Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Riddle For You

This isn't one of those silly play - on - words riddles. This is a real life puzzle that took me a little while to figure out. Those that have lived overseas may get it faster. Feel free to email the answer if you think you get it ( The prize for answering correctly is a one week vacation to tropical Nicaragua with free room and board. No joke! You just pay the airfare.

OK, so the kitchen faucet here is the typical lever type that I am used to, with the red dot (for dummies) up and to the left, and the blue dot up and to the right.

As expected, if you push the handle up and to the left it is cold initially and then warms up (the house we are in has a hot water heater - this is atypical here, but this house is an old embassy house). Also, as expected, when you push the handle up and to the right, it is cold and stays cold. Here is the riddle: Sometimes when I push the handle up and to the right (cold) the water comes out cold for 5 seconds, the turns warm and stays warm. At first I just thought that the hot and cold lines were switched (wouldn't be the first thing that was switched) and that Bethany had just been ahead of me and had warmed up the line. But then I mentioned this to her one time and she said that she had not used the water before me. OK, for that coveted trip to Nica, here is the puzzle: Up and left is always cold at first and then warms up (as expected). Up and right is sometimes cold and stays cold, and at other times is immediately warm and stays warm. Why the difference in the up and right, and is there anything that I can do to predict what I am going to get when I push up and right?