The Man who Hanged Himself
Not far from Madrid, there is a large wooden barn. The barn is completely empty except for a dead man hanging from the middle of the central rafter. The rope around his neck is ten feet long and his feet are three feet off the ground. The nearest wall is 20 feet away from the man. It is not possible to climb up the walls or along the rafters. The man hanged himself. How did he do it?
| He climbed on a block of ice which has since melted.
This one is often stated with the clue of a puddle of water, but surely this is too much assistance. It is one of several problems which depend on the change of state of water (snow or ice to water or steam).
An alternative solution is that he climbed the rope, then put the end of the rope around his neck and let go.
Many thanks to Bob Kew for another intriguing solution: He used a bale of hay to stand on, or jump off, which has been eaten by sheep (which have left).