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Question 55 in our cryptic quiz: “Three is the magic number”

25th September 2009 by Pete

Today’s prizes are huge. We have 3, 3 year ‘SiteMaker Max’ packages from Moonfruit – each one is worth £390! Moonfruit is an award winning drag and drop website builder. For more information please click here.

As always, there’s some thinking required before you get your hands on the prizes though…


Hardboiled, The End of the Journey

Ray’s Final Challenge

“Okay Sam,” I said as we hiked across the island to Guin’s house, “how can you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you without bouncing off anything, attaching anything to it, or having someone catch it and throw it back?”


Sam pondered that for a while as we walked in the sun. We had just caught sight of Guin’s house when he said, “Ah! Got it!”

QUESTION: Well? How can you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you without bouncing off anything, attaching anything to it, or having someone catch it and throw it back?


Answer below in your comments please, and keep coming back, as the next question will be up soon.

Read comments (64)

  1. Douwe Schmidt:

    Throw it straight up, I suppose?

    Or throw it around the world… but that is not all that likely…

  2. frankie:

    Throw the ball straight up in the air and it will return to you!

  3. Kristina:

    throw it straight up and it will fall back down due to gravity :-)

  4. Ian Hamilton:

    throw it vertically in the air

  5. Amber Soni:

    Throw it straight up in the air

  6. Jessie:

    throw it straight up! :D

  7. ClareBears:

    You’d have to be orbit around the earth or at least throw the ball into orbit.

  8. Nina:

    Throw it up

  9. mepriestley:

    You could throw it straight up into the air and catch it when it comes back down.

  10. Hazel G-M:

    Throw straight up

  11. Steven:

    Throw the ball, as hard as you can, straight up. Gravity does the rest.

  12. Jenn:

    Throw it up and gravity will take it back to you. =)

  13. Marie:

    Throw it straight up in the air and wait for it to return.

  14. Andrew Sosnkowski:

    throw it straight up, gravity will return it to you

  15. Caro:

    Throw it straight up into the air!

    Or maybe… visit the Moon, throw it off the tallest mountain, and hang around until it eventually returns. No? Oh, okay then.

  16. David Steininger:

    Throw the ball straight up into the air.

  17. Mike:

    Throw the ball straight up.

    Or, alternatively, throw it fast enough that you can circle the earth once, but that’s less than feasible and involves some fashion of superhuman strength.

    For that matter, you could also throw it up a hill or a river, so that either it rolls back down or water carries it back to you, but both of those could be arguably missing the point.

  18. thea:

    throw the ball straight up in the air. gravity will ensure that it comes back to you (as long as you throw it absolutely vertical, and there is no wind!)

  19. Candace:

    Throw the ball UP

  20. Sally:

    Throw it straight up into the air.

  21. Joe Tortuga:

    Throw it straight up!

  22. Courtney:

    Throw the ball straight up into the air :)

  23. Jessica:

    You can throw it up a hill and have it simply roll back down!

  24. Victoria:

    be in space

  25. Chi:

    Throw the ball straight up into the air so that gravity causes it to come straight back down to you.

  26. Maura:

    Throw it straight up in the air.

  27. Shereen:

    Gravity – throw it straight up in the air :)

  28. Rachel Keslensky - Last Res0rt:

    Easy – You throw it STRAIGHT UP.

    Gravity does the work of throwing it back to you. ;)

  29. Pauline:

    Throw it up into the air.

  30. Midknyt:

    Throw it straight up.

  31. Sarah:

    throw it straight up in the air :)

  32. Ali:

    Throw it up vertically!

  33. Paul Nguyen:

    Throw the ball as hard as you can directly upwards. If your throw does not break through the atmosphere and into the influence of another planet (you big show-off) then it will fall back down to you by gravity.

  34. Jim Mortleman:

    You throw it up in the air.

  35. MrsWoman:

    If you were in geo-stationary orbit around the earth on a satellite – or doing a spacewalk on the satellite – if you threw the ball, the ball would then go into orbit. You would stay in the same place while the ball went round Earth & then return to you!

  36. Amanda:

    Throw it directly above you!

  37. Sloncica:

    Easy, you throw it vertically up in the air. =)

  38. Casey E. Palmer:

    …throw it straight up?

  39. dayna:

    Throw the ball straight up. As long as you are somewhere with enough gravity (like the Earth with it’s 9.8 metres per second squared), the ball will return to you.
    There’s science in that! I like science. :-)
    Have a lovely day!

  40. Gabi:

    I think I would throw it right up into the air and wait for it to fall down right into my hands ;-)

  41. Julia Foster:

    You throw the ball into the wind.

  42. Isabelle:

    You have to throw the ball straight up in the air.

  43. Dianne:

    Throw it straight up into the air

  44. Cherry:

    Throw it up in the air. Gravity will bring it back to you.

  45. Stephanie:

    You lay down and throw it up in the air.

  46. Stephanie:

    Or, you know… you don’t have to lay down… you can just toss it up. :-)

  47. David Hill:

    Throw it straight up.

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