The Fragile Bridge

You have to cross a long bridge which supports weight up to 180 pounds. However, you weigh 175 pounds and also carry with yourself 3 golden eggs, each of which weighs 2 pounds. How can you get to the other side?

 P. S. If you leave an egg unattended, someone can steal it.

Simply juggle the eggs while crossing the bridge.

The Monty Hall Show

You are in Monty Hall’s TV show where in the final round the host gives you the option to open one of three boxes and to receive the reward inside. Two of the boxes contain just a penny, while the third box contains $1.000.000. In order to make the game more exciting, after you pick your choice, the rules require the host to open one of the two remaining boxes, such that it contains a penny inside. After that he asks you whether you want to keep your chosen box or to switch it with the third remaining one. What should you do?

This is the so called “Monty Hall” problem. The answer is that in order to maximize your chances of winning $1.000.000, you should switch your box. The reason is that if initially you picked a box with a penny, then after switching you will get a box with $1.000.000. If initially you picked a box with $1.000.000, then after switching you will get a box with a penny. Since in the beginning the chance to get a penny is 2/3, then after switching your chance to get $1.000.000 is also 2/3. If you stay with your current box, then your chance to get $1.000.000 will be just 1/3.

12 Balls, 1 Defective

You have 12 balls, 11 of which have the same weight. The remaining one is defective and either heavier or lighter than the rest. You can use a balance scale to compare weights in order to find which is the defective ball and whether it is heavier or lighter. How many measurement do you need so that will be surely able to do it?

It is easy to see that if we have more than 9 balls, we need at least 3 measurements. We will prove that 3 measurements are enough for 12 balls.

We place 4 balls on each side of the scale. Let balls 1, 2, 3, 4 be on the right side, and balls 5, 6, 7, 8 on the left side.

CASE 1. The scale does not tip to any side. For the second measurement we place on the left side balls 1, 2, 3, 9 and on the right side balls 4, 5, 10, 11.

If the scale again does not tip to any side, then the defective ball is number 12 and we can check whether it is heavier or lighter with our last measurement.

If the scale tips to the left side, then either the defective ball is number 9 and is heavier, or it is number 10/11 and is lighter. We measure up balls 10 and 11 against each other and if one of them is lighter than the other, then it is the defective one. If they have the same weight, then ball 9 is the defective one.

If the scale tips to the right side, the procedure is similar.

CASE 2. Let the scale tip to the left side during the first measurement. This means that either one of the balls 1, 2, 3, 4 is defective and it is heavier, or one of the balls 5, 6, 7, 8 is defective and it is lighter. Clearly, balls 9, 10, 11, 12 are all genuine. Next we place balls 1, 2, 5, 6 on one side and balls 3, 7, 9, 10 on the other side.

If the scale tips to the left, then either one of the balls 1, 2 is defective and it is heavier, or ball 8 is defective and lighter. We just measure up balls 1 and 2 against each other and find out which among the three is the defective one.

If the scale tips to the right, the procedure is similar.

If the scale does not tip to any side, then either the defective ball is 4 and it is heavier, or the defective ball is 8 and it is lighter. We just measure up balls 1 and 4 against each other and easily find the defective ball.

Pinned Men

The following game is played under very specific rules – no pinned piece checks the opposite king. How can White mate Black in 2 moves?

First, White plays f3 and threatens mate with Qxe2. Indeed, blocking with the black rook on d4 will not help, because it will become pinned, which means that the rook on d6 will become unpinned, which will make the bishop on b6 pinned, and that will unpin the knight on c7, resulting in a mate. Below are listed all variations of the game.

1. … Rd5 2. Qxe2#
2. … Bxa5 2. Kc8#
3. … Bxc7 2. Nxc7#
4. … Bxe8 2. Kxe8#
5. … Qxe7+ 2. Kxe7#
6. … Rd2 2. Bxd2#
7. … Rxd6+ 2. Qxd6#

3 Men, 1 Woman

Warning: this puzzle involves mature themes that are inappropriate for younger audiences. If you are not an adult, please skip this puzzle.

3 men must have sex with 1 woman, but they have only 2 condoms. Each of the 4 people has some unique STD which they don’t want to transfer to the rest. What can they do?

They can start by putting the two condoms on top of each other and let the first man use them. After that, the second man can take the inner condom out and use just the outer condom. Finally, the third man can take the removed inner condom, turn it inside out, and place it back inside the outer condom. Then he, he can use the two condoms simultaneously.

Sum to 15

Tango and Cash are playing the following game: Each of them chooses a number between 1 and 9 without replacement. The first one to get 3 numbers which sum to 15 wins. Does any of them have a winning strategy?

Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in a 3×3 grid so that they form a magic square. Now the game comes down to a standard TIC-TAC-TOE and it is well-known that it always leads to a draw using optimal strategies by both players.

Tough Decisions

You are driving your car along the road in a very harsh snowy weather and reach a bus stop. On this bus stop you see that there are three people waiting – your best friend, a sick old lady and the girl of your dreams. The car unfortunately can accommodate only 2 people (including you), so you can not take all of them with you. What will be your choice?

The best solution is to let your friend drive the old lady and you stay with the girl of your dreams on the bus stop.