Can This Be Done?
What do you think, will the manoeuvre work? (For our purpose, consider the cans to have no mass.)
I often get letters regarding some problem or the other saying that they've seen a variation of the same puzzle somewhere else, and asking why I don't come up with original ones. Well, let me tell all of you who think likewise, that for any puzzle setter, it's almost always bound to happen because the number of original puzzles popping up are marginal. But for your sake, I'm going to give you one this time.
That's because this is from real life. My significant other and I try to go for a hilariously brisk 4km walk every day, at least three times a week, before laziness overtakes our resolve and we end up watching America's Funniest Home Videos or Mad Men or whatever the heck's on TV instead. Anyway, on one successful trek, I picked up six cans of diet cola on the 2km turnaround mark and pretty soon was kicking myself because the stupid package was just &getting heavier and heavier and I was getting thirstier and thirstier, and my alternating arms were beginning to rapidly de-socket.
That's when this eureka moment blows me away of how to stone two bushes with one bird in hand. I'll drink up three cans, I think, because that way my dehydration and burden would both be quenched, or halved, or whatever. But I was darned if the solution wasn't more complicated than I'd bargained for when I double-thought that proposal. What do you think, will the manoeuvre work? (For our purpose, consider the cans to have no mass.)
(The problem was: "Why does the moon look larger when it's low on the horizon than when it's high up in the sky?" - MS)
When the moon is low on the horizon and near buildings and other sceneries, the moon is &compared with them and it seems larger (than when higher up in the sky). The phenomenon is known as the "moon illusion".
. Sidharth Sankar P, &email@example.com
The illusion is thought to be a psychological one that depends on the space between the moon and the horizon. If it is low on the horizon, we get a lot of reference points such as buildings and trees to compare it with. And since we know these are insignificant in size compared to the moon, the moon seems to appear larger.
. Alan D'Souza, firstname.lastname@example.org
(The other problem was to discover which of five suspects, A, B, C, D and E is lying." - MS)
If we assume B is telling the truth, then by following the implication of his statement, &we find that D is also telling the truth. If we assume B is lying, we find that C and E are telling the truth. In either event, however, A is lying. Thus, A is the only suspect we know with certainty to be lying.
. Saifuddin S F Khomosi, &email@example.com
A is lying, as, based on his statement, it can be concluded that A, B, C, D and E are telling truth, which is a contradiction.
. Chandrasekhar Karri, &firstname.lastname@example.org
(And the third problem was: "If we are suddenly exposed to very cold water, why do we start breathing though the mouth?" - MS)
When we are suddenly exposed to cold wat-er, it literally takes our breath away - meaning the coldness makes breathing through our nose impossible. Therefore, we breathe through our mouth.
. Amatul Nadia, email@example.com (It's also called the 'gasp reflex'. - MS)
1. An explorer in an area full of cannibals is caught and brought before the chief. After listening to his pleas for mercy, the chief tells him he can make a statement and, if the statement is true, his head would be cut off and, if false, he would be hanged. What statement does the explorer make to save himself?
. Submitted by J. Vaseekhar Manuel, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Why does a cracked ping-pong ball smell funny?
(To get in touch with Mukul, mail him at &email@example.com.)