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.

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.

1. carlos says:

Help FBI to solve a real crime REAL PUZZLE:To accommodate the continuing interest in this case, we have established a page (http://forms.fbi.gov/code) where the public can offer their comments and theories about the coded messages.

2. JohnDavid says:

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

3. Mark says:

Solved it…I think

4. 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.

1. Bleary eyed Joe says:

Where’s the ambiguity? Seems pretty clear to me.

2. -M- says:

I agree, there are multiple possible scenario’s and there is some ambiguity.

5. Anon says:

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

6. wykah says:

How many Johns were running?

7. 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.

1. Dave says:

The question explicitly states which lap everything happens on. Also, that book was terrible.

8. Mick says:

Got it, in a few seconds.

9. laconicsax says:

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

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

1. Teletubby says:

Yes you are being silly. All the information we need is in the question.

11. 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.

12. Roland says:

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

1. El Pedantico says:

You mean like did one collapse and die before they got to the finishing line?

2. -M- says:

Roland:
I agree.

13. Stan says:

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

14. 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.

15. Also heard a similar one like this before. very good

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

1. Dave says:

Sigh. Yes, it depends on whether John gets eaten by a purple robot manatee, but I think it’s fairly safe to shelve the self-righteous pedantry and take the puzzle at face value.

2. Lazy T says:

He won a gold in the fairy cake bake-off when he was at school

Poor.

17. Eddie says:

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

18. 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…

If any other incidents were in any way relevant, they would be included in the question. Doh!

2. Eddie says:

I like this reply and it applies to many comments on previous Friday Puzzles.

19. mittfh says:

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

20. 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.

21. Anonymous says:

His name isn’t John, it’s Kenenisa.

22. Tenebrarius (@Tenebrarius) says:

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

23. Zach says:

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

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

1. 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?

25. Herp Derpleburp says:

Croix de Guerre

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

27. few seconds here, unless I missed something (again)

28. 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

29. Jenifer says:

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

30. ezra says:

1:00
no more.
very easy.

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

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

1. 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.
TMT

2. Mick says:

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

34. Anonymous says:

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

35. 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…..ad nauseum

36. Frank says:

i got it in 10 seconds

37. Jerry996 says:

Under a minute.

38. 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?”

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

40. Dr.Devendra says:

Just only two seconds……………

And solved….

41. 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!

1. Sympathetic C says:

Yeah, but they’ve usually tell us the questions are ambiguous, so their answers will be “right” even when they are wrong.

2. Furie says:

That’s how I ended up with Hamburger for my answer.