Braingle Lite

Dr. Contrary's Pointy End

Submitted By:AwwwSweet
Fun:*** (2.77)
Difficulty:*** (2.14)

Try to close your eyes and picture this in your mind (once you have read through it, of course!).

You are standing in front of a solid metal table. Dr. Contrary places a one-hundred dollar bill in the middle of the table. While you watch, he turns a large metal pyramid upside down and perfectly balances its point in the middle of the one-hundred dollar bill so the pyramid is balancing on that single point. He shows you very clearly that there is nothing holding up the pyramid other than gravity.

Dr. Contrary turns to you and asks, "Can you remove the one-hundred dollar bill in such a way that you do not disturb the upside-down pyramid? You may not touch or move the pyramid, you cannot prop it up or lift it off the table, it cannot fall over, and you are not allowed to cut or tear the dollar bill." He eyeballs you and waits patiently for your response.

Can you solve Dr. Contrary's puzzle?


Light the one-hundred dollar bill on fire. It may be painful to see some nice spending money go up in smoke, but burning the bill will successfully remove it without disturbing the overturned pyramid.

There may be semantics to be quibbled over, such as the definition of "touch", whether you are removing/destroying/changing the composition the dollar bill, whether there may be some small portion of the dollar bill remaining, and even the legality of the action. However, the true purpose of this puzzle is to find the reader's "flash of insight" to realize that burning it is an option. It is very unlikely that someone would come up with the solution through brute force itemized thinking.

Show Hint Hide Answer

Comments on this teaser

Show all 11 comments


Most Popular | Hardest | Easiest

Privacy | Terms
Copyright © 2003