coverI hope you are having a good break. 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.

Three odd questions this week….

1) What are black when you buy them, red when you use them and grey when you throw them away?

2) On which day of the year do fewest people die?

3) In which book does the Index precede the Introduction?


  1. I know # 2, though there are cultural and historical variations if I am correct.
    On # 1, I’m sure I’ll kick myself when the answer is revealed in a few days.
    But # 3 is right up my alley.

  2. 3 is easiest (for me)
    2 is easy, assuming the assumptions Richard has are the same 🙂
    1 was more tricky, but got it (and I know why I didn’t know it right away, there is some ‘cultural’ aspect here)
    (about 2 minutes)

    1. That’s what happens when you post ill formed questions, Richard.
      Still, I must be on fire – I got question 1 in next to no time.

  3. Why on earth are we asked not to post the answers? comments would potentially be far more interesting to read that way.
    Anyway, 1 and 3 will have multiple correct answers, and 2 is presumably existential…

  4. I got #1 within a few seconds. hint: I’ve heard that one before.. lol I thought I had #2, but then I reread the question and now I’m stuck on #2 & #3… I guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend… (trying to come up with the answers…

  5. i have a clear answer to #3 instantly, a reasonable answer to #2 after a minute, and a questionable answer to #1 (other than keith’s clever “haitian blood donor”) after spending some time thinking about it.

  6. 1. It’s been over ten minutes and I’m still not sure. Hopefully I’ll find some inspiration before Monday!
    2. A few seconds
    3. A minute or two. Was helped by the comment from another puzzler that it was obvious, so I went back to one of my first thoughts and realised it had been right after all.

  7. 1. Not a clue, unless it is on average over a longer time period
    2. old old childrens’ riddle

    3 is as poorly phrased now as it was last time you asked it, the use of the definite article breaks the intended answer

  8. Thanks for this one, Richard, it’s a delightful sort of Christmas cracker series of puzzles 🙂 The answer to the third question came immediately, whilst reading it; the answer to the first came within a minute or so; the second, that took about fifteen minutes and they’re all rather fun, so thanks for another delightful little brain workout for the weekend 🙂 Have a relaxing weekend and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season 😀

  9. 1. Took 30sec: absolutely sure of the answer.
    2. Another 30: I guess I have the right answer, maybe cause I see a theme running. But maybe I’m wrong. Still thinking about a better one.
    3. Instantaneously. Easy one.

    Seasons greetings to you and all viewers of this wonderful blog.

  10. 1 took a minute or so, 2 about 15 sec, now, 3…… Depends on whether you mean the median of num of deaths on each day of the year, or the grand total of deaths on each day. If the latter….. Easy peezy. Not sure about the former!

  11. Where did you get your x-mess crackers?
    The answers to the first 3 I pulled were
    1 a stick
    2 Your’e too young to smoke
    3 In the large Hadron collander

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