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Brainteasers' Aftermaths
January 31, 2003 2:34 AM   Subscribe

So What Happened After The Wise Man Discovered He Was Wearing The Red Hat? Don Steinberg's hilarious brainteaser aftermaths inevitably makes one wonder what happens after fairy-tale endings or the punchlines in jokes.
posted by MiguelCardoso (20 comments total)

 
vowing never again to book travel through the Internet

Okay... I laugh at strange things...
posted by twine42 at 3:00 AM on January 31, 2003


Also: After the Punchline.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:49 AM on January 31, 2003


"...I bear no small shame for the unholy means by which I have sustained myself for more than two centuries. You see, I am not only a U.S. citizen . . . I am also a vampire."
This just makes so much sense to me this morning.
But what happened to the guy in the knock-knock joke that didn't say "banana" again?
posted by chandy72 at 6:00 AM on January 31, 2003


I must be suffering a sense of humour failure today as I didn't laugh once at either of the links :o(
posted by ralawrence at 6:02 AM on January 31, 2003


The knight/knave one didn't make sense...

The brother could have been lying either way...
posted by LoopSouth at 6:29 AM on January 31, 2003


Pretty disappointing, tired, formulaic stuff from the New Yorker. Veronica Geng is looking down in horror.
posted by luser at 6:36 AM on January 31, 2003


Pretty disappointing, tired, formulaic stuff from luser.

Don Steinberg rocks.
posted by soyjoy at 6:43 AM on January 31, 2003


LoopSouth: Is this explanation better?

The question is: "Are you and your sister the same type?"

If he's a knight, and she's a knight, he will say "yes" (the truth).
If he's a knave, and she's a knight, he will also say "yes" (a lie).
And the opposite for the other situation.
posted by jozxyqk at 6:54 AM on January 31, 2003


The knight/knave one didn't make sense...

Oh lord, just let that one go, or you'll have the Mensa Junior Mounted Storm Force down on us. The real problem with the Knight/Knave puzzler is that the only "acceptable" answer is the tricksy "no matter what he answers, my question shall expose him" one. Just ask the guy if he's a bird or a frog or a hat or something. Yes=Knave, No=Knight.

This technique stolen from Herzog's Enigma of Kaspar Hauser.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:55 AM on January 31, 2003


I'm sure I've seen something similar to this (and even more similar to the brunching link) on McSweeney's wherein jokes were told beyond the punchline. I searched for it but couldn't find it. But I did find this.
posted by skryche at 7:07 AM on January 31, 2003


skryche: maybe this?
posted by staggernation at 7:20 AM on January 31, 2003


PinkStainlessTail -
The idea behind those puzzles is that it doesn't matter whether the person you're asking is lying or not.
You're limited to one question, and you need to get a particular piece of information out of that question.
If you waste your one question on "Are you a frog?" then you're no closer to your answer.
If you get *two* questions, that's too easy. "Are you a frog?" (Yes -> He's lying). "Is she a knight?" (No -> Yes)..

I've heard it most commonly with two doors. "Would the other guard say that your door is the right one?" is the trick question for that one.
posted by jozxyqk at 7:50 AM on January 31, 2003


D'oh! This would be why my application for the Mensa Junior Mounted Storm Force was turned down. Bastards.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:00 AM on January 31, 2003


The Mensa Junior Mounted Storm Force ought to go after the one who wrote the ending to the "mother's the doctor" one. It said in the beginning that the father died and he comes walking into the O.R. Tsk. Tsk.
posted by orange swan at 8:06 AM on January 31, 2003


This is a job for Super Nintendo Chalmers.
posted by Frasermoo at 8:33 AM on January 31, 2003


I wondered why the New Yorker ran that Shouts & Murmurs piece: Because some people really do find it funny!

Miguel, we don't share a sense of humor. I still would like to meet you, though, if I ever make it to Portugal. I was thinking about you this week as I read Ryszard Kapuscinski's fine book, "Another Day of Life," about the final days before Angola achieved independence from Portugal. Typical amazing Kapuscinski stuff -- he's the best reporter alive.
posted by Holden at 9:13 AM on January 31, 2003


Why would you be limited to only one question? Is your tongue gangrenous or maybe leprous and about to drop out of your mouth of its own accord? If so, you'd probably best forget whatever you were worrying about before, stick out yer festering tongue, and hope that its obvious ill health is taken as a sign to get you some medical treatment muy pronto, if only so that the knave, if he's a knave, doesn't have to look at your disgusting self any more or further risk infection himself.

If the dude just refuses to answer more than one question, try threatening his life or gonads. He'll answer a truck full of questions after you smash a kneecap.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:29 AM on January 31, 2003


It said in the beginning that the father died and he comes walking into the O.R. Tsk. Tsk.

orange swan, you are being sarcastic, right? I mean, that's what makes it so funny - it doesn't just extend the premise of the original but stretches it and then breaks it. Unfortunately, I think, that one is the funniest one, so it should have been last.
posted by soyjoy at 10:04 AM on January 31, 2003


OS: To use the lawyerly reasoning these brain-teasers often do, it does not specify that the father is dead when the son is at the hospital, only that he had been killed. He could easily enough have been killed, which only means rendered legally dead, and then revived.

Or [miraclemax] he could only be MOSTLY dead! [/miraclemax]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:27 AM on January 31, 2003


funny. reminded me of mcsweeneys online, although mcsweeneys online isn't that funny anymore.
posted by jcruelty at 3:49 PM on January 31, 2003


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