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Jesse's Blog 51 - Riddles2019.02.24


Jesse's Blog 51 - Riddles

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順調にダイエットを成功させているJesse先生のブログです!

When I was young, one of my favorite things to do was solve riddles.  A riddle is a special kind of question.  Anybody can answer a riddle, because all the information you need is in the question.  The information is hiding though, and there are tricks that make the question hard to answer.  To solve a riddle, you need to be very careful with the English!  The details of the grammar are very important, and the vocabulary was all chosen carefully, so you need to really understand it.  Let’s try a few simple riddles now!

Which weighs more, a pound of natto, or a pound of tofu?
The grammar in this question, “which” and “more” gives you a choice between two answers, natto or tofu.  Because of that grammar, people might try to imagine holding each, to decide which one to choose.  The grammar is a trick, though.  A “pound” is a measurement of weight, like a kilogram, so a pound of natto and a pound of tofu both weigh a pound.  The answer isn’t one of the choices given in the question, it’s a third hidden choice: They both weigh the same.

Mr. Smith has 4 daughters.  Each daughter has a brother.  How many children does Mr Smith have?
When you first read this question, it looks like a mathematics question.  4 daughters, one brother each, now there’s 8 children.  But there are two important parts of this question.  First, “a brother” is one brother.  The second, is in the vocabulary of families.  This is a family, if one daughter has a brother, all of the daughters do.  That means that if each daughter has exactly one brother, then there is only one boy in the family.  The answer is 5 children: 4 daughters and 1 son.
 
Those are softer riddles.  Now I’m going to give you two difficult riddles that have been my favorites since I was a small child.  You’ll have to ask me in the lobby for the correct answer!
 
You are lost in the dark on an alien planet, and need to ask for directions.  There are two kinds of people on this planet, red people and green people.  Red people always lie, and green people always tell the truth.  You meet 3 people, but can’t see if they are red or green.  You need to find out who is green and who is red, before you ask for directions.  The first alien says “I’m green.”  The second alien says “He says he’s green, but he isn’t, I am.”  The third alien says “They’re both red, I’m green.”  Who is green?

There are two doors in front of you.  Behind one door is a pile of gold.  Behind the other door is an angry dragon.  In front of each door is a guard.  One guard will always lie, the other will always tell the truth.  You are only allowed to ask one question to one guard.  What question do you ask, and then which door do you open?



 

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