Weekend Genius Challenge #26: Are You Ready for Some Football?

Yesterday, I read an article on the new rules imposed by the NFL for the upcoming season, and I realized how much I missed the sport. Sure, it's been only two months since Super Bowl XLII, but it was an exciting game that rekindled my interest in pro football. So I decided to come up with my own "pretend 2009 playoffs" and create a Weekend Genius Challenge that would test your logic ability. Here it is:

It's January 2009, and the NFL playoffs are down to the conference finals to see which two teams make it to Super Bowl XLIII.  In the AFC finals, The Dolphins face the Texans. In the NFC championship, it's the Falcons against Lions. (This is pretend, remember?) Given the following five bits of information, your goal is to determine the winner and the final score of these two league championship games:

1. The four teams combined to score 11 touchdowns, each with 1-point PATs.

2. The four teams combined to kick 4 field goals, but two teams did not kick any field goals.

3. The combined score of the two AFC teams was 1 point higher than that of the two NFC teams.

4. The Lions scored twice as many points as the Texans.

5. The Falcons scored more points than all but one of the other three teams.

And there you go. With that information, you should be able to figure out which teams won the two conference championships, along with the scores of those games. Once you think you've got it, type your answer into a single comment to this post. (One entry per person, please. And remember, posts are held in moderation until we approve them.)

If you're the first to respond correctly, you'll win a T-shirt of your choice from the mental_floss store. Good luck!

Gasp... Is This the End of the Weekend Genius Challenge?

It's been a struggle to come up with mental exercises that are difficult enough for the many, many brilliant folks who read mental_floss and visit mentalfloss.com. It's difficult to develop puzzles that are (1) safe from Web searches, but (2) not impossible to solve. After seeing many difficult contests won in a matter of minutes, I'm taking this weekend off to reassess the Weekend Genius Challenge.

We get the most entries in creative-type challenges... having you write haikus using the two words from the ReCaptcha service, asking you to tell us where the "lost" hour went during Daylight Saving Time, and so forth. So we're considering going that route for future WGCs. What do you think? Ideas, suggestions, and comments are more than welcome. In fact, if you'll kindly take the time to chime in, we'll pick a random comment and send the responsible party the mental_floss T-shirt of his or her choice. Thanks in advance.

In the meantime, we'll continue to do Brain Games on a daily basis, with puzzles of varying description each weekday. And we'll have results for the last two WGCs in a day or two. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Weekend Genius Challenge #30: Unwritten Rules

We got SO many entries for last week's WGC that it may take us the rest of the weekend to sort through all the responses... but we'll choose a winner before Monday arrives. In the meantime, since you all seem to enjoy being creative, let's give away another T-shirt by unleashing Weekend Genius Challenge #30!

Many "unwritten rules" guide our planet. Here are a few I've jotted down over the years:

1. All really good architects must go by three names.

2. The number of leaves that end up in your yard in the fall has more to do with your neighbor's trees than your own.

3. During trip to a restaurant with someone else, when you ask for two orders of fries, both orders will be incredibly large and too much to eat. But the next time you go to that restaurant with someone else and ask for only a single order of fries -- thinking it will be enough to share -- the order will be incredibly small.

Your job is to fill us in on the "unwritten rules" that you've experienced in life. The mind behind the one we vote best will win a T-shirt of his or her choice from our online store. REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT: To be absolutely clear, your entries should have nothing to do with identity, race, color, religion, sexual preference, political preference, physical or mental issues, or anything bordering that. In other words, don't direct them towards any person or group of people who might possibly take offense. So be smart. Play nice. Sit up straight. And tell your sister you love her.

Also, please remember that all comments will be moderated before they're released, so it may take a while for them to appear on the site. Enter as many times as you like, but please put each entry in a separate comment. Good luck!


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