Pronunciation Puzzles

The following 2 puzzles rely on misleading phrasing of the questions. Read them aloud to your friends and let them ponder upon them.

  1. What has 4 letters, sometimes 9, and never 5
  2. There are 30 cows and 28 chickens. How many didn’t?
  3. Pronounce the following words: T-W-A, T-W-E, T-W-I, T-W-O
  4. As I was walking across the London Bridge, I met a man.
    He tipped his hat, and drew his cane.
    In this riddle, I said his name. What is it?

The first puzzle is not a question. It is a statement, saying that the word “what” has 4 letters, the word “sometimes” has 9 letters, and the word “never” has 5 letters. There is nothing to solve, so the puzzle is figuring that out!

The second puzzle actually reads as “There are 30 cows and 20 ate chickens. How many didn’t?” Thus, the answer is that 10 cows didn’t eat chickens.

The third question often confuses people and they pronounce TWO as [twou] instead of [tuː].

The fourth riddle actually says: “He tipped his hat, ‘Andrew Hiscane'”. Thus, the name of the man is Andrew Hiscane.

Petals Around the Rose

This is a puzzle that is best played with friends and real dice on a table. The rules require one of the players to throw 5 dice at once, and then answer correctly “how many petals there are around the rose”. The procedure gets repeated until everyone has discovered the secret rules of the puzzle or has given up.

How many throws do you need in order to figure out this classic puzzle?

There are 6 petals around the rose.

The roses are the middle dots on the dice, and the petals are the dots around them. Just count the number of all petals appearing on the five dice and you will get the answer. 1 -> 0, 2 -> 0, 3 -> 2, 4 -> 0, 5 - > 4, 6 -> 0.

Fascinating Dissection

First, print and cut the pieces below. Then, arrange them so that they form a triangle and then rearrange them so that they form a square.

The solution is shown below.

What is fascinating about these dissections is that one can transform into the other by keeping the pieces attached to each other in a chain and simply rotating them around the hinge points.

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