The Grey Labyrinth is a collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, paradoxes and other intellectually challenging diversions. Related topics: puzzle games, logic puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, philosophy, mind benders, brain teasers, word problems, conundrums, 3d puzzles, spatial reasoning, intelligence tests, mathematical diversions, paradoxes, physics problems, reasoning, math, science.

   

Potpourri

Okay, here are the answers. We fully expect people will be complaining about some of them! Like all puzzles, if we truly feel someone comes up with a better answer (read "better" not "more nit-picky") we'll make a note of it on the answer page . Here they are:

  1. The 18 ounces of gold weigh substantially more than the 18 ounces of lead. Unlike the classic "pound of feathers vs. pound of bricks" trick, there is a difference- not in physics but units. Gold is commonly measured in troy ounces which is 31.103 grams metric. This is compared to a normal (avoirdupois) ounce which is 28.350 grams.
  2. Several hours: While electrons travel at close to the speed of light, their path inside the wire is not direct. The electrons are constantly bouncing off each other. So while the electricity completes the circuit instaneously, an individual electron takes a very long time. Similiar would be a photon generated near the center of the sun- it might take close to a million years to reach the surface of the sun, and another 8 minutes to get to the Earth.
  3. Assume the four cards were the four queens: there are two ways of getting the same color: QS/QC and QH/QD, while six total possible combinations. So one in three.
  4. The Pacific Ocean. Most of us accustomed to Mercator projection maps think of North America being more or less lined up directly above South America, but look on a globe and see that almost all of South America is east of North America.
  5. The tip of a whip.
  6. The moon. (groan...)
  7. There are two: facetiously and abstemiously.
  8. Ear, eye, arm, toe, lip, leg, gum, hip, jaw, rib.
  9. They were all on the first album to go "trans-solar", on Voyager.
  10. If you happened to be looking straight at him, the flash from his rifle would reach you almost instantly. Assume for a moment that the he's a competent assassin who hid himself well (and for some reason was aiming for your foot). The speed of sound is approximately 1129 feet per second at sea level. The sound will reach your ears in .044 seconds. The bullet will hit your foot in .038 seconds. So much for dodging the bullet on this one. But we asked which would be the first evidence to you- and that would be the sound. Because once the bullet hits your foot, the pain impulse must travel your myelinated A-fibers to your brain at 330 feet per second. Assuming you're five feet tall, that's an extra .015 seconds onto the trip.
  11. Captain Ahab, from Melville's "Moby Dick".
  12. The Pyramid of Giza, The Gardens of Babylon, The Lighthouse of Alexandria, The Colossus at Rhodes, The Statue of Zeus, The Temple of Artemis, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.

If you got eight or more of these questions right without using outside sources, you can consider yourself a master of the labyrinth! If you got twelve, we don't believe you!

Updated 3/27/1999:

"Vincent", some sort of Astronomy Graduate Student pointed out that in #2, I'd made the assumption the circuit was DC. Which in usual household wiring, it is not. He asserted that with AC current, the electron might not go anywhere at all. Consider me corrected.

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