There's a class of puzzles where:

  1. The puzzles come in a themed set
  2. Usually, the puzzle requires you to answer by listing the steps to do something
  3. The subsequent puzzles are often reliant on facts revealed in the prior puzzles or their answers.

A typical structure is:

Q: How do you do X?

A: (1) Do step 1 (for example put an object in a container), (2) Do step 2, (3) Do step 3.

Q: How do you do Y that's similar to X?

A: (1) Do something to reverse effects from steps in prior puzzle (for example free the container from the object we put there in last puzzle), (2) Do Step 1, ...

Is there a proper name for this class of puzzles? The ones I'm aware of were typically called "refrigerator" puzzles, after one of the more famous examples of the class (stashing animals in a refrigerator).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've heard them referred to as elephant jokes. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


I don't think there's a name for it other than "refrigerator puzzle" - that's the only example I'm aware of. And it's really more of a joke than a puzzle: nobody's expected to actually solve it, just laugh at the ridiculousness of the "solution" when it's revealed to them.


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