Please do NOT post your answer, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

Some animals decided to get together and have several tug of war matches.

When two snails were against three frogs it was a draw.

When three dogs were against four snails it was a draw.

What happened when five frogs had a match against two dogs?

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. No, it isn’t a puzzle, it is a calculation such as might be set in a child’s homework when they are learning fractions.

    1. Not all of us occupy your lofty intellectual stratosphere, ivan. It was a puzzle to me and I wouldn’t have been able to do it when I was a child. Now, if you could just work on your capital letters and your noun and pronoun agreement you’d be virtually perfect.

    2. Yes exactly! That was I criticising him for, Hugh. And by the way, it’s Elk. And yes, I’ve heard them all before. Luckily I became an Elk long after most people joke about people’s surnames.

    3. Just wanted to stick up for you, Anne. It IS one of the easier ones of recent weeks but that doesn’t make it any less nice a puzzle, and if you enjoyed solving it, good for you (sorry if that sounds patronising, it’s not meant to, and I would bet good money that the majority of British adults who have completed normal stints of education would be very hazy in their reasoning).

      If readers find the straightforward algebraic method too trivial, make it fun for yourself by looking for a shortcut and/or doing it in your head. I did that and solved it in a couple of minutes (although with a pencil, pen and formal algebra I suspect I would have been quicker!).

    1. Same question i’ve been asking myself and trying to find an asnwer in the last 5 minutes or so. Otherwise i solved it in ~20 sec

  2. Haven’t a clue. But it would have been very entertaining to watch these contests going on! Haven’t seen a frog in years! 🙂 (Too many of these puzzles are mathematical recently for me. Let’s have more logic and wordplay ones please, for those like me who are thick at maths. 🙂

  3. Puzzle: Alright, one of the easier ones, but atleast I could solve it this week. Around a minute.

    Picturing dogs, frogs, and snails doing tug of war: Good laugh! 🙂

  4. A second to ‘type’ the problem and a 20 seconds to work the solution.

    I hear that at the after match party the frogs, dogs and snails were legless – even though the snails had nothing to drink.

  5. 30 secs.
    But how do the snails hold the rope? Oh wait, if it was tied round their shells that would work.
    I’m glad I sorted that out, the whole concept had me worried.
    Where can I buy one of your frogs? My dogs are getting a bit too big for their boots. Ah, boots! The snails could wear boots for a better grip. Which is what I need to get

  6. I didn’t really make any calculations. I just wrote down lots of letters and then crossed them out again bit by bit. Took about a minute.

  7. Apropos of nothing at all, I remember there used to be a management book called Five Frogs on a Log. The idea was, if five frogs are on a log and one of them decides to jump off, how many are left? Answer in an hour…..

  8. I had a racing snail once, and took off his shell to make him more streamlined.
    It didn’t work – if anything it made him more sluggish.

  9. Couple of minutes, probably longer than it should have done and I’m not all that confident I’m right. Still, we shall see on Monday. I’m impressed nobody has put the answer yet.

  10. ok, first of all, math problems are not “Puzzles” Richard, so stop presenting them as such.

    Second of all, this is the dumbest f’ing math problem I’ve ever seen in my life. You haven’t presented a decent puzzle in months.

    Jesus man, you used to make a contribution to science and skepticism. The gorilla video changed my outlook on perception and the reliability of my own cognition. Now all you do are lame “puzzles” and bad “bets you will always win” videos on youtube.

    Please start giving a damn again some time soon. The reality based community needs you, not your lame assed “bets” videos and friday “math problems” ffs.


    1. erikthebassist, if this is the sort of offensive, narrow-minded, unconstructive behaviour that you think the “reality based community” ought to be exhibiting, then I for one would rather go and play with the unicorns and the fairies. Now STFU, have a damn good think about your own “contribution to science and scepticism”, and apologise.

  11. Ooh I say, arguments on a puzzles page. It’s only a bit of fun ericthebassist, you’re so demanding and needy. Do you constantly require someone like Richard to tell you what to think?
    And what’s wrong with faeries and unicorns anyway? My garden is full of them

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