It’s the Friday Puzzle!


First, ace techno magician Marco Tempest has created a wonderful performance piece to celebrate the life of Nikola Tesla.  Link here.

Second, the Friday puzzle…..

A condemned man is allowed to choose how he will die.  He is presented with the following six options:

1) Thrown into a deep river tied to a heavy stone.

2) Decapitated by an axe.

3) Eaten alive by a group of cannibals.

4) Thrown into a pit of lions that haven’t eaten for five months.

5) Hanged by the neck until he is dead.

6) Shot through the heart with a rifle.

Which one should he choose in order to maximise his chances of survival?

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.

56 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. Roland says:

    Took me 5 seconds. As so very often, the answer is in the question itself 🙂

  2. I think I got it shortly after reading the choices. Of course, I could be wrong.

  3. Haha!! got it!! Easy one!

  4. Kenneth says:

    The first one I have been able to get!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was expecting something less obvious for this friday. Damn.

  6. Bill says:

    Already knew this one, but still enjoyed seeing it again.

  7. EarthenBlueSky7 says:

    I have a feeling I know which one it is..

  8. Steve Jones says:

    Is this one really as easy as it looks?

  9. Doug S. says:

    Ha! For the first time, I was able to get it before I finished reading it! Thank you for letting me feel a little bit clever – it doesn’t happen often!

  10. Jon says:

    Solved – 3 minutes.

  11. How deep is the pit?

  12. David Hogan says:

    Solved in < 30 seconds

  13. The Masked Twit says:

    Is the river tied to a heavy stone or the man?

    • Martha says:

      I wondered if the heavy stone was thrown in with him

    • The Masked Twit says:

      Oh I see.
      The man is tied to a heavy stone, but with a very long piece of rope.
      Then the man is thrown in to the river, but because the rope is so long, the stone does not go in, so the man does not drown.
      I guess this is a spoiler then.

  14. kaggyx says:

    Immediately, if it is what i think it is.

  15. Chris Gladis says:

    I knew right away which way I would choose! It’s always nice to get one of these right – come ON, dopamine rush!!

  16. slugsie says:

    I think this is a bit easy really. A couple of seconds.

  17. Niva says:

    Pretty obvious I think. <1 min.

  18. jonah13 says:

    Got it straight away. Hurrah!

  19. repton says:

    A condemned man … or a condemned TIME LORD?

  20. edgar1975 says:

    I think I got it right, but I’ll wait until Monday 🙂

  21. Simon Taylor says:

    Easy and obvious. Got it as I was reading it.

  22. Stephen says:

    Think I got it as I was reading the choices. I need to do some research to confirm though!

  23. Henry Barth says:

    Very easy.Too easy.

  24. Stu says:

    Took me a few seconds, but it made me laugh when it clicked!

  25. Cheryl says:

    As per the above, I got this one right away. thought I was clever, turns out it may just have been an easy one!

  26. NickC says:

    The Nikola Tesla presentation was great

  27. Drew says:

    Heh heh, old one but a good one

  28. Lazy T says:

    wot? no ‘death by maomao’ option?

  29. Alex says:

    What if you are thrown into a pit with no moderators ready to remove unlovely spoilers as soon as they sprout? 🙂

  30. Nanny Mouse says:

    Got it instantly, once I read the spoiler

  31. Mike Torr says:

    What is it recently with people giving away spoilers? The general standards have plummeted on here recently – everyone used to be so courteous and careful not to do that, and now suddenly they’re falling over themselves to give the answer away.

    Folks, not giving away the answer means ALSO not discussing the question until Monday. You’re only supposed to say how long it took you and whether you got it. THAT’S ALL.

    It’s really quite simple.

    • Anon says:

      I have been participating in this for about a year now, Mike. I don’t think I ever ever noticed anyone providing a deliberate spoiler and I don’t see any in this thread either. [Maybe because I have the “wrong” answer!].
      Richard sometimes [often?] sets trick questions. Because they are trick questions sometimes people accidentally give the game away when seeking clarification. That’s one of the hazards of setting trick questions. The “spoiler” I see above is in that class.
      If all we do is say whether we solved the puzzle or not and the time we took to do it we may as well have two drop downs – one saying “Solved” or “Not Solved” and the other with a list of times. I, for one, would find that pretty dull.

      PS You have broken your own rule viz:-
      “You’re only supposed to say how long it took you and whether you got it.”

  32. Tc says:

    In the end arent the chances of survival the same?

  33. spiderabc1 says:

    I had a number, no doubt change it over the weekend. This is a fun one.

  34. Adam says:

    The Marco Tempest video is interesting, but I don’t know if I’d call him a magician, more of a performance artist.

  35. Gus Snarp says:

    Piece of cake. I started looking at it literally, then thought there’s not enough information (how many cannibals in the group?, are they armed?) and quickly realized there’s no way to answer it with that approach, read through the options again and there it was, plain as day.

  36. Duncan says:

    Hmm, easy!

  37. FrankN.Stein says:

    Wait a sceond, that question doesn’t make any… ohhhh… 😉 yeah, 5 seconds….

  38. Ian says:

    Thanks for that, Richard: clever one 🙂 Got the answer immediately, whilst reading the question itself, but it’s a subtle one, so thanks for another quick brain workout 😀

  39. Anonymous says:

    a few minutes. very clever.

  40. Nelis says:

    Either these are getting easier – or I’m getting wiser to Richard’s tricks.
    On the second reading, so about 30 seconds.

  41. Anders says:

    How deep is the pit where those lions are?

  42. JohnLoony says:

    Obvious! What’s the point of having a puzzle which not even the thickest person would have to think about for more than a microsecond? Or is that itself the puzzle?

  43. Helen says:

    This was easy. It was obvious when you figured it out and I’m only 10!

  44. Zach says:

    Hilarious. 10 seconds.

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