Engineer's Puzzle

The Puzzle: Bear with us…

Lance Sheffield, 15/12/2016
There is no wasteland at the north pole, did you do geography at school. There is an ocean there. ...  Read More

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This month’s puzzle is less of an exercise in applying mathematics to find a solution, and more one about creative and abstract thinking. The riddle allegedly comes from the genius creative and abstract thinker, Albert Einstein. He is said to have come up with this riddle to challenge and entertain his scholars. If you don’t know it, it is a great one.

The riddle goes like this:

A fellow encountered a bear in a wasteland. There was nobody else there. Both were frightened and ran away. Fellow to the north, bear to the west. Suddenly the fellow stopped, aimed his gun to the south and shot the bear. What colour was the bear?


It all happened on the North Pole. When the man runs north he ends up exactly on the North Pole. Therefore, if he shot south, that is essentially in any, and every, direction. Even if the bear is running to the west, to the man he is in the south.

Of course there is only one bear resident to the North Pole, and they are WHITE!

Time to leave that comment about clear fur or black skin... oh, go on then!

Too easy? Not satisfied with the answer? Leave your comments - smart assed or otherwise - below.

And, why not email your puzzle to and put your wits against the intellect of the Engineering Materials’ readership.

Justin Cunningham

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Engineer's Puzzle Entries
The bear was white. The north pole is only place where westward and northbound courses meet.

Comment Athanasios Petropoulos, 07/06/2017
There is no wasteland at the north pole, did you do geography at school. There is an ocean there. Have you not heard of the Arctic Ocean

Comment Lance Sheffield, 15/12/2016




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