Richard's Stumpers

Richard's Stumpers are a set of tricky questions designed by Math Center Coordinator Dr. Richard Weinsier to test your math mettle! How many canyousolve?

Set #1

    1. The patrolman was in a hurry to get down the mountainside, but he was held up behind an ancient out-of-state pickup truck loaded with household furnishings and assorted small bundles. The road was too narrow and crooked to pass with a slope rising jaggedly on one side while on the other side was a racing mountain stream. The officer resigned himself to another slow mile or two, but that bouncy load brought a frown to his face.

      Finally heading into a relatively straight section the truck picked up speed, too much speed. There were two hazards ahead, a sharp curve and some unexpected ruts in the road. The truck hit them both and for a moment seemed to be dancing the twist. A box bounced out, tumbled end over end to the torrent below and came swirling back past the police car.

      The truck didn't stop and the officer thought, "He doesn't even know he lost anything." Drawing closer he sounded his siren. A passenger in the truck, unseen before, popped up and turned around. It was a face the officer knew well. "I've got me a prize! Gooney-bird Jones! He escaped in that jail break last week."

      The truck rolled to a stop. The patrolman was ready for trouble as he pulled in behind it, but Gooney-bird climbed out with his hands lifted.

      "Okay, Copper,: he snarled, "but lucky for you I got no gun."

      What statement in this story could NOT by true?

    2. A trader buys 100 head of animals and pays $100 for them. He buys the cows at $10 each, hogs at $5 each, and sheep at $0.50 each. How many of each did he buy?

    3. Into this target was 6 bullets were shot. Can you tell where they hit if the total score was 100 for all the 6 shots?






    1. What nine (9) letter word contains only one vowel? Vowel is used only once and there are no "y's" in the word. Any regular dictionary would have this word in it!

    2. A man wanted to run water into a barrel until it was exactly half full. He had NO measuring instruments of any type, but was able to fill the barrel half full of water. How did he do it? (A picture might help to explain your answer.)

    3. Jack and Jill sat at the living room window playing the car game. She paid him a nickel for every car that passed from right to left, and he paid her the same for every car passing the other way.

      They live in a quiet area with little traffic, but most of the cars seemed to be passing in Jack's favor. "It wasn't fair." complained Jill at last. "Only seven (7) have gone my way."

"Okay, sister, " replied Jack, who was becoming rather bored with the game, "we'll stop after five more have passed." But of those five (5) cars only one favored him, and so he ended up just one nickel to the good.

How many cars passed during the game?

Answers are available with Stumper Set #2.


An interesting MATH CARD GAME for kids to play is Krypto!!!! This game involves the numbers 1 - 25. After dealing out 5 cards to each player, the top card in the deck is turned up and becomes the "krypto" card. The hand is won when a player can use all 5 card values (each one only once) to produce the "krypto" card. Any mathematical operation may be used along with any mathematical grouping. Have math fun with your kids!!!

Answers to Stumper Set #24

  1. Dick and Carolyn
    John and Joan
    Maryanne and Bill
  2. 47 nickels and 85 pennies.
  3. Dad is 45 years old and son is 18 years old.
  4. Most relatives are interrelated because of marriage and overlap of brothers and sisters.
  5. Red