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Mr Amazing
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I'm not sure where to post this. I want to know if you know of any riddles or stories that in themselves evoke a feeling of impossibility, i.e. not as a presentation to a physical trick.

Let me give you an example:

Quote:
Three friends were to spend the night in an hotel. They decided to go with the cheapest option which meant a shared room for a total of $30.

After they left, the cashier realized he had made a mistake and overcharged them by $5. Thus he sent off the pickolo boy with five one dollar bills.

But the pickolo reasoned that the three men wouldn't be able to split the five dollars, so he kept two for himself before he gave the rest back. Thus, the three men only payed $9 each in the end.

But 3 times $9 = $27, plus the $2 that the pickolo took only equals $29

...where did the last dollar go that makes it add up to the original $30?

The above can evoke a feeling of impossibility similar to what a magic trick can do. (Not a feeling of something supernatural though, unfortunately.)

Do you have any other riddles or stories or so that seem impossible (...at least at first) or preferably even supernatural if possible!? A disturbing enigma, not necessarily of a mathematical nature, although those are welcome too as indicated above.

Thanks
Bill Palmer
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It's a clever riddle, but it's only partially correct. The men paid $25 for the room. That's 8.33 each with one cent left over.

The boy gave them each one dollar back. That's $9.33 plus one cent left over. You add that up, and it comes to $27.99 plus the one cent left over or $28.00. That, plus the $2 the boy kept adds up to $30.00.

The dollar was always there.
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0pus
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I believe that Daryl made this story into a trick where the $30 actually turned into $29.
J.Warrens
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You could also look at it backwards:

Cashier has 25 in till
Each man gets $1
The remaining two—to the monkey boy!

Cheers,
J.Warrens
Mr Amazing
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I appreciate your kindness to explain the riddle guys, but this really isn't my question.

Do you know of any riddles or stories that in themselves evoke a feeling of impossibility, comparable to the feelings resulting from a good magic trick? Hopefully these are feelings different from the "what's-the-answer" challenge kind, and instead cause a feeling of beauty and impossibility. My own example above doesn't quite fulfill this I'm afraid, but I'm hoping you have some better examples.

Again, thanks for your thoughts.
Ian McColl
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Hi, I don’t know if this fits in with your subject but here goes….

A husband and wife go to the theatre to see an opera.
During the opera the man falls asleep. In his dream, he is involved in the French revolution. He is captured and sent to guillotine. The executioner releases the blade.

His wife, annoyed that he has fallen asleep, opens her fan and touches him on the back of his neck.

The feeling of the fan as if the blade of the guillotine makes the man have a heart attack and he dies.

What is wrong with the story.
magicgeorge
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I suppose any riddle which has an illogical result while you've told the spectator a seemingly logical story fits this description.
In your example, the listeners have followed the story and at the end you have made a dollar diasappear.

What about this one:

A fly flies along a railway track towards an oncoming train. When the train hits it the fly goes from going at 4 mph in one direction to 50 mph in the other. If you draw its velocity on a graph it will go from -4 to 50. Therefore it will go through the 0 mph axis. Therefore at some point the fly has stopped the train.

I'm sure there are much better examples but that one was kind of on track (no pun intended) .With skewed logic you have stopped a train with a fly which would be a fairly magical feat in real life.

The story in this thread certainly evokes wonder:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......2&55
Dave Le Fevre
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Quote:
On 2004-02-26 09:07, trunk8 wrote:
Hi, I don’t know if this fits in with your subject but here goes….

A husband and wife go to the theatre to see an opera.
During the opera the man falls asleep. In his dream, he is involved in the French revolution. He is captured and sent to guillotine. The executioner releases the blade.

His wife, annoyed that he has fallen asleep, opens her fan and touches him on the back of his neck.

The feeling of the fan as if the blade of the guillotine makes the man have a heart attack and he dies.

What is wrong with the story.



We cannot know of what he was dreaming. Therefore we cannot know why he died.

Dave
The Ozzy Osbourne of the 34x27
Jonathan Townsend
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We could parse the story one sentence at a time and pull our LOTS of questions.

To start with, I'd suspect there was more than one married couple at the opera that night.

Then we could start to wonder about things from there and ask if ...

There are old riddles designed to test the maturity of the listener/reader. Is a citation towards those chestnuts the object of the original question?
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dlhoyt
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She would have reached over with a closed fan?
Ian McColl
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Dear Dave, top marks, How would we know what he was dreaming if he died before he woke.

Ian
Mushu
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Quote:
On 2004-03-02 09:05, trunk8 wrote:
Dear Dave, top marks, How would we know what he was dreaming if he died before he woke.

Ian


Perhaps he was talking in his sleep?
magicgeorge
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The opera riddle only works if it is stated that it is a true story. Many riddles and tales are told from the perspective of an all-knowing third party.
This topic has kind of gone way off track though. We're looking for riddles which can induce a magical feeling. A monologue where the spectator follows the mgaicians logic but is presented with an inexplicable result at the end. Unfortunately, I can't see any way of presenting the opera riddle to fall into this category.
Craig Matsuoka
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Quote:
On 2004-01-29 10:37, matias wrote:

Do you know of any riddles or stories that in themselves evoke a feeling of impossibility, comparable to the feelings resulting from a good magic trick?


Some paradoxes have this effect on people. One of my favorites is the "Unexpected Hanging" paradox.

It tells an ironic (and controversial) story of a judge handing out a death sentence to a shrewd criminal.

The judge informs the notorious criminal that pursuant to state law, there are two conditions which must be satisfied in order for an execution to be carried out.

1) It must take place in daylight sometime the following week (Monday through Friday).
2) The day of the execution must come as a surprise to the criminal.

The criminal smiles and confidently proclaims to the judge that it's impossible to pick an execution date, given those conditions.

First of all, it can't be on Friday because he will be laying in bed on Thursday night expecting an execution the next morning. This eliminates Friday as a valid choice.

It logically follows that the judge cannot select Thursday either. If Thursday is picked, he will be laying in bed on Wednesday night expecting a Thursday execution since we've previously established Friday as an invalid choice.

Continuing this same reasoning, Wednesday, Tuesday, and Monday can likewise be eliminated as possible choices.

After explaining this to the judge, the criminal smugly exits the courtroom confident he will never be hanged. The following Wednesday morning, he is rousted from peaceful slumber and escorted outside to the gallows where the judge is present. As the noose is placed around his neck, he loudly and defiantly protests that this cannot happen - that the judge is breaking the rules.

The judge calmly approaches the criminal, looks him in the eye and just before the trap door is released, he says, "surprise!"

That's the paradox. How can both the judge AND the criminal be correct?

Now, is it possible for a magician to play the role of the judge? Are paradox and irony useful tools in creating enjoyable and interesting routines?

There's probably an object lesson in there somewhere.
Jonathan Townsend
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Re: 2) The day of the execution must come as a surprise to the criminal.
and : Are paradox and irony useful tools in creating enjoyable and interesting routines?

Our culture puts a dark context on any who keep their word at the expense of childish expectations.
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Shane Wiker
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Quote:
On 2004-03-07 03:02, Craig Matsuoka wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-01-29 10:37, matias wrote:

Do you know of any riddles or stories that in themselves evoke a feeling of impossibility, comparable to the feelings resulting from a good magic trick?


Some paradoxes have this effect on people. One of my favorites is the "Unexpected Hanging" paradox.

It tells an ironic (and controversial) story of a judge handing out a death sentence to a shrewd criminal.

The judge informs the notorious criminal that pursuant to state law, there are two conditions which must be satisfied in order for an execution to be carried out.

1) It must take place in daylight sometime the following week (Monday through Friday).
2) The day of the execution must come as a surprise to the criminal.

The criminal smiles and confidently proclaims to the judge that it's impossible to pick an execution date, given those conditions.

First of all, it can't be on Friday because he will be laying in bed on Thursday night expecting an execution the next morning. This eliminates Friday as a valid choice.

It logically follows that the judge cannot select Thursday either. If Thursday is picked, he will be laying in bed on Wednesday night expecting a Thursday execution since we've previously established Friday as an invalid choice.

Continuing this same reasoning, Wednesday, Tuesday, and Monday can likewise be eliminated as possible choices.

After explaining this to the judge, the criminal smugly exits the courtroom confident he will never be hanged. The following Wednesday morning, he is rousted from peaceful slumber and escorted outside to the gallows where the judge is present. As the noose is placed around his neck, he loudly and defiantly protests that this cannot happen - that the judge is breaking the rules.

The judge calmly approaches the criminal, looks him in the eye and just before the trap door is released, he says, "surprise!"

That's the paradox. How can both the judge AND the criminal be correct?

Now, is it possible for a magician to play the role of the judge? Are paradox and irony useful tools in creating enjoyable and interesting routines?

There's probably an object lesson in there somewhere.


The way that it is true is that It was on a weekday the following week and it was a surprise because the criminal was sure that he would not be hanged because then it wouldn't be a surprise. So by saying that it wouldn't be a surprise he was making himself confident that it wouldn't happen so when it did happen, it was a suprise. Confusing, isn't it?
Jonathan Townsend
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What is the difference between saying a thing and believing a thing?
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hoodrat
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How about the classic riddle from Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland"? The riddle is: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Jonathan Townsend
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Both permit one to learn that you can't get an answer out of your sleeve.
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bvbernard
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Why is a raven like a writing desk?

1.Because the notes for which they are noted are not noted for being musical notes. (Puzzle maven Sam Loyd, 1914)
2.Because Poe wrote on both (Sam Loyd, 1914)
3.Because there is a B in both and an N in neither. (Aldous Huxley, 1928)

The book had the answer in it:

----
"Have you guessed the riddle yet?" the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.

"No, I give it up," Alice replied. "What's the answer?"

"I haven't the slightest idea," said the Hatter.

"Nor I," said the March Hare.

Alice sighed wearily. "I think you might do something better with the time," she said, "than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers."
----

There was no answer to the riddle. It was just a comic device. Caroll was bugged a lot about this riddle. In the 1896 edition of the book he wrote in the preface:

"Enquiries have been so often addressed to me, as to whether any answer to the Hatter's Riddle can be imagined, that I may as well put on record here what seems to me to be a fairly appropriate answer, viz: `Because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front!' This, however, is merely an afterthought; the Riddle, as originally invented, had no answer at all."

Bruce
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