the bellhop knew that he could not divide the five one-dollar bills equally, so he put two of the one-dollar bills in his pocket and returned one one-dollar bill to each of the salesmen.

This means that each salesman paid \$9.00 for the room.
The bellhop kept \$2.00.
Three times nine is 27 plus two is 29...

The question: What happened to the extra dollar?

Another question: "During our holidays," tells Anthony, "we arrived - two fathers and two sons - in the small village of Zeelst on a cold evening. There we looked for a place to sleep in the only hotel. Unfortunately there were only three beds free. Still, everyone slept alone in a bed."

How is this possible?

Birthday Cake ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

The birthday cake below must be cut into eight equally sized pieces. However, you may make only three straight cuts.

The question: How can the cake be cut into eight pieces with only three straight cuts?

Silly Statements ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Below are a number of statements:

 Precisely one of these statements is untrue. Precisely two of these statements are untrue. Precisely three of these statements are untrue. Precisely four of these statements are untrue. Precisely five of these statements are untrue. Precisely six of these statements are untrue. Precisely seven of these statements are untrue. Precisely eight of these statements are untrue. Precisely nine of these statements are untrue. Precisely ten of these statements are untrue.

The question: Which of these statements is true?

Easy Equation ★★hstar("stt","hstt");

Each of the digits 1 up to 6 must be used exactly once in a multiplication of the following form:

... × ... = ...

The question: How should the six digits be placed?

Another question: Can you make the following equation correct by using each of the digits 2 up to 5 exactly once?

... + ... = ...

Cute Cats ★★

A black cat is sleeping in the middle of a black road. There are no streetlights and there is no moon. A car that is coming down the road, with its lights off, steers around the cat.

The question: How did the driver know the cat was there?

Another question: A cat had three kittens: Mopsy, Topsy, and Spot. What was the mother's name.

After an encounter with a malicious wizard, you find yourself on a crossroads in the middle of a dark forest. A signpost tells you that you that the forest has four exits: north, west, south, and east:

• in the north, there is a swamp full of crocodiles, from which nobody has ever escaped;
• in the west, there is a ravine too big for you to cross even by rope;
• in the south, there are four giant lions that haven't eaten for three months;
• in the east, there is an enormous mountain that is too steep and high to climb.

The question: Which way do you go to escape from the forest?

Happy Birthday ★★

When Rebecca had her birthday in the year 2000, she became 8 years old. However, she was born in the year 2008.

The question: How can you explain this?

Splitting Shapes ★★

The shape shown below must be partitioned into four identical pieces.

The question: How can this be done?

Another question: The shape shown below must be partitioned into four identical pieces (pieces may be "upside down").

This can be done in two ways. Which are these two ways?

Yet another question: The shape shown below must be partitioned into four identical pieces (pieces may be "upside down").

This can be done in two ways. Which are these two ways?

The fourth question: The shape shown below must be partitioned into three identical pieces.

How can this be done?

Smaller Squares ★★

Here you see a square of 5 by 5 smaller squares:

The goal is to divide the square along the lines in four pieces, in such a way that you can make two smaller squares with these four pieces, without needing to rotate the pieces.

The question: How should this be done?

Plus Puzzle ★★

The six puzzle pieces shown below can be combined into a symmetrical plus sign.

The question: How can this be done?

Strange Sequence ★★

Here is a sequence of numbers:

1 11 21 1211 111221

It seems to be a strange sequence, but there is a system behind it...

The question: What is the next term in this sequence?

Another question: Here is another sequence of numbers:

1 11 21 1211 1231 131221

What is the next term in this sequence?

Ten Sentences ★★

Given the following sentences:

 The number of times the digit 0 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 1 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 2 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 3 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 4 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 5 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 6 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 7 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 8 appears in this puzzle is _____. The number of times the digit 9 appears in this puzzle is _____.

Complete these sentences with digits until they are all true.

The question: Which two solutions are possible?