It’s the Friday Puzzle!


coverPlease do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzles and how long it took. Solution on Monday. OK, there are 2 puzzles this week:

How many mistakes are there in the following sentence?

“This sentance contanes one misteak’

What is the answer to the same question for this sentence….

‘Their are three misteaks in this sentence’

I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle(UKhere and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.

45 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. SofARMaths says:

    Two mins. Two answers. One logic. One wordy. Both nistakes!

    • Hugh Janus says:

      The second question, paradoxically, cannot be answered. The sentence contains only 2 spelling mistakes but claims to contain 3 mistakes; therefore that claim is wrong and it actually contains 3 mistakes

      However, if it does contains 3 mistakes then the claim that it contains 3 mistakes is correct, and so it only contains the 2 spelling mistakes, in which case…!

    • Hugh: No one claimed it had to be a *spelling* mistake. Your first paragraph is irrelevant. :-)

    • Hugh Janus says:

      My point precisely. I did not infer that all of the misteaks are spelling related.

    • Ken Haley says:

      One more mistake (yours!): The puzzle says “Please do NOT post your answers”.

  2. Anders says:

    Kind of an old one again this week, that I must have seen hundreds of times before. I do like steak though, of almost any variety

  3. Roland says:

    Mainly puzzling on how to count mistakes…

  4. About half a minute. Another half minute to check.

  5. Billy Self-Referential says:

    What type of mistakes do you mean Richard?

  6. -M- says:

    Eye think Ive got the asnwers… But I’m not shore…

  7. bigdoggy says:

    I have the correct number for the first and the correct number for the second.

  8. Hardly Manning says:

    There is one mistake in this sentence. I’m glad I looked at this blog this week.

  9. Dharmaruci says:

    alot depends on what the last word of the sentance is supposed to be.

  10. Tom Pedersen says:

    Since I read the same puzzle in “Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities” yesterday before bed, I got it rather quickly :-)

  11. Lazy T says:

    Less than a minuet.

  12. Thicko says:

    There will be more than one answer. Period.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I expect Wiseman’s solution not to be in line with my one…
    Less than a minute

  14. veli says:

    being vegetarian is a big missed steak

  15. mittfh says:

    I have an answer for both (including punctuation) – it’ll be interesting to see whether Richard’s looking for the literal answer or a sneaky answer (as has happened in some puzzles he’s set in the past…)

    Meanwhile, the second half of the puzzle in particular reminds me of Jerrold H Zar’s “Candidate for a Pullet Surprise” (aka “Owed to a Spelling Checker”)…

  16. Elaine McCarthy says:

    Got both in a few seconds.

  17. Less than a minute. There aren’t no logic problems in this sentence. Tee hee.

  18. Ian says:

    Thanks, Richard, these are rather fun and one of them’s more subtle than it looks. The answers came immediately, as I read each sentence, but the fact that they’re easy doesn’t make them less fun. Thanks for another delightful little brain workout for the weekend :) Have a good weekend yourself :D

  19. Eddie says:

    Both questions have logical answers.

    • ctj says:

      and the second puzzle has two or three sets of two valid but different answers. which set you choose depends on how you interpret grammar, which should be consistently applied.

      i say two “or three” because the puzzles contain an ambiguity that may result in americans and brits giving different answers.

  20. The reason it works is because the gorilla was hiding the yellow ball under the cup while the red card was being passed from one person to the other.

  21. The mistake is in the question! Without any ending punctuation, neither purported sentence is valid.

    • Andy Symes says:

      So should the answer be zero, in both cases, or should we regard the clause “this sentence” as another mistake because they’re not sentences?

  22. where is the puzzle? But thanks for sending it in every week. Pauline

  23. Ronda says:

    Half a minute, if I’m right.

  24. Pmc says:

    I often struggle with these puzzles, but this one took me only a few seconds. Can’t see what all the in depth controversy is about. Schoolboy stuff!

  25. Steve Frushour says:

    “Sex and three, in a couple minites.”

  26. Baumfuchs says:

    The second question, for some reason, reminded me of Monty Python’s ‘Argument Clinic’ sketch, the scene where Michael Palin hands John Cleese a banknote to buy a five-minute argument. After putting away the money, Cleese declares that he won’t start the argument because he hasn’t been paid. Palin insists that this is in itself an argument and if Cleese argues about the money, it is proof enough that he has been paid. Is he right?
    Well, that’s simple enough. In the sketch, John Cleese must be the winner, so he says he ‘could be arguing in his spare time’ (driving Palin out of the room and into the being-hit-on-the-head department). But let us assume that John is not allowed to argue unless being properly paid in advance. He takes the banknote and sees it’s a counterfeit. What should he say?

  27. The Masked Twit says:

    In considering your response to these questions you may wish to consider the following questions:-

    1. If a sentence articulates a falsehood is that a mistake in the sentence?
    2. Does a deliberate falsehood constitute a mistake?
    3. Does an accidental falsehood constitute a mistake?
    4. Does a negligent falsehood constitute a mistake?
    5. Is The Masked Twit a pedantic tw*t? – no need to answer this one really.

  28. Walter says:

    Define mistake

    • Anonymous says:

      mis·take [mi-steyk] Show IPA noun, verb, mis·took, mis·tak·en, mis·tak·ing.
      an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.
      a misunderstanding or misconception.
      verb (used with object)
      to regard or identify wrongly as something or someone else: I mistook him for the mayor.
      to understand, interpret, or evaluate wrongly; misunderstand; misinterpret.
      verb (used without object)
      to be in error.

  29. You have a point, Roland, In a lame attempt not to be accused of giving away an answer, let me ask: If a sentence contains a pair of brackets and they are both errors,does that count as one mistake or two?

    Both questions have two answers.

  30. Donald says:

    They’re arrrh know Mist aches inn mie re-plie.

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