Braingle Lite



Third, Fourth, Fifth

Category:Trick
Submitted By:eighsse
Fun:*** (3.09)
Difficulty:*** (2.28)



David showed a piece of paper to Kenneth, while covering the top part of it with his hand. The visible portion below his hand read as follows:
THIRD
FOURTH
FIFTH
SIXTH
SEVENTH
EIGHTH
NINTH
TENTH

David said, "My hand is covering two words, the first two words in this list of ten words. The list follows a completely and indisputably logical sequence. None of the words are repeated. I'll bet you $50 that you cannot tell me what those two words on your first try. You can say the two words in either order."

Kenneth could not see any reason not to accept this wager, and said "First and second" for the easy $50 win. However, after David moved his hand away, Kenneth realized he had lost, and indeed, there was not even an argument to be made. What were the two hidden words?

Answer:

"Whole" and "Half." The obvious idea is that the list is of ordinal numbers. However, it is actually a list of the names of the inverse fractions of the natural numbers. That is, 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, etc.

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