Friday, 3 August 2007

Friday Quiz

Five questions to get us started, a lateral thinking puzzle, and then a nice tough one for you all to ponder over. [Hints on Sunday; Answers on Monday]

a] What Norse God is Saturday named after ? [Notice I said Norse God]

b] What innovative idea, used by tyrants the world over, was first used at the Robber synod of Ephesus in AD 429 ?

c] What does the word 'Barabbas' mean ?

d] We've all used a device with a twitterbit at one time or another - but what is a twitterbit ?

e] What virtue [not theological or cardinal ] according to St Francis de Sales is there nothing stronger than ?

Lateral Thinking

A hijacker boards a plane with a gun and holds the passengers and cabin crew hostage - he negotiates with ground control for £1 million and two parachutes.

The aeroplane takes off and halfway across the desert the hijacker grabs the money and a parachute and bails out ; never to be seen or heard of again.

Now here's the question: Why did he ask for TWO parachutes? [no he did not use the second one for any purpose]

Tough Puzzle

You are a dashing hero and your one fair true love the princess has been kidnapped by an evil wizard... after traversing many thousands of miles slaying dragons,ogres and goblins you arive at the castle and demand the return of the princess.

The cunning evil wizard invites you in and informs you that the princess is free to go, you need only pick her out from the 12 princesses before you.

To your shock and dismay all the fair damsels are identical ! eleven are not princesses at all but demons summoned from hell impersonating the princess.

Now the only thing you know is that every demon weighs the same weight - the real princess does not - she is either lighter or heavier [but you have no idea which ???].

Before you in the great hall stands a huge brass weighing balance with two pans ; but they are enchanted, they may only be used three times before they turn into dust.

Should you fail you will be devoured by the demons and the princess will be forced to marry the evil wizard and remain his forever - choose wisely and you will both go free - rescuing the princess has the usual benefits of her hand in marriage and half the kingdom and living happily ever after etc...

Is it possible to find the princess in just three uses of the balance ?
a] George Lucas wasn't exactly honest when he said that the original name for his hero before he changed it was Luke Starkiller - the name he used in the eventual film was a very old one albeit with two changes of vowels.
b] tabula rasa
c] 1066 and all that, billy-boy
d] the answer is a cut above the rest; the same way you never get a trouser.
e] already answered - There is nothing as strong as gentleness, nothing as gentle as real strength .
lateral thinking - already answered.
tough puzzle - you might need an off-road vehicle to start off.


Mark said...

a) None; it and Sunday come from Roman Gods. Saturday comes from the latin dies Saturni, day of Saturn.

b) no idea

c) son of the Father (bar-abba)

d) no idea

e) gentleness

lateral thinking) to be awkward?

tough puzzle) I thought you could, but it only worked if she was definitely heavier, or definitely lighter.

Mac McLernon said...

The only one I could answer without resorting to Google was (c) "son of the Father".

The extra parachute might be for his accomplice... or maybe the pilot, if the robber was the only passenger.

The princesses had me stumped. I thought it was possible, but then, like Mark, I realised that I needed to know if the real princess was lighter or heavier for my method to work...

On the side of the angels said...

Thankyou so much for taking part - please keep going you're doing well....

so cool that you got gentleness Mark;

I repeat the question - which Norse God - one god's name was adapted to correspond to the old roman name for the day.

Terrific that you got the transliteral meaning of barabbas; but you only get a coconut if you tell me what it really meant

the hijacker had no accomplice

do you realy need to know if the princess is lighter or heavier?

gemoftheocean said...

Sideofangels: you're right you don't need to know if the coin is heavier or lighter -- 3 weightings is enough.
Though I don't think it fair if I post this one, since I've seen it before. Still took me a it to remember the answer though. This is one of the classic coin problems.

Re: the parachute thing - since it wasn't used as a reserve parachute, I can only think that if you thought like a hijacker, you'd think the police might give you a deliberately malfunctioning parachute. So ergo, you wanted to make it look like you were going to force a hostage to jump with you....that way the police would have to give you two good parachutes, because they'd be afraid the innocent person would get the bad one and they wouldn't take the chance.

Karen H. -- San Diego

gemoftheocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gemoftheocean said...

ha-ha-- I hate spelling mistakes when I catch them... meant to follow on with: What movie had the line:
"Shoot the hostage."

[It was one of those summer movies a while back - so don't think too deeply.] Give you a clue: Reeves

Karen H. - -San Diego, Ca.

On the side of the angels said...

absolutely excellent gem of the ocean !

yes, this is one of the lateral thinking puzles which refers to what is known as the fallacy of adequacy.
just because the hijacker requires one parachute ; he necessarily needs two in order to be safe.

indeed you are right, it is not necessary to know if the princess is lighter or heavier - even on occasion at the end of the puzzle!
will display a full working on tuesday .