A nice easy one this week….

A bottle and a cork together cost $1.10. The bottle costs $1.00 more than the cork. How much does the cork cost?

As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

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.

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Easy one

From [wrong answer] to “oh, wait, [right answer] took a second or two.

The puzzle is why is the answer not 10c!

that would be 1.20

Yes, easy

2seconds, the easiest puzzle here.

At last, one I get straight away!!!

I think I got it, but my answer would be too easy… if it is the right answer, though, it took me barely a second. But I fear there’s a trap somewhere…

Simple mathematics. Done in 15 secs.

Got it in a minute or so, unless I’m missing some twist.

There’s definitely no twist (unless you count the corkscrew) because it’s a cork, not a screw-top!

That joke was lame, I know, but I couldn’t resist.

Easy indeed.

Classic… Takes 5 seconds

Indeed it does

Way too quick. I must be wrong

Why in the psychology [a sub. for an explitive] would one’s initial reaction be the obviously wrong answer?!!

Because of the set up. With any other beginning amounts other than $1.00 and $1.10, your brain would not have gone where it did. If the initial numbers were 60 cents and 90 cents, you would have had to figure it out rather than try to answer intuitively.

‘Ten… ohwait, no… [answer]‘ I normally don’t get them this fast, I love easy puzzles!

What a cheap bottle! I wouldn’t waste 10 seconds on it…

He didn’t say there was anything in the bottle…

Easy but good one.

Seconds, maybe 5 seconds?

aha. I see what you did there..

Cool, simultaneous equations. That’s for 7 year olds.

And you thought you’d never use algebra again.

I would consider that an insult to 7-year-olds. They would rather solve it using common (maths) sense rather than tiresome SEs.

😉

Easy one, in 5 seconds.

I had already solved a similar problem

Took me a minute, but then if I was a bit more wide awake this morning my schoolboy algebra would have have been twice as fast.

A couple of weeks ago there was no answer.

This week there is no puzzle!!

Way too easy, I got it in a few seconds then spent ages looking for a twist.

This is one of those questions which is only of interest in the situation that you have only a second or two to answer it. As psychologist and Economics Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman points out in his superb new book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, it is astonishing how many apparently highly intelligent people – 50% of students at MIT, Harvard and Princeton apparently – get this one wrong if they have to give an instant answer.

Few seconds. Had to write it out (taking longer) as my mental arithmetic’s rusty but yeah, purty simples 🙂

Ask somebody to give an instant answer and you’ll probably get something different to what they get with a few more seconds to ponder it. That’s probably the point of the question.

Even I could get that one! I think. Did I forget about tax or something? Or is it that since it’s a bottle of wine the cork comes with it?

My mind is about to explode from such a pedestrian question …

Damn you again, Richard Wiseacre!

The solution is too easy. It took longer to un-cork the bottle!

easy and tricky

Nice and easy. 5 seconds total with mental calculations. I liked it 🙂

Easy – this was on the BBC a few weeks ago.

I like it – just tempts you nicely into wanting to give the wrong answer.

Where’s the puzzle? I knew the answer straight away, because it’s obvious. Now that I have read the comments, I’m trying to work out why some people might have thought one answer and then changed to another.

I think people initially forget the “more than the cork” bit and assume the value quoted is that of the bottle.

Initially jumped to the wrong answer, thought “that’s too easy!”, re-read the question, and came up with an alternative solution.

Thought it was a trick question, but no, it really was that easy.

easy one this week.

got the fast answer, and then the correct one

Me too, first the obvious answer (obviously wrong) – well, 10 seconds for the right…

Satisfying lurch from wrong answer to right in a few seconds.

A quint-essentially good solution.

The puzzle is how to get it wrong.

Because the dollar was falling dramatically at the time of the puzzle, the answer is £2.53

Seriously, this one was really easy (and really really old)

For $1.05 a bottle, it must be really awful wine

I think he bought the bottle and the cork on a budget airline. You’d have to pay more if you want the wine to fill it!

Actually, it’s a fairly normal price for an empty bottle, if you order them in bulk. He didn’t mention wine, did he?

Very easy, seen it before as well. I actually have a friend who simply doesn’t get it, and insists that the answer is wrong. I’ve tried to explain it to him, but there’s something fundamental wrong somewhere in his epistemology or perhaps the semantics of his parsing… who knows?

That’s a very old one. First read this around 20 years ago.

That explains the price!

It’s very easy but a bit tricky as the first impulse is probably wrong. Nice one!

3 seconds

Next on our 6th grade algebra test, two trains leave Chicago and New York at 3 PM, heading towards each other…

NOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!!!!

a man on the westbound train is flicking pistachio shells out of the window every 23 seconds, whilst a girl on the eastbound train…..

easy one ! except if I didn’t see the trap

jcb

Finally! One I can do without any cheating! 🙂 Have to admit that even on this one, the first thing that popped into my head was wrong, but it only took a few seconds to realize it.

Yep, so easy I’m wondering what I did wrong.

I saw the obvious trap so pretty sure I’ve got it.

Took as long as it took to read the question.

But now I’m worried about references to the “trap” and suchlike.

LOL. Got it. A little sixth grade math.

2 seconds…if I’m right.

Seconds. But it sounds familiar and I guess I’ve seen it before in some form.

Seconds, and I’m right.

Feel a bit of a bottled up guinea pig on this one? Took a few seconds…

Less than half a minute, including a pen and paper check. Too easy, I really hope there’s a catch!

had the answer at the end of reading the question.

Assuming there’s not some special deal for buying bottle and cork together, I’ll admit, I’m struggling (as usual). If it wasn’t for people getting it so easily, I’d be inclined to think this was a trick question – damn my tiny brain!?

Yeah, posted to quickly, another few seconds and all became clear!?

Easy Peasy; fastest solution time without already seeing the question before (about 2 seconds).

Solved it in 5 seconds

about a minute. but I’m at work, dammit, and I have a lot of things to do.

This one has been around awhile. Nevertheless, I like this kind of puzzle, tricky but not terribly difficult.

It took about three times as long to convince myself that the obvious answer was wrong as it did to come up with the right answer.

20 seconds.

Seen it before, but did the algebra just to make sure.

-Matt

Seen it before, but did the algebra just to make sure. About a minute to verify.

-Matt

Still busy promoting Paranormality, Richard? The old bat and ball question from psychology tests, really?

If only my kids enjoyed algebra this much

The hints gave it away. How many seconds?

I was in a restaurant once and two people at the next table were having a big argument about this because they couldn’t work it out. They got so loud and annoying that I went and told them the answer.

I wouldn’t give this test a nickle… hey wait!!

It’s amusing how many people would automatically assume from the question, when the answer is no where in the question.

Also, I noticed something with how, at least in my case, the brain works: How many people, in answering to themselves, said the price of the cork AND the bottle? You only need one but it’s an automatic reaction.

Got this one immediately or rather I remembered it immediately. I must have heard it about 60 years ago.

3/8000th of a second.

I’ll give you a nickel if you can come up with a better one next week. Really, this was like a 3rd grade “Word Problem” for math homework.

–Dave

1 m and 45 seconds