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TomFCS
December 13th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Hi all,

We had our annual Christmas party at work Friday, and as usual, there were various prizes awarded to people in recognition of their unique skills. You know the stuff, singing carols, dancing, best imitation of a co-worker and of course the race to see who could solve the annual Christmas puzzle the fastest.

Anyway, the lucky Christmas puzzle solver this year is now the proud owner of, one of the very finest, emergency road hazard kits you've ever seen! Complete with fix-a-flat, fold out reflective hazard triangle and a battery powered flashing red beacon that doubles as a flashlight! Woo! Hoo!

We had a great time at the party with this and I thought some of the folks here might have some fun with it also, so I'll share...



Way To Go Santa!!!

On a cold and stormy Christmas Eve,
while making his yearly round.
Santa slammed into a Christmas tree.
His magic sled crashed unto the ground.

The story goes, this big problem arose,
and it was clearly Rudolph's fault.
He went shopping you see, for a new red nose,
and bought a cheap one at Walmart.

Sadly his nose, was not very bright,
and this left Santa blind.
It put a fast end, to their merry flight.
His nose was the "energy saving" kind.

Santa awoke dazed and confused,
lying in a pile of snow.
Even though he was battered and bruised,
It was almost midnight, one minute to go.

Looking inside his red tattered sack,
to find only three gifts remain.
No receipt, he can't take them back.
The gifts weigh exactly the same.

Now Santa can see a problem ahead.
We know he has never been late.
His sled is trashed and the reindeer are dead.
Christmas will not have this fate.

He knows his final stop is near,
his eyes are eagle keen.
Cookies and milk await him here,
across a huge cavern, his goal is seen.

Moving forward at the speed of light,
arriving at the cavern's ledge.
The depth of the cavern is a formidable sight,
connected only by a rope from edge to edge.

He has the skill to walk the rope just fine,
but there is a caution of large weight.
After carefully reading each and every line,
crossing could be Santa's big mistake.

Mean and lean at 300 pounds slim,
Mrs. Clause makes sure of that.
With all of the gifts, plus the weight of him,
it seems Santa may be a bit to fat.

The presents you see, all weigh 10 pounds each.
and according to the warning sign,
320 is the weight, that you can safely reach,
Before you will snap the line.

All presents in hand, with no time to spare,
and using his wit so quick.
He dashed across the line, with nary a care.
An amazing Santa trick.

How Santa performed this unheard feat,
is a mystery to us all.
Every boy and girl, got their Christmas treat,
into the cavern, he did not fall.

As puzzles go we are all very smart,
so this is the question I ask of you.
This poem was written from the heart.
Are you as clever as Santa too?


MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!


Tom

TomFCS
December 14th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Congrats to wmmullaney for solving! :):D

wmmullaney
December 14th, 2008, 06:08 PM
Aww, gee thanks :)

ziloo
December 15th, 2008, 02:17 AM
The suspense is unbearable :flamejumping:! Are you going to tell us the answer,
or you want me to use force ....:tank:


ziloo :biggrin:

TomFCS
December 15th, 2008, 02:43 AM
Ok, how about a hint then...

Since Christmas only happens once a year, the other 364 days Santa works in a circus.

ziloo
December 15th, 2008, 04:45 AM
Oooooooowh..........very clever wmmullaney! And a very nice riddle TomFCS.
Thank you for sharing it...

ziloo

Terry Yager
December 15th, 2008, 02:38 PM
Isn't that the same as the truck fulla birds?

--T

nige the hippy
December 16th, 2008, 01:01 AM
Isn't that the same as the truck fulla birds?

--T

'Fraid so, Twang...snap!



If he worked at our post-office, he'd just throw them across!

TomFCS
December 16th, 2008, 01:55 AM
'
If he worked at our post-office, he'd just throw them across!

LOL! :D

Tell ya what, later today I'll post a link to the super secret location where the answer can be found, for those folks who wish to know the answer right away.

Well off to work, bye!

barythrin
December 16th, 2008, 07:56 AM
um.. I don't get it. I'd just carry two presents across, come back for the third..?

oh.. ok I think I get it.. took me a while though.

wmmullaney
December 16th, 2008, 08:50 AM
He couldn't take two trips because it was 1 minuet till cristmas and he had never been late.

You can PM me your answer and I'll affirm it :) :)

barythrin
December 16th, 2008, 10:36 AM
..I know the answer. 42.

TomFCS
December 16th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Ok, the official results are now in...


0001 - 12/14/08 - 12:37 pm - wmmullaney - SOLVED!!
0010 - 12/16/08 - 08:57 am - barythrin - SOLVED!!
0011 - xx/xx/xx - xx-xx xx - ?????
0100 - xx/xx/xx - xx-xx xx - ?????
0101 - xx/xx/xx - xx-xx xx - ?????
0110 - xx/xx/xx - xx-xx xx - ?????
0111 - xx/xx/xx - xx-xx xx - ?????
1000 - xx/xx/xx - xx-xx xx - ?????


Congratulations! You both have skillfully earned the hearty handshake, pat on the back and warm glow of victory award! Good Job! :thumbsup:

wmmullaney
December 16th, 2008, 01:21 PM
What? no cash reward???

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 04:47 PM
But, what about a real solution? One that works within the limitations of Newtonian physics...

Ok, here's my solution:
Satan reaches into his crashed sled and retrieves a few of the helium balloons he always seems to have an abundance of, ties the load to them, and crosses the rope while the gifts are held aloft by the balloons, placing none of their mass onto the rotten hemp, and indeed, possibly even 'lightening' ol Nick himself by a small amount.

--T

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 04:52 PM
He couldn't take two trips because it was 1 minuet till cristmas and he had never been late.

You can PM me your answer and I'll affirm it :) :)

But, the riddle says he can move at the speed of light!

--T

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 04:57 PM
If he worked at our post-office, he'd just throw them across!

I dunno, if his arm is as bad as our postal workers' he wouldn't make it. The delivery people here can't even throw a ten-pound package from the kerb all the way to the porch...

--T

Druid6900
December 16th, 2008, 06:16 PM
I dunno, if his arm is as bad as our postal workers' he wouldn't make it. The delivery people here can't even throw a ten-pound package from the kerb all the way to the porch...

--T

In that case, they should fall back and punt.....

Yzzerdd
December 16th, 2008, 06:20 PM
Ya, I guessed that across the bridge there was a -1 time-zone change, so he thusly had an hour and 1 minute to get there. So, he just took his time. I was wrong, but still.

--Jack

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 06:25 PM
He couldn't take two trips because it was 1 minuet till cristmas and he had never been late.

One minuet, eh? So Santa, being very light on his feet, just danced across the rope with no problem...

--T

Yzzerdd
December 16th, 2008, 06:26 PM
HAHAHAHA, LOL Terry.

--Jack

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Of course, since the guy does move at the speed of light, Newtonian physics are no longer in play...we're talking Quantum now, sooo...

Solution #2:
Santa was able to bend SpaceTime around to a point where a wormhole was created between the two sides of the gorge, then simply stepped thru, bypassing the rope entirely, and actually arriving at a time that was earlier than when he left. Problem solved!

--T

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 06:37 PM
In that case, they should fall back and punt.....

Don't give 'em any ideas...

--T

Ole Juul
December 16th, 2008, 08:54 PM
Santa was able to bend SpaceTime around to a point where a wormhole was created between the two sides of the gorge, then simply stepped thru, .....
--T
I tried that once. Woke up the next day with a really big headache ...

TomFCS
December 16th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Man, you people are really over complicating this thing something terrible!! :rolleyes: Think circus related talents.

Wish I could think of another hint without giving it away......hmm......

Got to admit helium balloons, time zones and bending time and space are some really good answers!! :D

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 09:13 PM
Well, juggling on a unicycle doesn't work, for the same reason that the truck full of birds doesn't; Newton's Laws. If there is a solution that does work, why not Quantum Mechanics? (OTOH, the bird truck travels considerably slower than the speed of light, so the birds are still SOL).

--T

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 09:26 PM
Man, you people are really over complicating this thing something terrible!! :rolleyes: Think circus related talents.

Wish I could think of another hint without giving it away......hmm......

Got to admit helium balloons, time zones and bending time and space are some really good answers!! :D

Well jeebus, what d'ya expect, presenting a problem to a buncha left-brainers like us and expecting a right-brain solution?

--T

Ole Juul
December 16th, 2008, 09:34 PM
Those heavy boots. Thick fabric in the jacket and pants. The belt alone.
See what I'm getting at?
It was in the middle of the night after all, and nobody would be looking.
Quick way to loose a few pounds eh?
:)

TomFCS
December 16th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Well, juggling on a unicycle doesn't work, for the same reason that the truck full of birds doesn't; Newton's Laws. If there is a solution that does work, why not Quantum Mechanics? (OTOH, the bird truck travels considerably slower than the speed of light, so the birds are still SOL).

--T

Terry you are soooooooooo close the answer is going to jump out and bite you!!! SNAKE!!! :jumping6:

Terry Yager
December 16th, 2008, 10:09 PM
Those heavy boots. Thick fabric in the jacket and pants. The belt alone.
See what I'm getting at?
It was in the middle of the night after all, and nobody would be looking.
Quick way to loose a few pounds eh?
:)

Frostbyte, anyone? Windburn?? How 'bout hypothermia???

--T

Ole Juul
December 16th, 2008, 10:42 PM
Well, I'm convinced that's how he did it. Took off his heavy boots and stripped down to his long underwear (didn't think of that did ya T) and ran across with the parcels. Then quickly returned and put his clothes back on. Simple!

Now he's down by the highway hitchin a ride to the nearest phone booth so he can call a tow truck to get his sled outa the ditch. :) Good luck getting a ride on Christmas morning looking like that. Never mind that he had to dress in the dark and he's got his beard on backwards. He'll have some 'splainin to do...

Terry Yager
December 17th, 2008, 03:35 PM
Terry you are soooooooooo close the answer is going to jump out and bite you!!! SNAKE!!! :jumping6:

Oh, I'm sure I know the answer you're looking for. I'm just playing the Devil's Advocate, not only pointing out why the 'official' solution won't work, but offering alternative solutions that might work.

--T

TomFCS
December 17th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Oh, I'm sure I know the answer you're looking for. I'm just playing the Devil's Advocate, not only pointing out why the 'official' solution won't work, but offering alternative solutions that might work.

--T

Ok, I think I get it now. (with a little help) I was taking the official answer at face value, but it does seem to be a bit flawed. Maybe if a specific style or technique was used it could be possible. One hand?

Terry Yager
December 18th, 2008, 09:24 PM
What you need to do now is explain at work why their solution is no good (think equal & opposite reaction). Then, offer alternate solution(s) that are possible (I'd go with the quantum thinggy, but OJ's strip-tease theory is pretty good too). They'll prob'ly hire you to write next year's contest. PM me if ya need more help.

--T

im_an_alien
December 19th, 2008, 05:16 PM
Actually, though, I'm not so sure that'd work, since between throwing the toys in the air (equal/opposite reaction) and catching them, there might, at some points, be more force on the rope.

^Yeah, I got that, too.

Ole Juul
December 19th, 2008, 06:13 PM
I just took a winter jacket, a pair of pants, and a pair of not too heavy rubber boots and put them on the postal scale. Total wieght is 8 pounds. Now, bear in mind that these items are meant to fit someone who is 140 pounds - less than half of Santa's weight. The boots are also not big leather ones and the other items are also not heavy wool. I conclude that Santa's external clothing is going to weigh MUCH more than 10 pounds. Personally, I think that settles the matter. :)

TomFCS
December 20th, 2008, 02:41 AM
Wow you VCF people are just way to sharp! Seems I may have to razz a couple of coworkers a bit about this puzzle when I get back to work Monday. Too bad about the emergency road hazard kit being awarded already. It was a really nice one! Wouldn't have minded having it for myself. ;)

Terry Yager
December 20th, 2008, 06:08 AM
I just took a winter jacket, a pair of pants, and a pair of not too heavy rubber boots and put them on the postal scale. Total wieght is 8 pounds. Now, bear in mind that these items are meant to fit someone who is 140 pounds - less than half of Santa's weight. The boots are also not big leather ones and the other items are also not heavy wool. I conclude that Santa's external clothing is going to weigh MUCH more than 10 pounds. Personally, I think that settles the matter. :)

But, since he's finishing his rounds, he's prob'ly somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, where it's high Summer, so he's prolly not wearing very many clothes. Try your test again with a pair of Bermuda shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops.
I knew there had to be a flaw in there somewhere.

--T

Terry Yager
December 20th, 2008, 06:09 AM
Wow you VCF people are just way to sharp! Seems I may have to razz a couple of coworkers a bit about this puzzle when I get back to work Monday. Too bad about the emergency road hazard kit being awarded already. It was a really nice one! Wouldn't have minded having it for myself. ;)

Print out a hardcopy of this thread, mebbe they'll buy one for you too...

--T

Ole Juul
December 20th, 2008, 02:02 PM
But, since he's finishing his rounds, he's prob'ly somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, where it's high Summer, so he's prolly not wearing very many clothes. Try your test again with a pair of Bermuda shorts, a Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops.
I knew there had to be a flaw in there somewhere.
--T
Not so fast!
If, in fact, Santa actually carries a change of clothes with him is doubtful. It does, I would agree, seem reasonable that he would start in the North and end in the South, simply because it would make his load easier as he went along and leave him light for the long trip home. That would seem reasonable except for the facts. Let me quote from the riddle:

EXIBIT A
"On a cold and stormy Christmas Eve," OK, so you say he's move on from there. I agree that he may very well have, but let me direct you to lines 13 and 14 of the original report:

EXIBIT B
"Santa awoke dazed and confused,
lying in a pile of snow."
I rest my case. :)

Terry Yager
December 20th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I rest my case. :)

Quod erat demonstrandum! You, sir, are a master of empirical research! I concede.

--T

Druid6900
December 20th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Look, anyone who can make a sleigh and reindeer fly, can hit every house on the planet in 24 hours, can manufacture and transport gifts (with no identifiable source of income, I might add), is sufficiently advanced to teleport across the damn chasm.

dengelland
December 20th, 2008, 10:42 PM
I agree with DRUID6900, If Santa can deliver presents through chimineys, he could get across a canyon with the blink of an EYE.

TomFCS
December 21st, 2008, 01:00 PM
Print out a hardcopy of this thread, mebbe they'll buy one for you too...

--T

Holy cow, 5 pages, if I print this out now, I'll run out of ink.

Ole Juul
December 21st, 2008, 02:38 PM
Look, anyone who can make a sleigh and reindeer fly, can hit every house on the planet in 24 hours, can manufacture and transport gifts (with no identifiable source of income, I might add), is sufficiently advanced to teleport across the damn chasm.

Actually, I would tend to agree with that. I would certainly have a difficult time explaining how to make a sleigh and reindeer fly using highschool physics. (Though I'm willing to give it a try /evil grin) Unfortunately, the original riddle was framed in newtonian terms so wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that the answer should remain within the same realm?

wmmullaney
December 21st, 2008, 05:17 PM
Look, anyone who can make a sleigh and reindeer fly, can hit every house on the planet in 24 hours, can manufacture and transport gifts (with no identifiable source of income, I might add), is sufficiently advanced to teleport across the damn chasm.

I was actually thinking tonight, it would be ~30 Billion to make all those gifts. He must be running his own mint :o

Ole Juul
December 21st, 2008, 05:49 PM
I was actually thinking tonight, it would be ~30 Billion to make all those gifts. He must be running his own mint :o
I hear he's in financial trouble and looking for a federal bailout.

Terry Yager
December 21st, 2008, 06:03 PM
Nah, he's Bernard Madoff financier...

--T

dengelland
December 26th, 2008, 05:40 AM
Santa exists because people believe in him. 3 presents = 3 children that believe. That's all that is needed. HAVE FAITH


David

rebeltaz
December 26th, 2008, 11:18 PM
Did I miss the answer (the REAL answer) to this riddle?

Ole Juul
December 27th, 2008, 12:26 AM
It wasn't posted yet. We're still waiting ... with baited breath .... :)

TomFCS
December 27th, 2008, 09:41 AM
Sorry about that... I thought I had posted the link! :(

Even though it has been pointed out that the official answer does have some rather large holes in it.... :)

The prize winning solution to it can be found here.... Linkage (http://www.welook4things.com/santa)

Ole Juul
December 27th, 2008, 02:44 PM
It's obviously not important anymore regarding the riddle. :) That's water under the bridge. However, I'm just wondering how some people apparently saw the link and others didn't. There was another link here recently which was not visible to many. I'm just wondering if there is a bug in the forum software, or if some people are using specialized software.

ziloo
December 28th, 2008, 07:48 AM
:thewave:

Stand on your bathroom scale and watch your weight.

Now let your body fall vertically (by bending your knees)
for a few inches while you are watching the meter. Do it
with a jerky motion.

The meter shows a weight higher than your actual weight .

Now with bent knees try to straighten your body with a
jerky motion.

Again the meter shows a weight higher than your actual weight.

When any mass is moving, it has momentum, and when you try to
bring it to a halt, that mass is going to exert a force on you. When
any mass is stationary and you try to give it a momentum, that
mass is going to exert a force on you.

On a bumpy road, the suspension system will have to withstand
severe punishment that is much higher than the actual weight of
the vehicle when stationary. That is the difference between
"static load" and "dynamic load".

When Santa throws a package in the air :juggle: , the package will
exert an inertial force on Santa's hand that makes it heavier than
its actual weight; and again, when Santa catches a falling package,
the package will feel a lot heavier than its actual weight. How much
heavier will depend on how fast the package is thrown in the air.

So....if our beloved Santa, tries to follow the rules of Sir Issac Newton,
then he is not gonna make it; but as the story goes with the "flying bees",
because Santa doesn't know physics, he shall merrily walk across the chasm,
and all will be well...:xmas2:

:biggrin:

Terry Yager
December 28th, 2008, 08:52 AM
AHA! I knew it, Santa cheated the laws of physics...

Actually, the argument fails on a logical level on top of the obvious physical flaw(s). It assumes facts not in evidence (Satan's juggling ability).

I cry foul!

--T

Terry Yager
December 28th, 2008, 09:01 AM
Although one of my possible solutions also relies on the prior assumption of the presence of helium balloons, I would argue 'common knowledge', as I have seen many mall Santas over the years, and they often have a large supply of such balloons on hand. OTOH, the common knowledge defense doesn't hold up with juggling, as I have never, and I doubt many others, have ever seen a juggling Satan, therefore, not common knowledge. QED!

--T

TomFCS
December 28th, 2008, 10:06 AM
All physics aside, I bet this guy could do it. Amazing stuff!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4776181634656145640

TomFCS
December 28th, 2008, 10:10 AM
And to even further deny the very existence of Santa Claus....

http://www.physlink.com/Fun/IsThereSanta.cfm

Ole Juul
December 28th, 2008, 02:25 PM
No one responded to my previous post suggesting a bug, so perhaps I'm just loosing it, but to me the real magic here is how some people seemed to be aware of the official answer, either via a link which is not visible to all, or through some other form of "sufficiently advanced technology". :) Perhaps some things will always remain unexplained.

TomFCS
December 28th, 2008, 07:02 PM
No one responded to my previous post suggesting a bug, so perhaps I'm just loosing it, but to me the real magic here is how some people seemed to be aware of the official answer, either via a link which is not visible to all, or through some other form of "sufficiently advanced technology". :) Perhaps some things will always remain unexplained.

Hey Ole Juul, how goes it? :)

I'm sorry, I should have explained better. I originally "thought" I had posted the link to the official answer, and in fact, I actually did compose a short little off line reply which did included the link to the official answer, but unfortunately I never "actually" posted it.

My bad, please accept my apology.

Ole Juul
December 28th, 2008, 08:16 PM
No problem, and certainly no apologies needed :) I just thought that I was a brick shorter than I had originally thought, and started to panic. Phew!

barythrin
December 29th, 2008, 08:37 AM
A few of us private messaged him to find out if our guess was right and may have added to the confusion.

Anyway, isn't we already know Santa can operate outside of the laws of physics since he can either bend time/space, has mastered the answers to string theory, and can shift into an elongated form to get into locked houses through chimneys or key holes in doors.

So I think the reindeer fly on magic dust or something right? I think he tore off one of the reindeer's heads, shook out some of the flying dust on the presents and then the presents would obviously float and he could just move them over the bridge. Thus presenting us with a reasonable answer using previous facts such as flying reindeer.

Otherwise he could shapeshift.. ooh.. transform into a glider and fly over the canyon.

Santa must be a demon, or a transformer.

Terry Yager
December 29th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Hey, dat's one scaaaarryy cat! (Pardon the old-skool vernacular).

--T