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Riddle me this

Nathan Leniz
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Joined: Nov 26, 2006
Posts: 132
I'm an ordinary, everyday object. If you cut one off, three fall down and five remain. What am I?

Three men walked into a hotel at the same time and inquired about a room. They were told by the lady at the front desk that there was only one room available. Being decent fellows, they decided to share the room at a cost of $30 total. So each man gave the attendant $10. Later on, the attendant informed the hotel managed that she had rented out the last room for $30 to three gentlemen. The hotel manager, also being a decent fellow, decided they should receive a 5$ refund for the inconvenience of having to share a room. The attendant took 5 $1 bills out of the register and made her way up to he room. Trying to think of a way to split the 5$ equally, she decided she would pocket $2 as a tip and give each man $1 back.

Each man ended up spending $9 for the room, and the attendant got $2 out of the deal. But 3*$9 is $27, plus $2 is $29. Where'd the other dollar go?

The first one is an honest riddle, the second one is dishonest. Anyone have any more?

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that at some time, some where, some place, someone once said to themselves "I'd really like to set those people on fire over there, but I just can't get close enough".
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
You gotta tally up where the money is, and not mix who spent what with who got what. The hotel has $25, the attendant $2, and the three men the remaining $3.
Nathan Leniz
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Joined: Nov 26, 2006
Posts: 132
You are correct on the second riddle, Ulf. The dollar never truly goes missing but it is an interesting journey in math and how numbers can be very very wrong if not presented properly.

Anyone figure the first riddle out or have any guesses? If not, I will post the answer in another day or two.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11955

i'd approach it differently, but come up with the same answer. each man, after receiving his $1, spent $9. In total, they spent $27.

$25 went into the hotel cash register, and $2 went into the attendant's pocket.

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Vijay Chouhan
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Joined: Sep 01, 2005
Posts: 30
I guess, for the first one the answer is a rectangle. Cut one corner off, three falls down and five remains. :-)
[ December 14, 2006: Message edited by: Vijay Chouhan ]
Emma Walsh

Joined: Dec 14, 2006
Posts: 3
Or a hexagon. Or a keyring with 8 keys, but to cut one off you cut through a ring (with 1 key) which linked 2 keys on 1 ring with 5 keys on the ring you were holding. Or a kitchen table with a pair of bench seats and 3 people sitting on one side, 5 on the other; and you cut one of the legs off one of the seats

Riddles never seem to have just 1 answer
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subject: Riddle me this
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