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medievalelks
04-23-2008, 05:46 PM
Again, don't spoil it if you've seen this before. It's from the same book as the other.

Five people are in a room with no windows, no furniture, etc. The floor is a cement slab. Embedded in the middle of the floor standing vertically is a foot long metal pipe. At the bottom of the pipe is a ping pong ball, with roughly 1mm of clearance all the way around.

Problem: Get the ball out of the pipe without damaging the ball, pipe, or floor. You have the following at your disposal: One carpenter's hammer, a 12" wood ruler, a 6" piece of string, a paper clip, and a refrigerator magnet.

SlyMaelstrom
04-23-2008, 05:51 PM
Ummm... would one of my fellow occupants happen to be MacGyver?

I guess I have several questions (which clearly have nothing to do with the actual solution, because you would have mentioned them). Can the ruler fit in the pipe? can the hammer head fit in the pipe? is the magnet powerful enough to be pulled by the hammer head if the ball was in between? Is the string edible if I get bored?

Mario F.
04-23-2008, 06:09 PM
hmm...

Ideally the clip should somehow be put under the ball. Then the magnet would do the rest slowly pushing the paper clip up and, with it, the ball.

... I guess

medievalelks
04-23-2008, 06:13 PM
Recount the inventory of everything in the room besides the pipe and ball.

Mario F.
04-23-2008, 06:33 PM
yes, yes. just thinking out loud here

zacs7
04-23-2008, 06:52 PM
Well it's easy if MacGyver was there, just get him to build a death-ray, problem solved.


Seriously, I'd just suck the ball out of the pipe with my mouth :)

MacGyver
04-23-2008, 06:53 PM
Ummm... would one of my fellow occupants happen to be MacGyver?

You rang, sir? ;)

Thantos
04-23-2008, 07:07 PM
1) Leave the room
2) Go to a game store
3) Buy a new ping pong ball
4) Realize that paying the 50 cents for a new ball is much more time and cost efficient then trying to get the ball out of the pipe.

KISS baby ;)

medievalelks
04-23-2008, 07:09 PM
Seriously, I'd just suck the ball out of the pipe with my mouth :)

That's not it, but realizing that none of the items I listed are of any help is the first step to the real solution.

Also, are you married?

jEssYcAt
04-23-2008, 07:19 PM
I'll go the clean route, though I can imagine what is intended with 5 people...

Pour, uh, water into the pipe until the ball floats to the top. If we use anything else, I don't think I want the ping-pong ball that badly.

medievalelks
04-23-2008, 07:27 PM
I'll go the clean route, though I can imagine what is intended with 5 people...

Pour, uh, water into the pipe until the ball floats to the top. If we use anything else, I don't think I want the ping-pong ball that badly.

Ding, ding!

You got it - float it out.

Dave_Sinkula
04-23-2008, 07:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrPb41hzYdw

medievalelks
04-23-2008, 07:44 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrPb41hzYdw

If that chimp is so smart, how come he hasn't evolved yet? Dumb chimp.

Mario F.
04-23-2008, 07:45 PM
Ding, ding!

You got it - float it out.

Wow. A brain teaser in which the solution is not part of the problem. I've had better readings in my dentist waiting room.

EDIT: By the way, how does the book propose you fill the tube if there's no "windows, etc" - I presume this also means doors - spit my guts out into a 40mm diameter 1 foot tall pipe? Maybe cut myself with the paper clip and bleed to death into it...

medievalelks
04-23-2008, 08:01 PM
Wow. A brain teaser in which the solution is not part of the problem. I've had better readings in my dentist waiting room.

EDIT: By the way, how does the book propose you fill the tube if there's no "windows, etc" - I presume this also means doors - spit my guts out into a 40mm diameter 1 foot tall pipe? Maybe cut myself with the paper clip and bleed to death into it...

Think outside of the bladder.

SlyMaelstrom
04-23-2008, 08:06 PM
I dunno, I'm thinking you could pribably hammer the paperclip into the ruler and create a hook that can get around the ball and pull it up... At the very least you can tie the paperclip to the ruler with a string and make the same hook device... but if tinkling is the answer, then I got nothing.

Mario F.
04-23-2008, 08:09 PM
Is this really on a book? Incredible.

Naturally if my bladder happens to be empty I will go the cut my wrists option. That's what I deserve for having been conned into this... "brain teaser"

medievalelks
04-23-2008, 08:21 PM
Is this really on a book?


http://www.amazon.com/Conceptual-Blockbusting-Guide-Better-Ideas/dp/0738205370


Incredible.

I concur.

whiteflags
04-23-2008, 08:53 PM
Think outside of the bladder.

How unsanitary.

I must add that if I found myself in a room with no windows or doors that is a much more interesting paradox, and not to mention a priority. ... For me.

Thantos
04-23-2008, 09:23 PM
How unsanitary.

I must add that if I found myself in a room with no windows or doors that is a much more interesting paradox, and not to mention a priority. ... For me.

ether and a fast construction crew that knows how to not ask too many questions ;)

Sang-drax
04-23-2008, 09:30 PM
1. Pee.
2. Blow hard down the pipe and the ball will come out.

robwhit
04-23-2008, 10:39 PM
Knock out the other four people in the room, then bleed them out until you can float the ball out.

medievalelks
04-24-2008, 05:18 AM
How unsanitary.

Yes, as I recall the other is from the UK, where they supposedly don't have the same bathroom hangups we have in the States. I never would have guessed that answer.


I must add that if I found myself in a room with no windows or doors that is a much more interesting paradox, and not to mention a priority. ... For me.

Well, at some point you'd have to go, and the pipe would come in handy...