Another Puzzle – 2020


This puzzle has been attributed to Albert Einstein, and it has been claimed that only 2% of the population can solve it.  I doubt it.  It’s rather simple, actually, once you discover the key.  There is no trick to it; it’s pure reason.  However, there is a method – and that’s the key.  I’ve updated it slightly for the 21st century, but other than that, it’s the same puzzle I was given [mumble, mumble] years ago.  Now, it’s your turn to give it a try.  Good luck!  (I’ll give you the answer next Tuesday.)


There are five houses in a row.  Each is painted a different colour and each inhabitant is a different nationality.  They each own different pets, drink different beverages and drive different cars.

From the clues below, figure out who drinks water and who owns the zebra.

1 – The Englishman lives in the red house.

2 – The Spaniard owns a dog.

3 – Coffee is drunk in the green house.

4 – The Ukrainian drinks tea.

5 – The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.

6 – The man who owns snails drives a Buick.

7 – The man in the yellow house drives a Cadillac.

8 – Milk is drunk in the middle house.

9 – The Norwegian lives in the first house.

10 – The man who drives a Ford lives next to the man who owns a fox.

11 – The house with the Cadillac is next to the house with the horse.

12 – The man who drives the Chevrolet drinks orange juice.

13 – The man from Japan drives a Dodge.

14 – The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.



Tuesday’s Puzzle Answers

Here are the answers to Tuesday’s puzzle.  I’ve left a space after the first two in case you want to go back to Tuesday’s post and try your luck again

A, P and A are the 3 M
Athos, Porthos and Aramis are the 3 Musketeers
There are 2 S to every A
There are 2 sides to every argument


88 K on a P
88 keys on a piano

24 H in a D
24 hours in a day

90 D in a R A
90 degrees in a right angle

6 S. on a S S
6 sides on a Stop Sign

3 S and you’re O
3 strikes and you’re out

There are 8 N in an O
There are 8 notes in an octave

8 P in the S.S. plus P
8 planets in the Solar System plus Pluto

1 P is worth 1,000 W
1 picture is worth 1,000 words
7 W of the A W
7 Wonders of the Ancient World

1 W on a U
1 wheel on a unicycle

64 S on a C B
64 squares on a chess board

20,000 L under the S
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

G and the 3 B
Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

1 is the L N
1 is the loneliest number

12 L of H
12 Labours of Hercules

28 D in F except in a L Y
28 days in February except in a Leap Year

Every C has 9 L
Every cat has 9 lives

12 D of C
12 days of Christmas

4 S in a S D of C
4 suits in a standard deck of cards

2 is C; 3 is a C
2 is company; 3 is a crowd

76 T led the B P
76 Trombones led the Big Parade

12 M in a Y
12 months in a year

K 2 B with 1 S
Kill 2 birds with 1 stone

13 in a B D
13 in a Baker’s Dozen

3 B M
3 blind mice

1001 A N
1001 Arabian Nights

4 H of the A
4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse

3 P in a H G
3 periods in a hockey game

40 D of R in the G F
40 days of rain in the Great Flood

4 Q in a D
4 quarters in a dollar

6 P on a S F
6 points on a snow flake

12 S of the Z
12 signs of the Zodiac

S W and the 7 D
Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs

9 P on a B T
9 players on a baseball team

Stress — The Final Frontier

stressOkay! It’s two weeks into a new year and you’ve discovered 3 visits to the gym don’t qualify you for a bikini, no matter how positive you are; Jan, at work, is still an asshole, and if you don’t get some cookies soon, you’re going to punch somebody in the face — probably Jan.  Life is hard, folks, and it’s even harder when you’re striving for perfection.  But that’s the mistake we all make.  We strive for perfection, especially at this time of year.  But, here’s a tip: forget perfection!  The only thing between you and that happy camper you want to be is stress.  Shoot stress in the head and, believe me, perfection is never going to come up on the agenda again.  So, in the spirit of Good Works (one of my New Year’s Resolutions) here are a few things that might be of assistance.  Good luck!

Get out of bed — You’d be surprised how good a day you get when your morning doesn’t look like the Mad Hatter is having a two-for-one sale on crazy.  Running out the door, 10 minutes late, with a hairbrush in one hand, a toothbrush in the other and your underwear on backwards is not the way to face the world.  You need to sneak up on it — slowly — so give yourself some time to wake up in the morning and metaphorically put your underwear on properly.

Take 3 deep breaths — Unless you’re the President, the Pope or Vladimir Putin, there’s no situation you’re ever going face that won’t wait five minutes.  Going straight at a problem might work at deadline time, but if you’re constantly letting things get that far, you’re already screwed.  People need time to think.  Besides, sometimes staring out the window for a while can give you a fresh perspective on why Jan is being such an obstructionist bitch.

Sex — Try to get beyond Date Night — but if that’s all ya got, make it the best Date Night ever!

Get some comedy — A steady diet of news, documentaries and PBS drama will kill ya.  Laughing at a fat kid on YouTube getting beaned by a beach ball will cleanse your soul.

Forget about the last word — Arguments are part of life; turning every one of them into the Alamo just isn’t healthy.  There’s no future in being right if you’re still having the mental conversation two days later.  Let the idiots win every once in awhile.

And finally:

Celebrate — Turn off the mobile phone, step away from the video screen and have a glass of wine, a Root Beer float or a slice of chocolate cake (preferably, with two forks.)  This is the reason we get up in the morning and do what we do.  Don’t ever let just doing become the priority.

Now, back to the gym! — That bathing suit isn’t going to wear itself!

Think About It!

thinkPeople don’t think anymore.  I’m not talking about stupid people, although the 21st century seems to have an extra ration of them.  Nor am I talking about daydreaming, the gentle art of thinking about everything and nothing, all at the same time.  I’m talking about the act of thinking.  The activity whose only purpose is to produce thoughts (random and otherwise.)  Basically, we’re so damn busy doing stuff that we never actually think.  Our multitasking universe just doesn’t allow for it.  It’s considered lazy.  So we fill our random time with “busy” that looks and feels like we’re doing something.  The problem is it’s mostly crap like playing with our phones or watching TV.  But we believe action (even something as passive as surfing YouTube) is better than just staring off into space, thinking about it.  Horse feathers!

Take a look at Newton.  The reason Sir Isaac figured out gravity was he was sitting under the apple tree in the first place — doing nothing.  (BTW, I know the story’s a myth but …)  My point is, instead of texting his BFF John Locke a picture of an apple, Newton took the time to contemplate why the apple fell to the ground instead of just floating in the air.  Voila!  Gravity!

I realize we’re not all scientific geniuses like Newton and for the most part ordinary thoughts are — well — ordinary, but so what?  The purpose of thinking is to give the mind something to do.

Look at the person running on a treadmill.  They’re not fleeing for their lives; they’re not chasing anything; they’re not even going anywhere.  Actually, it’s a useless activity except common wisdom dictates people who don’t exercise end up sloppy, fat bastards, lying on a sofa, eating Doritos and watching old Michael Bay movies for the storyline.  Eeeww!

The mind works the same way.  If we don’t exercise it, our decision making, problem-solving and critical analysis become flabby.  A meme is easier to read than an essay, a soundbyte easier to analyze than a debate, and simple problems become overwhelming.  It’s a dangerous road we’re travelling, and if we’re not careful, we could end up in a society wallowing in celebrity worship, entirely dominated by Kim Kardashian’s bum, Donald Trump’s hairstyle and … Hey! Wait a minute … I think I’m going to go find a tree and just sit there for awhile.