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A quick riddle from elementary school


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16 replies to this topic

#11 digital-coma

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:32 AM

This is so easy!

A hole.
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#12 sajow4

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:42 AM

I have heard this many times, and the answer, or rather, one of the answers is a hole. Quite simple.
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#13 digital-coma

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:53 AM

Ok i read all the posts and came up with my own analysis and concluded this should be posted in the 'paradoxes' forum.
Let me explain.

All of the answers involve a single idea - removing a piece of the barrel.
Whether you do it physically, chemically or even telepathically, it doesn't matter,
the end result is the same: a part of the barrel is removed thereby decreasing its mass.
The riddle specified that we are to add something to the barrel to make it lighter. The fact
that the answer is to remove a part of the barrel contradicts the question.

So by removing a part of the barrel we are adding 'nothing' to the barrel.
Nothing doesn't exist, so how can we add nothing.
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#14 sajow4

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 03:06 AM

Won't removing a piece of the bucket have the same consequences as putting a hole in it (which are, when thought of, roughly the same)?
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#15 Martini

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 03:21 AM

The riddle specified that we are to add something to the barrel to make it lighter.


Actually, the riddle specified "what can you put in a barrel to make it lighter?". Putting a hole in the barrel, say with a hole saw, will make it lighter.

The fact that the answer is to remove a part of the barrel contradicts the question.


It doesn't. It's common to speak of removing a circular portion of a barrel as "putting a hole in it".
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#16 digital-coma

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 04:14 AM


The riddle specified that we are to add something to the barrel to make it lighter.


Actually, the riddle specified "what can you put in a barrel to make it lighter?". Putting a hole in the barrel, say with a hole saw, will make it lighter.



I answered the question and then continued to read the other posts. That was a brain fart that occurred after reading about putting alcohol in the barrel.
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#17 sajow4

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:47 AM

"Martini" is quite correct. The question is: "What can you put in a barrel to make it lighter?" taking away a piece of it would be be able to be done, since the question is "What can you put in it". When putting a hole in something, it is thought of not as taking away something, as a piece of bucket that will be leftover from making a hole, but rather making something, a hole. So one of the correct answers would be "A hole."
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