Hi there, I have just posted a new Quirkology video containing another 10 bets you will always win.  What’s your favourite?


    1. …and my favourite is probably the balancing forks one; but am I missing something – how /do/ you balance a coin on a lemon?

    2. @ChrisR sorry for being nosey, but I’m curious to know why you think you’re missing something? Why do you need to know how to balance a goin on a lemon? I guess you could glue a thumb tack to it. Please ignore this comment if I have missed something obvious.

    3. If it’s supposed to be a bet I can win then presumably (as per all the other 9 examples – and all the ones in the earlier videos) I ought to be able to show how it can be done.
      Admittedly I could say “I bet you £10 you can’t balance this coin on that lemon” – but it doesn’t normally work that way

  1. Hi Richard,

    I’ve noticed I’m no longer receiving your Friday’s Puzzle. Are you still sending them? Are you OK?

    Thanks, Richard, (Please keep up all your truly terrific work – I love it!)

    Mark Cohen

    1. Hi Mark,

      Sorry, I don’t have your email any more. If you post it for me below I’ll add you to the mailing list.

      All the best,

    2. Thanks Mark. I’ve added your name back onto the Russian spam mailing list. Remind me again what it is that you’re most interested in – was it transsexuals or animals?

      All the best,

  2. It is time that the Friday Puzzle was re-instated. Hence I have decided to issue a puzzle. Whoever gets it right will have the right to issue the next puzzle.

    Onward now with my puzzle.

    I am thinking of a number. What is it?

    Some clues. It is a whole number (no decimal part) greater than 1 (ie not -0.5 or any hard-to-guess number like that). It is most likely the first number you would think of if you think of me. It was for me. You do not need similteneous equations to know this number.

    Your answers please.

    (Other people have again been posting here as my name. They are not me. Only the posts from me are from me).

    1. It is most likely the first number you would think of if you think of me.

      I didn’t know “ass-clown” was a number. Happy to be corrected.

    2. my guess for a number would be ether or local anesthetic. although most of them are liquid, so i’m struggling with the concept of a “whole” number.

  3. The first number I thought of, thinking of you, was 1, but you stated that the answer is greater than 1. Thus, I guess 6 (first “perfect” number). LOL

    1. That’s correct, but I challenge you to explain why.

      Of course, I ought to confirm that this is really me that it is posting. It is.

  4. Oh dear, once again someone has stepped in to ruin it.

    @Nitwit – that is not the correct answer to the puzzle. A fake me has stepped in to muddle up the already ruffled feathers of the waters here.

    I kindly ask all fakers to desist from their trolling. It may be fun for you for a moment yet it is causing distress for others who may be temporatily misled by your comments.

    It is easy to tell which posts are genuinely from me as I am the only one to use my email address

    1. Imposter Barry, please tell us what that e-mail address is, so we can prove once and for all that you are not me.


      Oh dear, now it’s getting really pathetic. In future, posts that are really by me will have the heading that you can see above.


      I agree. This is the only way that people can be guaranteed the real thing.


      See – only a person of my talents could have come up with such a simple but effective way to distinguish me from the imposters.

    4. Oh dear, another imposter. I humbly beg you to stop as your postings are only confusing those among us who are easily misled. In future, posts that are really by me will have my phone number so that people can see that it is really me and not some faker (I will not post it for now).

      That way, if anyone is unclear whether a post is by me or one of these imposters, they can telephone me and confirm that it was indeed I that posted the post

  5. Barry, I’d quit now while your ahead.

    Just stop this unadultreated nonsense.

    You said you were going to go away. Please do.

    You’re supplying Richard with material which is surely “beyond the dreams of analysts”.

    1. If you’re the real Eddie I’d expect you to know the difference between “your” and “you’re”
      (although I’ll accept that it might have been typed in haste as it was correct later!)

    2. @Edie

      Many are now posting as me. We could say that many are Called but only one is Goddard.

      I am not dispirited by this. Neither you too should be either. Perhaps it shows a longing to have mastery of the skills and abilities that I demonstrate so effortlessly.

      To show that I am me. I also have a blog. It is a “world similator” that asks questions and then sets world policy according to the answers. My answers are always guided by intuition and human kindness and astrology. This means my world is one of the most advanced and caring of them all.

      I have posted a blog on the world that infers this blog. Thus you have proof of genuineness.

      I know you fear to learn from my imitators. They may sound on the surface to the plausible. Yet they do not have the still waters that run deep that marks the true teacher from the copycats.

      Fear not @Edie. I can still help if you have the wearwithall to withstand and see through the imitators.

    3. Are you the Barry Goddard who said that they would post your phone number? As you haven’t done that and you are not using the heading “GENUINE BARRY GODDARD POST”, I’m really confused. You can’t be real, surely.

    4. Your nation state is ranked 101,062nd out of 113,200 for political freedoms. That is impressive. It is also in the Top 5% for most corrupt governments, Top 10% for rudest citizens, Top 5% for most primitive, and Top 10% for shortest average lifespan.

      So, roughly on a par with what would be expected from the way you conduct yourself.

      What is it like to be a perennial under-achiever?

    5. @Starman

      In the end you can be a creator or a critic. You can add to the sum total of human of human experience. Or you can sneer in it’s face.

      It is clear you have chosen to be the sneering cynical critic. I on the other had am a creator. I chose to surround myself with other creators. We and they create harmony and understanding and insight and delight and joy at the discovery of new knowledge and ways of being.

      You don’t.

      You may be happy being that sort of person. Yet please do not confuse your mode of being with the more expansive worhwhile one that I wish to be an exemplar of.

      We have different paradigms. Mine is better. Most rational visitors to this blog will agree with that. No amount of emotional grafitti on your part will change that.

      Thus I thank you for your contribution meagre though it was. Please sit back and enjoy watching those of us who build rather than bilge.

    1. Here you go:

      I have a solid sphere of cheese. It is quite large. For reasons which I’m not prepared to discuss here, I decide to drill a cylindrical hole from one side and out the other right through the centre. When I measure the length of the hole I note that is is exactly 10 cm long.

      What is the volume of the remaining contiguous cheese; ie don’t include the drill shavings? Yes, I have provided you with sufficient information to determine the answer.

    2. Nice puzzle, and you are correct – you have supplied everything you need to solve it.
      Which should have been a big clue to me but I am ashamed to say I couldn’t visualise it and gave up too easily before searching for the answer (the page I got to explained it as a sphere with a hole drilled through leaving effectively a napkin ring – that stood x cm high when flat on the table).

    3. @Anon – That explains it. I also sometimes find that I repeat myself when I’m tweaking.

      I also appreciate how you have mirrored the puzzle by providing me sufficient information to determine that you probably have worked out the correct answer. Very meta.

  6. Can you advise as to the make of cheese? Clearly if it is an Emmentaler or similar, you will need to factor in the air holes.

    Just saying

    1. Thank you, Hugh. I purposefully didn’t specify the type of cheese to provide an opportunity for some bright spark such as yourself to play and ask that very question. Of course, I did state that the cheese was “solid” which was intended to convey that it was, therefore, solid but I can see how that might easily be misconstrued as “parts of it are solid with other bits in a gaseous (or liquid or plasma) phase”.

      I did actually think that ChrisR might’ve been the one to poke me in the ribs but he was apparently already occupied with cheating research.

      In answer to your question I will only say that the cheese is made in reverse.

    2. Onyx
      0n the basis of your statement that:-
      “Yes, I have provided you with sufficient information to determine the answer.”
      200 pi cubic cm

    3. @Anon – close(ish) but no fusiform container of dried and fermented Nicotiana tabacum leaves for you.

    4. @Anon – That explains it. I also sometimes find that I repeat myself when I’m tweaking.

      I also appreciate how you have mirrored the puzzle by providing me sufficient information to determine that you probably have worked out the correct answer. Very meta.

  7. A runner can run along the edge of a square field (say 100m by 100m) at twice the speed she can run through it. What path should she take to get from one corner to the diagonally opposite corner in the least time.

    1. Hm, since the path around the outside edge is less than 1½ times the diagonal but she can run at twice the speed, I would think that the outside path is the one that would give the least travel time. I’ve considered a path with different segments around the edge and through the field but, as far as I can see, the running time is always improved by reducing the amount of time spent running through the field.

      Have I misunderstood something?

    2. Simon, apologies I messed up. I should have added that crossing the field at some point is required – i.e. going round the edge is not allowed. But then the whole idea isn’t very practical if she can knock off a huge amount of time just running round the edge. Sorry.

    3. Hm – yes, just done some maths without the basic sense check first and was coming to the same conclusion as Simon.
      if y = bit of side you run along before cutting across, then I found you need to maximise
      2*(sqrt(2) – 1) * y,
      which as the bit in the brackets is +ve gives y as the whole side.

    4. Yeah, I’m not sure what you intended Eddie. Obviously the shorter the path “through” the field the better. So was running along one edge, cutting the corner, and running down the next edge what you were looking for or did you want her to cross the field from one side to the opposite side?

      If the latter then 50 m along one edge 100 m at right angles thru the field then another 50 m to the corner would be the quickest.

    5. Well if she runs along the edge for xm and then cuts through the field to the corner, then x = approx. 42m gives the minimum time.

    6. OK, I’ll go with that – if the question is phrased “There’s a square field with a path down two adjacent sides and walls down the other two sides. A runner is at the apex of the two paths, and there’s a gate at the apex of the two walls, etc”

  8. In this highly likely event that there will not be a puzzle tomorrow (Friday) here is one from me

    You are in an empty room and you have a transparent glass of water. The glass is a cylinder, and it looks like it’s half full, but you’re not sure. How can you accurately figure out whether the glass is half full, more than half full, or less than half full? You have no rulers or writing utensils.

    As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say whether you think you have solved it and how long it took. (NOT THAT ANYONE WILL COMPLY)


    1. Thanks, Gabby. I will comply with all three of your requests.

      I am confident that I have solved it. It took me a few seconds.

      I should also say that I found that the glass was not half full – it was half empty.

    2. in the absence of rulers and writing utensils I would use a good old-fashioned measuring jug…..

  9. Ok, it looks like we’re not going to get an official Friday Puzzle so here’s one from me.

    Mrs Mouse and I recently went to a party. I won’t divulge the nature of the party here but suffice to say that large balls of cheese with holes drilled through them were involved.

    There were 4 other couples at this party. Not all of us had met before and each of us shook hands with each and every person that we didn’t know.

    After all of the introductions had been completed I went around and asked each person how many people they had shaken hands with. To my mild surprise I received 9 different answers. Since this was fairly early in the evening before people’s memories had a chance to be rinsed with dandelion wine or soaked in scrumpy, we should assume that they all spoke the truth (in vino veritas, after all).

    With how many people did Mrs Mouse shake hands?

    1. That’s very clever. At first, it feels like there is not enough information to answer, but if you work through the logic, there is only one conclusion. I thought at first that maybe the trick is that you and Mrs M did not know each other (ie this was the party where you first met), but that’s not required.

      I’ll just say at this stage that the answer is a square number, for Mr Mouse to confirm, and to give others a chance to try this.

    2. Yes, excellent puzzle. No need for shenanigans to arrive at an answer, just a process of logical deduction leading to an inevitable conclusion. There is a pleasing symmetry to it all.

    3. I’ve no idea if anyone’s still interested, but as I wrote down how I solved it and it’s Sunday night, I’m posting it here for anyone who wants to know how it is done…

      As we are dealing with 5 couples, the most that any person could not have known is 8. As there were 9 different answers from 9 people, those answers must have been 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

      I’ll write Pn to mean the person who said they shook n hands. Note that Mr Mouse is not one of the Pn as he was asking the question!

      First point to highlight: by definition, nobody shook P0’s hand and only one person shook P1’s hand.

      P8 shook everyone’s hand except their partner’s, so P0 must be their partner. We have our first couple: P0+P8.

      Note that the one person who shook P1’s hand must be P8. P7 and P1 must be a couple. The reason for this is that P7 did not shake their partner’s hand or P0’s hand, so they must have shaken everyone else’s hand, and all those people also shook P8’s hand, so none of them can be P1. The only possibility is that P1 is P7’s partner. We have our second couple: P1+P7.

      Keep in mind that P8 shook everyone’s hand except P0’s, and P7 shook everyone’s hand except P0’s and P1’s.

      As P2 shook hands with P7 and P8, P2 couldn’t have shaken hands with anyone else. We have to decide if P6 is P2’s partner. We know P6 didn’t shake hands with P0, P1 and P2. So the people P6 shook hands with must be everyone else: P3, P4, P5, P7, P8 and Mr M. That means none of them can be P6’s partner, and P2 is the only available option for P6’s partner – we have another couple: P2+P6.

      P3 we now know must have shaken hands with P7, P8 and P6 (and no-one else). Reviewing all the above, P5 did shake hands with P6, P7 and P8 and did not shake hands with P0, P1, P2, P3. So they must have shaken P4’s hand and Mr M’s hand (they are the only possibilities left to bring their total up to 5). This means P5 is not Mr M’s partner or P4’s partner, so we have only one option for our last two couples: P3+P5, P4+Mr M.

      Conclusion: Mrs M is P4, ie Mrs Mouse shook four hands.

      (I notice now that for each couple the sum of the hands shaken is always 8. If that is a fact that can be proved upfront from the information in the question, it would make the solution much easier. )

    4. @Math1.609Kilometres – (I do hope that you don’t mind me referring to you in metric. It really is simpler for everybody).

      Anyway, you are correct so, well done. Also, that thing that you noted at the end (the symmetry that Simon alluded to) only holds true if the number of hands shaken by each person forms a continuous series (with the central element doubled-up such as 0,1,2,3,4,4,5,6,7,8). It doesn’t matter if there aren’t any actual couples; ie 1,2,3,4,5,5,6,7,8,9 will also work although the sum of the now artificial “couples” or pairs will be 10 instead of 8.

      This used to be a happy bustling place but the jester stole the king’s crown and now his subjects are hanging onto the wall self-consciously shuffling their feet in uncertain silence while dustbunnies cavort across the cold stony floor.

      I am happy to post more puzzles if people are interested but I don’t want to waste my time talking to an empty room as I can do that offline.

    5. Thanks. I’ll be your dust bunny provide you don’t try to do-metric-ate me again. (I may have broken your metaphor). So, as long the candle keeps burning, I’ll keep a look out for any puzzles you care to post. As you may have guessed, I’m fairly partial to the more maths-y ones.

    6. @MathMiles

      Just don’t understand why this statement is true: “P8 shook everyone’s hand except their partner’s, so P0 must be their partner. We have our first couple: P0+P8.”

      Can you explain? Hope I’m not being stupid again.

    7. P8 shook everyone’s hands except their partner’s – hopefully, that is clear enough (there are only 10 people, and P8 didn’t shake his own hand and nobody would shake their partner’s hand).

      Now, P8 couldn’t have shaken P0’s hand, because by definition, nobody shook P0’s hand. Therefore, the only place we can put P0 is as P8’s partner. Put it another way, I’m claiming that the 8 people that shook P8’s hand were: P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6, P7 and Mr M. If instead one of those in that list was P8’s partner (and so didn’t shake his hand), who would be the eighth person to replace them in this list?

      I found it easier to work through all my logic by drawing a diagram: put 5 couples at the vertices of an imaginary pentagon, with a blob for each person (so 10 blobs, paired at each vertex). The aim is to join points if they shook hands. Label one blob P8. Eight lines radiate out from them to every other blob on the other vertices. So none of those blobs can be P0 – aha! I know where to label P0. Now label another blob P1 and think about workable positions for P7. etc.

  10. One morning, exactly at 8 A.M., a monk began to climb a tall mountain. The narrow path, no more than a foot or two wide, spiraled around the mountain to a glittering temple at the summit. The monk ascended the path at varying rates of speed, stopping many times along the way to rest and to eat the dried fruit he carried with him. He reached the temple precisely at 8 P.M.After several days of fasting and meditation, he began his journey back along the same path, starting at 8A.M. and again walking at varying speeds with many pauses along the way. He reached the bottom at precisely 8 P.M.?

    I assert that there is at least one spot along the path the monk occupied at precisely the same time of day on both trips.?

    Is my assertion true? How do you decide?

    1. You speak the truth, Eddie. I had a quick think about it and it’s fairly easy to demonstrate that you speak with a non-forked tongue. I solved it using simultaneous journeys.

    2. I started with a sketch of a mountain with the spiralling path to the temple. Then I sketched the sun which caused the glittering temple. And I sketched the monk and a clock with the finishing time at the temple. And because it was 8 P.M. the sun must be west (based on my own position on earth) so I sketched a little compass just for fun and to take some time to think about how to proceed.

      Next step was to draw some intermediate times along the path to see if I could draw some logical conclusion (pun intended).

      That failed so I started to imagine that I was the Monk:

      “It was a beautiful morning and when I looked up I saw the temple glittering in the sun. I saw myself standing at the end of the path in front of the temple enjoying the amazing view”


      Reality is a construction made up by our brain: our mind’s eye. So I (as the Monk) envisioned myself standing before the temple at the end of the first stage (the journey uphill to the temple) looking around and enjoying the view. And a few days later I was standing on the same place at this same time before the temple enjoying the view at the start of the downhill journey downhill. And I envisioned myself standing at the end of the path at the bottom….

      Or was it all just a dream within a dream (within a dream)….

    3. The problem is actually an illustration of the math behind Game Theory called Fixed Point Theorems. The theorems are fundamental to Game Theory but unfortunately not easy to explain to lesser individuals that visit this site.

      When you transform the monk problem into math notation (I’ll spare you the details), the solution is a direct implication of a fixed point theorem called the Intermediate Value Theorem.

      But you don’t need to know math to solve the monk problem. Just do a thought experiment:

      Superimpose the two trips into a single day.

      That is, imagine instead that two monks are taking the journey on the same day, one climbing up and the other climbing down. Now it is clear that no matter how each monk takes the trip, there has to be some spot where they cross paths.

      Now pretend those trips happened on two separate days and you have your answer–the monk is at the same spot on the path at precisely the same time of day for both trips.

    4. Sheldon – thanks for the patronising exposition, but I have a Maths degree and I think you over-complicate things.

      For a start, fixed-point theorems are generally in the domain of maths called topology. Nothing to do with game theory.

      Next point, yes, the Intermediate Value Theorem is relevant to this problem, but I’m not sure you would class it as a fixed-point theorem. (In broad terms, FPT will generally be looking for x such that F(x) = x; IVT is looking for x such that F(x) = 0).

      I don’t think you need to spare us the details of how you could apply the IVT here. Consider the function of time F(t) which is defined as:
      distance of the monk from the bottom of the mountain t hours after 8am on his return day
      distance of the monk from the bottom of the mountain t hours after 8am on his climbing day.

      Distance is measured along the path, and let’s say the distance to the top is 5km. (This choice doesn’t change the argument).

      Looking at the position at 8am (when t=0):
      F(0) = 5 – 0 = 5. CRUCIAL POINT: it’s positive

      Looking at the position at 8pm (t = 12):
      F(12) = 0 – 5 = -5. CRUCIAL POINT: it’s negative

      If you plot the graph of F(t) with t along the x-axis, it is continuous (that’s a mathematical concept, but as the monk can’t teleport, it just means there can’t be any “breaks” in the graph) with F(0) > 0 and F(12) < 0. So (intuitively, and I've seen the Maths that proves it using properties of continuity on the real numbers), there must be a t for which F(t) = 0. By the way I defined F, this is the moment in time where the monk is in the same place on both days.

    5. You can use the IVT to solve these ones:

      A perfectly circular pancake has maple syrup drizzled over it in a somewhat random pattern. Assume that the syrup has stopped spreading. Can you find a guaranteed way (in theory, might be demanding to implement in practice) to cut the pancake into two equal pieces such that they have the same amount of syrup on each piece.

      Is it always the case that at every moment there must be two points on the Earth’s equator diametrically opposite each other but where the temperature is exactly the same? (The position of these points can move over time).

    6. @MathMiles – your two new puzzles and the original monk one all seem to be basically the same problem to me.

      I don’t know how you would go about actually cutting your pancake such that you ended up with two equal pieces with the same amount of syrup on each but I can show that there exists a line which would divide the pancake in such a manner. It involves choosing a diameter and then rotating it while checking to see whether the condition is met.

      Similarly with the diametrically opposed isotherms – pick any point on the equator and compare it with the point directly opposite. If one point is warmer than the other simply start “walking” the point (say) eastwards around the equator whilst comparing the temperatures. We know for a fact that by the time we have gone halfway around the world “our” point will now be cooler than the one opposite so at some point on our journey the temps must have crossed over at least once.

    7. Simon – yes, that was really my point, to show some variations of the same problem in other situations.

  11. This is most disappointing. I do not look at this blog for a few days and the wreckers come in and destroy all that is good and nobel about it.

    The problem perhaps was an acceptable idea. That there is a monk and he wishes quietude to meditate is good starting point. The commentators could have reflected on his example. Have meditated and gained depth of insight themselves.

    Instead it is all math math maths. Talk of IVF and triangular similtaneous equations and such like and whatnot.

    Please guys remember why we are here. This is a blog by a distinguished scientist into the public understanding of pscychology. It is not a place to make up numbers with X and Y and squares.

    It could be so much more. We could be discussing astrology and other related subjects. There is so much I could teach if only any receptive minds were hear to listen.

    I even tried meeting you half way and set a puzzle of my own last week. Yet no one would discuss it because it does not use Theorems and Calculuses.

    Your loss is sad to me. Yet I am not disheartened. My strength remains my ever present optimism that someone somewhere will read these words and be moved to the beauty of the world.

    But for now I fear this must be my last post.

    But do not feel you have goaded me into silence. There are no winners and losers when the universe is denied a say in reality.

  12. Definition of Astrology: The mass cultural delusion that the sun’s apparent position relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality.


      You see how easy it is to spot the real Barry Goddard, now that mine have the “GENUINE” heading, but the one above does not.


      Yes, sorry, I am somewhat forgetful when I’m under stress.

      01647 253241

    3. But the BG who said he was going to post his number didn’t have a “GENUINE…” heading on his post, so this one must be an imposter.

    1. @Anon – Crystal meth doesn’t appear to have adversely affected your wit. That second post is pretty funny.

      Anyway, if I haven’t made any stupid errors, the time according to Eddie’s clock is about 7 hours and 14 minutes (or 19h 14m) from the time of this post.

  13. Oh dearest dearest me!

    The number of people posting and using my name is too darned high!

    Posting a phone number in Glastonbury simply proves it is not me. I have not lived there for over a decade.

    I do not know what game @steve and @simon are playing but it is threatening to overrun the asylum.

    Please let us all stick to commenting on issues of public understanding of psychology and cute pictures of cats doing something completely remarkable.

    I have tried to raise the intellectual level by offering to tutor on astrology. Yet there are no takers.

    Thus I will quietly retire to consider.

    Perhaps you should do too.

  14. How would you go about calculating the volume of a regular dodecahedron (sphere-type solid – surface formed of 12 pentagons)? No googling!

    1. I don’t know how you would go about it but I would drop it in a container of liquid of known specific gravity, such as the aqua regia that I have left over from a recent job. I would then wait until the dodecahedron had finished dissolving and declare that your question is no longer relevant.

      If I only had access to less interesting liquids such as krait venom or arachnid haemolymph, I would ensure that the dodecahedron is completely immersed and then measure the volume of liquid that was displaced. This would also be volume of the dodecahedron.

    2. Fine fine fine. I would cut it into 12 little pyramids then I’d measure the volume of one of those (you have to do some measuring otherwise you;re just guessing).

    3. Bang on! If you slice the solid in half along its edges/mid-surfaces then you can calculate the height of your pyramids and the areas of their base.

  15. Well, they do say that one good puzzle deserves another (“they” being these two midget prostitutes that a friend of mine met once).

    The Scunthorpe Cup is on and 72 teams have entered. It’s a pure knockout competition held over a number of rounds, one team playing against another with the loser being knocked out of the competition. The winner then goes on to face another team in the next round with the loser of this match being knocked out and the new winner going on to the next round. This continues until there is only one team left who are declared the champions.

    How many matches will be required in total?

    1. presumably there are byes in various rounds to ensure you end up with balanced rounds …

      only jesting – it’s a nice puzzle I’ve heard before 🙂
      Only losers won’t get this

    2. Tell me what the process is when a round has an odd number of participants and I’ll give you an answer.
      PS Those Midget prossies were really hot – or so I am told by your friend – who is definitely not you.

  16. Do we assume that a victor is decided in one match only, for example after extra-time or penalties. ie No replays

    If this is the case then you need to play sufficient matches to generate 71 losers and 1 winner. As a rule of thumb if the number of teams entering a knock-out competition is N, then the number of matches required is (N-1).

  17. One from me in return

    A group of children are sitting at the same table for lunch. If the product of the ages all of the children at the table is 37515625, what is the sum of all of their ages? The youngest child present is 4 and the oldest is 11

    1. am I missing something here? If one of them is age 4, then the product of their ages cannot be 37515625. Shirley.

    2. Well, Hugh didn’t say that the ages were all integers, although that is a common constraint with these types of puzzles. However, if non-integers are permitted, I don’t see how we can settle on a unique solution; eg this works – 4, 5, ~5.64, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, which sums to ~65.64 – but so does – 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, ~5.6, 11, which sums to 56.2.

    3. To paraphrase a certain B Goddard you need to unshackle your conventional earth bound thinking and release your inner mind to the forces of the stars, the moon and the planets. There is an answer that is wholly integer based.

    4. Hm. Are the youngest and oldest children present not sitting at the table and therefore not included in the multiplying? The only divisors of 37515625 which could be the ages of children are 5 and 7. Six 5’s and four 7’s will do it and 58 is the sum of all of them.

  18. Bulls Eye!

    It’s based on an old joke

    Woman 1. “I have two children 4 and 11”
    Woman 2. “Those are unusual names”

    A bit of a lame puzzle for which I apologise

  19. I used to be called Phil McCavity but I was so fed up with the childish jokes and snide remarks that I changed it by Deed Poll

    1. The playground/internet can be so cruel.

      I also used to go by another name (An Obsidian Mouse if you must know – ugh) but I messed up the paper work the first time and changed it to Deed Poll. Actually, I didn’t mind it although I did eventually tire of having lines from a Monty Python sketch quoted at me by drunk Scotsmen. I think I may have repeated myself there…

    1. I can – with my Spymaster® fake wooden leg with built-in 8 megapixel camera.

      One thing even less practical than a wooden leg is a cardboard box.

  20. Last night I went to a party. There were 8 children there and they all happened to be wearing black sweaters. My uncle Reginald Ponsonby-Farquhar, gathered them together, found some chalk, and wrote one number on the back of each child.

    The numbers were: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. My uncle then asked whether it was possible to arrange the children into two groups of four, such that the numbers on the backs of the children in each group came to the same total. After much messing around, we managed it. Can you?

    1. Yes. I have done exactly this with my old crew while we were waiting one of them to burn through the bottom of the vault with a thermic lance. Good times.

      I won’t spoil the answer but one of the children is dyselcix.

  21. I was coming back from visiting my son in my Bristol and I stopped at a rest stop to use the bathroom. I just sat down on the toilet when I heard a voice coming from the stall next to mine, “Hey! How’s it going?” Although I was quite surprised, and I wasn’t in the habit of conversing to the people next to me in the stall, I nevertheless answered him, “I’m fine” I said “thanks for asking.”

    “What are you doing?” Asked the same voice. To be honest I was a bit taken aback by the brazenness of this fellow, but I would never ignore anyone so I calmly answered, “I’m releaving myself.”

    Then I heard the same voice again, “I’m going to have to call you back, some smart-aleck is answering all of my questions.”

  22. A 3-volume reference dictionary set (A-H, I-P and Q-Z) is lined up in a bookcase in a study. Each volume has covers of 5mm thickness and pages of 25mm thickness (so each book is 35mm thick).
    A book-worm finds itself on the first page of A (fortunately the pages aren’t so tight as to squash it) and in an attempt to gain erudition – or perhaps just because it’s a book-worm – it starts munching its way through to the last page of Z.
    When it gets there, how far has it travelled?

  23. A nice puzzle Chris but I already know the answer (well, how to calculate it anyway).

    Another quick one. A friend of mine has 24 budgerigars and 6 small bird cages of the type that can sit on a stand or be hung from a hook. She wishes to put an odd number of budgerigars into each of the 6 cages. How can she do this? One of the budgerigars is blue but this is irrelevant to the puzzle and you should ignore it.

    1. Ergh, yes it is, because someone is a woolly-headed muppet in need of a stimulating beverage.

      Ok, forget that. I have this other friend who has only 20 budgerigars and 5 small bird cages. She also would like to distribute said little avians amongst her 5 cages such that there is an odd number in each cage.

      Have at that, if you may.

    2. “Small” is a relative term and the birds themselves are also small. We could get into a debate about whether keeping birds in cages of any size is cruel (or goldfish in bowls) but this is a puzzle and I assure you that the birds are less real than imaginary numbers.

      All of the cages are the same size (so no putting one inside another).

    3. It seems that @an onyx mouse is now catering to @simon’s failure to solve the puzzles here and setting very easy puzzles.

      Perhaps that shows the level to which we have descended. It shows the real limits on endlessly trying to engage peoples interest while asking them to solve similtaneous equations by rote.

      Still a solution has been asked for and as I always deliver may I say:

      1 each in five cages and the other 17 in a single cage.

      That is cruel no doubt. Still few puzzles take the human cost of suffering into account when creating the jeopardous if hyperthetical situations they ask us to resolve.

      In a better world all puzzles would be uplifting ones with an ethical dimension.

      I believe that is what Mr Wiseman was working toward before he was persuaded to cease contributing to this blog.

      We should all be sadder for that.

      Perhaps the next puzzle should be: “How to engage Mr Wiseman in the blog?”

    4. On the assumption that this has been correctly stated and there is a valid solution I am still working on this one, but I do know that 17+ 5 = 22 which is neither 20 nor 24.

    5. Yes, it was established some time ago in this venue that Goddard is a fuckwit as well as a blatherskite. There is no point wasting your time reading his borborygmus as it is utterly devoid of any truth or meaning.

      Goddard is a caricature formed from the pus of his own diseased mind. He is the antithesis of community and the enemy of reason. Every time his sad pudgy fingers type a word a kitten dies. Every time someone is naive enough to read his incoherent ramblings a puppy dies.

      Goddard lives vicariously by attempting to reduce the enjoyment of those unfortunate enough to be around him so that his worthless existence seems slightly less pitiful in comparison. He trolls by here every few days to excrete another turd for his own perverse and jejune entertainment.

      He is a perfect example of why some animals eat their young.

    6. @Starman – Haha. Well done. Could not have said it better myself. The guy is a cancer that has sucked the life out of this blog leaving it as a dry empty husk.

      Altho’ I must say three cheers to Onyx, Eddie, ChrisR, and Hugh who have at least made an effort breathe some life back into it.

    7. Is that pain in the arse clown still around? Has he still not got the message? How thick can he possibly be?

      Good on ya mate for saying what the rest of us were thinking.

    8. Is it to do with noted saint and philanthropissed Tony Blair and sticking one down your Speedos?

    9. I have to admit I’m stumped on this one – my original solution, which I’ve also found via Internet research, involved concentric (or even simultaneous) cages which has been expressly disallowed.
      Is there a definition of ‘odd number’ that I have missed? Does a hotel with an infinite number of rooms come into it? Is the answer “your friend should get on with her life”? Does 20 here really mean 11? Does she buy another budgie to fulfil her weird desires? Help!

    10. Are you going to spill the beans (high protein content) vis a vis the Budgie situation as it were – or not?

  24. @Star Man

    I am dismayed at the level to which you will descend to destroy this blog.

    They say that pain is just weakness leaving the body in the same way that vomit is just poison leaving the tummy.

    Yet what then must be the state of your mind if we see such venting leaving it?

    Perhaps your should return to working out puzzles and leave adult communication to those who have the skills to dialogue effectively politely and in a kind and caring manner.

    Attempts to goad me into anger never work, You come over as an overtired toddler with uncomfortably damp underwear who then blames the world for his bowlegged gait.

    Look up at the stars man. Learn some lessons. Man up and be kind.

    It is not too late to ask for help. And I can be very generous in offering feedback and advice. I would be willing to do your star chart. That will help you focus on the areas where improvement may (with effort) be feasible.

    1. Judging by your capability of composing a simple English sentence, he probably couldn’t understand what it was about!

  25. A species from the 3rd planet has reached us. The fourth protocol has been fulfilled. It is time to awake the clan fleet. Awake!

    1. If the very comets in our skies are now perturbed by Mans’ hubris we must prepare for the inevitable by reading scripture very closely.

      This i have done and you may join me if you wish.


      For I know that just as the PEN is mightier than the SWORD then if follows that the IMPULSE to pick up the pen is mightier still. That impulse is of course the THOUGHT that precedes writing. Thus our THOUGHTS are the most powerful energy in the universe.

      This is the true secret of ASTROLOGY and one that has been staring us in the face since before we were born. All the jesting on this website about the “problems” with astrology just go to prove just what a scarey force it is for that rationalists who prefer to hide from reality by constricting similtaneous equations and suchlike botherations.

      But as we now know that simplicity is the key to sophistication I ask us all put put aside “differences” and join in the study for the greater good.

  26. @ Barry Goddard. You are not me. Please do not pretend to correct that which you do not understand.

    Astrology is the study of the heavens. Astronomy is merely the naming of heavenly objects (from Astro and Nom respectively).

    One is a science. The other is for those who like to make lists and read dictionaries.

    1. @ Barry Goddard. You are not me. Please do not pretend to understand that which is correct.

      Astrology is the study of the heavens that were visible to the naked eye 2000 years ago, plus the 99% non-science and nonsense made up and added in by fraudsters and credulous idiots over the subsequent two millennia. Astronomy has named thousands of heavenly objects since, which fools and charlatans, naming themselves as “astrologers”, have struggled to incorporate into their mess of contradiction and fantasy.

      One is a science. The other is for those who like to make lists and read dictionaries like the one I made here.


      The English dictionary is still my favourite textbook.


      As the more discerning will have realised, I am letting the imposters battle it out while I take a back-seat. It is easy to identify the real Barry Goddard, as I have shown yet again with the title to this post.

    1. Thankyou for your support @dave. That is indeed me as you could no doubt discern from my divination of many insights into this world through careful consideration of the arcane mysteries revealed by the stars.

      I would be happy to teach you these things as your humble guide so that you may become a better person like myself.

      As you can see, I have successfully predicted many important world events such as the bringing down of the twin towers, the ignominy of Rolf Harris, and that Edwina Currie would join I’m a Celebrity.

      If only others would try to emulate me, the world would be a much more peaceful and meaningful place.

    2. Thank you DAve and Barry. That blog truly shows another side of Barry Goddard than I would not have expected.

      Please say more about the astrology. It clearly does have application on a website devoted to psychological trickserisms.

      DAve: remind me again, is it 11 or 22? I keep getting confused.

    1. Indeed. So we are looking at 34/21 (approximately)

      Which is a completely different kettle of (Phi)ish altogether

  27. Just dropping in to say Hi.

    Just been in India for a couple of weeks. Thanks for keeping me entertained.

    Saw Interstellar and didn’t understand one word of what Matthew McConaughey said.

    Toodle Pip

    1. @Edie

      As a professional astrologer I may be able to assist you in understanding Matthew McConaughey’s character, Cooper.

      He is a man who believes only in the rational. In what he can engineer. Thus he ignores the psychic happenings at the beginning (The “ghost” that Smurf says is talking to her).

      Yet in the course of the film he learns the time and space bending power of Love. Without giving away any of the Plot in the end he uses the Power of the Stars to send a message that affects human destiny.

      In his still limited mind he can only see this as a 5th Dimensional perturbance of Gravity. But those of us with Astrological training can see deeper at what Christopher Nolan was driving at. Although Nolan does not quite get the hermaneutics of Astrology correct any more than he gets some of his physics right his heart is in the right place.

      This was a life-affirming movie that showed me my vocation was indeed the correct one for this lifetime.

      If you wish to know more simply ask me. I have always been willing to speak on these issues for your benefit and illumination despite the harsh words you have sometimes directed my way.

    2. @DAve, do not be disheartened by Edie’s comment. He appears to be the sort of person who startles easily and panics when startled.

      I am sure he did not mean it in any derogatory way and once he has had his meds will come back and apologise like a proper white man.

      It would be a pity if this blog became home to the under-medicated as it has always been a warm and friendly place despite the over-presence of the “brainy” sort who want only to use their mind to solve puzzles rather than dig deep for emotional truth.

    1. @DAve

      Again I implore you to ignore Edie. Something has got into his waters and politely ignoring it until he reclaims his equilibrium is best all round.

      When dealing with trolls we work best with silence and kind words that bring harmony.
      Do not be tempted to sink to Edie’s level of discourse. You are better than that DAve.

  28. A man and his son are in a car crash. The father is killed and the child is taken to hospital gravely injured. When he gets there, the surgeon says, ‘I can’t operate on this boy – for he is my son!!!’ How can this possibly be?

    1. We are waiting too, Chris – but with no real expectation of sensible answer, although we all think that Onyx Mouse’s budgie problem was worthy of the great Wiseman himself

  29. @edie

    This is trivial. It is the same trick as your previous puzzle where it turned out that the two children were called “4” and “11”.

    In this case the child’s name is “the father” and the father’s name is “the child”.

    Thus “the child” (i.e. the adult) is take to the hospital where the surgeon happens to be his parent (i.e. the grandparent of “the father” who died).

    To draw a diagram. We have:

    Unnamed grandparent who is a surgeon.

    “the child” who is the offspring of the surgeon and is injured in the crash.

    “the father” who is the offspring of “the child” and is killed in the crash.

    These problems are getting too simple and too similar.

    1. @Gabby

      That is a very narrow-minded mechanistic unimaginative answer that works only in a very narrow range of cases – such as the surgeon being precisely a female parent.

      The true and much better answer that I have given works almost universally. Suppose for an example the surgeon had said “I can operate on this boy. I am his sister”.

      We could simply conclude that the surgeon is giving us his name (which is “his sister”) and is not related to the patient. Under your logic this would remain an enigma for ever.

      Always strive to find better answers. Do not settle for what Google has said is the “right answer”. It so very seldom is. I though humble am objective and I have observed in myself a capacity to go beyond what are the normal limits others apply and to thus reach deeper and more universal truths.

      This puzzle remains another worked example of that.

  30. I’m genuinely surprised that people are still inhabiting this barren desert of a blog. Beware of the tumbleweed as it blows down the street.

    1. Yes it does, Eddie.
      The day before yesterday Edward was called 17. Next year he is changing his name to 20. Edward is just his nick name.

  31. A cloth bag contains a pool ball, which is known to be a solid ball. A second pool ball is chosen at random in such a way that it is equally likely to be a solid or a stripe ball. The ball is added to the bag, the bag is shaken, and a ball is drawn at random. This ball proves to be a solid. What is the probability that the ball remaining in the bag is also a solid?

    1. I hate these sort of questions – but having drawn some diagrams and trees and thought about it a bit I agree with MM (but this assumes that there is no external knowledge added to the system by the person adding the second ball into the bag).

      My reasoning (skip if you don’t want a spoiler – which may of course be wrong) is that you could start with a bag of solid/stripe or a bag of both solid. There are three ways you can draw a solid out – and in only one of them do you leave a stripe

    2. Chris – I agree that there is some hidden assumption about the state of knowledge in calculating the probability, but like you, I took a fairly naive approach…

      Before we read “This ball proves to be a solid”, we have four equally likely situations:
      1. The second ball placed in the bag is solid, and the first ball is the one drawn out. (SOLID is drawn out)
      2. The second ball placed in the bag is solid, and the second ball is the one drawn out. (SOLID is drawn out)
      3. The second ball placed in the bag is stripe, and the first ball is the one drawn out. (SOLID)
      4. The second ball placed in the bag is stripe, and the second ball is the one drawn out. (STRIPE).

      The ball proves to be a solid, so that rules out option 4, so out of the three equiprobable options, two of them (1 and 2) leave a solid in the bag, so that’s p=2/3.

    3. @Edie

      It seems most likely that the first ball you pull out is the last ball you put in. This is the way that pockets and bags and so forth work. The most recently entered object is nearerest to the entrance and exit.

      For those who must use mathematics to confound the obvious there is a whole subset of mathematics dedicated to this. It is call Queueing Theory and the import aspect under consideration is the LIFO queue (Last in first Out).

      Thus the remaining ball will be the original solid one. Try this in real life not just in your heads. It really works and is no mystery for those who can think inside the bag.

    4. This has absolutely nothing to do with Queuing Theory, and everything you say is a load of rubbish. I’m sure the real Barry Goddard will confirm this. (The real BG has explained further up this thread how to spot his posts).

  32. I’m not sure if something similar has been posted by Richard in the past but here’s another one from me.

    Can you use three 2s to create an expression (such as ‘2+2+2′) that equals 11?

    1. @DAve this is a conundrum that Mr Wiseman posted and then very many people got angry because the answer was not the one they were expecting from the question.

      It turned into quite an outrage fest as people claimed that somehow Mr Wiseman was wrong simply because they had got the puzzle so badly wrong.

      It is a kindness of you to remind them all us of this from time to time as it may reduce the tendency to hubris that some of the posters here can fall into.

      The reverse puzzle is also good. Given “11” make “222 “in any way that is possible,


    I agree with MathMiles of course: the “Barry Goddard” at 8:55pm does a poor impression of the real me, as it is clear that every word he writes is the product of a confused mind.

    1. @Genuine Barry Goddard

      My fans and tribute band posters are sometimes welcome but only if what they post is in accord with my principles and purpose.

      For example I have never been unkind or cruel to a fellow poster even when (like @Simon and @Stephen) they have felt the need to express many sorts of negative emotions at me.

      I recognise that their negative emotions are an integral part of their psyche and perhaps I am doing others a favour by being the recipient. Rather than them unleashing on someone else who does not have the emotional resilience that I have developed over many decades of deep spiritual practicing,

      It is amusing in some ways that I have become Legion and that so many others have taken up my name for posting. Like Spartacus against Hannibal in history perhaps.

      Yet let all those who post as me remain first true to my spirit. That is all in all humbleness that I ask.

    2. Why don’t you say something interesting instead of always trying to justify you existence with this drivel?

    3. @Edie

      Thank you for your comment.

      When you point a finger at another person remember that three times as many fingers point back at yourself.

      Your remark reveals more of your mind and your mental state than you realise.

      I hope you can in time learn to be wise and kind rather than as you are. Please if you wish take me as a role model, I am not perfect but I do embody many of the qualities that you would do well to cultivate.

      I remain of good cheer despite your many attempts to goad me otherwise. Your negativity has no power here.

    4. Barry

      You seem to have misunderstood the situation. It is you, I believe, who are the antagonist, with your constant and unrelenting, unsoliciited nonsense.

      I am invariably of good cheer, posting the odd funny comment or puzzle here and there. How many puzzles or intersting diversions have you posted for us? None.

      Also your misspelling of my name and your frequent reference to ‘similtaneous’ equations I find particulalry puerile.

      You’re a bully and a troll of the worst kind. You’re a parasite and a leech. I was here on this site before you, and you’ve ruined it for me and for everyone.


    5. @edie

      Thank you for your comments. I always appreciate feedback particulalry from well wishers with a good sense of spelling and grammar.

      No snowflake thinks it is responsible for the floods. Likewise your resistance to seeing how you have contributed to this blogs current decline and your willingness to demonise others in a wish to place the blame elsewhere is telling.

      We can rebuild this blog. Yet we cannot do so if you continue to spout ill will and drive the good people such as myself away. That you where here first is commendable yet it does not give you gatekeeper rights over the rest of us.

      I am happy to help direct you toward a better state of mental and emotional well being if you are brave enough to take the first step and ask.

      It is your move if your wish it. Much good may come of your embracing the positive future I am holding out to you. My record speaks for itself.

    1. Has anyone tried raising Richard on Twitter?

      He’s forsaken us and left us at the mercy of the anti-guru Goddard.

    2. @Edie

      I am not a guru nor ever have been or claimed to be. If others see me as that I find that humbling.

      As a modest person I feel I am simply a kind guide towards others who would wish to develop the qualities that I express.

      I do not think Mt Wiseman has abandoned this blog. Yet I think he feels it is in good hands for as long as I can help stave off the negativity that flows from the frustrated puzzle solvers.

      Abandon word puzzles and reach deep inside yourself Edie to explore the truly transcendental puzzle of human existence. That truly is the holy grail of our times,

      I will be with you on those first steps as you take this journey.

    1. Agreed, your Hughness, but at least they are genuine BG comments rather than the usual imposters.

  34. A ladder of length 15ft is leaning against a wall and just touching a cubical box (placed up against the same wall) of side 2ft. How far up the wall does the ladder reach?

    1. Presumably there are two answers here depending on whether the ladder is steep or shallow. Not that I’ve worked it out yet

    2. You are Richard AICMFP !

      Tried this and got lost in trigonometry with similar angles – but just discovered a website with a similar but different question that points out similar triangles (height of wall above box/2 = 2/distance from box to foot of ladder) so will work from that

    1. Can’t really be 45 degrees as it must be a lot steeper.
      | \
      | \
      | \ Ladder
      | Box | \

  35. If you solve for the steep angle solution, the shallow angle solution can simply be obtained by rotating the diagram 90 degrees. Anyway, I made the answer just short of 14 feet and 10 inches, but I couldn’t find a nice way to derive it apart from doing some algebra and numerically solving an equation.

    1. which is what I got by plugging a quadratic into Excel and homing in on the result (or at least an answer to 4 d.p’s).
      I’m sure this is not the original intent of the Friday puzzle – so, sorry, Eddie – Barry has got a bit of a point here.

      How about:
      A snail crawls up an 11 ft well, by the work rate of climbing vertically for an hour, then resting for an hour. In the hour he climbs he goes up 5 ft, in the hour he rests he slips back 3 ft. How long does he take to get to the top?

    2. Well done – I’d go for 7.

      Now, he turns around at the top and using the same workrate aims for the bottom of the well.
      How long does it take him to get there?

  36. Hello, it’s the Anonymous who posted 7 days ago. I’d like to inform you that I lost my bet.
    And I’m very happy about it. 😉

  37. A man walks into a timberyard, says I’d like to buy a piece of wood.

    How long do you want it? said the merchant.

    I’d like to keep it, actually…

    1. OK here’s three from me

      1.If someone says “I always lie”, are they telling the truth? Or are they lying?

      2. What mathematical symbol can be placed between 5 and 9, to get a number greater than 5 and smaller than 9?

      3. I just found a number with an interesting property:

      When I divide it by 2, the remainder is 1.
      When I divide it by 3, the remainder is 2.
      When I divide it by 4, the remainder is 3.
      When I divide it by 5, the remainder is 4.
      When I divide it by 6, the remainder is 5.
      When I divide it by 7, the remainder is 6.
      When I divide it by 8, the remainder is 7.
      When I divide it by 9, the remainder is 8.
      When I divide it by 10, the remainder is 9.

      Find the smallest number with such property.

    2. 1. Lying
      2. No idea yet
      3. 2**9 (answer available on request) – what an interesting question, and I don’t remember it from before – used Excel and mostly brute force to solve)

  38. @Gabby

    Your problems are trivial

    1. Sometimes.

    2. +/- It creates a number bigger than 5 because of the +, And it creates a number smaller than 9 because of the –

    3. This has previously been posted.

    A better set of problems would be to look at the true meaning of the Solstice and Christmas from a strict Astrological perspective and use the insights garnered thus to help us answer the problems we may face in the forthcoming years.

    That would also be thematically consistent with a Blog that is dedicated to the true science of Psychology (as founded by Sigmund Freud) rather than just looking at meaningless puzzles on paper.

    I have offered before and been rebuffed (sometimes quite roughly). Yet in the Spirit of the season I am offering to facilitate such an exploration once more again.

    Please join me if you wish.

    1. BG. Your answers as ever are seriously flawed. For instance in your response to question 2 5+9 is invalid as it ( ie 14) does not satisfy the required criteria – “a number greater than 5 and smaller than 9”.
      Similarly 5-9 gives you -4 which is again invalid.

      I humbly suggest that in future you read the question properly before posting

    2. @DAve

      Thank you for your comments and support. It is always good to see reasoned debate and gentlemanly conduct on thus blog. Though both those are oft times rarely seen.

      The explanation is simplicity itself. You may have confused yourself by looking for a typical @Simon complex answer when such a simple one presents.

      5 minus 9 is -4. This is less than 9.

      5 plus 9 is 14. This is more than 5.

      Thus the required constraints are met. Indeed exceeded.

      At the risk of stumbling into the very blind spot that many of the commentators here use: this answer is a sort of similtaneous equation as it offers two answers at once. Not a true similtaneous equation as there is only one equation. Yet it has two answers hence the analogy can be used in this case.

      Thank you again for commenting. I hope I will be able to help educate you further in the new year.

  39. Two cats are swimming across a river. One’s name is “One two three” and the other’s name is “Un deux trois.”

    Who makes it across?

    One two three, because Un deux trois cat sank

    1. @edie

      Thank you for your kind words and support over the past year.

      The new year that is soon to be upon us (2015) will be a Capricorn as it will be born on the First of January.

      This means the year’s symbol power animal will be a goat. And the rising sign is Saturn,

      This bodes well for many of us and I hope that includes you too @edie.

      Participating in this blog has been educational in seeing the various ways in which other humans (including @edie) can sometimes fail to rise to their highest potential when it comes to intuitive and logical thinking.

      Yet I believe I have provided many positive counter examples and set a role model for clarity in the past year.

      May we all learn and benefit from that. Merry New Year!

    2. Hey Barry!
      I was just wishing you a Merry Christmas…
      Doesn’t mean I want to join your cult.
      Oh and regarding logical thinking, speak for yourself, you strange person.
      Kind regards

    3. What Barry was trying to say in his characteristically long-winded way was “Beware the Klingons near Uranus”
      Happy New Year

    4. @Edie

      Thank you again for your kind words and much unexpected praise.

      Though let it be known that I am not part of any cult. Indeed I feel that my decisive use of Astrology allows me to dance free through the skyways of my mind in a way that sets me apart from any organised religion or other “ism”. It is this freedom of being that I can help teach to you all.

      I do try to speak for myself @Edie. My uncanny ability to cut through complexities and see to the heart of a matter sometimes is intimidating for others who are stuck in more communal linear ways of thinking. Yet I am humbly moved that even you can glimpse the greater power and potentiality of my abilities.

      This truly will be a New Year starting from today. We should all strive to also make it a New World with New People in it. By changing the very way we relate we will change the very world we relate to. This is simple common sense.

      Shanti to all and sundry.

  40. I love Desmond Dekker too, Barry:-

    Dem a loot, dem a shoot, dem a wail
    A Shanti Town….007….

    Did you know that Jimmy Cliff wrote the song?

  41. Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice post.

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