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My favorite riddles from Die Hard: With a Vengeance


Riddle 1:

As I was going to St Ives

I met a man with seven wives

Every wife had seven sacks

Every sack had seven cats

Every cat had seven kittens

Kittens, cats, sacks, wives

How many were going to St Ives?

Riddle 2:

You are given a 5 gallon jug and a 3 gallon jug in front of a fountain. Measure out exactly 4 gallons of water.

Answers:

Anyone else care to share the answers? 🙂

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Discussion

27 thoughts on “My favorite riddles from Die Hard: With a Vengeance

  1. DUH!
    Riddle 1: One (“I” was going to St. Ives)
    Riddle 2: Fill up the 5. Pour the 5 in the 3, leaving exactly 2 in the 5. Dump out the 3, pour the 2 in the five back in the 3. Fill up the five, pour 1 out to fill the 3, leaving exactly 4 in the 5. But you should never have opened the suitcase in the first place if you listened to Zeus.

    Posted by natasha | August 5, 2008, 1:40 am
  2. Or,
    Fill up the 3,pour into the 5.
    Fill up the 3 again and pour into the 5 until full leaving 1 in the 3, pour out all the 5.Pour the 1 from the 3 into the 5. fill up the 3 again and pour into the 5 giving you 4.

    Posted by james | May 22, 2009, 8:59 am
  3. i thought the same as natasha…

    Posted by Gabriele Frontini | May 22, 2011, 7:05 pm
  4. I know the answer was 0001 in Die Hard, but isn’t the answer really zero? The question reads “Kittens, cats, sacks, wives, how many were going to St Ives?” The preface “Kittens, cats, sacks, wives” must be read to modify the question “how many were going to St Ives,” otherwise the line has no logical purpose in the riddle. Of the kittens, cats, sacks and wives, zero were actually going to St. Ives.

    Posted by Anonymous | November 2, 2011, 9:42 pm
  5. Answer to Question #1
    the key part to listen too
    Is the first and last line of the riddle

    As I was going to St. Ives . . .
    How many were going to St Ives?
    Answer is one! ( just the guy)

    Answer to Question #2
    Helpful to understand if you draw 2 water
    Jugs representing 5gal. &. 3gal. Jugs
    Or if you convienitly own own jugs of that
    Ammount it’s fun to try!
    Ok Step #1
    Fill the 5gal. Jug to the top!
    Step #2
    Fill the 3gal. Jug with the 5gal. Jug
    To the top!
    Step #3
    Empty out the 3gal. Jug comepletly
    Till empty!
    Step #4
    Pour the remaining 2 gallons that was
    Left in the 5gal. Jug into the 3gal. Jug.
    Step #5
    Now that the 5gal. Jug is empty, fill the jug
    With water completely!
    Step #6
    Last step!!! 🙂
    (recap) you should now have a 5 gallon jug
    Filled completly to the top!
    Also a 3 gallon jug filled with 2 gallons!
    Final step!
    Pour the water from the 5 gallon jug into the
    3 gallon jug to completely fill the 3 gallon jug!

    You should now have 4 gallons left in your
    5 gallon jug! 🙂

    Posted by Andrew | December 28, 2011, 7:17 am
    • Andrew , I see the quandry that Anonymous was going for ….. i the english language game the quetion did not say ” ALL told Myself ,cats , kittens , sacks ,and wives how many were going to St IVes, it is simply implied and not stated that the teller of the story was including himself. in turn it says I met a man on the road to St ives either way it also does not say that they were NOT also going to st ives it just does not say they Were , so either way there can be fault found in the riddle. On the other hand It does not matter because it was fun to be stumped by it at least once. ( Grin)

      Posted by Logic | January 26, 2013, 1:04 am
      • As I was going to St Ives

        It clearly says as I was going to St Ives. So therefore that’s the one person going. He met the man with the wives n sacks n kittens but never said they were going to St Ives.

        Posted by Slim | June 21, 2015, 1:37 pm
  6. There is an easier way with fewer steps!

    Posted by John Kornfeind | January 20, 2012, 4:56 am
  7. For the life of me I can’t figure this out. The 3 gallon and the 5 gallon pails

    Posted by patricia rice | April 26, 2012, 8:41 pm
  8. 1. Fill 5 gallon

    2. Pour it in 3 gallon until it fills, now there is 3 litr in 3 littr’s gal, 2 litr in 5 litr’s gallon.

    3. Dump 3 littr gallon.

    4. pour 2 littr from 5 littr gallon into 3 littr’s gallon (which was filled in step 2)
    5. fill 5 littr gallon again, pour it in 3 lttr’s gallon until it get fill since 3 littr’s gallon already has 2 littr so it will get fill from 1 littr from 5 littr’s gallon leaving 4 litters in 5 littr gallon

    Posted by DumbAss | May 17, 2012, 6:25 am
    • DumbAss: True to your name, that is completely illogical. The way they solved it in the movie makes more sense, and has fewer steps.
      1. Fill the 3 and pour into the 5.
      2. Fill the 3 again and pour into the 5 until the 5 is full, leaving one gallon left in the 3.
      3. Pour out the 5.
      4. Pour the one gallon in the 3 into the 5.
      5. Fill the 3 completely and pour into the 5 = 4 gallons.

      Posted by J-Dawg | January 5, 2013, 9:52 pm
      • J-Dawg , Why call dumbass a dumbass? Both are completely logical . Like all math there is often more than one way to solve a problem and the diversity of the solutions is what makes it interesting. SOOOOO with the same number of steps and the same outcome why call names???

        Posted by Logic | January 26, 2013, 12:58 am
      • Actually, J-DAWG, yours has more steps. I’ll break this down for you since you combined steps.

        DumbAss’s way:

        1. Fill the 5 gallon jug
        2. Pour the water in the 5 gallon jug into the 3 gallon jug until the 3 is full leaving 2 gallons of water in the 5 gallon jug
        3. Empty the 3 gallon jug
        4. Pour the 2 gallons of water left in the 5 gallon jug into the 3 gallon jug
        5. Fill the 5 gallon jug
        6. Finish filling the 3 gallon jug (which still has 2 gallons of water in it) from the full 5 gallon jug. This would leave you with 4 gallons of water in the 5 gallon jug.

        J-DAWG’s way:

        1. Fill the 3 gallon jug
        2. Pour the water in the 3 gallon jug into the 5 gallon jug
        3. Fill the 3 gallon jug again
        4. Pour the water in the 3 gallon jug into the 5 gallon jug until the 5 gallon jug is full leaving 1 gallon of water in the 3 gallon jug
        5. Empty the 5 gallon jug
        6. Pour the 1 gallon of water left in the 3 gallon jug into the 5 gallon jug
        7. Fill the 3 gallon jug
        8. Pour the full 3 gallon jug into the 5 gallon jug (which has 1 gallon in it) which would give you 4 gallons.

        Posted by John | February 20, 2013, 7:11 pm
  9. Seems like six steps re fewer than 8… Dumbass? Survey say?!

    Posted by poot | July 12, 2014, 2:51 am
  10. This question can not be answered with out more information. The riddle does not specify which direction the man with the wives and cats were walking. Everyone assumes the man met the group while they were walking the other way in which case the answer would be 1. Did he walk up on them from behind because they were carrying so many sacks of cats and kittens, in which case the answer would be 401 if you don’t include the inanimate sacks. If you feel the sacks are really part of the count it would be 408 going to St. Ives

    Posted by dgar | October 31, 2015, 4:13 am
  11. Answer to question 2 can be easily generalized by given video

    Posted by Quantum Of Excellence | March 3, 2016, 4:46 pm
  12. 1 – it was just the man going

    Posted by Mashy | July 28, 2016, 1:18 pm
  13. For the st ives riddle there 3 answers 2401 2801 and 2745 deppening which way u try to work it out?

    Posted by Dylan Garner | October 27, 2016, 8:48 am
  14. Fill the 3 gallon jug full and dump into the 5 gallon jug. This will leave 2 gal of empty space in 5 gal jug. Refills 3 gallon jug and fill up the 5 gallon jug. There now will be 1 gallon left in the 3 gallon jug.

    Posted by Brian Taylor | January 2, 2017, 11:40 pm
  15. The first riddle is answered in the first sentence. “As I was going to St. Ives”

    There is no ambiguity in this riddle, so the answer =1

    Posted by Brian Taylor | January 2, 2017, 11:43 pm

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