puzzles that will drive you mad

Some time last spring, a coworker walking out of a meeting passed me and handed me a page of puzzles copied from a mind-bender book.  I didn’t have time to look it over, so I set it on my desk, and it immediately got buried under a stack of papers.  Several months later, I found it and began looking them over.

Another coworker and good friend was working down the hall from me at the time — there were six offices down a little dead-end hallway, and during most of the past summer the other offices were empty.  So it wasn’t odd, nor too disrupting (we think), for us to simply speak loudly from our desks to communicate with each other.  (Now we work in different buildings, around other people who work more quietly than we do, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment.)

Anyway, I showed some of the mind-benders to my friend, and they immediately drove us crazy.  They’re the type of puzzles that itch like a scratch you can’t reach, and while you try not to think about them, you know you won’t get any peace until you come to the answer.  At the same time, they were the type of puzzles that would just come to you when you least expected it.  So you tried not to think about them, in the hopes that the answers would just leap into your head while you were in the middle of something else.

They occupied us for a good couple of days.  Lauri googled one once, which was entirely dissatisfying and I told her she never could do it ever again.  Some of them came easily to us, others still are left unanswered.  But they definitely gave me a fond memory.  I would tease her with them — throwing out one when she least expected it and knowing it would be gnawing at her brain for the next few hours.  Or we’d each be hard at work in our offices, when suddenly one of us would have a “eureka” moment and we’d shout out the answer, or she’d call me up excitedly, or I’d run down the hall to her doorway.  If someone else was present, they would look at us bewilderedly, wondering what the combination of words coming out of our mouths meant.

But Lauri and I knew.

So that brings me to the challenge.  Of the 23 puzzles, we’ve solved all but five.  Luckily, we forgot about the whole thing, or else we probably would be insane by now.  But I just found them and wanted to let you all in on the fun.

I’m going to start by giving you ones we’ve solved — because deep-down, I still want to solve the five on my own.

The puzzles are classic amounts or numbers of something, which are abbreviated by just initials.  The equations are completed by finding the missing words.  It’s hard to explain, so let me give you the example they give at the beginning:

26 = L of the A

…. 26 Letters of the Alphabet

Seems easy, right?

try these:

7 = W of the A W

12 = S of the Z

54 = C in a D (with the J)

9 = P in the S S

13 = S on the A F

32 = D F at which W F

18 = H on a G C

90 = D in a R A

8 = S on a S S

3 = B M (S H T R!)

Have fun going crazy! : )  NO CHEATING!

P.S. What makes this whole thing crazier is that the coworker who originally gave me the page doesn’t remember giving it to me and has no idea where she got it!  So much for “Answers on page 118.”  !!!

P.P.S. I originally made copies to give my family when they came to visit, but I forgot to pass them out — if I had, my Dad would have completed them all in one sitting, I imagine!

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2 thoughts on “puzzles that will drive you mad

  1. Megan Reetz says:

    Luke solved like every single one of these! I was shocked! We had a lot of fun doing them! Here is one he and one of our students came up with for you… 🙂

    5= D in a R

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