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The Puzzler #44: Walk or Drive

The Puzzler #44: Walk or Drive


Would you rather have one cent for each and every step you will ever have taken or one dollar for each and every mile you will ever have driven? Assume you’re an average contemporary American. 

Please email your solution to John Kador at [email protected] using the subject line “Walk or Drive.” The deadline is Nov. 1, 2014. One entrant with the most compelling solution (or a creative alternative) will receive a signed copy of John Kador’s How to Ace the Brainteaser Job Interview. Good luck to all.


There’s a very attractive investment opportunity that’s open only to advisors who know the code to get into a password-protected website. Here is what you observe as your colleagues try to get past the challenge screen:

Advisor A encounters a screen with the number 12. He types in the number 12 and is admitted.

Advisor B encounters a screen with the number 15. He types in the number 15 and is locked out.

Advisor C encounters a screen with the number 15. He types in the number 14 and is admitted. 

Advisor D encounters a screen with the number 8. He types in the number 7 and is locked out.

Advisor E encounters a screen with the number 8. He types in the number 10 and is admitted.

Advisor F encounters a screen with the number 2. He types in the number 6 and is admitted.

Now it’s your turn. You encounter a screen with the number 9. What is the correct response to get admitted? 


To recap:  What do the following words have in common: vaudeville, massacred, delivered, heartrendingly, expedited, alderman, smothered, controversial, incidental, and emergency? 

This was the most challenging puzzle in the REP. Puzzler’s nine-year history. Only 10 readers submitted responses and only two had the correct solution: Every word has a two-syllable word unrelated in meaning embedded within it: masSACRED; vauDEVILle; deLIVERed, hearTRENDINGly, expEDITed, alDERMAn, sMOTHERed, contROVERsial, inciDENTAL, and EMERGEgency.

The winner for this Puzzler is Carl Stauss, a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Tucson, Ariz. Congratulations to Carl, and good luck to all in the current challenge. 


The answer is eight. The secret algorithm requires that the number of letters in each displayed number be doubled. For example, the number twelve has six letters in it. Double that and the correct answer is 12. The number 15 has seven letters in it, so the correct answer is 14. Your number is nine. There are four letters in “nine”—four doubled is eight.


John Kador is the author of 20 books. His latest book (with Brian 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).

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