It’s the Friday Puzzle!



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.

67 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. Roland says:

    That would be a ribbit war 🙂
    (20 seconds)

  2. Anne Elk says:

    Two or three minutes. A nice puzzle.

  3. ivan says:

    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.

    • Anne Elk says:

      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.

    • Alan says:

      Pomposity FTW!

    • Hugh Janus says:

      Anne Whelk. Ivan is a proper noun so should begin with a capital ‘I’.

    • mgm75 says:

      Haha, “PWNED” as they say!

      My algebra is too rusty but I might give it a go later

    • Anne Elk says:

      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.

    • Pogo says:

      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!).

    • Ken Haley says:

      ivan: So what? It’s still a puzzle.

  4. Daniel says:

    Got it! Nice maths puzzle over my morning coffee.

  5. Carl says:

    Couple of minutes. Basic algebra

  6. Chris says:

    Jeez. These frogs must be enormous.

  7. Approx 30 seconds, I like friday Algebra!

  8. The Masked Twit says:

    30 seconds……for the dogs to eat the snails?

  9. Simple simultaneous equation… Unless I’ve missed something that trickster Wiseman has slipped in!

  10. halley says:

    30 secs like Jeremy

  11. Alma says:

    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. 🙂

  12. eivindvs says:

    about a minute of algebra

  13. Kristian says:

    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! 🙂

  14. Liam says:

    How heavy is the rope?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tug of war contests never end in a draw eventually one side gets tired. I guess the question is ‘do frogs tire quickly?’. Time to go to

  16. Phil Hearn says:

    Everyone knows that a tug of war contest doesn’t end in a draw. Eventually, one side tires. So, perhaps, the question is ‘do frogs tire quickly?’. You will find some help on

  17. SofARMaths says:

    A few algebrasecs…

  18. DiscoveredJoys says:

    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.

  19. Skatz says:

    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

  20. Mervulon says:

    “Ahhhh….” reminisce Rover and Fido… “Tasty, tasty little frogs.”

  21. WhatTheFlick says:

    Three dogs couldn’t pull 4 snails? What sort of stupid puzzle is this?

  22. Julia says:

    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.

  23. Wykah says:

    The dogs are pussies.

  24. Numbers guy says:

    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…..

  25. ChrisR says:

    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.

  26. Fotoflex says:

    @ Numbers Guy & Eddie; Thank you! I suddenly realise how and why the USA shut down! 🙂

  27. Numbers guy says:

    “Congress *decided* to do something about the budget…”

  28. Roma Tomato says:

    2 min.

  29. Louise says:

    A minute, with a pencil and paper and a few seconds to remember simultaneous equations.

  30. Hazel says:

    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.

  31. R. Wiseman says:

    I don’t Get it…. am so lost right now

  32. adminwally says:

    Leaped to the answer in about 3 minutes. Fun problem!

  33. jefferson says:

    Moses went to Pharoah and said, “Let my puppies go!”

  34. I got the answer in about 20 seconds (if it’s meant to be a simple mathematical question) but I’m wondering if there’s some sort of twist unrelated to the mathematics…

  35. 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.


    • Numbers guy says:

      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.

    • nahh I’d rather stop wasting my time supporting RW with page hits, he doesn’t deserve them anymore. /unsub

    • Numbers guy says:

      Bye. Miss you.

  36. Skatz says:

    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

  37. Zach says:

    Nice i got it in 4 minute alittle algebra does hurt

  38. Ronda says:

    I liked it. I got it within a minute, but had to write it down to be sure. Nice.

  39. Hal Harris says:

    1 min. Needs animation!

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