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Jay Newman's Brainteasers

Supersleuth and Bathroom Reader Institute stalwart Jay Newman has a batch of simple yet compelling puzzles. See if you can figure them out before you peek at the answers!

(Image credit: Flickr user Giedre Zitkauskaite)


1. BRIGHT THINKING

Uncle John gave Amy this challenge: "In the hallway there are three light switches," he said. "And in the library there are three lamps. You may enter the library only once -the lamps must be turned off when you do. At no time until you enter can you can you open the door to see into the library. Your job is to figure out which switch corresponds to which lamp."

"Easy," said Amy.

How did she do it?

2. MYSTERY JOB

Brian works at a place with thousands of products, some of them very expensive. People take his products without paying for them -as many as they can carry- and then just walk out. All that Brian requests of his customers is that they keep their mouths shut.

Where does Brian woirk?

3. SIDE TO SIDE

Uncle John stood on one side of a river; his dog, Porter, stood on the opposite side. "Come here, Porter!" said Uncle John. Although there were no boats or bridges, Porter crossed the river without getting wet. How?

4. SPECIAL NUMBER

Math usually stumps Thom, but when Uncle John showed him this number, he knew right away what makes it unique. Do you?

8,549,176,320

5. TIME PIECES

"Everyone knows that the sundial is the timepiece with the fewest moving parts," Jay told Julia. "Do you know what timepiece has the most moving parts?" She did. Do you?

6. WORDPLAY

"Weird Nate sent me this list of words," said Uncle John. "He says there's something unusual about them. But what?" Jay figured it out. Can you?

revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven

Continue reading if you are ready to check the answers.

THE ANSWERS

Highlight the text after the riddle title to see the answer.

1. BRIGHT THINKING

Standing in the hallway, Amy turned on the first light switch. She waited two minutes and then turned on the second light switch. Then after another minute she turned them both off. When she walked into the library, one light was very hot, the other was slightly warm, and the other was cold -making it easy for her to tell Uncle John which switch turned on which lamp.

2. MYSTERY JOB

Brian works at a library.

3. SIDE TO SIDE

The river was frozen.

4. SPECIAL NUMBER

8,549, 176, 320 It contains each number -zero through nine- in alphabetical order.

5. TIME PIECES

An hourglass. It is filled with many thousands of grains of sand.

6. WORD PLAY

If you remove the first letter of each word and place it on the end of the word, it will spell the same word backwards.

Leave a comment if you would like to see more quizzes and brain teasers at Neatorama.


Curiously Compelling jacketThe article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader, a fantastic book by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The 19th book in this fan-favorite series contain such gems like The Greatest Plane that Never Was, Forgotten Robot Milestones, Ancient Beauty Secrets, and more.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!


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