It’s the Friday puzzle!


AntiqueSafe01.zip_thumbnail1.jpgdf8c24ca-4548-4fa8-a1de-e785b47aa902LargeAn easy one this week!

Albert’s been having a tough week at the clock factory.  First he designed an odd Roman Numeral clock face, and then can’t work out how long it would take his favourite clock to chime 10 o’clock.   However, things are looking up.  He has been asked to go down to the basement and retrieve a rare clock from the company safe.  When he gets there he sees the following numbers on the safe door….

77 – 49 –  36 – xx
the next number in the sequence will open the safe.  What number should Albert use to get at the rare clock?

The answer to this puzzle, and 100 others,  can be found in a new kindle ebook called PUZZLED, and is available in the UK here and USA here.


73 comments on “It’s the Friday puzzle!

  1. ScreamingGreenConure says:

    Took a couple of minutes and I am sure I have it!

  2. Martin says:

    Less than a minute.

  3. I can think of at least two solutions here.

  4. Kelvin Kao says:

    Yeah, got an answer right away. After hearing Lee said he has two answers, I came up with another solution as well. We are probably thinking the same thing.

  5. lflcorreia says:

    Took me a couple of minutes to get an answer. It involved a bit of lateral thinking (it’s not only the numbers that matters) but I don’t know if that is what was intended.

  6. LawnBoy says:

    First answer within about 3 seconds. Second answer in about a minute, once I saw that someone had another solution.

  7. mlanger says:

    Solved it within about 30 seconds. But there are TWO solutions? Better put my thinking cap back on, I guess.

  8. Phil Plait says:

    If I’m correct, it took me about 5 seconds.

  9. CybrgnX says:

    1st look at 10sec-NOTHING. after reading the comments I said your missing something obvious-dumbass!!! Went back looked for 5sec and got the 1st most obvious answer. Now to get the 2nd one????

  10. Daniel Shirley says:

    Took about 18 seconds.

  11. Lisa Colburn says:

    About 10 seconds and no hesitation

  12. Dawn says:

    Hello…I’m sure I’ve figured it out. Where is the answer? -Dawn

  13. MollyMilner says:

    Took less than a minute so I’m wondering if it is a trick!

  14. Natasha says:

    well I figured out one answer in under a minute, but apparently there’s a second answer I’m not seeing.

  15. Steph Rahl says:

    Less than a minute.

  16. Travis says:


    I got it after about two minutes.

    @Dawn: The answer will be posted later — probably tomorrow, if I’ve got the schedule down.

  17. Owen says:

    Too easy. I didn’t even need to think about it.

  18. Skepdude says:

    Couple of minutes for the obvious answer. Commenters got me thinking on the second solution. Still working on that one!

  19. Skepdude says:

    A couple more minutes I seem to come up with two possible alternatives, but I am not at all as confident about those as with the first one.

  20. Skepdude says:

    Hmmm, one of the alternatives gives me the same answer as the obvious answer. Boy we really are pattern seeking animals aren’t we. I’m sure there is only one answer that we all got, and the rest is our brains doing what they do best, seeking patterns even where none exist.

  21. Nick says:

    I assume the solution must take account of the number 993? 😉

    • safc4ever says:

      I think ‘993 polygons’ is just the source of the picture – examples include news sites which use the same pics with a small credit in the bottom right corner (eg AP for Associated Press etc)

      It has nothing to do with the obvious answer.

  22. I’ve looked and looked for the second solution, but can still find only one that really works. That took me about a minute, so I’ll leave it at that.

  23. kiran says:

    took about a minute for the first thought but when i read the comments i went back for a second try and see that there can be another solution.

  24. ymberlenis says:

    First one I’ve gotten in a while. Only took a few seconds, but have no idea what second possible answer is. Will have to work harder on that one.

  25. Angela says:

    It took about 5 seconds, the answer’s too obvious!

  26. otowi says:

    Got it right away! Thanks. 🙂

  27. Gurdy says:

    I’m thinking the fact this one starts with the words “An easy one this week!” means the obvious answer is the right one, even though it seems too easy…

  28. Ton says:

    Got 2 solutions,
    first one in about 10 seconds, second one took me a little longer, 4 mins or so to figure out.

  29. Sven says:

    First solution in about 20 seconds, second one has to wait until after work today.

  30. Seraph says:

    This one is easy, in no time.

  31. Christian. says:

    About 5 seconds.

  32. 10 seconds and i don’t have a clue

  33. 30 seconds and i still don’t know… i give up completely. curious for the answer on monday

    • ScreamingGreenConure says:

      You can do it! Just chill, and think about it for a while. Never mind how long other people are taking.

  34. Henk says:

    Less than a minute for both possible answers…one more elegant than than the other..

  35. nikki says:

    I got that one in a few seconds. Not sure that there is 2 answers?

  36. Erica says:

    About 5 secs for the first one and 2 mins for the second

  37. Nick Sharratt says:

    About 20 seconds for an answer I’m fairly confident with as it fits your style. Confident enough that I’m not going to look for other answers, although there are probably many logical possibilities, this will be your answer.

  38. Nick Sharratt says:

    …oh, and someone should talk to this company about security-what’s the point of a safe if it only needs a simple number to open and you leave the clue to that next to the safe? And Albert-with his track record with the company ought to be looking at this as a test if he should be fired-will he mention how bad the security is? If not they must think him an idiot and let him go I recon!

  39. eslsys says:

    a bit slow this morning, took about 5 mins or so, the sequence has only 2 further numbers in the sequence. certain its right

  40. Clare Lynch says:

    About ten seconds.

  41. Cubik's Rube says:

    Not seen one exactly like this before, but got it in about 10 seconds. But now it looks like there’s another option? …Nope, not a clue.

  42. Janine says:

    Took a while, 5 minutes, was trying to over think it! Simple answer in the end.

    Not sure where the 2nd answer comes from that people are mentioning, I can only see one answer there is another answer that almost fits but it only fits with 2 of the numbers already in the sequence and doesn’t work with one of them so I am curious what the 2nd answer is that people got.

  43. Hester says:

    impossible …i have three solutions…!

  44. Mike says:

    Love the Friday puzzle! 1 minute to get it. silly sense of achievement.

  45. AR says:

    I can think of two solutions, but I suspect none of them is right…

  46. Claire says:

    Easy peasy I have one answer within a few seconds.
    Will now look for a second answer…

  47. Rob says:

    Got one. I think. No idea about a second possibility though.

  48. Lafayette says:

    Took about a minute. Though the safe is already open! 😉

  49. an interesting sequence in that there are no possible values either before 77 or after the last number.

    was expecting a clock orientated answer though

  50. AR says:

    Ooooh NOW I got it. Real easy, it took me hours.

  51. Rod says:

    OMG – soooooooooo simple when you see it. Great puzzle.

  52. Richie says:

    Was baffled for about 20 mins. Read through the comments – still baffled! And then suddenly it just came to me, and boy do I feel stupid for not seeing it sooner!

    Those who say there’s more than one possible answer – I can’t imagine another solution which feels as satisfyingly ‘right’ as this one!

  53. uksceptic says:

    Got it after a couple of mins.

  54. llybfa says:

    Nice puzzle. But if you or anyone is interested in solving a REALLY difficult puzzle (it’s been going on since since 2005), check out the ARG

    And no I have nothing to do with the site or whaetever. Just need some help from people who are good with numbers。

  55. llybfa says:

    Nice one, got it in about 10 minutes. But if you’re really interested in solving a puzzle that’s been going on since 2005. Check out thhe ARG

    And no, I’m not promoting or related to it. Just looking for some help to finally solve a true mystery.

  56. Captain says:

    For some reason I didn’t get the “right” solution when I looked at the problem this morning (I think that was before coffee – that’s how addicted I’m to these puzzles), but now it’s perfectly simple and logical. I managed to come up with a couple of alternative answers too, but I admit they are a little more far-fetched.. 🙂

  57. Yumerin says:

    AHA! I see it now! Took some time! (5 min or so…)
    I’ve come up with a really far-fetched alternate solution in the process. 😀

  58. Scott says:

    I have an answer…10 seconds. It could be incorrect…

  59. Never seen it before – 2 seconds if that – but then I am a mathematical geniarse – tee hee

  60. Moi says:

    took me couple of minutes to see the relations… it’s too easy, I was trying to solve it the complicated way 😛

  61. Sally says:

    I think that I have one answer. Took a few minutes at least.

  62. Jose Carlos says:

    For me was rare because I get a first answer in 3 minutes and another one more easy in the second time I get here.

    The first answer is based on the mathematical sequence presented, the second one in the problem text presentation.

  63. Jeanette says:

    It took about four minutes, but i doubt i got it right.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Right away, too easy! (Though I do feel pleased when I get them quickly, so perhaps easy is good)

  65. Very Good Blog 🙂

  66. Wai says:

    Simple i guess, if the answer i’ve gotten is correct.

    took me about 10 seconds…

  67. Ashley says:

    I got one answer in about 1 second without having to think, and another after reading the puzzle very carefully (maybe 5 minutes). But neither of those involve the mathematical sequence.

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