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Posers and Puzzles

Posers and Puzzles

  1. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    16 Jan '04 23:48
    A swordsmith and his assistant make two small swords, and then both of them head off for the pub. Shortly afterwards, a thief breaks into the smithy, grabs a sword, and runs off with it. Later, a second thief breaks in and tries to grab the other sword but quickly lets go of it, yelling in pain; he then runs off. The swords were identical and made at exactly the same time (don't ask how) and neither thief wore gloves. Which thief came off better from the incident (neither was caught), and why?
  2. Standard member royalchicken
    CHAOS GHOST!!!
    16 Jan '04 23:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Acolyte
    A swordsmith and his assistant make two small swords, and then both of them head off for the pub. Shortly afterwards, a thief breaks into the smithy, grabs a sword, and runs off with it. Later, a second thief breaks in and tries to grab t ...[text shortened]... f came off better from the incident (neither was caught), and why?
    The first thief was the swordsmith. The second thief was the assistant, but when he grabbed the sword, the swordsmith stabbed him with the first sword, provoking a yelp, and causing him to run off. The assistant was worse off because:

    1. He assumedly was sacked for attempting to steal from his employer;
    2. Since he came in second, it is likely he was in the pub longer, and trying to pull off a heist while plastered is (in my experience ) not so fun;
    3. He was stabbed with a sword;
    4. His employer had two swords at the end, and he had none.

  3. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    17 Jan '04 00:11 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by royalchicken
    The first thief was the swordsmith. The second thief was the assistant, but when he grabbed the sword, the swordsmith stabbed him with the first sword, provoking a yelp, and causing him to run off. The assistant was worse off because ...[text shortened]... 4. His employer had two swords at the end, and he had none.

    'Fraid you've got the wrong end of the sword here (ouch!). Why would a swordsmith steal his own sword, and why would he need to break in? Or are you suggesting he got lathered enough to do such a thing in the short time he spent in the pub?

    To clarify, the thieves are distinct from each other, the swordsmith and his assistant.

    Edit: Come to think of it, I didn't say anything about the sobriety of the thieves...
    Also the thieves in this story are technically burglars, but that's irrelevant to the answer.
  4. Standard member royalchicken
    CHAOS GHOST!!!
    17 Jan '04 00:28
    Originally posted by Acolyte
    'Fraid you've got the wrong end of the sword here (ouch!). Why would a swordsmith steal his own sword, and why would he need to break in? Or are you suggesting he got lathered enough to do such a thing in the short time he spent in the pub?

    To clarify, the thieves are distinct from each other, the swordsmith and his assistant.

    Edit: Come to think of it, I didn't say anything about the sobriety of the thieves...
    You've never locked yourself out of your own house, car, or smithy?

  5. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    17 Jan '04 02:01
    Are we assuming the swords cooled down? I can imagine running away with a freakin' hot sword in your hand hurts awfully bad!
  6. Standard member royalchicken
    CHAOS GHOST!!!
    17 Jan '04 02:08
    Originally posted by Acolyte
    'Fraid you've got the wrong end of the sword here (ouch!).
    Shameless hint I guess.

  7. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    17 Jan '04 10:18
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    Are we assuming the swords cooled down? I can imagine running away with a freakin' hot sword in your hand hurts awfully bad!
    You're getting there...
  8. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    17 Jan '04 14:41
    So obviously the second one came better off since he just got a poke, as the first ran away with a smoltering sword in his hand!
  9. Standard member royalchicken
    CHAOS GHOST!!!
    17 Jan '04 20:45
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    So obviously the second one came better off since he just got a poke, as the first ran away with a smoltering sword in his hand!
    Well done Tony ! I couldn't figure this out. I was thinking about the orientation of the assistant relative to the swordsmith while they made the swords, such that there would be two doors (else the second thief wouldn't have to 'break' in) and the swords would be oriented such that the first thief, in the dark, would grab his by the handle and the second would grab his by the blade (which I thought was supported by Acolyte's comment...)! I suppose this begs the question of how the thieves would know where the swords were though...

    I completely missed out on the heat bit and the 'shortly after' that says that the swords would not have had time to cool down

    A good puzzle too!
  10. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    18 Jan '04 01:13
    I thought it was too easy! The tip off was when it said something about neither theif wearing gloves....Why would the need gloves!? To hold something insanely hot!
  11. Standard member royalchicken
    CHAOS GHOST!!!
    18 Jan '04 01:30
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    I thought it was too easy! The tip off was when it said something about neither theif wearing gloves....Why would the need gloves!? To hold something insanely hot!
    Or to hold something sharp. Or very, very cold. Or sticky. Or contaminated with foul diseases...
  12. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    18 Jan '04 01:59
    Originally posted by !~TONY~!
    I thought it was too easy! The tip off was when it said something about neither theif wearing gloves....Why would the need gloves!? To hold something insanely hot!
    OK then.. how was the first thief able to run away with a smoldering sword in his hand?
  13. Donation !~TONY~!
    1...c5!
    18 Jan '04 05:19
    Kick it like a hacky sack! Hehehehe....or put it in a bucket of cold water and run with that! You got me there!
  14. Standard member StarValleyWy
    BentnevolentDictater
    18 Jan '04 06:02
    One sword is "annealed", ie, dipped into cold water. It thus becomes hard and ready to take a bitter edge. The other is not. It is still hot and burns the culprit. This one is more easily subject to "polishing" and buffing and reheating for finish. Which is long winded for one was complete and the second was not? At least in real life.
  15. Donation Acolyte
    Now With Added BA
    18 Jan '04 11:16
    Originally posted by StarValleyWy
    One sword is "annealed", ie, dipped into cold water. It thus becomes hard and ready to take a bitter edge. The other is not. It is still hot and burns the culprit. This one is more easily subject to "polishing" and buffing and reheating for finish. Which is long winded for one was complete and the second was not? At least in real life.
    The swords were identical. I thought about annealing after I posted the problem, but I couldn't think of a way of writing the problem that ruled this out without giving the game away. I probably should've chosen something other than a sword.

    Here's my line of reasoning:

    The thieves had got drunk and dared each other to steal a sword from the smithy while it was still hot; so they were expecting to experience some pain.

    When the first thief grabbed a sword, that sword was really hot. So hot, in fact, that it quickly fried the touch sensors in the skin on the palm of his hand; so he got a short jolt of pain, but after that, nothing. He was still be able to hold the sword, however, because the relevant muscles are mostly in the wrist.

    The second thief took longer to build up the (Dutch) courage. When he tried to grab a sword, it was still pretty hot (say 80C/180F), but nowhere near as hot as it had been when the first thief broke in. As a result, it would have been continuously painful for some time if the thief had tried to run away with it. So he held the sword for as long as he could bear the pain, and then dropped it.

    Obviously the second thief is better off, since although he lost the dare, the burns on his hand will be far less serious than those on the first thief's hand.

    I thought of this problem after remembering an anecdote told by one of my teachers at school, in which a former colleague of his picked up a block of metal so hot that he didn't realise how hot it was (for exactly the reason given above), and started chatting with someone. After a few minutes of holding the block, he realised what he'd done, and sought medical attention; but I imagine his hand would have looked pretty gruesome by then.
    Similarly, one of my chemistry teachers mentioned that getting concentrated sodium hydroxide on your skin isn't particularly painful, as it kills the skin and turns the fat underneath into soap so quickly that you'd hardly notice.