The Grey Labyrinth is a collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, paradoxes and other intellectually challenging diversions. Related topics: puzzle games, logic puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, philosophy, mind benders, brain teasers, word problems, conundrums, 3d puzzles, spatial reasoning, intelligence tests, mathematical diversions, paradoxes, physics problems, reasoning, math, science.


Three Chestnuts

Here are three puzzles that qualify as truly ancient chestnuts. Every puzzler that's been around for a while has heard them. But these three are submitted to the Grey Labyrinth more than any other, so I'd like to bring them out, show them around, and shoot them dead.

Ancient Chestnut #1:

Three salesmen arrive at a hotel one night and ask for a room. The manager informs them the price is $30.00. Each gives the manager a ten, and they retire for the night.

Shortly, the manager remembers that the room was at a discount, on account of it being haunted. So he tells his bellhop that the room was only $25.00, gives the bellhop five dollars and tells him to give the men the refund.

The bellhop is slightly crooked and rationalizes, "Five doesn't divide well among three, I'll save them some arguing and just give them a dollar each." Which he does, and keeps the leftover two dollars for himself.

Now each of the men paid $9.00 for the room, for a total of $27.00. The bellhop has $2.00. 27+2=29. What happened to the missing dollar?

Ancient Chestnut #2:

In a small town there are three houses: one white, one blue, one green. There are also three somewhat under utilized utilities: gas, electricity, and water. Is it possible to connect each house to all three utilities, so that no connection crosses another? (See diagram, below)

An unusually dull picture.

Ancient Chestnut #3:

"There are only three words in the English language ending in 'gry'. Angry and hungry are two of them. What is the third word? The word is something that everyone uses every day. If you have listened carefully, I have already told you what it is."

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