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Can you solve it? Do you think like an engineer?

Can you solve it? Do you think like an engineer?

Today’s puzzles are about deducing the mechanisms behind two extremely puzzling objects: a practical joke cup supposedly invented by Pythagoras and a vehicle that seemingly travels the wrong way.

1. Pythagoras’s Cup

puzzle cupView image in fullscreen

Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician and mystic, is credited with devising a cup with the following properties:

1) If you pour it up to a certain level it behaves like a normal cup.

2) If you pour it beyond that level all of the liquid in the cup empties through a hole at the bottom of the cup.

Can you draw the mechanism inside the cup?

The solution is very simple and has no moving parts. (If you are a plumber you might find this very easy.)

The cup is a cute metaphor for moderation in life. Fill it up just a little too much and you will lose everything.

2. Backwards jalopy

car puzzleView image in fullscreen

Design a simple mechanism for a four-wheeled toy vehicle such that when you pull a piece of string backwards out the vehicle, the vehicle moves forward.

I’ll be back at 5pm UK with the answers. Please NO SPOILERS. Instead please discuss your favourite engineering-based practical joke objects.

I’ve been setting a puzzle here on alternate Mondays since 2015. I’m always on the look-out for great puzzles. If you would like to suggest one, email me.

Source: theguardian.com