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The Devil and the Monk

Situation puzzles (sometimes called lateral thinking puzzles) are ones where you need to ask lots of yes or no questions to figure out what happened in the situation. These are good puzzles for groups where one person knows the puzzle and answers the questions.


Puzzle ID:#32114
Fun:*** (3.02)
Difficulty:*** (2.29)
Submitted By:OldChinaHand*****
Corrected By:t4mt




The Devil, on a soul quest, came across an elder Monk with a reputation for soul saving. But this man of the cloth also had a stronger local reputation for fine wines and a game of chance now and then. The Monk's soul saving in this province was of note down below and the Devil himself was here to deal with this monk.

The Devil found the Monk at work on a roasted leg of mutton and nearly empty bottle of extremely fine brandy after vespers. Introductions were made when the Devil produced an even finer, dusty bottle of Cognac. The two talked and argued past the curfew bell, night prayer and even past the toiling for morning prayers. The Monk noticed early on that this bottle of especially fine brandy never emptied. Cup after cup of this heavenly smooth spirit flowed from this one bottle. Knowing of devil trickery was one thing, but there was no denying the rich spirited taste of this fine ambrosia. "If only the rivers in Heaven flowed so smoothly", thought the Monk.

And for his part, giving the Devil his due, the Devil knew he now could tempt the Monk.

"A simple wager, Monk; find a task that I cannot do that any of your poor, humble mass of morality can perform and this very bottle is yours."

"And if you can then..."

"Yes old man, your soul is mine."

The Monk thought deeply, then drank one last time from this never emptying bottle, for courage, rose and took the Devil's hand in a solemn pledge and agreed.

A bit surprised but delighted, the Devil had to boast, "I am stronger, faster, and smarter than any mortal. I can go anywhere and return in the blink of an eye. I have seen all and know everything. There are no secrets that I don't know, no places or things that I cannot find. There is nothing that I can't do, or nothing I can't be, that your common mortals can. Your wager is lost, and I'll gladly take it old Monk. But know this; my death and salvation long ago were decided."

"Fear not, Devil, Heaven nor I wish your soul; nor wish you to simply return from which you came. That would be too simple. Now, if I heard you correctly, you can go any place?"

"Any place, Monk; even to end of the universe and return. There is nothing I can't do!"

However, the Monk did give the Devil a task that he could not do; a task that mortals often perform. What was the task?


The Monk told the Devil to 'get lost'. And, in case you're wondering, it was said that, many years later, the bottle was laid to rest with the Monk.

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