Modern Logic Puzzles


The Girlfriend, The Friend, and the DVD

In your apartment you have your girlfriend, your good-looking friend Charlie, and a DVD of Blue Valentine. For transport you have only have a small 150 cc scooter, because your apartment does not have a parking space. You must go to the store to buy wine. You absolutely must. Christ.

Your scooter can only handle one passenger and one item of cargo. You cannot leave your girlfriend with the DVD, because she will get sad. You cannot leave Charlie with your girlfriend, because he’s mentioned casually that he used to do “some catalog work — just like, summer season swimwear and stuff.” You cannot be left alone with bottles of wine. How do you travel to the store, return with wine, and manage to have a pleasant evening for one goddamned night?

Solution: Take your girlfriend with you on the back of your scooter to the store, leaving Charlie with the DVD. Buy wine. Return with your girlfriend to the apartment. Drink one bottle of wine in your kitchen, watching Charlie and your girlfriend chat. She never laughs like that anymore. Watch movie in silence, positioning yourself in between girlfriend and Charlie.

The Elevator Woman

A woman lives on the tenth floor of your apartment building. Every morning she takes the elevator all the way down, and goes to work. In the evening, she gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in it she goes back to her floor directly. Otherwise, she goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to her apartment. Why?

Solution: She is a dwarf and cannot reach the buttons above the seventh floor. A strangely beautiful dwarf. Her gaze seems to slide off of you as you stare. She fills your waking days and dreaming nights.

The Ridiculous Race

Your girlfriend — well, whatever she is now, the girl that used to be your girlfriend but you still sleep with sometimes and last night she said everything about you is sad, that you even kiss sadly — lays down a ultimatum. You and Charlie will both race on your scooters (yes, Charlie got a scooter too, the unoriginal fuck) to her apartment, and she will date the winner. The twist? The winner is whomever arrives last. Oh, typical. You and Charlie drive extremely slowly over town, before a wise man sees your predicament and offers a solution. You both jump on scooters and race across town. What was the solution?

Solution: You and Charlie switch scooters. His is much nicer. Your former girlfriend lives to the north. You head south and don’t stop until it’s dark. Standing on the edge of at the highway, the dying sun purpling over the fields like a bruise, you wonder if anyone will notice you’re missing.

Barnyard Bewilderment

A horse is worth as much as two bulls and one sheep.
A bull is worth as much as two cows.
Two cows are worth as much as five donkeys.
A donkey is worth as much as four sheep.
How many sheep is a horse worth?

Solution: Um. Like 41? Probably 41. Fuck. Working on this organic farm for the summer was a real mistake.

The Wedding Riddle

You are attending the wedding of your ex-girlfriend and Charlie. It’s a lovely ceremony. She cries a bit at the altar. You have a 5-cup thermos and a 3-cup thermos, and a large Costco bottle of Popov in the trunk of your rental car. You know from experience that it takes exactly 4 cups of vodka before you can’t process emotions. How do you measure out precisely 4 cups of Popov?

Solution: Fill the 3-cup thermos and pour it into the empty 5-cup thermos. Fill the 3-cup thermos again, and pour the vodka from the 3-cup thermos into the 5-cup thermos until the 5-cup thermos is completely filled.

This leaves exactly 1 cup in the 3-cup thermos.

Empty the 5-cup thermos; pour the remaining 1 cup from the 3-cup thermos into the 5-cup thermos.

Fill the 3-cup thermos and pour it into the 5-cup thermos.

The 5-cup thermos now has exactly 4 cups.

Around this time someone should notice that you’re not on the guest list and have been standing in the parking lot intently pouring cheap grain alcohol back and forth between thermoses for nearly 30 minutes. Time to get to drinking until you can’t tell if it’s night or day.

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