A learned foreign scientist came to Aksehir and said he wanted to challenge the wits of the most knowledgeable person in the city. The townsfolk called for Nasreddin Hoca.
When the Hoca arrived, the foreigner drew a circle in the sand with a stick. The Hoca frowned, took the stick, and divided the circle in two.
The foreigner then drew another line through the circle that divided it into four equal parts. The Hoca pretended to gather three parts toward himself and to push the remaining part toward the foreigner.
The foreigner then raised his arm above his head, and wiggling his extended fingers, he slowly lowered his hand to the ground. The Hoca did exactly the same thing but in the opposite direction, moving his hand from the ground to a height above his head.
And, that completed the foreigner's tests, which he explained privately to the city council. "Your Hoca is very clever man," he began, "I showed him that the world is round and he confirmed it but indicated that 'it also has an equator'. And when I divided the world into 4 parts, he indicated that it is 'three parts water and one part land', which I can't deny. Finally, I asked what is the origin of rain? He answered quite rightly that 'water rises as steam to the sky, makes cloud, and later returns to earth as rain.'"
When they got him alone, the ordinary townsfolk asked the Hoca what the challenge was all about? The Hoca said, "Well, that other fellow first asked, 'Suppose we have this round tray of baklava?' So, I said, 'You can't eat it all by yourself, you know. So, I'll take half.' Then he got a little rude, saying, 'What will you do if I cut it into four parts?' That upset me, so I said, 'In that case, I'll take three of the parts and only leave you one!' That softened him up, I think, because then, with the motion of his hand, he said, 'Well, I suppose I could add some walnuts and pistachio nuts on top of the baklava.' I cooled down too and said, 'That's fine with me, but you'll need to cook it under full flame, because an ash fire just won't be hot enough'. When I said that, he knew I was right, and gave up the game."