It’s the Friday Puzzle!


OK, here is the puzzle……

During a high stakes poker competition preceded by a sit-down dinner, Dick, Tom, Harry and Fred played together. At the end of the evening, all four had more cash than when they arrived. In other words, none of them lost although they were playing for money. How could this be?

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


61 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. Chris Gladis says:

    Pretty sure I got it after a moment. We shall see….

  2. Mike Hitchcock says:


  3. Peter Leeson says:

    That seemed like a straightforward one

  4. Amy says:

    unless this is a trick question I think the answer is a bit obvious

    • andyo says:

      If what I think you’re thinking is what I’m thinking, it’s not even a puzzle. Thus I don’t think it’s what I’m thinking.

  5. Got an answer almost immediately. I’ll be interested to see if there’s a trick that I am missing.

  6. soonerdvm says:

    Took a second read through, and I got it.

  7. M says:

    Don’t get it…

    • M says:

      Got three answers now. One of them is very much better than the others.

    • M says:

      I found a fourth and a fifth answer.

      I suppose it is the fifth answer. But if it is, I want you to make excuses for blaming 86% of the parents that they would not hand over their “rioting” child to the police. Because that is the same issue as this puzzle!

  8. Gib says:

    Got one good answer straight away. Re-read it and got a second answer too.

  9. Holden Caulfield says:

    I appreciate it must be difficult to come up with original puzzles every week, but I suspect most of those of us who click on the link have been disappointed more often than we’re challenged recently.

  10. Jimbo says:

    Got an obvious answer straight off. Then realised that a totally fantastical answer was equally valid and decided that if the answer doesn’t involve the dinner then it’s probably wrong.

  11. Alex says:

    Can think of at least a few answers. Not sure if any happen to be the “right” answer, but I won’t feel bad if they’re not with this sort of puzzle.

  12. Bob O'H says:

    Um, was it something to do with the bank heist that happened the same evening? They were caught because forensics found traces of Fred’s salmon mousse.

    I also have 3 other answers, the second of which I suspect is right.

  13. Tom Ruffles says:

    Seconds, for once.

  14. fluffy says:

    There was a really obvious solution which I saw right away but maybe there’s something I’m missing.

  15. Lazy T says:

    There are so many possibilties and no way to eliminate them, so I’ve decided that they are all magic ghosts who can generate cash by winking

  16. Criticalbounce says:

    Got this one. It’s music to my ears.

  17. Steve Jones says:

    One very obvious answer occurs to me, but this is wide open to multiple explanations. I guess the “right” answer will be the one that makes the least number of assumptions.

  18. Matt Black says:

    Think its a trick. Oh well. I hope I’m right

  19. Dead obvious. Easy ones like this are music to my ears.

  20. Some ideas came up. But none a solution to the puzzle (or too much out-of-box thinking). Maybe it’s that I’m not a native English speaker nor a player of poker.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This is too ambiguous to have a single correct solution.

  22. lamanga2004 says:

    Thanks for giving it away, you three commenters. But there is another, albeit less elegant, solution.

  23. Berber Anna says:

    There’s an obvious answer, and then I looked at the comments and realised the actual answer…

  24. Mad Kev says:

    Obviously no satisfactory argument to this one then.

  25. Crumbs! ive think ive got. finally! after months of reading The Friday Puzzle – I’m starting to get the hang of this “thinking” lark.

  26. seePyou says:

    what’s a sit-down dinner? I’m sure this line I don’t get holds the hint to solve it…

  27. Dee says:

    One answer instantly, another after rereading it.

  28. Tom Pedersen says:

    Hmm… I think I see what you did there. Or at least I think I think what you did there.

    I have a few answers, but logically they are the same situation.

  29. I know the answer – simply because I heard it as a child and somehow remember it!

  30. Alex says:

    Ah, after another read I realised the answer.

  31. spiderabc1 says:

    A few answers twirling around my head. I agree with andyo and Alex.

  32. Mad Kev says:

    One must assume that no-one else has given then any money, that could lead to any number of answers.

  33. AMWhy says:

    If this can be shortened to just the poker and reworded to say all of them gained more (cash or whatever) than they lost at poker, then I’m stumped. Otherwise I have many different answers which jumped out at me. The second (not involving the dinner) is nicest and I hope what Richard is thinking.

  34. Duck fish says:

    Way too many possibility

  35. Jeremy says:

    Once again Clever Dicks giving the answer away. Why is it that some people find it impossible to leave a comment without doing that?

    • Steve Jones says:

      None of the comments I’ve seen give away what I suspect is the right answer. However, there are lots of red herrings being put up.

    • Jeremy says:

      OK, but I disagree. I was a little stumped, although I could think of a couple of possible solutions, but some of the comments above led me to what I’m certain is the right one. We shall see…

  36. Paul says:

    This seems so obvious that I wonder if I’m reading the puzzle correctly.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Got it in 2.39483926 seconds. I feel so smug

    • Eddie (@edzeteito) says:

      How did you time yourself? With an atomic clock?

      I don’t like this puzzle – it seems too vague.

      Have a great bank holiday weekend everyone.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Sure the answers depend on which version of Poker they are playing?

  39. Yep, I like my answer. You can’t take that away from me whatever you say on Monday.

  40. Tessa K says:

    As often happens, my answer will be right in my world. I’m also imagining that Harry and Fred are short for Harriet and Freda, for a bit of gender equality.

  41. Zach says:

    5 seconds

  42. Jerry says:

    The question doesn’t say that the four participants were the only ones who played poker. Are we to assume this?

  43. Will says:

    I think I’ve played with these guys

  44. joshthelegend says:

    They all got so drunk that they see double the money=]

  45. Kristian says:

    First I got annoyed because if we’re allowed to add premises, only the imagination limits the number of answers.

    Then I read some pretty obvious hints in the comments and found the answer (yes, I went looking in the comments, sorry!).

  46. Took a few seconds to understand the question, then got the answer.

  47. photon says:

    A couple of obvious answers immediately present themselves.

  48. Pablo says:

    Only one elegant and clever solution, but the question fails to properly exclude the alternative boring solutions.

  49. Well, I see one clue that offers an answer. I guess I’ll find out on Monday if I was right or if it was just a red herring.

  50. Tim David says:

    They were all Democrats and they were under Obamas spell to believe that there was plenty of money to go around, when in fact there was not.

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