Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №24/2009

Streeeetch Your Mind!


Answer the following True/False questions on a fun Christmas theme to test your analytical reasoning skills.

1. Santa Claus had two left-handed green gloves and no right-handed gloves. On turning the left-handed glove inside-out, he found he could wear it on his right hand.

2. The elf placed the toy in a rectangular cardboard box. He then covered each of the six faces of the box with either red or green paper. The elf found that neither did two red faces touch each other nor did two green faces.

3. The elf entered the workshop at six o’clock. He turned the clock upside down and found the hour hand pointing downward.

4. Santa Claus looked at his reflection in the lake. His sack was over his right shoulder. In the reflection, the sack was over the left shoulder.

5. If Christmas in a certain year falls on a Monday, then Boxing Day in that year falls on a Wednesday.

6. If the blue balloon is bigger than the green balloon and the red balloon is smaller than the blue balloon, then the green balloon is bigger than the red balloon.

7. Amy’s uncle, who has hosted the Christmas party, could be her sister’s grandmother’s son.

8. Santa Claus gave 10 cookies to the first child, 15 cookies to the second child, 21 cookies to the third child, and 28 cookies to the fourth child. If Santa is following a logical sequence of numbers, then he should give 35 cookies to the fifth child.

9. An elf makes a Christmas card in the shape of a semi-circle with a radius of 12 inches. He wishes to stick a rectangular picture of 12 inches width and 6 inches height on it, but finds that the picture does not fully fit within the semi-circle.

10. Prancer, the reindeer, draws a sleigh 4 blocks west, then 10 blocks south, then 4 blocks east, and finally 4 blocks north. The sleigh is now 6 blocks south from where it started.

11. A farm in Syberland is in the shape of a regular polygon with 6 sides. It is possible to divide the farm equally amongst 6 elves by building 3 straight fences.

12. If a wreath is made from 9 pieces (of flowers and leaves), then 10 ties (knots) will be needed.

13. It’s Christmas time and 7 children are playing in the snow. If each child throws one snowball at every other child, then the total number of snowballs thrown is 42.

14. Santa has 43 pairs of red socks and 15 pairs of white socks in his big sack. If Santa picks out 3 socks at random from his sack, he is certain to get a matching pair.


1. True. A left-handed glove when turned inside-out can be worn on the right hand.

2. False. It is not possible for two faces of the same color to not touch when only two colors of paper are used. At least three colors are required.

3. False. At six o’clock, the hour hand points downward. When the clock is turned upside down, the hour hand points upward.

4. True. A reflection or mirror image is inverted, i.e., what is left appears right and vice versa.

5. False. Boxing Day is the first week-day after Christmas when Christmas-boxes are given. If Christmas falls on a Monday, then Boxing Days falls on a Tuesday.

6. False. What can be concluded is that the blue balloon is the biggest. No definite conclusion can be made about the relative sizes of the red and green balloons.

7. True. Amy’s sister’s grandmother is Amy’s grandmother. Thus, Amy’s uncle could be her grandmother’s son. Note Amy’s father is also her grandmother’s son.

8. False. Logically, Santa should give 36 cookies to the fifth child in accordance with the following sequence: adding 5 to 10 gives 15; adding 6 to 15 gives 21; adding 7 to 21 gives 28; and adding 8 to 28 gives 36.

9. False. The question is a bit tricky and calls for visualization. An equivalent question would be ‘Is it possible to fit a square of side 6 inches in a quarter of a circle of radius 12 inches?’ The answer is ‘yes’ because the diagonal of the square will always be less than twice its side (or the radius of the semi-circle in this case).

10. True. The travel of 4 blocks east cancels out the initial travel of 4 blocks west. So, the sleigh is thus drawn 10 blocks south and 4 blocks north. The net effect is that the sleigh ends up 6 blocks south.

11. True. It is possible to divide a regular polygon with 6 sides into 6 equal triangles by drawing 3 straight lines passing through the center of the polygon.

12. False. Each piece will have two ends, and two ends are needed for each tie. So, the number of ties equals the number of pieces. Thus, to make a wreath from 9 pieces, 9 ties are needed.

13. True. Each child throws one snowball at every child except himself / herself. When there are 7 children, the total number of snowballs is 7 × 6 = 42.

14. True. Denote the two colors of socks by X and Y. Let the first sock Santa picks out of the sack be X in color. If the second sock is X, then he has got a matching pair. If the second sock is Y, then he has one X and one Y after two picks. Whatever he picks as the third sock will provide the matching pair.

to be continued

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