A weekly feature of SideSpin.

Assume that I am going to roll a six-sided die twenty consecutive times and record the result. As we all know, the odds that I would roll the precise combination of 62143246525523146213 are exactly the same as the odds that I would roll 11111111111111111111. With this in mind, if I came to you and said that I have already rolled the die twenty times, and that I rolled either a 62143246525523146213 or a 11111111111111111111, what could you guess with a high level of certainty?

—Craig F. Whitaker

That you don’t have a girlfriend, Dungeon Master.

Three guests check into a hotel room. The clerk says the bill is $30, so each guest pays $10. Later, the clerk realizes the bill should only be $25. To rectify this, he gives the bellhop $5 to return to the guests. On the way to the room, the bellhop realizes that he cannot divide the money equally. As the guests didn't know the total of the revised bill, the bellhop decides to just give each guest $1 and keep $2 for himself. Each guest got $1 back: so now each guest only paid $9, bringing the total paid to $27. The bellhop has $2. And $27 + $2 = $29. So what happened to the remaining $1?

—Stephen I. Geller

You handed a five-dollar bill to a bellhop, and you’re really asking me what happened to your missing $1?


Raysism is a commenter, parimutuelist, runner, attorney, and lecturer who rose to fame through his listing in the Guinness Book of World Records under "Highest LSAT By A Deadspin Commenter of the Year". Since 1986, he has written "Ask Raysism", a Tuesday column in SideSpin in which he solves puzzles and answers questions from readers on a variety of subjects. If you have a question for future columns, send them to raysism@gmail.com.