Much Ado About Mensa

October Puzzle Solution

Saturday 18th November 2017

The winner providing the correct answer to the October Puzzle is Douglas. Congratulation Douglas. Please send me your last name and your preferred email address. The solution is below. 

Happy Turkey EVERYONE!

Amy Smith, ghost, bobbing for apples, movie tickets
Robert Brown, Frankenstein, scariest costume, $50 gift certificate
Belinda Martinez, bat, ring toss, $20 gift certificate
John Beals, Dracula, scavenger hunt, theater tickets
Mary Black, skeleton, pumpkin carving, amusement park passes

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November Birthdays

Saturday 4th November 2017
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November Mensaversaries

Saturday 4th November 2017
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LET’S TALK TURKEY!!! GPM Thanksgiving Feast

Saturday 28th October 2017

It wouldn’t be a Greater Phoenix Mensa Thanksgiving-weekend RG without our tradition Patricia Hull Memorial Thanksgiving Dinner. Pat was a generous Mensan who tirelessly opened the door of her home each year so Mensans who might otherwise eat alone on Thanksgiving could gather and have a good time with their “family”. The tradition now continues at the RG hotel, but the spirit is the same: come and share your Thanksgiving Day with your Mensa family.

Please email Helen Goldman at and let her know 1) if you plan to attend (so we can get an idea of how many will be there) and 2) what you’re bringing, to ask for a suggestion of what is needed or to volunteer to cook a turkey (we need one more, you will be reimbursed for the cost of the turkey). If you have a special dish you’d like to prepare, but it’s not the category you were assigned, don’t worry – we won’t be checking credentials. We just want to make sure we have a good distribution of different types of food.

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GPM’s 2017 Regional Gathering Is Only 25 Days Away!

Saturday 28th October 2017

Greater Phoenix Mensa Regional Gathering (RG)November 23-26, 2017

30-Plus Programs to Inform, Stimulate and Amuse:• Interesting and Interested Speakers on many subjects
• Games Galore!
• Parties After Dark (pack a bathing suit and your fanciest PJs)
• Romance! Sex! Adventure!
• Awesome Kids’ Track! - All Day!
• Endless conversation, debates, and infinity of puns.
• Saturday Night Banquet with delightful entertainment!

Register online NOW! Just Click HERE for all the details.

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Halloween Puzzle

Saturday 21st October 2017

Hello All,

It doesn’t appear that anyone has submitted the correct response to the Halloween Puzzle. A few have suggested there was not enough information. If you have already submitted a solution, please forward your response again.Below is a grid that should help find the solution. 
Good luck!

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Essay Judges Needed for Foundation Scholarship Program Calling all readers!

Saturday 21st October 2017

From Mary Prior, Local and Region 9 Scholarship ChairM

We need you to spend some time, a few hours in late January and/or early February, to score scholarship essays.

The Mensa Foundation scholarship program is an essay contest that is open to all students living in the U.S. who are enrolled in an accredited U.S. college, university or institution of higher learning in the academic year following the award.  In this case, the awards will be given out around July to the winners at all levels.

Applicants need not be a Mensan or related to a Mensan.  Anyone may apply, regardless of age or degree.  It can be used, for example, if you are working on a Masters or Ph.D., or even for a veterinary to keep up to date with classes.

Applicants write 550-word essays that describe their experience, education and/or career goals.  The essays can be proofed by a friend or family member and when complete, is then uploaded online.  Winning essays are judged by members using Foundation criteria which is provided to the judges.  Please consider being one of those judges.

We’re looking for members who are confident in their knowledge of writing and reading skills.  Of course, English teachers and professional writers are welcome, but so are members from all walks of life.

Once again, if the judges wish, we can have the final 10 essays judge at my home in Queen Creek, along with my favorite bribe—Beef Stew Burgundy, with onions, carrots and mushrooms.  I can add either egg noodles or rice to go with the stew.

I do ask judges attending to bring something a lá potluck-ish to share.  And yes, last year we did have a vegan dish.  But it will be up to the judges to decide if they wish to do this.  We did it one year, and it was very enjoyable.

As the Region 9 Scholarship Chair, I also need to recruit judges from all over Region 9.

The essays will be emailed to you in mid-to-late January.  You’ll have at least a full week to read and score them in your home, though we hope it will take only an afternoon or two.  You will then email the scores back and you’re done!

You may already be planning to judge essays for another Scholarship Chair.  I don’t want to steal current judges from Local Groups or Regions. However, for those members who love reading essays and want to spend an additional few hours reading more, you can participate at this level with no fear of conflict of interest. Let me know which Region or Local group you’re working with.

You’ve enjoyed the social side of Mensa; now contribute to both Mensa and next year’s college students.  I was a judge beginning in the early 80s in San Antonio, and I loved doing it so much I got hooked, and became a local ChairM and now a Regional ChairM.  And it means so much to so many students.

Please email with any questions and to get involved in this worthwhile program.  

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What Kind of Money Are We Talking About?

Sunday 15th October 2017

Mary Prior, GPM Scholarship Chair

Please help to pass the word to family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors: The Mensa Foundation Scholarship Essay Competition is now in progress.  Go to to get to the home page, click on scholarship options, and input your zip code to see if your local group is participating.  You can then apply online.  Please feel free to share this information with others.  

If you are a current student, you can apply using either your home address or your school address.  The deadline to submit your essay is 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time on January 15th—so even a procrastinator should find a few hours between now and then to work on the essay.  

One aspect I have always liked about our scholarship program is that it is open to ANYONE who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident intending to enroll in an accredited U.S. institution for the following fall semester.  There are additional restricted scholarships available as well as the four local and several regional and national awards. For more information go to

If your essay judged to be in the top group at the local level, it will be forwarded to the regional level for consideration as well, up through the national level.  Because of the triple level nature, awards won’t be posted on-line until June of next year.

There is a new criterion this year for Mensa members only.  Members wishing to be considered for an American Mensa Member Award must submit a separate application with essay for that award.  To quote Diana Maul:  “This is an easy contest to enter.  No transcripts, no letters of recommendation, no inclusion of test score results.  Sure, it’s a writing contest, but we only want 550 words or less … about two pages—entirely doable in almost anyone’s schedule.  The contest topic is what the student’s career or educational goal is, and what he or she has done to prepare to determine that such a goal is right for him/her.”  And please—FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!  Many applications are disqualified every year simply because the applicants did not follow the instructions.

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October 28th Eastside DOSIG (Dining Out Special Interest Group)

Sunday 15th October 2017

By Mary Prior

Eastside DOSIG is a lunch gathering for those Mensans and guests living in the East Valley—and anyone else who wants to join us.

Next DOSIG will be October 28th from 12 to 2 pm at the Queen Creek Taco Shack at at the Queen Creek Taco Shack at 20401 S Sossaman Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85142.  This is on the southeast side of the intersection of Queen Creek and Sossaman Road, and you have to drive down a short gravel road to the parking lot. 

This DOSIG will be a little different, as attendees will have a choice.  (1) I can bring my volleyball net and there is a place in front of the restaurant we can play; and/or (2) you can bring swim suits and a towel join me afterwards at my home “spa” swimming pool with waterfalls and slide.  I live a half block from the Queen Creek Taco Shack. 

Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907.  I cannot take calls from 11 am–11 pm during the week because I am either on the road or at work.

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Saturday 7th October 2017


Hello fellow Mensans,

There has been a very light response to last week’s puzzle. I will delay selecting a winner until next weeks posting

Happy October!

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October Puzzle

Saturday 30th September 2017

Happy Hauntings costume store threw their annual Halloween party, complete with food, dancing, and a little friendly competition. The company arranged 5 competitions (bobbing for apples, ring toss, scavenger hunt, pumpkin carving, and a scariest costume contest), with 5 different prizes (movie premier tickets, theater tickets, 4 passes to a local amusement park, and 2 gift certificates to a local restaurant). Each competition was won by a different employee, wearing a different costume purchased from the Happy Hauntings store. Can you determine the full name of each employee, what costume they wore, what contest they won, and which prize they received?

1) Belinda did not bob for apples, but she did win a gift certificate, which she shared with the man who won the tickets to the theater.

2) The 5 employees were: Amy, Mr. Brown, the one who dressed as a bat, the one who won the theater tickets, and the woman who won the pumpkin carving contest (who did not win movie tickets).

3) Robert, John, and Mary have the same last initial.

4) The women’s costumes were: the one worn by Ms. Smith, the one worn by the woman who won the ring toss, and the skeleton.

5) During dinner, John sat at the same table as Frankenstein, the skeleton, and the woman who won the apple bobbing contest (who was not dressed as Dracula). The bat sat 2 tables over.

6) The man who won scariest costume received a $50 gift certificate, which he later used to take Ms. Black to dinner.

7) Later that week, John Beals went to dinner with the woman dressed as a bat, after they went to the theater, using the prizes they won at the party.

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Mensa Birthdays October

Saturday 30th September 2017
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Saturday 30th September 2017

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And the answer(s)/winner(s) is/are:

Thursday 14th September 2017

The randomly selected winner providing the correct answer to Puzzle # 4 is Diana McClure. Diana has won a $10 Gift Card for the merchant of choice (Amazon, Dunkin’ Donuts, Best Buy, etc.). Some responders simply “brute forced” the solution but Diana had a slightly more elegant solution below:

The first student will open it. Then it will be closed when second student will close every second locker as 6 is a multiple of 2, then it will be opened again when 3rd student do the same as 6 is a multiple of 3 and finally it’ll be closed when 6th student get to it as 6 is a multiple of 6.

1(o)-2©-3(o)-6© –> so # of variations of a locker open/close equals to # of factors of a locker and if the # of factors of a locker is even (as for 6) then it will end up locked and if the # of factors of a locker is odd it’ll end up opened. Only perfect squares have odd # of factors so only perfect squares less than 1000 will end up opened.

Last perfect square which is less than 1000 is 31^2=961, so there will be total of 31 lockers opened: 1, 2^2=4, 3^2=9, 4^2=16, 5^2=25, …, 31^2=961.  

The randomly selected  winner providing the correct answer to Puzzle # 5 is Peter Bergonzi who answered that the German had the Fish. Peter has won a $10 Gift Card for the merchant of choice (Amazon, Dunkin’ Donuts, Best Buy, etc.) This was certainly a “brute force” type of puzzle. I have pasted a solution matrix below:

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Mensa Birthdays September

Saturday 2nd September 2017
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Mensaversaries September

Saturday 2nd September 2017
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August 26th Eastside Dining Out SIG

Saturday 2nd September 2017

from Mary Prior of Queen Creek

We met in the middle of Mekong Palace about noon to partake of dim sum.  In attendance were JJ, Karen, Steve and Terri and I, along with a new-to-the-Eastside member, Russ.  We had such a good time I forgot I had my camera and didn’t take any pictures. The dim sum was great, although they didn’t show us any eggplant dishes, which we were looking forward to.  We dawdled away the 2-hour lunch with gusto and lively conversation!  

Next month we will be celebrating Octoberfest on Saturday, September 30th by going to Zur Kate at 4815 East Main Street in Mesa.  Instead of lunch, however, we’ll be doing dinner as they don’t open until 4 pm. I have sent them a message and the most we can host is 8 people, so this time you really MUST RSVP!  If necessary I’ll be there before they open at 4 pm if I have to, but I am targeting 6:30 or 7:30 for dinner time.  I am waiting to hear whether or not they have a musician there on that Saturday night –yes, the FIFTH Saturday of the month—so we can enjoy that as well.

Tentatively, I already have 6 (as yet unconfirmed) who want to attend.  I can perhaps try to make a bigger group, but I cannot guarantee it. John and Judy Herrmann, please RSVP ASAP!  

If you do not RSVP, you’ll be sitting on your own and not with the group.  RSVP! to Mary Prior at or by texting me at 206-551-5907.  I am work, or am on the road driving to/from work from about noon to 11 pm during the week, so please do not call me during that time frame.

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National Puzzle Day?

Saturday 26th August 2017

According to an article in a publication from the UK named the Telegraph, Thursday, August 24 was National Puzzle Day. Just an interesting factoid I thought I’d share with you all.

In honor of this hallowed day, I would like to present a puzzle/riddle from one of my lifelong idols, Albert Einstein. A very interesting man, relatively speaking (couldn’t help it). LOL

According to the Telegraph, when Einstein wrote this riddle he said that 98% of the world would not be able to solve it:

Here is the riddle:

There are 5 houses in five different colors

In each house lives a person with a different nationality.

These five owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.

No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same beverage.

The question is: Who owns the fish?


The Brit lives in the red house

The Swede keeps dogs as pets

The Dane drinks tea

The green house is on the left of the white house

The green house’s owner drinks coffee

The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds

The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill

The man living in the center house drinks milk

The Norwegian lives in the first house

The man who smokes blends lives next to the one who keeps cats

The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill

The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer

The German smokes Prince

The Norwegian lives next to the blue house

The man who smokes blend has a neighbor who drinks water

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ComiCon: If you missed it this year, volunteer for it in 2018

Friday 18th August 2017

This year’s Phoenix ComiCon was held on May 25-28 and Greater Phoenix Mensa made the scene as an exhibitor in Booth 631 on the second floor.  Dozens of celebrities, hundreds of artists and artisans such as face painters, costume makers, makeup artist, jewelers, clothiers, and caricaturists all gathered, set up, did business, made new connections, greeted old friends, and completed thousands of transactions.  Exhibitors sold every kind of item related to movies and movie making, horror, science fiction, humor, fiction and non-fiction, space travel, and hundreds of custom- and made-to-order items such as broad swords, fighting armor, boots, and masks.  It truly was a wonderland of specialty merchandise, including comics!

Three entire floors of the Phoenix Convention Center contained every kind of geekery catering to 80,000 fans who travelled from around the country to hawk and gawk.  From my perspective, the scene resembled a small city.  It was a fully contained civilization with a society, culture, services, and reliable infrastructure.  It was a non-stop buzz of excitement from the time we loaded in until the final hour of the final day.

See the slideshow HERE    

As in years past, this proved to be an excellent audience for Mensa.  The fans there are always eager for information about who we are, what we do, and of course eligibility testing.  No testing was done on site at ComiCon.  Our mission was to provide information about Mensa and obtain contact information from interested people, and we accomplished that to the tune of approximately 90 people.  All of those Mensans who volunteered to play at our booth did so with good nature and cheerfulness, and the fans appreciated that.  We were equipped with an iPad and several cell phones for connection with the online form for gathering contact information.  The whole weekend went very smoothly, and we are eternally grateful to all of the volunteers.  All the volunteers said they enjoyed the entire experience and they intend to return next year, and that is one great mark of success for us as a team!

We had worked out a schedule and system ahead of time and the Mensans who volunteered were as eager and friendly as any of the fans who streamed by our booth all weekend.  All shifts went smoothly and we made sure to take breaks and eat, hydrate, and each of us enjoyed walking through most or all of ComiCon.  The fans proved to be as entertaining as the exhibits.  We saw costumes from every era and genre, and they ranged from startling and scary to hysterically funny (I was continually amazed that at least  40 men were willing to portray Princess Leia and appear in public in semi-authentic costume that included hairy chests, facial hair, and bulging bellies).  Fans also dressed as famous people (Sean Spicer complete with motorized podium), zombies (of course), mythical creatures (unicorns, faeries, and at least one satyr), and super heroes and super villains.  The costumes ranged from amateurish to totally convincing.  The preparation and research and overall effort in the execution of the best costumes and makeup were most impressive.  Fans were taking pictures of each other and themselves and it was one long party all weekend.   I recommend that you go next year and I additionally recommend that you volunteer to work the Mensa Booth and get free admission during your shift!  I guarantee that you will have fun and make new friends and enjoy the scenery.  I would also add that it’s a terrific place to meet single people, and that the female Princess Leias far outnumber the males.  See you next year?  We sure hope so!

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Puzzle #4 (Solution)

Monday 14th August 2017

My apologies for being a day late with this posting. The solution to the puzzle follows. The winner will be announced with next weeks puzzle.


The only lockers that remain open are perfect squares (1, 4, 9, 16, etc) because they are the only numbers divisible by an odd number of whole numbers; every factor other than the number’s square root is paired up with another. Thus, these lockers will be “changed” an odd number of times, which means they will be left open. All the other numbers are divisible by an even number of factors and will consequently end up closed.
So the number of open lockers is the number of perfect squares less than or equal to one thousand. These numbers are one squared, two squared, three squared, four squared, and so on, up to thirty one squared. (Thirty two squared is greater than one thousand, and therefore out of range.) So the answer is thirty one.

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Puzzle #4

Friday 4th August 2017

A high school has a strange principal. On the first day, he has his students perform an odd opening day ceremony:
There are one thousand lockers and one thousand students in the school. The principal asks the first student to go to every locker and open it. Then he has the second student go to every second locker and close it. The third goes to every third locker and, if it is closed, he opens it, and if it is open, he closes it. The fourth student does this to every fourth locker, and so on. After the process is completed with the thousandth student, how many lockers are open?

Please send your responses to

Thank you in advance for your support.

Steve / Editor

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Puzzle #3 (Update)

Friday 4th August 2017

Hi all,

We had one person respond to my inquiry regarding the correct answer to Puzzle #3. They were going to follow up after consulting with a friend. I haven’t heard back yet, but am leaning toward the original solution being valid. I will have to review the received responses, but I do not believe we received a correct response. If you submitted a correct response, please email me at

Puzzle 4 is posted in this issue.

Thank you,

Steve Cervera / Editor

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Puzzle 3 - Solution?

Sunday 30th July 2017

Hello All,

We have had a few responses to my request for input regarding the solution to puzzle #3. I had my doubts. Seems that so did some of you. One of the most common perspective was to relate this situation to the “Let’s Make a Deal” pick a curtain quandary.  That’s where my thoughts were going originally. But it nagged at me. Take a look art the correspondence below and let me know what you think. After too much time contemplating this, I finally made up my mind. I think the argument below misses the mark. Anyone else?

Final thoughts and the winner of the $10 Gift Card to the vendor of choice in our next edition,

Member submission:

In regard to puzzle number 3.  Look at it exactly the same with one single difference.  The guy drawing the marbles out of the bags is blind and has no idea what he draws. But he still goes thru all the same steps… draws a marble, puts it back, draws a marble again.   If he can’t see whether the marble he draws is black or white how would that possibly change the actual probabilities of the result?  Similarly, if a person can see the marbles, how would that possibly change the outcome? 

This seems like a variation on the classic flipping a coin where people erroneously think that knowing the results of a previous coin flip somehow changes the odds for the result of a subsequent coin flip.  The setup of this puzzle is intended to trick you into thinking it’s the “let’s make a deal” scenario where there IS human interference in the choices offered.  But it’s not the same.  It’s really the coin flip.. which is that each “draw” is an entirely separate event with exactly the same odd.

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Third Saturday Game Night (update)

Sunday 30th July 2017

Please everyone note that our “Third Saturday” Game event is on a Friday this month, one time only. That’s August 18th at 6pm. See you there.

Questions? Please contact: terrybandaruk@cox.netor

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August Birthdays

Sunday 30th July 2017
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August Mensaversaries

Sunday 30th July 2017
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June 24th Eastside DOSIG (Dining Out Special Interest Group) at Babbo’s in Queen Creek

Friday 21st July 2017

By Mary Prior

Eastside DOSIG is a lunch gathering for those Mensans and guests living in the East Valley—and anyone else who wants to join us.

Seven of us (James, Pete, Mary, Teri, Steve, Karen and JJ) showed up and took over their big booth to have Italian.  I had the lunch pasta with mushrooms and asparagus, Pete ordered pizza, and I don’t remember what else we ordered.  Most of it was pretty good, and we had three “doggy bags” because the plates were bigger than tummies.  Conversation was fast and interesting, and made a great appetizer.  We were too busy stuffing our faces to converse during lun

Next DOSIG will be July 29th from 12 to 2 pm at the Flaming Kabob, at 2252 E. Baseline Road in Mesa 85204.  Why?  Because I loved the name and it gets good reviews on Yelp! They serve both Mediterranean and American cuisine.  Their menu includes traditional gyros, falafel and hummus and kabobs and an interesting cucumber and yogurt salad; but they also have some very interesting entrees, including vegetarian entrees, stuffed lamb, as well as raw juice and beverages.  Turkish coffee, anyone?

Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907.  I cannot take calls from 11 am–11 pm during the week because I am either on the road or at work.

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Puzzle #3 - Solution

Saturday 15th July 2017

Fellow Mensans,

I have a dilemma. After reviewing the answer to the last puzzle. I am not sure that I agree with the published solution. I was hoping one of you would respond with similar logic that would open my eyes to an “aha experience”. Such was not the case. I received a few different answers but I wasn’t swayed that any were the correct answer. There is a subtle but complex dimension to the logic involved in determining the probability.

That being said, I am re-posting Puzze #3 and providing you with the published solution. I would like to ask for yays and nays or other ways of determining the actual odds/probability. What better audience? Thank you

Puzzle #3 Re-posted:

You choose one of two identical looking bags at random. One bag has three black marbles and one white marble. The other has three white marbles and one black marble. After choosing a bag you draw one marble out at random. You notice it is black. You then put it back and draw another marble out of the same bag at random. What is the probability that the second marble drawn is black?

Published Solution:

First, ask yourself, which bag did you choose?  Since you drew a black marble, and one bag has 3 blacks and the other 1 black, it is 3 times as likely you chose the 3-black bag than the 1-black bag.  So there’s a ¾ chance you drew from the bag with 3 black marbles and a ¼ chance it’s the bag with 1 black marble.

Now consider your second draw from that bag.  If you’re drawing from the 3-black bag (which will happen ¾ of the time) there’s a ¾ chance you’ll draw a black.  3/4 x ¾ = 9/16.  So on the second draw there’s a 9/16 chance you will draw a black from the 3-black bag.

If you’re drawing from the 1-black bag (which will happen ¼ of the time), there’s a ¼ chance you’ll draw a black.  1/4 x ¼ = 1/16.  So there’s a 1/16 chance you will draw a black from the 1-black bag on the second draw.

9/16 + 1/16 = 10/16 = 5/8.  There’s a 5/8 chance you’ll draw a black on the second draw.


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July Mensaversaries

Thursday 6th July 2017
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July Mensa Birthdays

Thursday 6th July 2017
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Report of the Second Annual "Meet the One-Percenters"

Wednesday 28th June 2017

In attendance were three Mensans, two ILIans - one who had never been there before - four members of both organizations - and Jennifer, my long-time friend and employee (ten years and counting.)

The Organ Stop management had reserved seven tables for us but I realized early on that I could “unreserve” three of them. So, I did.

To coin a trite phrase, a good time was had by all.

Bil Munsil,
Moderator of the Mensa GeneSIG and hamsig groups.
Mesa AZ

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East Valley DOSIG May 27th

Wednesday 28th June 2017

By Mary Prior
John and Judy Herrmann met me at C-Fu Gourmet in Chandler for dim sum, and it was really, really good.  It was a roomy, easy-going restaurant and we were quickly “attacked” by several ladies and carts of various dim sum small plates.  Their regular menu runs from Crab meat asparagus soup to flounder to squid and of course, all of the “regular” menu items served, and desserts from Lychee to mango pudding to almond Jell-O – but their menu is Hu-u-u-u-ge!
Our next East Valley DOSIG will take place Saturday, June 24th (it’s always the LAST Saturday of each month ) at noon at BABBO’s Italian Eatery on the border of Gilbert and Queen Creek, at 18521 E. Queen Creek Road (Shopping Center on the SE corner of Queen Creek & Power Road).  
Babbo (means “daddy”) is a relaxed restaurant and bar serving Italian fare in a contemporary atmosphere.  It is located on the far northeastern corner of the shopping center.  I particularly like their Pomodor Tomato salad, while my son prefers the Mista salad.  Menu ranges from Spaghetti & Meatballs, Neapolitan style pizzas to their roasted Brussels sprout and beet salad.  Check out the menu at
Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907.  (I cannot take phone calls from 11 am – 11 pm.)

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StaRGazing 2018

Saturday 24th June 2017

Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa Regional Gathering
StaRGazing 2018
FRIDAY, Feb. 16 – MONDAY, Feb. 19, 2018
At the DoubleTree by Hilton on the waterfront in San Pedro


Early Bird Registration Rate – $99 – July 1-31
Rate goes up to $119, Aug. 1 – Sept. 30
Register at starting July 1, 2017
Or send a check payable to LA Mensa RG to:
GLAAM/LA Mensa, 115 W California Blvd #255, Pasadena CA 91105

Special discounted hotel rate at $159 (plus tax) for one or two
Call 1-800-222-TREE, reference GLAAM REGIONAL GATHERING 2018 or GLM
Or register online at

For additional information, contact Madeline Walker, RG Chair, at

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Puzzle #3 - Extension

Friday 23rd June 2017

Thank you for your responses. To date we have only one correct solution. You can do better than that. I will extend the deadline until next week.

Those who submitted….double check your reasoning.

Those who didn’t…double-check your vital signs :) 

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Puzzles & PRIZES!

Saturday 17th June 2017

Yes, you read that right. We will now have a very real prize given for correct answers to posted puzzles. Hold onto your hats….

As of June 01, 2017, a $10 gift card (winners choice of venue) or merchant) will be issued to a member randomly drawn from the correct responses submitted before the publication of the following puzzle.

That being said, here is this weeks puzzle:

You choose one of two identical looking bags at random. 

One bag has three black marbles and one white marble. 

The other has three white marbles and one black marble. 

After choosing a bag you draw one marble out at random. 

You notice it is black. You then put it back and draw another marble out of the same bag at random. 

What is the probability that the second marble drawn is black?


So many paths I can go down with puzzles I publish. I’d like your suggestions (and contributions). Word Puzzles, Number Puzzles, Sudoku  (not a fave of mine, but I am open-minded), etc. I will deviate from the norm from time to time, but I will always try to publish something challenging (relatively speaking) and hopefully fun.

NOTE: Your responses are indicators of your support of this effort. Want more…contribute more :)  Thank you


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East Valley DOSIG May 27th

Saturday 17th June 2017

By Mary Prior

John and Judy Herrmann met me at C-Fu Gourmet in Chandler for dim sum, and it was really, really good.  It was a roomy, easy-going restaurant and we were quickly “attacked” by several ladies with carts of various dim sum small plates.  It was almost overwhelming to see so many options.

Their regular menu runs from Crab meat asparagus soup to flounder to squid and of course, all of the “regular” menu items served, and desserts from Lychee to mango pudding to almond Jell-O – but their menu is Hu-u-u-u-ge!  And there was so much food left over, I had enough for 2 lunches at work.  Whatever did we do before microwaves!?!

Our next East Valley DOSIG will take place Saturday, June 24th (it’s always the LAST Saturday of each month ) at noon at BABBO’s Italian Eatery on the border of Gilbert and Queen Creek, at 18521 E. Queen Creek Road (Shopping Center on the SE corner of Queen Creek & Power Road). 

Babbo (means “daddy”) and is a relaxed restaurant and bar serving Italian fare in a contemporary atmosphere.  It is located on the far northeastern corner of the shopping center.  I particularly like their Pomodor Tomato salad, while my son prefers the Mista salad.  Menu ranges from Spaghetti & Meatballs, Neapolitan style pizzas to their roasted Brussels sprout and beet salad.  Check out the menu at

Please RSVP via email or text to Mary Prior at or 206-551-5907. 
(I cannot take phone calls from 11 am – 11 pm.)

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EDOSIG Lunch at San Tan Flat in Queen Creek

Saturday 17th June 2017

By Mary Prior

A few of us met for lunch on April 29th at San Tan Flat.  We ate outdoors, and it was very pleasant as we had a table in the shade and a nice breeze.  They serve a variety of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and quesidillas, along with soups and salads and they even sell S’mores kits!  As you can see, there’s a lot of space, including bandstands and dance floor.  Evidently they also cater to an older crowd as well.  We talked about coming back on a Friday or Saturday night. 

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Eastside Dining Out Special Interest Group (SIG) is off to a great start….

Saturday 17th June 2017

By Mary Prior


Our first event was held March 25th at Waldo’s BBQ in Mesa.  I was late getting there, and although via RSVPs I expected about 6 or 7 people, including my oldest son and his wife, I was amazed to see there were about 13 people already seated, and three folks volunteered to sit in a booth beside our table.  The foods was excellent, as usual.  I have eaten here several times, and so far, it’s my favorite east valley place for BBQ.  There’s also a hokey gift shop next door to the pig.  (There’s also a big metal pig out front)!  It is on the north side of Main Street.

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June Mensa Birthdays

Wednesday 7th June 2017
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June Mensaversaries

Wednesday 7th June 2017
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Wednesday 31st May 2017

The answer to Puzzle #2 was submitted by Nick Dodson:

1. Rear man says “I don’t know” because he sees either 2 black or a 1 black and 1 white. If he saw 2 whites he would have known that his is black.

2. Middle man says “I don’t know” because he sees a black hat. Having heard the rear man’s reply he then knows that he and front man are either both black or 1 black and 1 white. If he sees a white then he knows his is black. But since he sees a black, he must reply “I don’t know”.

3. Front man has heard his buddies. He figures that if he had a white, then middle man would have known that his own was black. Therefore, front man knows that his must be black.

Good job Nick…and thank you to all who submitted responses.

Look for a new puzzle and an exciting announcment in my next post!

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It’s Official!  Arizona Scholarship Winners Are:

Sunday 28th May 2017

By Mary Prior

There are 24 restricted national scholarships awarded, from $500 to $2,500 each.  “Restricted” only means that they qualified for scholarships that specified a field of study or such a military person or LGBT applicant.  Then there are 20 regional awards and a lot of local awards.  This is open to anyone.  There are also scholarships specifically for international students and Mensa Members!

The winner of the $600 Greater Phoenix Area Mensa Scholarship is Savanna Palafox of Buckeye.  Awards are handled by the Mensa Foundation, as they “host” our funds for the award, which allows us to provide 401©(3) status for anyone who donates to our scholarship fund.  If we ever have an event to raise money for our fund, anyone who donates something with a high value can take advantage of that and claim it on their taxes.  (Hint, Hint!)

We also had two winners at the regional level—the Karen Cooper Memorial Scholarship for $600.  Those winners were Jacquelina Briseno of Phoenix and Juliana Martinez of Oro Valley

And did you know that Tucson gives THREE $1,000 Scholarships?  Their winners were:

  • Javier Jeffery 
  • Meena Venkataramanan

  • Victoria Carotenuto

The application process is very simple, and requires an essay about yourself—What degree are you are working toward?  How or why did you choose your goal?  What have you done to achieve it?  What are your future plans?  And it’s roughly 500 words.  You do have to enroll for the fall semester after your application in an accredited post-secondary institution in a degree or certificate program.  I’ve seen applications from potential aerospace engineers, a 12-year old, a 94-year old, an artist, a minister, computer engineers, nurses aids, doctors, nurses, veterinarians, teachers, writers, even chefs and or mechanics!  The only limits are the ones you put on yourself.   

Don’t forget!  Every September 15th kicks off a new scholarship year, which concludes on January 15th of the following year, with funds available to the winners for a fall semester.  You may apply on line at anytime between September 15 and January 15 every year.  

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Sunday 28th May 2017

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Puzzle #2 Solution

Sunday 28th May 2017

The back man can see the hats worn by the two men in front of him. So, if both of those hats were white, he would know that the hat he wore was black. But, since he doesn’t know, he must see at least one black hat ahead of him.

Knowing this, if the middle man saw a white hat in front of him, he’d know that his own hat was black, and could answer the question correctly. But, since he doesn’t know, he must see a black hat on the front man.

After it becomes apparent to the front man that neither of the men behind him can answer the question, he realizes the middle man saw a black hat in front of him. So he says, correctly, “My hat is black.”

Thank you for your responses. Winner will be announced next week along with more information about prizes. Happy Memorial Day! 

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Wednesday 17th May 2017

The Speaker Slots are starting to fill as a wide variety of interesting speakers have raised their hands to present at the Greater Phoenix Mensa Regional Gathering, Phoenix Phiesta XXXV, held on Thanksgiving Weekend, November 24-25, 2017.

Is there a topic where you’d like to share your knowledge with fellow Mensans? Do you know someone who would be a great presenter?

Take action now and become a RG presenter! Have the opportunity to deliver your presentation to up 35 gathering participants, sell your products after your talk, AND get your name out to 1000+ Phoenix area members.

The Details

  • Dates  –  Friday, November 24 AND Saturday, November 25

The Process

Submit your topic for the initial screening of speakers to Barbara Chatzkel at and include:  

  • Full name
  • Contact info – email address AND phone number
  • Title of Presentation
  • 150 word presentation summary – no attachments

 Topic submissions are due June 12, 2017. First screening will be completed by June 26, 2017. Selected presenters will be notified by July 5, 2017 and asked to submit a fuller proposal.

Questions: Contact or 623-680-0515

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Puzzle #2

Saturday 13th May 2017

There was a great response to the puzzle challenge I posted a couple of weeks ago. Thank you to all who participated. Seeking out these type of puzzles most of my life, I am familiar with many obscure puzzles. I’m guessing the same is true for many of you. I cannot guarantee uniqueness, but as I search for challenging content, I will try to eliminate those I have seen before unless they seem particularly interesting and/or a little bit of fun. This is one such puzzle:   

Three men, members of a safari, are captured by cannibals in the jungle. The men are given one chance to escape with their lives. The men are lined up and bound to stakes such that one man can see the backs of the other two, the middle man can see the back of the front man, and the front man can’t see anybody. The men are shown five hats, three of which are black and two of which are white. Then the men are blindfolded, and one of the five hats is placed on each man’s head. The remaining two hats are hidden away. The blindfolds are removed. The men are told that if just one of the men can guess what hat he’s wearing, they may all go free.

The man in the rear who can see both of his friends’ hats but not his own says, “I don’t know”.

The middle man who can see the hat of the man in front, but not his own says, “I don’t know”.

The front man who cannot see ANYBODY’S hat says “I know!

What color was his hat and how did he know?

Keep those cards and letters coming :)

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May Birthdays

Saturday 6th May 2017
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May Mensaversaries

Saturday 6th May 2017
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and the winner is....

Saturday 29th April 2017

Stephen Stuart was the first correct answer received for last weeks’ puzzle. Congratulations Stephen, and thank you to all who submitted responses. No prizes this week, but I am working on getting approval.

Here is Stephen’s solution:

  • If you turn on a light, wait a minute, then turn it off, the corresponding bulb will be off but hot. 
  • So there are 3 states for a bulb: on, off/hot, and off/cold. 
  • Turn on switches 1 and 2, wait a minute, then turn off switch 2. 
  • Run up to the attic, note which bulb is on (switch 1), and touch the off bulbs:
  • Hot is switch 2, cold is switch 3.

Thank you all for your responses to the puzzle last week. There were several correct responses, and a couple of very interesting “out-of-the box” responses. Some involved extension cords, drop lights, advanced yoga moves, or a second person as a relay. Nice tries, but no cigar. One of the more entertaining solutions came from Peter Bergonzi, who wrote the following:

“Alternative solutions to attic lights puzzle.

  • Use a mirror.
  • Use a friend.
  • Travel faster then electricity.
  • Deconstruct Heisenberg.
  • Add a gated circuit such that if lights A and B are switched on light A will burn at ½ intensity and light B will not burn if switch A was flipped first, else light B will burn at ½ intensity and light A will not burn. Leave light C illuminated at full intensity.
  • Let the dog eat the homework.”

I am working out the details for this to become a recurring feature with some nominal prizes. I am also seeking submissions and am open to suggestions for other fun and/or interesting puzzles/contests/friendly competions. More info to come. It’s been fun. It’s been real. It’s been real fun. Stay tuned.

Steven W Cervera - Editor

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Puzzles anyone?

Saturday 22nd April 2017

Hello fellow Mensans,

As I contemplate some additional content for this page, I thought some puzzles/brain teasers might be welcome. I am even thinking of offering some nominal prizes for the first (or first three?) correct answers. To that end, I am posting this and will be reviewing responses and considering any suggestions for content. 

Here is the first in a series of   puzzle:The correct answer and the name(s) of correct submitter(s) will be posted in my next contribution.

There are three switches downstairs. Each corresponds to one of the three light bulbs in the attic. You can turn the switches on and off and leave them in any position. How would you identify which switch corresponds to which light bulb, if you are only allowed one trip upstairs?

Please submit your answers and/or suggestions by clicking here

Thank you for your participation.

Steven W Cervera - Editor

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