The Puzzler #23

Think you're smart? Try these brainteasers that recruiters use in actual job interviews.

This Month's Contest: TAKE THE BEE TRAIN

Two freight trains are rushing toward each other along the same track. The first train goes 60 miles per hour; the second train rushes along at 90 miles per hour. The trains start 150 miles apart. As soon as the trains start (assume constant speed), a bee takes off from the nose of the first locomotive at 120 miles per hour and buzzes to the second, at which point it immediately reverses direction, and flies back to the first, and turns around again, going back and forth between the two trains until they collide. How far will the suicidal bee travel before the collision?

Please email your solution to John Kador [email protected] using the subject line “Take the Bee Train.” Deadline is March 10, 2011. One entrant will be selected to receive a signed copy of John Kador's How to Ace the Brainteaser Job Interview. Good luck!


My brother and I are identical twins.

We are the only two male children in our family.

We were born in New York City in 1984. I was born before my brother, but according to our birth certificates, my brother is older than I am.

How is this possible?


To recap: What number comes next in this “prime time” sequence? 6 15 35 77 143 221 323 ???

Solution: 437. The sequence is built on the multiplication of consecutive prime numbers. 437 is the product of 19 and 23.

We received over 20 entries. The winner, selected randomly from all correct responses, is Jeffrey C. Vredenbregt, Managing Director and CFO, The Ziegler Companies, Milwaukee, Wis. Congratulations to all entrants and good luck next time.

SOLUTION TO IDENTICAL TWINS: We were born on a Sunday morning in October on the day when the clocks in the U.S. are set back one hour for daylight savings time. I was born at 1:45 AM. My brother was born 30 minutes later. Since the clocks are set back at 2 AM, his official time of birth was 1:15 AM.

John Kador is the author of 10 books. His latest book is Effective Apology: Mending Fences, Building Bridges, and Restoring Trust (Berrett-Koehler).

TAGS: Games
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