Brain Teasers Optical Illusions Puzzle Hunts Codes & Ciphers Mechanical Puzzles
Personal Links
Browse Teasers
Search Teasers

Salt Dealer

Logic puzzles require you to think. You will have to be logical in your reasoning.


Puzzle ID:#3008
Fun:*** (2.85)
Difficulty:** (1.84)
Submitted By:PeaceJo*ca****




Ali ben-Ibrahim was a salt dealer in old Baghdad. Every day he went from his home just outside the city to the market with two huge sacks of salt tied to the back of his donkey. His donkey was a small, evil-smelling brute called Roxanna. It was, however, not lacking in the brains department. One hot day, as they passed along the banks of the Tigris, it broke free from Ali and plunged into the cool water. When the irate salt-seller finally persuaded the beast to leave the river it immediately noticed that much of the salt had dissolved and its load was therefore considerably lighter. After that, no matter how hard Ali tried, he could not prevent the donkey from diving into the river and ruining its load of salt. But when it came to lateral thinking, Ali himself was no slouch. One day he loaded up the donkey as usual and, as usual, the animal plunged into the river. Then it learned its lesson and never tried that trick again.

What had Ali done?

What Next?


See another brain teaser just like this one...

Or, just get a random brain teaser

If you become a registered user you can vote on this brain teaser, keep track of
which ones you have seen, and even make your own.



Apr 02, 2002

the question states that he "loaded the donkey up as usual". therefore the sacks should have contained salt and not sand. he could not have possibly loaded the donkey up as "usual"
Apr 04, 2002

or he could have used sponges.
Apr 12, 2002

I agree with mad-ade. How could he load the donkey up as "usaul"?
Apr 12, 2002

it's a very good one, but I didn't have that big smile on my face this time as I had read it before somewhere as well, probably in some story.
Apr 16, 2002

I wish some Braiglers were as lateral thinking as Ali, Obviously there was something different about his "usual" load or the result would have been the same. And this puzzle definately infers that something is different and that is what you have to figure out. Come on people, these problems are supposed to incite thinking. A logical quandry was put forth and a logical solution was offered whats with all the complaining. This site isn't for mental midgets, a certain level of deductive reasoning is expected. Good Job PeaceJo. --RAYN
Apr 16, 2002

And if you want to get technical about it... The puzzle is symantically correct. It states that he loaded the animal as usual. It never says that the load itself was usual. --RAYN
Apr 16, 2002

Raynee, how can loading up the donkey with something completely different as usual, still be clased as "usual". the whole priciple defies logic. it like making your usual cup of coffee, but with tea. or your usual peanut butter sandwich, but with spam. usual means the same as always, or regular. nothing else.
Apr 17, 2002

Great teaser I thought it was rocks.
Apr 18, 2002

Ok Mad-ade let's use your example of a cup of coffee. If you watch someone boil water "as usual" and add a teaspoon of coffee "as usual" and add a teaspoon of salt instead of adding the "usual ingredient" teaspoon of sugar. You are going to drink the coffee thinking it the same. You watched the process, you believed that it was usual as evidenced by your drinking the coffee. Logically speaking the act of making the coffee was usual. The ingredients and final product were UNUSUAL but the act of making the coffee was typical and USUAL.
The puzzle indicates that the process was usual, it never says that the ingredients were usual. --RAYN
Apr 18, 2002

I must also add that THIS IS WHAT THE COMMENT BOX WAS MEANT FOR. I mean anyone can sit alone and answer questions and solve problems (o.k., most anyone!) But to be able to develop a decenting opinion and then defend it, now that calls for real mental aerobics. I'm lovin' it!!
(user deleted)
Apr 18, 2002

who reads mensa too????
Apr 18, 2002

ok raynee, as you already said, making coffee with salt instead of sugar, only makes you BELIEVE the process was usual. in fact it was down right unusual. the puzzle indicates that the salt dealer loaded up the donkey as USUAL,not just in a usual manner, but USUAL as in with salt. the puzzle implies that the sacks that were loaded were as they usually are, with salt.
if on a regualr basis you fill a wheel barrow with sand, and then one day fill it with salt, you may have filled it with th same shovels as always, and in the same maner as always, but your barrow is not filed as USUAL!
No where in the puzzle does it say, "loaded in the usual manner." instead it quite clearly states, "he loaded his donkey as usual".
he usually fills the sacks with salt. one day he uses sand, this is not usual.
Apr 18, 2002

O.K. Mad-ade, in this symantical arguement, I'll admit there are certain ambiguities. And in those ambiguities is where we find the answer to this problem. That is what makes it a fun to solve. I think you are failing to see the difference in the act of loading which is what the question infers and the material loaded which the problem never states. I'm sure that the author could have spelled out for everyone accept the donkey that he changed the load one day and solved his problem. But that would have made the whole question just to darn easy. The direct purpose of any person putting a puzzle out here for us to view, critique, and tear appart is to challenge the viewers as much as possible while keeping it light and fun. Personally I think he did a marvelous job. But then again it has been said of me that I praise to easily and fly off the handle even easier. I'm just happy that you are putting yourself and your oppinion out there. So many people on this site are either too wimpy or just plain lethargic to assert the effort. I'll put my oppinions out there everytime and sometimes I have to eat a little crow but that's ok too. Check out the puzzle called "dogs". It made a real dog out of me. hehe --RAYN
Apr 18, 2002

hey, RAYNEE why dont we just say the puzzle is open to intertetation, and then leave it at that. Otherwise, we could be at it for months, lol
Apr 19, 2002

Aw, Mad, this was just getting fun. But I understand, I have often used the technique of changing the subject when I was losing the argument.(Wink, Wink) Look, if you want to continue this further e'mail me at I'll be more than happy to discuss this with you further. (You do know, I'm only bustin' your chops right?) --RAYN
Apr 19, 2002

Apr 20, 2002

Nice one, but easy
Apr 21, 2002

Wouldn't he then lose his day's earnings if he didn't take the SALT to town?
Apr 26, 2002

To mad-ade - I will add that it states he loaded the donkey as usual - not that he loaded the sacks as usual - or that anything else prior to loading the donkey was done as usual. He may have even gotten really crazy and had something different for breakfast. The point being, that from the donkey's perspective, everything would have seemed the same - same size, same weight etc.
Apr 26, 2002

To Skye - You're right. He probably did, but since the salt was being ruined each day by the donkey's plunge, I would imagine making this switch was a good one from a business perspective.
Apr 27, 2002

Peacejo, if he had loaded the donkey up as usual, then as usual he must have logically used sacks of salt, other wise he cannot possibly have loaded the donkey as "usual". He may have loaded the donkey in the usual way, I grant you that, but that is not how the question is worded. It clearly states that he loaded the donkey as usual (and as the puzzle explains, that is with salt sacks) not as you are saying now, in the usual way, which you must agree are two seperate issues. if you fill sacks with sand every day and then one day deside to fill them with salt, you will have filled them in the usual manner,(with a shovel, perhaps) but you havent filled them as usual, because you haven't used sand, you have used salt, which is not the usual filling. as you say yourself, the question states that the donkey is loaded as usual, (usual=salt & unusual=sand). If the sacks are filled differently, then obviously the load is different, thus the donkey cannot be loaded as usual, but it can be loaded the usual way, (ie, piled with sacks), but the load itself is unusual.
Apr 29, 2002

PeaceJo, don't pay any attention to Mad-ade, He or she likes to gripe about every puzzle they read. Usually it is a small symantical problem, very rarely does the argument hold water. Mad-ade is probably a very smart person that gets upset when he/she can't solve a particular puzzle and then has to find "something" wrong with the puzzle instead of facing up to his or her own inadequacies. "The problem is with the question not with me mentality. Just look around at the puzzles on the site, I guarrantee Mad'ade will make on of two types of comments if he comments at all... "That was easy" "YOur question is flawed" Check out the other puzzles if ya don't believe me.
Apr 29, 2002

Check out the comments on "Broken Into" for a glimpse.
May 02, 2002

I think he should have loaded the sacks with pure sodium. That way, the donkey would jump in the water, the air-reacted outer layer of the sodium would dissolve, and the pure sodium would react with the water, causing a large explosion of the donkey's back. He would never ruin the salt again, but that's onlt 'cus he would be dead.
May 02, 2002

On the "usual" debate. Regardless of semantics, the Braingle implies that Ali did something different to teach his beast a lesson.
The Mensa puzzles are also very good and finally, I thought that this was a decent logic Braingle!
May 02, 2002

I thought he loaded it with cement which would have the same effect as sand.
May 12, 2002

I thought this one was a bit too easy.
May 13, 2002

this is very much the same as 1 of Esiop's fables writen many years ago and the answer was sponges in that case. if you like these sorts of stories or ones with morals i sugest u read Esiop's Fables, (the spelling of Esiop may be wrong)
May 14, 2002

Let's here it for Easop then, If that is where the premis of the story came from I'm all for it, I think everyone needs to realize that when creative minds come up with new brain teasers, it doesn't matter what the source as long as the inspiration not the direct plagairism of the idea is the product. I get some of my teasers from old jokes, stories and other miscellaneous tid bits. But they are original. As PeaceJo did. Bravo PeaceJo!
May 15, 2002

Amusing puzzle, not very difficult. Also, I think it's silly to get hung up on the semantics of this puzzle. The real question for Mad-ade is, did you consider sand/cement/whatever, but discard that as a reasonable solution due to the apparent problem with the wording? or did you not think of sand/etc and decide that it must have been an issue with wording AFTER looking up the answer? Don't overthink it, most of these puzzles are not that layered.
May 19, 2002

I agree, he didn't load it "as usual", and it could've been many things.
Jun 26, 2002

Aesop, it's Aesop.
Jun 29, 2002

Mad-ade is wrong, if he had done everything the same way, nothing different would have happened, the problem is to find out what he did different that seemed usual to the donkey!
Aug 01, 2002

Read it from Aesop's fables...and mads rite..if its usual then he shuould have loaded it up with salt...u shud read it ova.
Aug 09, 2002

You can call it as symantically correct as you want to but the fact of the matter is that the teaser was misleading or else a problem wouldn't have arose from so many people. It's not that serious but I just think that teaser defense isn't so neccesary if so many people found themselves unsatisfied.
Mar 19, 2006

I was thinking sodium. Does that make me evil?

Back to Top

Online Now
8 users and 590 guests

Users In Chat
Follow Braingle!
Tap into all 20,000+ of our brain teasers, riddles and puzzles on your iPhone or iPad.

Braingle in the iTunes App Store
Copyright © 1999-2017 | FAQ | Widgets | Links | Green | Subscribe | Contact | Privacy | Conditions | Advertise | Braingle Time: 11:01 pm
Sign In Create a free account