Is your spider sense tingling?

Is your spider sense tingling?

By Mukul Sharma

Published: Thu 12 Jan 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 17 Jan 2017, 2:21 PM

A spider is inside a fully closed box 12 inches wide, 12 inches high and 40 inches long. It is on one of the 12x12 walls, 1 inch from the top and 6 inches from both sides. (Assume that our friendly neighbourhood arachnid is of the super spidey variety and doesn't croak from lack of oxygen ever.)
On the opposite 12x12 wall, however, is a normal everyday housefly that cannot fly or walk. Seeing Mr Doom on the opposite wall, it has just enough strength left to position itself so that the inevitable is put off for as long as possible. Where should it go? You have to specify the point on the fly's wall by giving the distances from the right side and from the top of the box so that we can dig a grave for the little guy when solutions come in.
(The problem was: "A 6km diameter circular fort has a north and south gate. A big tree stands 2km north of the north gate. What distance must be covered by a soldier walking east from the south gate to see the tree without obstruction?" - MS)
The vertical diameter SN (south-north) of the circle (with centre O) is extended beyond N until the tree T. An imaginary tangent to the circle from T in the north-eastern direction should be extended till it meets the horizontal line from S. Then it's a question of two similar triangles. Let the tangent be at a point C on the circle and the rightmost point at the bottom be P. By Pythagoras theorem, TC = 4 km. If we assume that CP = x, then by the geometry of the arrangement, SP is also x. The right triangles TCO and TSP are both similar. So, we get a linear equation 5/3 = (4 + x)/x, which leads to x = 6. Hence the man has to walk 6km to see the tree.
- Sheikh Sintha Mathar,
(Second: "What are the next four numbers in the series 12, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 3, ?, ?, ?, ?" - MS)
The answer is: 1, 4, 1, 5. The numbers are the chimes of a clock that strike every half hour.
- Akshit,
The next four numbers in the series would be 1, 4, 1, 5. The series consists of the number of dongs heard in a clock when it chimes at an interval of every half hour.
- Saifuddin S F Khomosi,
(The third problem was: "Question #1: Which man drinks diet soda? Question #2: Which man owns a spider monkey? Given that . . . There are five houses and that in each house lives a man of a certain nationality, who has his favourite drink, his favourite game and his own unusual pet." Furthermore, 15 clues were given. - MS)
This riddle is similar to Einstein's Riddle. The Russian lives in the yellow house, plays racquetball and owns a camel. The Swede lives in the blue house, plays quoits, drinks coffee and owns a rat. The Englishman lives in the red house, plays backgammon, drinks milk and owns a toad. The Italian lives in the white house, plays solitaire, drinks herbal tea and owns a guppy. The American lives in the green house, plays charades and drinks lemonade. Clearly, the Russian drinks diet soda, and the American owns the spider monkey.
- Jaelyne Tauro, (Yes, Mrinalini Saha, and Harmeet Kohli,, you also got it right. - MS)
1. A boiled egg and a raw egg start rolling down an endless ramp simultaneously. Which one rolls in the lead, and why?
2. First list of five words: PRONE, VERSE, PALMIST, APRON, EVER. Second list of five words: PISTIL, PETAL, CALYX, SEPAL, ANTHER. Which word in the second list should come next in sequence as the sixth word in the first list? Why?
(Mukul can be reached at

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