This Month’s Contest: CHOCOLATE BARS

On client appreciation day, an advisor offers clients the opportunity to select two bars of fine chocolate from a large bowl filled with bars of Swiss chocolate and Danish chocolate. A client randomly pulls out two chocolate bars. One of the bars is Danish chocolate. What is the probability that the other bar is also Danish chocolate?

Please email your solution to John Kador at using the subject line “Chocolate.” Deadline is July 1, 2013. One entrant with the correct answer (or a creative alternative) will receive a signed copy of John Kador’s How to Ace the Brainteaser Job Interview. Good luck to all.

Brainteaser #2: ST. IVES

There’s an old nursery rhyme that’s actually a nice little puzzle. Can you calculate the answer posed by the rhyme?

As I was going to St. Ives,

I crossed the path of seven wives,

Every wife had seven sacks,

Every sack had seven cats,

Every cat had seven kittens,

Kittens, cats, sacks, wives,

How many were leaving St. Ives?

Answer on next page.

Solution to previous puzzler: WORDS IN COMMON

To recap: What do the following words have in common: Boycott, Cardigan, Chauvinism, Decibel, Dunce, Fuchsia, Leotard, Saxophone, Silhouette?

Solution: All the words are eponyms. That is, they are the names of historical people who lent their names to objects or concepts.

We received over 50 responses. Less than a third suggested the right answer. There were ingenious solutions having to do with alphabetical order, word origin (many of the words do sound French, don’t they?), number of syllables and placement of accents. This contest’s winner, randomly selected from all correct entries, is Susan Dubow, first vice president and financial advisor, RBC Wealth Management, Tucson, Ariz. Congratulations to Susan and thanks to everyone for playing the REP. Puzzler.

Solution to St. Ives: Seven wives each had seven sacks for a total of 49 sacks, so 7+49 =56 wives and sacks. Each sack had seven cats for a total of 343 cats, so 56+343=399 wives, sacks, and cats. Each of the seven cats has seven kittens for a total of 2,401 kittens, so 2,401+399=2,800 wives, sacks, cats and kittens. If you got any other result, it’s likely because you forgot to count the sacks, but the riddle clearly states: “Kittens, cats, sacks, wives, how many were leaving St. Ives?”

John Kador is the author of 15 books. His latest book (with Brian S. Cohen) is What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Reveals How to Get Smart Funding for Your Billion Dollar Idea (McGraw-Hill).