As we grow older, keeping our brains active and challenged is just as important as looking after our bodies. There are countless ways to keep your mind sharp, whether it’s a physical activity that also requires some mental agility – such as gardening or playing a musical instrument – or tackling brain-stimulating puzzles and games such as crosswords, Sudoku, chess or Scrabble.
Whichever way you choose, it’s good to keep challenging those grey cells, preferably on a daily basis. To give you something to think about, here are two riddles, a long one and a short one. Try hard to work out a solution for each one, but if you really can’t get it, the answers are below:
1. A Japanese ship is sailing across the Pacific Ocean when its captain decides to take a shower in his quarters. Before getting into the shower he takes off his Rolex wristwatch and a heavy gold neck chain and puts them on the table next to his bunk. Ten minutes later he gets out of the shower and finds both items have been stolen!
Dressing quickly, he calls together his four-man crew and asks them: “Where were all of you and what were you doing for the past 10 minutes?”
The ship’s cook is the first to reply, saying: “I was down in the cold store Captain, selecting the meat for tonight’s dinner.” Next was the First Mate, who answered: “I was aloft Captain, because the ship’s flag was being flown upside down and I had to change it.”
Next was the ship’s engineer, who answered: “I was down in the engine room Captain, checking the pressure gauge on the ship’s boiler.” Last to answer was the cabin boy, who said: “I was sleeping Captain, because I’m standing first watch tonight and I need to be rested and ready.”
Having noted down his crewmen’s answers, the clever Captain went back to his cabin to consider the conundrum, and within 10 minutes he knew who the thief was. Using the same information, can you catch the thief in 10 minutes?
2. Sometimes I’m white, but more often black. I’ll take you where you’re heading, but I’ll never bring you back. What am I?