Have just produced this little video to promote Paranormality…..

The book can be pre-ordered here.

OK, onto the Friday Puzzle….three rather unusual questions for you this week….

1) According to the Bible, who killed 25% of the world’s population?

2) In one of the books I own the end is in the first half, and the prefix in the second half.  The foreword comes after the epilogue, but the index comes before the introduction.  What is the book?

3) What is it that elephants make that no other animal can?

As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but feel free to say if you think you have solved them and how long it took.  Solutions on Monday.




  1. I got number 1 and 2 straight away, I think.
    Number 3 possibly too, though I’m not quite as sure about that answer.

    1. And 3 for that matter, but I think you know if you got it. The first one took me a while, because I got tied up on God killing people and Noah and stuff, but was actually quite a good puzzle.

  2. 1) I think I got this one
    2) I can think of at least two answers to this one
    3) A bunch of answers to this one…all related 😉

  3. 1. Got this just from general knowledge. You don’t have to read too far into the bible…
    2. I come from Lichfield. As do some other famous people.
    3. I have a very literal mind.

    1. What’s wrong with that? The instructions were to show your workings, rather than just posting “I got it in less than a second”. Have I divulged too much? If so, apologies.

    2. Nothing wrong with those hints I think – and those are definitely hints, not answers, so I don’t see why they should be deleted. The comment page would be pretty boring if everyone just posted “got it in X minutes”.

      Personally I solved 2 and 3 in a few seconds, but was stuck on no.1 so came looking for hints. Solved no.1 after seeing Superdave’s hint.

    3. Dave vs. Dave!

      But actually, Superdave, the instructions say only: “feel free to say if you think you have solved them and how long it took.” (In addition, of course, to “please do NOT post your answers.”)

      You can post your workings on the Monday post.

  4. Got the first one as soon as I read it. Number two I’m pretty sure about and number three I have an answer but I don’t like it because knowing about critters the answer that I think is the “right” answer may technically not be right or somewhat miss leading…. I’ll probably spend the weekend thinking or over thinking this one as I was totally wrong last week…lol….

    1. Number three reminds me of some of the older elephant jokes… like What do you find between elephant’s toes? or Why did the elephant wear one red shoe, one blue shoe, one green shoe and one yellow shoe?

  5. 1. easy
    2. no idea
    3. got it… after thinking a few minutes about another (less obvious) answer, but it turns out that giraffes (at least) make them too.

  6. First one worked out just as I finished reading. No point thinking past 1st answer I got.

    Second one was same but needed another read to double check.

    Remembered last one from childhood so already known 😦

  7. hmm…my first thought was ‘I have absolutely no idea’ then I looked at the posts and thought hey, it can’t be difficult, and I looked at the questions again and got them in a minute. How weird is that? Because several people said it’s easy I found it easy afterwards.

  8. 1. definitely got in a few seconds.
    2. Got fairly quickly.
    3. Have a few possibilities … unless I’m missing something different. I don’t understand Nab’s comment on #3 at all, so we are definitely thinking along different lines.

  9. 1 and 2 no problem. Several possible answers for 3, none of which are particularly clever or interesting, so I’m hoping I’ve missed something.

  10. Wow, non-mathematical puzzles… where which I’m traditionally weak. Didn’t know the 3. I think I have the answers for 2) and 3) after a few seconds, but the first one, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to solve, unless I google it, which is a problem because I risk to find the solution, not the data for finding it 😦

  11. 2 and 3 are traditional, I’ve not seen 1 before.
    I pretty immediately got the (I presume) intended answer to 1 is, but it is far from clear that 25% is a correct calculation. If you read on to the next chapter, it becomes clear that there are additional people, and it is not evident that the murdering takes place before those people were around.

  12. Far too easy this week. I prefer something that makes me think outside the box.

    Q1: I read it, thought ‘Eh?’, then read it again and ‘Of course!’
    Q2: Common riddle but I haven’t seen this variation before.
    Q3: Purely Logical.

    Quite quick today, easily under 3 minutes.

    Can we have another one, please?

  13. 1. I was convinced I had the answer, but then I thought about the “25%” bit and realised that my answer was wrong – all in all I guess it took me 5 minutes
    2. Very old. Cleverly worded, but still old. It took me about minus 20 years, which was roughly when I first heard a variant of it
    3. I can think of two answers that fit the wording of the question, but I guess only the second one is “funny” (for some value of funny). about 2 or three minutes, I think

  14. 1 neraly instantaneously, 2 also nearly instatntaneoulsy, 3 not sure what the questioner thinks makes the biggest land animal unique.. and i suspect that it should be possible to find an insect having similar capabilities… so lost interest

  15. Think I have number 1. Got No 2 straight away and I have several answers for number 3 although I think one answer is more right than the others. About a minute and a half.

  16. I knew the 1st, 2nd took me a few minutes. Third one: In a matter of seconds I thought up a couple of answers, not sure they were what you meant though 😉

  17. Unusually for me, I got each one pretty much as I read them. Maybe 5-10 seconds after 1&3. And while I was reading 2.
    With each, it’s the kind of thing where when you have the answer, you’ll know it’s right.

  18. 1) Not as big a deal as you may think!
    2) If it’s what I think it is, the chapters and content come before everything else mentioned.
    3) Depends how specific you want to get. I have a sneaky answer, that could easily be adapted into “What do X make that no other animal makes?”, so it might not be what Richard’s looking for. There’s another possible answer that literally translates as “elephant”, but since other animals can also make it, that’s probably not what he’s looking for either.

  19. Done, done and done. Fun, fun and fun. The last has several answers IMHO but all are quite funny.
    ps leave the spoilers out, people, I have fallen in the trap of putting clues in my comments and I have been (quite rightly) told off about it. Not needed, not fun, we all know how clever you are… hee hee

    1. Okay, now I’m trying to work out what Holy Grail reference could relate to the answer I have. When Richard posts the answer on Monday, please put up an explanation!

  20. 1: I think that I know what the answer is getting at, but not sure of the details.

    2: I worked this one out.

    3: I have a very silly answer for this one. Looking forward to hearing the right answer though.

  21. First two are easy. I am sure the third is a pun on words though, so I am not going to bother with it, as I am not a native English speaker.

  22. Got #2 and #3 almost immediately, but had no idea on #1, as I really dont know much about biblical stories.

    Googled it, and then thought: Oh.
    There’s no way I would have been able to think of the answer on my own.

  23. Well these have given me something to think about over the weekend. The downside being I know I will kick myself on Monday if I haven’t worked them out by then!

  24. I thought the first one was obvious, but the other two I suspect are going to be the sort of puzzles I hate the answers to, because multiple things could fit if you look at it the right way.

  25. I got three instantly, my answer might not be “the right one,” but it’s simple, cheeky and undeniably true. I puzzled over one for ages (not having read much of the Bible) but then read iviehoff’s comment and got it with a groan. I’m still working on two though…

  26. 1) As a riddle, the answer to this is easy. As a math puzzle, however, the question gets it exactly wrong. The question should have been, “According to the Bible, who killed 25% of God’s chosen people?” in order to have a (ahem) prayer of there being a right answer. Formulating a question for which an answer actually exists took me about a minute. Guessing the wrong answer to the existing question happened as I read the riddle.

    2) This is an old riddle. I’d already heard it, so I don’t think I should count my time for it.

    3) Elephants make at least three things that no other animal can, and depending on your definition of “make,” may make another two or more.

    1. I think you may have the wrong answer for #1. The question is, mathematically, exactly right. According to the Bible, exactly 25% of the entire population of the earth was killed by…

      Unless you’re counting animals. Which you shouldn’t.

  27. I’m making an assumption about the first one, but I’m pretty sure it’s right. Don’t know if there’s some other way of answering that wouldn’t require me to research it to verify….

    Number two I had to read carefully, but it only took a second once I did.

    Number three is stunningly easy, though Thomas Weigel, above, is correct that there could be a number of correct answers. And honestly, I’m thinking that my answer may not be correct anymore, or for much longer.

  28. 1) Aha, i think i got an idea… but i didnt calc it to the end, mathematically.
    2) Easy ? I dont know whether that book i mean have an epilog, prefix…
    3) There are so many things… But i know what an elephant NOT can do, as the only one mammanial.

  29. I think have the answers and it took me a little over a minute. I found number two was the hardest. Perhaps I should eat more grains?

  30. I think I have good answers to all the three just in the time it takes to read them and have a first instinct. I like these.

  31. Straightforward but cute riddles. Got them all without much thought. Or at least I got answers which satisfy the constraint questions. They might not be the “right” ones.

  32. Solved them as I was reading them…I seem to recall similar puzzles from when I was a kid, so I guess that would be classified as unfair knowledge… 🙂

  33. I have read somewhere that there is one place where success comes before work. That helped me solve one of these. Google helped for the other one. For the remaining one- well, I decided to wait for Monday.

  34. I got the first one straight away, and I *think* I got the third. I don’t have the slightest idea about the second.

  35. I do not seriously treatment how or when i get the Letters in the Mail. Every time it arrives, it feels like a letter should be. It’s suddenly there in my mail box just one day. A nice, tangible surprise. I am for you doing whatever you want when you send it. Mix it up to the people who help get it sent out. Include crumbs from your lunch. Coffee stains. Whatever. Keep the tedious character of getting letters out to a minimum by doing whatever you feel like that day. The arrival from the letter and the words on the author inside are what matters. Personally, what I like most effective about The Rumpus is that I never understand what I’ll examine that day. Or if there is just not one which day, maybe it’s because Stephen couldn’t obtain anything to say or there was also much likely on.

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