15 Brain Teasers From Art Cashin You'll Go Bananas Trying To Solve

art cashin

Art Cashin, UBS’s Financial Services director of NYSE floor operations, is a legend at the Big Board. 

He’s also known across the Street for his must-read daily newsletter Cashin’s Comments

At the end of each newsletter, Cashin includes a fun piece of trivia.

The questions are usually a piece of logic or maths or history related. They’re a ton of fun, but they can be really tricky. He doesn’t reveal the answer until the following newsletter comes out. 

We’ve included a round up of a bunch of Cashin’s recent brain teasers in the slides that follow.  Remember, Google is for cheaters! 

Question: Counting Sheep

Don't pull the wool over my eyes - Mordecai the Shepherd divides his flock among his sons. Amos is to get 20% more than Josiah and 25% more than Cephas. If Josiah's share is 3600 sheep, how many sheep does Cephas get?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Answer to counting sheep - The share that went to Cephas would be 3456. If you didn't get that you probably figured out Amos' share and took away 25%. That's not correct.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question: Etiquette in the new economy paradigm

Etiquette in the new economy paradigm - Tim and Tom are scheduled to have a 'business dinner' with Todd and Brian. At the last minute Brian and Todd are called to a business meeting. They suggest that Tim and Tom await for them at the Broker's bar where they are to meet at 5:15. By 7:00 p.m., Todd and Brian are no-shows and Tim and Tom are concerned in that the ice machine and the peanut dispensers are empty. To kill time, Tim and Tom began matching coins at $1 per match. Tom won 3 matches but Tim wound up winning $5. How many matches did they have? Level II Question: How long should Tim and Tom wait - A) 2 hours; B) 4 hours; C) until the cleaning staff vacuum their fingers?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Answer - The boys would have had 11 matches. Tim lost 3 then needed 3 wins to get even and 5 more to win the $5.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question: What's my handicap?

What's my handicap - Bob and Ross ran a race of 100 yards. Bob won by 10 yards. Ross proposed they race again but Bob should start 10 yards back. Thus Bob had to run 110 yards while Ross ran 100. All things being equal - who won?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Answer - Bob won the new race by a yard. In the first race Bob ran 100 yards while Ross ran 90. If the race took, say, 10 seconds then Bob ran 10 yards per second while Ross ran 9 yards per second. Thus Bob would run the 110 yards (100 + 10 yard handicap) in 11 seconds enough time for Ross to run 99 yards.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

I'll take the bamboo backscratcher with Elvis on it. Alan G. took a trip to the Jersey Shore to play skeeball. He has to bowl the balls into one of three concentric hoops. The hoops are worth 9, 13, or 17 points apiece. What are the fewest balls Alan must bowl to get a score of 84?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Answer - Alan would need at least eight balls to score an 84 (either 5 nines and 3 thirteen's or 6 nines, 1 thirteen and 1 seventeen).

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

'Thank you Vanna!' What are the five letters used least frequently in English?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

The letters of the alphabet used least are: q, z, x, j and k.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question: Let's all hang together

Answer

Answer - The two states, or more correctly, colonies to vote no in the first poll on Independence were: Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

(Trickery Here!) - Can you write down 5 odd figures that add up to '14'. (Each number is odd.)

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Answer - We warned you of trickery - The 5 odd figures that add up to 14 are all ones, as in 1 + 1 + 1 + 11 = 14.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

Can they really ask that on a job application? Art was looking for a new mountain to climb. The interviewer asked how old he was. Art replied - 'I am 35 years old if you skip Saturdays and Sundays. How old was Art at this interview?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Art was 49 years old on that particular interview (5 out of 7 days times 49 years equals 35 years).

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

(For those who think it's been too easy lately.) Here's a puzzle I was given the year before I became an NYSE member (thus a very old puzzle). In a small town, an elder gent goes to the bank to cash a refund check. He chats so much with the teller that neither one notices that she swaps the dollars for the cents (e.g. $5.10 becomes $10.05). He pockets the money and on the walk home gives 5¢ to a neighbour's kid. Once home he realises that after deducting the 5¢ he now has exactly twice the amount of the original check. What was the amount on the original check?? (Most of this is logical.)

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

The answer (obviously) was that the original check was for $31.63 thus the teller gave him $63.31. After giving the kid the nickel, he was left with $63.26 - which is exactly twice the amount of the original check.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question: Footprints in the sands of time

Footprints in the sands of time. Those impish pre-debutantes, Rowena and Sheila were in Grandma's farmhouse kitchen. They found two old 'hourglass' timers. One was marked '7 minutes' and the other '4 minutes'. Grandma, noticing their curiosity said - I'll bake you your favourite pie if you can tell me how you would use these to count exactly 9 minutes. Can you help them??

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer to footprints in the sands of time

We don't know how they did it but those clever cuties figured it out. Start both timers together. When four minutes is done, turn it over (four minutes elapsed). When the seven minutes is done, turn it over (seven minutes so far). Now the cute part. The four has one minute left. When that is done, turn both over (eight minutes). The seven will have one minute on top. When that runs out, nine minutes are up.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13. If you are not afraid perhaps you can think of 2 integers (whole numbers, not fractions) which can be multiplied to yield 13. Do you know what these numbers are? (Hint: they are two different numbers.)

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Some thought this was tricky because the answer was obvious. The only two whole numbers that you can multiply together to get 13 are: 13 and 1.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

(A touch sneaky) An ancient Roman Puzzle - 'Start with five hundred, end with five hundred just five in the middle will be. Between them shall be a first of numbers and of letters to give ye the name of a great king.' Who is it?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

The great king of the ancient Roman puzzle was: 'David'. It all becomes easy when you remember your Roman numerals (500 = D; 5 = V; 1 = I).

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

'Are you serious?' - The following letters represent a series. What letter do you think comes next? (Hint - think alternating.)

I, O, V, F, X, T, L, F, M, __

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

The series was an alternating of Roman numerals and English names of numbers as in: I, One, V, Five. So the missing letter was T for Thousand.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

Little Linda started her Easter shopping early. When she came home, she told mum that half her money was gone in the first hour. It was then that she noticed that she now had as many cents as she had dollars when she started but she had only half as many dollars as she had cents when she began. How much did she spend?

Source: Cashin's Comments

Answer

Little Linda must have started with $99.98. Spending half would leave her with $49.99 or the same number of cents as had been dollars and dollars equaling half the number of original cents.

Source: Cashin's Comments

Question

Don't crossword puzzles use letters? Design a square that is 5 boxes by 5 boxes. Put the number '1' in the centre box. Now - using all numbers starting with 2 and ending at 25 - fill in each box so that any vertical or horizontal row and the diagonals from the corners add up to the number 65.

Source: Cashin's Comments

You'll have to check Cashin's Comments on Monday for the answer. In the meantime...

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