# Solve This Pzzlr: Rainy Dilemma

(Image credit: Flickr user

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Four people need to get from point A to point B. Unfortunately it is pouring down rain and nobody wants to get wet. They have one umbrella between them which can keep two people dry at a time. Person 1 can make the trip from A to B in 1 minute, person 2 in 2 minutes, person 3 in 5 minutes, and person 4 in 8 minutes. Two people travelling together underneath the umbrella will go at the pace of the slower person. How can everyone get from A to B in no more than 15 minutes?

Think you know the answer? See the solution at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

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# Hitori Light

Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles is back! Today, we get to play Hitori Light, a game where you get to shade squares so that numbers don't appear in a row or column more than once.

Each puzzle consists of a square grid with numbers appearing in all squares. The object is to shade squares so that the numbers don't appear in a row or column more than once. In addition, shaded squares must not touch each other vertically or horizontally while all un-shaded squares must create a single continuous area. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: Hitori Light is played by shading and un-shading squares in a grid. First click un-shades the square, second click shades the square and the third click brings the square back to its original state.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

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# Whodunit: Crazy Kate

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Jonah Bixby, a twelve-year-old crime solver and son of a police detective. Can you solve the crime?

(Image credit: Flickr user

It was Saturday, and for Jonah that meant a visit to Crazy Kate. Every Saturday, his mother would put together a few bags of groceries and have Jonah and his friends deliver them to the old woman who lived in the shack across from the park. "At least once a week I know she gets some decent food," Carol Bixby said. "I feel sorry for the helpless old woman."

But Jonah and his friends knew Crazy Kate wasn't helpless. They knew you had to stop outside the gate to her overgrown yard and get her permission to enter. If you were dumb enough to open the gate without asking, Crazy Kate would hear you. Then a shotgun would appear at the window and a volley of birdseed would fly in your general direction.

"Hello!" called out Frankie. They had just parked their bikes outside the gate. "It's just us, Frankie, Bill, and Jonah. Can we come in?"

"All right," a voice called back. "Just the three of you, no one else."

A minute later and they were inside the shack, watching the old woman rummage through the bags. "Humph, the food was better last week," she complained. But that's exactly what she said every week. "You boys want to see something?" Before they could answer, Kate reached into a pile of newspapers and pulled out an old baseball. Bill examined the faded signature and let out a low whistle. "Babe Ruth! Wow!"

Kate smiled through her stained teeth. "My brother got it signed personally when he was a kid."

All the way home, the boys talked about the rare autographed ball. They talked about it again the next afternoon, when all three ran into each other at the skateboard ramp in the park. "Can you believe she's got something like that in the middle of all that junk?" Frankie said, pointing to the shack across the street. "What a waste."

Jonah followed his gaze to Crazy Kate's shack, then suddenly noticed something. "Look at the window," he said. "It's broken."

"I thought she always had a broken window," said Bill.

"No, it wasn't broken yesterday. I wonder if something's wrong."

Jonah and Bill argued about what to do. Should they just forget about it? Or should they check on Kate and make sure she was all right. Or should they...  Jonah turned around to get Frankie's opinion, but he wasn't there.

"Hey, guys." Frankie was already at Kate's front door, peering inside. "I don't think she's home."

Jonah and Bill joined Frankie at the door. "Miss Kate?" Jonah called out as he knocked. "Are you there?"

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# What Is It? game 304

It's once again time for our collaboration with the wonderfully entertaining What Is It? Blog. Do you know what the pictured item is? Can you make up something totally wacky? That's what we're looking for: the funniest and most creative guesses. We will award t-shirts from the NeatoShop to two commenters who post the cleverest, funniest, or most outlandish use for this thing!

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many guesses as you'd like in separate comments. You have until Friday evening to come up with great guesses.

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize. May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

See, you don't have to know the answer to win! And remember, there are more mystery items to figure out at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update: this item is an automobile valve spring compressor, according to the What Is It? blog. Y'all had much funnier answers, and two of them won t-shirts. MEM said "It's a pogo-stick for fence-sitters. It's for those times when you just don't want to overcome your ambivalence." Ha! And Steven Vredenburgh had a great answer:

This is an example of the "I've got your nose" device. 1340's Germany tradition held that the nose of a ginger child could cure the black plague. The "I've got your nose" device, pictured above, was used to gather the noses of these unfortunate children. Though the practice of harvesting noses soon died out, the idea lingered in the "I've got your nose" game that adults still play with children as a reminder of the horrors of the black plague.

So they both win! Thanks for playing, everyone, and stay tuned for the next What Is It game from the What Is It? blog and Neatorama!

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# Solve This Pzzlr: Sprint

(Image credit: Flickr user Shanti Knapp)

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Levi and Kate were reporting the results of the under 9s 100 metre sprint race. Levi said that Michael came first and Hayley came second. Kate said that Chad came first and Michael came second. Both Levi and Kate had each made one correct statement and one false statement.

Who placed where in the race (assuming that the only runners were Michael, Hayley and Chad)?

Think you know the answer? Find out at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

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# Chain Sudoku

W00t! Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles is back with the neat game of Chain Sudoku, where you get to fill empty circles so each number appears exactly once in a row, column and chain.

Each puzzle consists of a group of circles arranged in a square grid and containing given clues in various places. The object is to fill all empty circles so that the numbers 1 to 5 for 5x5 puzzles and 1 to 6 for 6x6 puzzles appear exactly once in each row, column and chain. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: Click mouse on the desired circle to open dial pad and then click on the desired number. To remove a number, repeat the above using X at the bottom of the dial pad. Numbers can also be placed by pointing mouse on the desired circle and then typing with the keyboard.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

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# Whodunit: The Haunted Tree House

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Jonah Bixby, a twelve-year-old crime solver and son of a police detective. Can you solve the crime?

(Image credit: Flickr user

For Jonah and his friends, the one sure sign of spring was the opening of the tree house. It had been built in the fork of a huge oak in the Smiths' backyard. For the past four summers, Sally Smith, Bill Tollbar, Lisa Valdez, and Jonah had convened there almost daily to play games and talk and eat lunch. They used to call it the Oak Tree Club, but now that they were twelve, they were too cool for a club. Although Jonah didn't want to think of it, this would probably be their last summer before turning the tree house over to Sally's younger brother and his friends.

On a warm Saturday in late April, Sally got the key from her mother and, with Jonah and the others, climbed the ladder and unlocked the padlock that had kept the clubhouse secure through the long winter months.

The tree house was just one room, with the tree trunk and a large limb poking through the floor and dissecting the space. The structure was solid but far from weatherproof. As the kids unlatched and opened the shutters, they could feel the musty dampness. Anything made of metal, like the telescope stand, was a little rusty, and tiny pools of water near the trunk spoke of last week's torrential rains.

Jonah and Bill took the job of sweeping it out, while Sally and Lisa did general cleaning. "Oh, my gosh," said Sally. She was pointing to something on the other side of the room. "Look!"

The boys joined them and saw it, too. There, on the wall, were five words written in blood-red paint: "Welcome Back, Children. -- The Specter."

The Specter was their own creation, a bogeyman they invented last Halloween, right before closing the tree house. Jonah had started the story of an angry tree spirit who seeps through the walls and curses them all. Sally took up the story next, and by the end of the evening, they had managed to scare each other pretty thoroughly.

The four of them stared at the scrawled words, open-mouthed. And then Bill laughed. "Good job, Sal. You had us going there."

"It wasn't me," Sally protested. "I haven't been up here since we locked up. My mom's had the key ever since. Go ask her."

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# What Is It? game 303

Hey look! It's time for our collaboration with the wonderful What Is It? Blog! Do you know what the object in this picture is? It doesn't really matter if you do, because we are looking for the funniest guesses. You can win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop! But first, read the rules:

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. Post no URLs or weblinks, as doing so will forfeit your entry. Two winners who submit funny and/or clever (albeit ultimately wrong) answers will each win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop.

If you guess the correct answer, you'll get a big pat on the back.

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, okay? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

There is another picture of this thing at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update: the tool shown is an ice pick with a retainer for removing cubes that had been formed on a block of ice by a Coolerator ice cube cutter, patent number 2,070,773. The Coolerator ice cube cutter was another of the mystery items explained at the What Is It? blog. Of course, we wanted your wrong but funny answers -and we got them!

One winner is Peawatt, who explained, "This appears to be a gentleman's lice removal tool. Properly positioned by placing his organ in the lower chamber with handle pointing away from body, hot coal was placed on the upper pan. A slight tilting of the handle up and toward the body sent the hot coal off the pan, over the spikes, setting the pubic hair aflame. When the lice ran into the clearing, they were quickly dispatched by repeated stabbing from the three prongs." Cool!

The other winner is Tapisbis, who said it is the "Ultimate s'mores tool, you place the first graham cracker & a liberal serve of chocolate in the lower tray; roast not one, not two, but three marshmallows on the prongs; whilst the marshmallows cook the chocolate melts; finally slide the final cracker off the top tray and enjoy perfection." Both win t-shirts from the NeatoShop!

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# Solve This Pzzlr: Pebbles

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Eka is a young man of marrying age within the lost tribe of the Milcarnicans. He and Nikku, the daughter of the tribe’s Chief, are in love and go to the Chief to request permission to marry.

The Chief gives Eka 5 blue pebbles, 5 green pebbles and two bowls. Out of sight of Nikku, Eka must divide the pebbles between the two bowls any way he chooses. A blindfolded Nikku must then draw a pebble from one of the two bowls. If she draws a blue pebble then the couple will have the Chief’s blessing to marry, but if the pebble is green then the union will be forbidden (green being the color of the evil serpent spirit, Balcan).

How should Eka divide the pebbles between the bowls to give Nikku the greatest chance of drawing out a blue pebble?

Do you know the answer? The solution is at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

(Image credit: Flickr user Jo Christian Oterhals)

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# Maze-a-Pix

Yay! Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles is here! This week's game is Maze-a-Pix Light (Vol 1), where you get to discover a path from entrance to exit, and paint it to reveal a hidden picture.

Each puzzle consists of a maze-grid with one entrance and one exit. The object is to reveal a hidden picture by finding and painting the path from the entrance to the exit. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: To start painting the path, click mouse on the maze entrance and drag along the grid. To continue painting or to change the path, click mouse on the tip of the path and drag in the desired direction. To delete a path segment, double click mouse anywhere along the path.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

# Whodunit: After-School Homicide

(Image credit: Flickr user

In this week's Whodunit, author Hy Conrad introduces a new sleuth, Jonah Bixby. Here's what you need to know about him.

Jonah Bixby was not your average twelve year-old. He spent more time in police stations than most career criminals. And although he had just started middle school, Jonah was single-handedly responsible for bringing more than a few of those career criminals to justice. But let's start at the beginning....

Jonah's mother and his father had both been police detectives in the city's Major Crimes Division, solving murders and assaults and high-profile robberies. It was while working there that they met and fell in love, then got married and had a son.

When Jonah was only five, his father was killed in the line of duty. At that point, Carol Bixby could have retired from the force. But she didn't. She stayed busy with the most important job she knew, law enforcement. And that's how young Jonah became the unofficial mascot of the Beaverton Police Department.

From the first grade on, Jonah would get out of school each day, walk across the street to the Fifth Precinct, and wait until his mother got off her shift. Carol's fellow officers took turns keeping an eye on him. Detective Massey from the Fraud Squad helped young Jonah with his math homework while Sergeant Gonzales tutored him in Spanish.

Jonah was blessed with an inquisitive mind and an eye for detail. And his love for police work  came naturally.  Before long, he was making deductions even  the best officers on the force couldn't come up with and whispering them to his  mother. Little did the other detectives know that many of  Detective Bixby's toughest crimes were  being solved by her preteen son.

And now for Bixby's first Whodunit, the case of the After-School Homicide. Can you solve the crime?

Detective Peter Pauling glanced up from his paperwork and was surprised to see a boy with a backpack standing in front of his desk. "Jonah! Hi." He checked a nearby wall clock. "Is it six o'clock already? How was band practice?"

"Pretty good," said Jonah. "Is my mom around?"

Jonah Bixby's school was directly across from the Beaverton Police Station, and nearly every day Jonah waved hello to the desk sergeant and made his way back to the Major Crimes Division bullpen to wait for his mother.

"Carol's at a crime scene," the middle-aged detective told him. "I have to get over there myself. You want to come?"

A few minutes later, Jonah was in the passenger seat of a police cruiser as they pulled up in front of Clawson & Wolfe Jewelry, an expensive shop in the downtown district. The seventh-grader expected to be told to wait in the car, but Detective Pauling didn't say a word, and Jonah wound up following him past the yellow crime tape, through the jewelry showroom, and into a rear storage room. The first thing he noticed was the blood.

# What Is It? game 302

W00t! It's time for another collaboration with the ever-excellent What Is It? Blog. Can you guess what this odd item is? This week, we are looking for funny and clever answers, not the correct one, but if you guess correctly, you'll win our undying respect. If you have one of the two funniest answers, you'll win a T-Shirt from the NeatoShop!

Place your guess in the comment section. One guess per comment, though you can enter as many guesses as you'd like. Please do not post any web link or URL - doing so will void your entry. You have until the answer is revealed on the What Is It? Blog tomorrow.

IMPORTANT: Please write your prize selection alongside your guess, so visit the NeatoShop and take a look around. If you don't write your prize selection, then you don't get the prize. I think you'll like the selection of funny t-shirts and science t-shirts -or even t-shirts of your favorite blogs and websites.

Update: the mystery item is a dental tooth key for use by a dentist to remove a tooth. Just the thought of that makes my mouth hurt. But we were looking for funny answers! Arcadian Grace had a good one:

Before the Heimlich Maneuver was perfected, this was one of many failed attempts to stop choking. You had to shove it down someone's throat to extract the object. It was especially popular during Thanksgiving because it could double as a flowerholder in a centerpiece when not in use.

That is a pig tail screw. See, pigs are born with long tails. This is undesirable, as it will tangle with other pigs, which will lead to them communicating with each other to untangle. This will lead to a great pig uprising. That will lead to no bacon. No one wants that. So, the farmers take this curler and curl the pig's tails so that they are no longer a danger of tangling with others.

Thanks to everyone who played this week! See the answers to all the mystery objects at the What Is It? blog.

# Solve This Pzzlr: Allergies

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Mr White, Mr English, Mr Pritchard, and Mr Hanlon are each allergic to two dietary substances. Additional info:

3 of them are allergic to dairy
Only 1 of them is allergic to nuts
2 of them are allergic to wheat
2 of them, Simon and Mr English are allergic to seafood
Graeme is not allergic to dairy
Matthew is allergic to wheat
Any allergy of Noel or Mr Pritchard is not suffered by Mr White.

What is each man’s first and last name and what are they each allergic to?

Do you know the answer? The solution is at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

(Image credit: Flickr user

# Hashi Light

Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles is back! This week, we get to play Hashi Light(vol 2).

The object is to connect all islands according to the number of bridges so that there are no more than two bridges in the same direction and there is a continuous path connecting all islands together. Bridges can only be vertical or horizontal and are not allowed to cross islands or other bridges. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: Point mouse on an island, move arrow in the direction of the bridge you want to connect and click when only one bridge area remains highlighted. First click connects one bridge, second click connects a second bridges and the third click removes all bridges.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

# Whodunit: The Taunting Clue

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Sherman Oliver Holmes, a mysterious crime solver and great-great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes. Can you solve the crime?

Sherman felt honored. He'd had no idea the police commissioner even knew he existed. And now, not only was he at headquarters actually meeting the head man, but Commissioner Lowry was asking him for advice.

"Sergeant Wilson says you've helped him on one or two cases. Perhaps you can give us a fresh viewpoint on this one."

"I'll try," Sherman said, doing his best to look modest.

"Good." Lowry consulted the notes on his desk. "Yesterday at three p.m., a jogger on County Lane Road heard a gunshot. He pulled out his cell phone and called 911. A few minutes later, a patrol car made a pass through the area and found a murder victim, Andy Patano, a mobster we were leaning on to get information on some bigger fish. He'd been shot in the head, execution-style. Under the body, our boys found a cigarette lighter — gold, with the initials B.F."

Sherman didn't have to think hard. "The mob boss, Bruno Friendly."

"Exactly. And Bruno's prints were on the lighter. We finally thought we had the mob boss dead to rights, except for one thing."

"Bruno has an alibi for three p.m.?"

Lowry nodded. "From two P.M. to three. Bruno is always alone at that hour, taking an afternoon nap. A pair of my detectives had decided that would be a good time to pay him a visit and put on some pressure about his gambling operations. They were with him at his house when Patano was killed."

Sherman appreciated the irony. "So, the police graciously supplied Bruno with an ironclad alibi. How did Bruno explain his cigarette lighter being under the victim?"

"Bruno says he used the lighter that morning during a breakfast meeting with his three lieutenants. When my detectives were there, Bruno made a point of not being able to find it. We're being played for fools, Sherman, and I don't like it."

# What Is It? game 301

It's once again time for our collaboration with the wonderfully entertaining What Is It? Blog. Do you know what the pictured item is? Can you make up something wonderfully wacky? That's what we're looking for: the funniest and most creative guesses. We will award t-shirts from the NeatoShop to two commenters who post the cleverest, funniest, or most outlandish uses for this thing!

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many guesses as you'd like in separate comments. You have until Friday evening to come up with great guesses.

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, see? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

See, you don't have to know the answer to win! And remember, there are more mystery items to figure out at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

# Solve This Pzzlr: Lets Shake On It

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Dr Anne T. Bacterial, a cognitive-behavioural therapist, holds weekly therapy sessions for a group of eight mysophobics. This week the doctor insists that each of the eight group members must shake hands with each of the other members before anyone may wash their hands. Prior to the stampede to the wash-basin, how many hand shakes will there be?

We never told you there would be no math. Do you know the answer? The solution is at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

# Basic Logic Fill-a-Pix

Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles returns with this neat-o puzzle: Basic Logic Fill-a-Pix, where you get to find which neighboring squares must be painted to create a picture.

The object is to reveal a hidden picture by painting the squares around each clue so that the number of painted squares, including the square with the clue, matches the value of the clue. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: First click fills a square, second click displays an X to indicate the square is blank and third click brings the square back to its original state. Multiple squares may be filled or blanked by dragging the mouse. To finish the game, all squares must be either filled or blanked according to the rules. When the last square of the puzzle is filled or blanked correctly, a congratulations message together with a thumbnail of the puzzle will pop up.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Sherman Oliver Holmes, a mysterious crime solver and great-great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes. Can you solve the crime?

(Image credit: Flickr user Anne Worner)

"This is a first," Wilson said with a bemused smile. "A guy with a bathroom in his office."

"This new office came with Mr. Seaver's recent promotion," explained Lisa, the dead man's secretary. She was young and tall and solidly built, in a modest skirt and blouse. "The workmen just finished putting in the bathroom over the weekend."

"I wonder if he ever got to use it?" Sherman mused. "Other than to die in, I mean."

It was Monday morning. Sherman and the sergeant were on the eighteenth floor of the Krall Building, in the private bathroom of the private office of Archie Seaver, newly appointed president of Krall Electronics. Seaver, a large, thin man, lay on the floor, strangled from behind, presumably with the necktie lying beside him. He was dressed for work, although his suit jacket was hung on a hook and his white shirt was unbuttoned and untucked.

"Why would a man who just arrived at work have his shirt half off?" Sherman muttered to himself.

"What are you looking for?" asked Wilson.

Sherman was bent over, inspecting the floor. "The other cufflink." It was only then that Wilson noticed it. The deceased was wearing one gold cufflink, while the other cuff spilled open over his other hand.

"There it is." Wilson donned a pair of plastic gloves, then tried to reach behind the toilet where the cufflink was tightly lodged. There was no way he could reach it.

“Forensics will find a way to get it," he said with a shrug, then turned to Lisa. "You discovered the body, Miss?"

Lisa nodded. "Mr. Seaver was always the first one in, usually around 7:30. I got in at 8:15. I put on a pot of coffee and then came straight here. I screamed and the others came running."

"Others?"

It seemed that two other Krall employees had been on the eighteenth floor at the time. Lisa escorted Sergeant Wilson and Holmes to their offices.

# What Is It? game 300

Today we reach a milestone. This is the 300th time Neatorama has collaborated with the What Is It? blog to bring you the What Is It? game! A big thanks to the What is It? blog for providing such great pictures every week, and filling us in on so many objects we've learned about.

Do you know what the object in this picture is? It doesn't really matter if you do, because we are looking for the funniest guesses. You can win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop! But first, read the rules:

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. Post no URLs or weblinks, as doing so will forfeit your entry. Two winners who submit funny and/or clever (albeit ultimately wrong) answers will each win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop.

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, okay? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

There is another picture of the whatisit item at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update: the mystery object is an 1801 rounding plane; it was used for preparing the ends of wooden axles. But that's not nearly as funny as our comments! Colshorts said "That's a "Pirate Pete's Leg Pointer". Used exclusively at Pirate Pete's custom shops. Remember mateys..."Come to Pirate Pete's, where the prices can't be beat, and you don't have to have two feets".....Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" Yeah, that's worth a t-shirt! The other winning answer came from tarnation, who said "It's a Reverence Shaver 1. Insert arm 2. Have a friend grasp the handles and turn 3. Hang your head while your (now former) friend teases you for agreeing to something so ridiculous." Ha! You really should read all the comments, because they're all good! See the answers to all the mystery items this week at the What Is It? blog.

# Solve This Pzzlr: Timing a Souffle

(Image credit: Flickr usser

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Louise has invited some very important business associates over for dinner and is cooking a soufflé. The soufflé requires exactly 29 minutes in the oven in order to be perfectly cooked. As her guests are sipping cocktails Louise remembers that the oven timer is broken, her watch is at the jewellers being repaired and her only other clock fell off the wall the day before and smashed to pieces (why do things always happen in threes!).

Too embarrassed to ask her guests for help, Louise remembers that she has two hourglasses in the cupboard. The first times exactly 13 minutes and the second exactly 21 minutes.
How can Louise cook her soufflé using only the two hourglasses for timing?

Can you figure this out? The answer is at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

# Tic-Tac-Logic

Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles returns with this neat-o puzzle: Tic-Tac-Logic, where you fill remaining squares so there are no more than two adjacent X or O in a row or column. Sounds easy right?

Full Description: Each puzzle consists of a grid containing X's and O's in various places. The object is to place X or O in remaining squares so there are no more than two consecutive X's or O's in a row or a column, the number of X's is the same as the number of O's in each row and column, and all rows and columns are unique. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: Tic-Tac-Logic is played by placing X and O symbols in a grid. First click on a square places an X, second click places an O and third click brings the square back to its original state.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

# Whodunit: Death of a Swinger

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Sherman Oliver Holmes, a mysterious crime solver and great-great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes. Can you solve the crime?

(Image credit: Flickr user sunshinecity)

"We had an abandoned quarry like this back home." Despite the tragic scene, Sherman couldn't repress a smile. "The local swimming hole. I remember being a kid and swinging on a rope, Tarzan-style, just like this poor fellow."

His wistful tone contrasted sharply with the bloody, broken body just in front of him. The deceased was a youth of about twenty, wearing swim trunks and lying on a granite slab a dozen feet from the edge of a deep, clear pool. Wreathing the body was a thirty-foot length of rope.

Sergeant Wilson lifted the corpse to reveal the rope's freshly severed end. "See? The rope was cut halfway through, then torn the rest of the way." He held the body up as Sherman inspected the rope, then settled the body back down on top of it. "This was murder."

Both men turned and looked up the sheer rock face. Sixty feet above them was the cliff on which Bobby Fixx had stood. Even from here, Sherman could see the other end of the rope, tied to the branch of a towering pine. The ten-foot section swayed gently in the summer breeze.

"Looks pretty obvious," Wilson said. "Our Mr. Fixx swings out on the rope, just like he's done a hundred times before. Only this time, someone's cut through it. Instead of swinging into the water, he falls straight down, taking this useless piece of rope with him."

"Isn't this area private property?" asked Sherman.

"Yep," said Wilson. "Owned by Midlands Granite. Fixx and his college buddies rent an off-campus house just over the ridge. Let's go pay them a visit."

# What Is It? game 299

Now it's time for our collaboration with the awesome What Is It? Blog! What is this thing? You don't have to know to win!

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. You might know the true answer, but we're going to select two winners who come up with the funniest, most outlandish guesses to win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop. However...

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, okay? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

There are more clues at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update: the pictured item is a J. M. Fox Iron Works valve grinder, used to ensure that automotive valves are properly seated. A perfectly respectable task, but we were looking for more imaginative uses for this object. Death Dodgers wins a t-shirt for his explanation:

A prototype Newton Meter - you know, the weight meters that you put an object on, and it drags it down a certain number of Newtons?
First, you take off the (removable) side sticking out, and put the thing you're measuring on a rope/string that is hooked in, replacing the part you took off to clamp it in place. Then, you drag the wheel like part to the zipper-end, and grab the zipper, and lift it up, so that gravity pulls down the wheel a certain number of grooves. That's the weight.

That's going around the world just to say it's a scale! The other winner is Zarf, who declared it to be "an 1873 Zip tie. bit of a bugger to get the end back through the eye but dammit men were men in those days." That's worth a t-shirt, too! Thanks to everyone who played this week. See the real answers to all the mystery objects at the What Is It? blog.

# Solve This Pzzlr: Brother and Sister

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

Barry took his sister, Maureen, to his end-of-year work picnic. While there they had an animated discussion about what to buy their mother for her forthcoming birthday. The discussion ended when they were joined by Barry’s work colleague, Brian. Barry introduced his sister to Brian who commented politely, “How lovely to meet you. And you must be younger than Barry by several years, surely?”

“Oh, no”, replied Maureen. “Barry and I were born on the same day, of the same month of the same year”.

“Twins then.” stated Brian.

Brian looked most perplexed when Maureen told him they were not twins.

Can you help him out?

Think you know the answer? Find out at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

Our weekly collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles brings us this neat game today: Color Link-a-Pix, where you get to find the way clues are linked, paint the paths and discover a hidden pixel-art picture.

Each puzzle consists of a grid containing colored clues in various places. Every clue, except for the 1’s, is half of a pair. The object is to reveal a hidden picture by linking the pairs and painting the paths so that the number of squares (including the squares at the ends) and the color of the path is the same as the value and the color of the clues being linked together. Paths may follow horizontal or vertical directions and are not allowed to cross other paths. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Game Instructions: To create a link, click mouse on a clue and drag to a square with the same clue so that the length of the path equals the value of the clues. Links with length 1 are created with a single click. To edit, click one of the link’s ends and drag mouse to redraw the path. To delete, double click mouse anywhere on the partial link’s path.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

# Whodunit: A Halloween Homicide

The following is a Whodunit by Hy Conrad featuring Sherman Oliver Holmes, a mysterious crime solver and great-great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes. Can you solve the crime?

Sherman loved Halloween. It gave him a chance to dress up as Sherlock Holmes and still seem normal. The pudgy detective was in his usual costume, escorting a squadron of children down Elm Street, when he noticed a crowd gathering in front of old Miss Cleghorn's house. "She must be up to her usual," chortled Sherman. "Putting on some horrific mask and scaring the kids at the door."

Miss Cleghorn was indeed scaring the kids, but not intentionally. Inside the open door, Sherman could see her body lying in the entry hall, wearing a monster mask, her head surrounded by blood. A plastic bowl lay nearby, its contents of wrapped candy strewn everywhere.

Sergeant Wilson stood beside the body. He glanced over at the man with the calabash pipe and deerstalker cap. "Is that a costume, Holmes? With you it's hard to tell."

"What happened, my respectable partner in crime?"

"It's an accident. It took us a while to reconstruct what happened." Wilson pointed up to where a strand of large pearls lay centered at the top of the steps. "She was upstairs when the first trick-or-treaters rang the bell. She put on the mask and grabbed the bowl. She must have slipped on the pearls and tumbled down the stairs."

Two cars pulled up at the curb, one behind the other. Sherman recognized Miss Cleghorn's niece and nephew, Emma and Bobby, as they got out of the cars and approached the front door, both dressed for a night out and seemingly unaware of the tragedy.

"Aunt Rita," Bobby gasped.

"Your aunt had an accident," Sergeant Wilson told them. "She's dead. The kids had been coming up to the door for half an hour or so and getting no answer. One of them finally looked through the window and saw her."

Bobby noticed the spilled candy and the mask. "What's she doing wearing a mask?"

"She was obviously doing her Halloween thing," Emma said.

"She promised she wouldn't this year. We were taking her out to dinner."

"Well, obviously she changed her mind," Emma said, shaking her head. "I don't know how many times I told her not to wear a mask on the stairs."

# What Is It? game 298

Now it's time for our collaboration with the awesome What Is It? Blog! What is this thing? You don't have to know to win!

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. You might know the true answer, but we're going to select two winners who come up with the funniest, most outlandish guesses to win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop. However...

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, okay? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

Check out more pictures of this thing at the What Is It? Blog. Good luck!

Update: the mystery item is a bread slicer. Using a knife and this device you can make a 1/2" thick slice of bread into two 1/4" thick slices. Why you would ever want to do that is beyond me. But we were looking for funny answers and we got them!

Carlos Pfister had a funny one: "Thats a Decepticon Pop Tart. It transforms into a mean little bastard." Another good one came from mowog, who said: "It's a cheese 'Swisser.' Insert cheap, plain white cheese, puncture - PROFIT!" Both win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop for those answers! See the answers to all of this week's mystery objects at the What Is It? blog.

# Solve This Pzzlr: Bicycles

Neatorama presents our collaboration with Pzzlr, a site where you can always find a riddle to exercise your brain. Can you solve this one?

This solution is not allowed. (Image credit: Flickr user

Ai and An, two Chinese sisters, were asked by their mother to take some food to their aging grandmother in another village 20 miles away. They could either walk the distance at a rate of 4 miles per hour or ride their bicycles at a rate of 8 miles per hour. Keen to get to their grandmother as quickly as possible they decided to ride. Unfortunately, after only 4 miles Ai suffered a tyre blow-out and had to abandon her bike at the side of the road. Assuming that turning back was not an option the sisters could now either walk together the remaining distance or one could walk while the other rode the remaining bike (the bike could not hold both of them together). The course of action they decided on meant that they could get to their grandmother’s house as quickly as possible while minimising walking time.

What combination of walking and riding did they use?

Try to figure this one out on your own. When you know the answer, or you give up, read the solution at Pzzlr!

Look for a new puzzle here at Neatorama every Wednesday, and check out Pzzlr for a puzzle anytime!

# Classic Hashi Light

Neatoramanauts, rejoice! This week's collaboration with Conceptis Puzzles brings us Classic Hashi Light, a puzzle in which you get to connect bridges between islands.

The object is to connect all islands according to the number of bridges so that there are no more than two bridges in the same direction and there is a continuous path connecting all islands together. Bridges can only be vertical or horizontal and are not allowed to cross islands or other bridges. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle. There is only one unique solution for each puzzle.

Here's how to play: Point mouse on an island, move arrow in the direction of the bridge you want to connect and click when only one bridge area remains highlighted. First click connects one bridge, second click connects a second bridges and the third click removes all bridges.

So go ahead and check it out! Then visit Conceptis Puzzles for more neat puzzles.

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