It’s the Friday Puzzle….


OK, here is the this weeks puzzle.  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.

In the 10,000 metres final at the Olympics, John passed the runner in second place on the penultimate lap.  Then John himself was passed by two runners on the finishing straight.  What medal did John win?

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 says:

    Yeah didn’t take long, I’ve heard of that rhetorical trick before. Still glad to see this before some douche posts the answer though.

  2. JohnDavid says:

    Done – 2 secs. (but may have heard a similar one before)

  3. Mark says:

    Solved it…I think

  4. Too many ‘what if’s’ in this for my liking.

  5. Mike Torr says:

    Yep, another ambiguous question, but it’s fairly clear how we’re meant to answer it, and it seemed very easy to me.

  6. Anon says:

    Not meant to be a spoiler, but he is not going to trouble Mo Farrah

  7. wykah says:

    How many Johns were running?

  8. Holden Caulfield says:

    I suppose we’re to assume they’re all on the same lap, if so than it’s easy save the one trap.

  9. Mick says:

    Got it, in a few seconds.

  10. laconicsax says:

    Ha! It’s a trick question. John failed the drugs test and was banned from the sport.

  11. The Masked Twit says:

    If we are being silly, to answer the quetion we need to know what’s happens next.

  12. Andrew Pinks says:

    Solved it as I read the problem so only a few seconds. Read problem to my wife who also solved it straight away.

  13. Roland says:

    Depends, I miss some information about the two runners that passed John

  14. Stan says:

    Not that hard, but it still took me about 5 sec (so I’m a bit slower than most).

  15. Steve Eylar says:

    I have not heard this before, but I think I have the answer in less than a minute, but must admit I had the wrong answer before re-thinking it.

  16. Drew says:

    Also heard a similar one like this before. very good

  17. Mad Kev says:

    It depends on what happened after that and before the finishing line.

  18. Eddie says:

    Assuming no lapping took place then I think I can work this one out in less than a minute.

  19. Berhard says:

    Where all runners in the same lap? Any other incidents not listed? 10000 metres is a long run so it is not clear if they all are in the same lap… Did the leading runner got a heart attack before the finishing line? The solution for a straight 10000 m course is very simple…

  20. mittfh says:

    No trickery at all here – just primary school level mathematics 🙂

  21. ctj says:

    about 10 seconds for the most obvious correct solution, another minute for two others. didn’t see the ambiguity about the number of johns until getting to the comments.

  22. Anonymous says:

    His name isn’t John, it’s Kenenisa.

  23. Tenebrarius (@Tenebrarius) says:

    10 seconds for the obvious (and wrong) answer. 1 minute more to find the correct one.

  24. Zach says:

    About 5 seconds, but I’ve seen this before.

  25. Took a couple of seconds, and seemed obvious, and so I assume I’m wrong.

    • Anonymous says:

      Same thing for me. After several minutes of thinking I’m still stuck with the obvious (and thus probably wrong) answer. I’m ignorant about athletics – is there anything nonobvious about the rules of 10km running relevant to this puzzle?

  26. Herp Derpleburp says:

    Croix de Guerre

  27. Marcus says:

    Heh, a few seconds, but I needed to read through it quite a few times to make sure I hadn´t missed something.

  28. Laith says:

    few seconds here, unless I missed something (again)

  29. Anonymous says:

    1 minute for what I think is the expected answer, but unfortunately I still think there are several possible correct answers that don’t require “interpreting the question” given the context of the question

  30. Jenifer says:

    Yep, got it (I think). Under a minute.

  31. ezra says:

    no more.
    very easy.

  32. JohnLoony says:

    About 40 seconds. I had to read the wording about three times just to check.

  33. Not even simple math. Just a matter of a quick visualization . . . I think.

  34. JohnLoony says:

    After reading the thread, I think the puzzle can be interpreted in different ways, such that there are 3 different possible answers.

    • Anonymous says:

      I make it four if you include the “someone dies before the finishing line” or “someone decides to walk off the track and not complete the race” options.
      I acknowledge that these are silly, however, and in the nit pickerising area.

    • Mick says:

      Also included the “Richard is not lying about the conditions of this puzzle” option, else there could be endless answers… 😉

  35. Anonymous says:

    I think I got the answer just by the time I end from reading the puzzle

  36. Nit Picker says:

    nit….pick…nit….pick…..nit…..pick….the question is ambiguous….nit….pick….nit….pick….nit…pick….it can be interpreted in different ways…..nit….pick….nit….pick….nit…..pick…..there are several different answers….nit …..pick….nit…..pick…..etc… nauseum

  37. Frank says:

    i got it in 10 seconds

  38. Jerry996 says:

    Under a minute.

  39. Dharmaruci says:

    the puzz hinges on the apparent false conclusion people reach when ans’ing the question: “if you overtake the second in a race, what position are you now?”

    but is it a false conclusion? or, rather, are other ans’es possible other than the expected one? consid similar question: “if you overtake the last in a race, what position are you now?”

  40. Peter Leeson says:

    A particularly ill-defined question – in a race run in laps, you can be a lap behind the runner you overtake.

  41. Dr.Devendra says:

    Just only two seconds……………

    And solved….

  42. David D says:

    I do wish there was a place where people could secretly post their answers. Then on Mondays we could see exactly how clever some of these posters actually are!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s