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A Collection of Quant Riddles With (some) Answers

The quant riddles or logic or lateral puzzles 1-19 appear in the book 'Heard on The Street: Quantitative Questions from Wall Street Job Interviews' by Timothy Falcon Crack PhD available on his website the rest have been accumulated from the internet and emails that I receive. They are designed to help training for job or university interviews or just training your brain. The internet is littered with this kind of thing but the answers can be a little harder to find so I've thought about all of them and the ones that I know the answer to can be clicked on and have little at the end. Questions 3 & 5 are probably the easiest and a good place to start. I've coloured them Red, Amber and Green to indicate Very Hard, Quite Hard and Not so Hard. So that's it good luck....

lly damn hard, I don't know why I put it first. f scales and 12 marbles. The scales are of the old balance variety. That is, a small dish hangs from each end of a rod that is balanced in the nables you to conclude either that the contents of the dishes weigh the same or that the dish that falls lower has heavier contents than the o

ar to be identical. In fact, 11 of them are identical, and one is of a different weight. Your task is to identify the unusual marble and discard it. e scales three times if you wish, but no more. marble may be heavier or lighter than the others. You are asked to both identify it and determine whether it is heavy or light.

f scales and 90 coins. The scales are of the same type as above. You must pay $100 every time you use the scales.

o be identical. In fact, 89 of them are identical, and one is of a different weight. Your task is to identify the unusual coin and to discard it whi hing (another task might be to minimizing the expected cost of weighing). What is your algorithm to complete this task? What is the most it c

n one corner of a cubic room. You wish to walk (no flying) to the extreme opposite corner (the one farthest from you). Describe the shortest

ns 100,000 married couples but no children. Each family wishes to continue the male line, but they do not wish to over-populate. So, each l of the first boy. For example, if (at some future date) a family has five children, then it must be either that they are all girls, and another chi boy, and no more children are planned. Assume that children are equally likely to be born male or female.

tage of children that are male at the end of year t. How is this percentage expected to evolve through time?

f any) are there in the angle between the hour and minute hands of a clock when the time is a quarter past three?

ulbs lined up in a row in a long room. Each bulb has its own switch and is currently switched off. The room has an entry door and an exit doo lined up outside the entry door. Each bulb is numbered consecutively from 1 to 100. So is each person.

he room, switches on every bulb, and exits. Person No. 2 enters and flips the switch on every second bulb (turning off bulbs 2, 4, 6, ). and flips the switch on every third bulb (changing the state on bulbs 3, 6, 9, ). This continues until all 100 people have passed through the

of bulb No. 64? And how many of the light bulbs are illuminated after the 100 person has passed through the room?

th

ontains three identical light fixtures, each containing an identical light bulb. Each light is connected to one of three switches outside of the ro utside the room, and the door is closed. You have one , and only one, opportunity to flip any of the external switches. After this, you can go i ot touch the switches again. How can you tell which switch goes to which light?

positive integer that leaves a remainder of 1 when divided by 2, remainder of 2 when divided by 3, a remainder of 3 when divided by 4, and s

al town, the women all believe in an old prophecy that says there will come a time when a stranger will visit the town and announce whether s. The stranger will simply say yes or no, without announcing the number of men implicated or their identities. If the stranger arrives and they must follow a particular rule: If on any day following the strangers announcement a woman deduces that her husband is not faithful to .M. the next day. This action is immediately observable by every resident in the town. It is well known that each wife is already observant en husband) is cheating on his wife. However, no woman can reveal that information to any other. A cheating husband is also assumed to rem
th

a stranger arrives. He announces that there are cheating men in the town. On the morning of the 10 day following the strangers arrival, so the first time. How many of them are there?

a competitive game. We shall take it in turns to call out integers. The first person to call out 50 wins. The rules are as follows: ho starts must call out an integer between 1 and 10, inclusive; er called out must exceed the most recent number called by at least one and by no more than 10.

t, and if so, what is your strategy?

e without knowing the combination. Beginning with the dial set at zero, the dial must be turned counter-clockwise to the first combination nu e to the second combination number, (then counter-clockwise back to zero), and counter-clockwise again to the third and final number, whe pen. There are 40 numbers on the dial, including the zero.

combination numbers, what is the maximum number of trials required to open the safe (one trial equals one attempt to dial a full three-numb

t are five hats: three blue and two red. Knowing this, three smart men go into the closet, and each selects a hat in the dark and places it uns

et, no man can see his own hat. The first man looks at the other two, thinks, and says, I cannot tell what colour my hat is. The second man I cannot tell what colour my hat is either. The third man is blind. The blind man says, Well, I know what colour my hat is. What colour is hi

he centre of a circular field of radius R. The field has a low wire fence around it. Attached to the wire fence (and restricted to running around dog. You can run at speed v, while the dog can run four times as fast. What is your running strategy to escape the field?

cards (26 red, 26 black). You draw cards one by one. A red card pays you a dollar. A black one fines you a dollar. You can stop any time yo after being drawn. What is the optimal stopping rule in terms of maximizing expected payoff? Also, what is the expected payoff following this
2

ime number bigger than 3, then p -1 is always divisible by 24 with no remainder?

rd (88) plus a big box of dominoes (each 21). I use a marker pen to put an X in the squares at coordinates (1, 1) and (8, 8) - a pair of di to cover the remaining 62 squares using the dominoes without any of them sticking out over the edge of the board and without any of them es stand on their ends.

fuse that burns in exactly one minute. The fuse is inhomogeneous, and it may burn slowly at first, then quickly, then slowly, and so on. You easure exactly 30 seconds?

two consecutive prime numbers ever be prime?

ve zeros are there at the end of 100! (100 factorial). How would your solution change if there problem were in base 5? How about in Binary?

??? Have a look at the picture (click to enlarge.) All the lines are straight, the shapes that make up the top picture are the same as the ones ere does the gap come from????

boat floating on a lake, in the boat he has a brick. He throws the brick over the side of the boat so as it lands in the water. The brick sinks qu water level in the lake go up or down?

5 litre water container, each container has no markings except for that which gives you it's total volume. You also have a running tap. You m d the tap in such away as to exactly measure out 4 litres of water. How is this done?

s, into one of them I put a 20 note. I lay the envelopes out on a table in front of me and allow you to pick one envelope. You hold but do no opes from the table, demonstrate to you that it was empty, screw it up and throw it away. The question is would you rather stick with the env e on the table. Why? What would be the expected value to you of the exchange?

re going to a market to buy some animals. On the market there are 3 types of animals for sale. You can buy:

goats for 1 each and ducks, you get 8 of these per bunch and each bunch costs 1.

100 animals at the cost of 100, what is the combination of horses, goats and duck that allows you to do this? (You must buy at least one o

d Dave are out walking: They come to rickety old wooden bridge. The bridge is weak and only able to carry the weight of two of them at a e in a rush and the light is fading they must cross in the minimum time possible and must carry a torch (flashlight,) on each crossing.

orch and it can't be thrown. Because of their different fitness levels and some minor injuries they can all cross at different speeds. Adam , Bob in 2 minutes, Clair in 5 minutes and Dave in 10 minutes.

he group thinks for a moment and declares that the crossing can be completed in 17 minutes. There is no trick. How is this done????

houses. Nearby there are gas water and electric plants. The man wishes to connect all three houses to each of the gas, water and electricit

es and cables must not cross each other. How would you connect connect each of the 3 houses to each of the gas, water and electricity

re there on a chessboard?? (the answer is not 64)

technique to calculate the number of rectangles on a chessboard.

desk said the room is $30 so each man paid $10 and went to the room. behind the desk realized the room was only $25 so he sent the bellboy to the 3 guys' room with $5. y couldn't figure out how to split $5 evenly between 3 men, so he gave each man a $1 and kept the other $2 for himself. men each paid $9 for the room, which is a total of $27 add the $2 that the bellboy kept = $29. Where is the other dollar?

having a meal. The first man brought 5 loaves of bread, and the second brought 3. A third man, Ali, came and joined them. They together at 8 coins as a thank you. The first man said that he would take 5 of the coins and give his partner 3, but the second man refused and asked fo ision. The first one refused. asked for the fair solution. Ali told the second man, "I think it is better for you to accept your partner's offer." But the man refused and asked 5 loaves takes 7 coins, and who offered 3 loaves takes 1 coin." this was actually fair???

rs three selections - Tea, Coffee or Random but the machine has been wired up wrongly so that each button does not give what it claims. If y do you have to put into the machine to work out which button gives which selection ? .

chess board. What is the diameter of the largest circle that can be drawn on the board whilst only drawing on the black squares. Hint: This p black square directly into it's diagonal neighbour through the intersecting corners is considered to have stayed within the black squares, the

smin and other rose, are both climbing up and round a cylindrical tree trunk. jasmine twists clockwise and rose anticlockwise, both start at th first branch of the tree the jasmine had made 5 complete twists and the rose 3 twists. not counting the bottom and the top, how many times

ay dry. Should i walk or run in the rain?

ghters. A second, intelligent man, asked him the ages of his daughters. The first man told him that the product of their ages (them all multipli man was unable to find the answer and asked for another clue. The first man replies the sum of their ages is equal to his house door number asked for another clue. The first man told him that his youngest daughter had blue eyes, and suddenly second man gave the correct answe

n hour and minute hand. At 12 midnight the hands are exactly aligned. When is the next time they will exactly align or overlap?