Questions tagged [lateral-thinking]

A puzzle solved through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable only using logic.

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13
votes
1answer
590 views

A phone call with my travel agent

"Hi Pat, I just got the itinerary you sent over. Are you actually drinking at work?" "Nolo contendre. But what's the problem?" "It doesn't make any sense. I mean, one of the ...
15
votes
3answers
356 views

A Connect Fano Plane

The Fano plane is the smallest example of a finite projective plane, with 7 points and 7 lines, which has the property that every pair of points lie together on a unique line, and every pair of lines ...
8
votes
1answer
186 views

Obfuscated characters

Hidden in These Numbers, letters, and symbols YOu will find something quite Particular. To solVE: please stAte the name foR Code LIke this ...
23
votes
21answers
2k views

When you take away two

I am an odd number. When you take away two, I become even. What am I? Edit: @hexomino got my original answer but I have come up with another valid answer. Edit 2: @QuantumTwinkie got my other ...
13
votes
1answer
540 views

A Puzzle in The Two Towers

Our local used book store is going out of business, and I ran in to pick up another copy of Lord of the Rings. When I picked up a likely copy, a scrap of paper fell out of The Two Towers...I've done ...
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Make this equation correct

Using your creativity, conversion skills and adding one letter (anywhere) to both sides, make the following equation correct. Same letter must be added to both sides. V I E N T = D Hint Check the ...
6
votes
2answers
772 views

Exam statistics

250 teenagers gather for an exam. Peeking at the roll, a math-inclined among them note that if they are split into 10 groups of 25 per alphabetical order, then in each group, there are two with the ...
7
votes
2answers
181 views

A Puzzling Family

Ben is brother to Pat; Daisy is sister to Tori; Gail has two big brothers: Carl and Kyle, who look very similar. They all stay close to town, don't like to venture out. But then there's the other ...
-4
votes
2answers
148 views

Sometimes to find an answer to a short question you have to travel far. Sometimes not [closed]

This one's simple: When and where is con the opposite of sin?
-12
votes
2answers
152 views

Mathlandia Cake Cutting (very short riddle) [closed]

In Mathlandia, everything is divided perfectly. A cake has just been cut into 9 pieces, so every piece has 0.111 of the cake, right? Jeff the cake cutter confirms this is so. But $1 - 9 \cdot 0.111 = ...
25
votes
1answer
803 views

An Evolutionary Experiment

Dr. Farnsworth entered class today and announced that we were going to conduct an experiment to see if we could force cells to evolve to communicate with us. The experiment is as follows: we are given ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What's next? Think laterally

What is next in this sequence? V I V I I I V I I I I I V V I I V I V I I I I V ? Answer is one of the following three options A: I I I V I V I I V B: I I I V I I I I I I V C: V I I I V Hint Not a ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

Murder on the Fairway

A body has been found at the Green Estates Fairway. Next to the body was a bloody golf club which was later confirmed by the medical examiner to be the murder weapon. Thankfully, only ten men ...
13
votes
2answers
460 views

One code to rule them all

Kurt, our crusty old mainframe admin, finally retired last week and I've been given the task of sorting through his files. Most of the files were comprehensible, if not understandable, like his old ~/....
32
votes
4answers
6k views

Why is hell equal to 114.3 metres?

Well, the title says it all really. $$\text{hell} = 114.3\; \text{metres}$$ Why is this the case?
4
votes
2answers
330 views

I… Can't believe you grandfather!

Grandson, when I was born, there were no less than 2,005 times... Hum. One billion people, I think. Thank you calculator! In the world. — How come my old grandfather makes such en error? Note 1: ...
10
votes
1answer
524 views

His reputation went up!

Today, a new user John created an account on PSE, and he got an association bonus. He answered a question. Few days later, after logging in, his reputation went up! (He did not do any other things ...
8
votes
1answer
248 views

What is an IHC. word™?

This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles. If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it an IHC. Word™. Use the ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

They have the same birthday, but two are older

A while back, I was at a sporting event, holding my ticket and waiting for the race to begin, when a woman came up beside me and commented, "You know, the runner in lane one and lane two both have the ...
4
votes
5answers
187 views

May Make $\frac5{2020}$ 2020

For May 2020, try to create $\dfrac{5}{2020}$ using the least possible number of integers in the set $\{1,3,4,6,7,8,9\}$. $2$, $5$ and $0$ are not allowed. Example: $$\dfrac{4+1}{3\left(673+\frac13\...
6
votes
10answers
414 views

Matchsticks $9+9=8$ [closed]

You are given the matchsticks wrong equation $9+9=8$ and you can move, at most 3 matches. Your aim is to find all correct equations. Selected answer will be one that discovers most correct equations ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

My uncle's impossible yet clean enigma $9+5=2$

My uncle gave me the puzzle: $9+5=2$ Quelle est la réponse ? That translates to $9+5=2$ What is the answer? I don't know the answer yet. I have look into matchsticks without success but it ...
9
votes
1answer
331 views

Old, yet we stand tall

This puzzle requires a specific answer which consists of 4 letters only. With the help of the image below(and the title) you will get the right one.
0
votes
2answers
132 views

The Money Confetti [closed]

A box containing one hundred $\$100$ bills was emptied by tossing its contents out a window. All of the money, which was real, fell onto the ground floor below. After all of the bills landed, they ...
1
vote
5answers
211 views

A couple have 9 children, half of children are boys, how? [closed]

My friend asked me the puzzle, A couple have 9 children (none of them were adopted) Each child must be either a boy or a girl Half of that couple’s children are boys How that can be ...
7
votes
2answers
252 views

A curious odd one out

Which one of (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e) is the odd one out and why? Source: based on a puzzle from Alex Bellos
7
votes
2answers
641 views

A self-referential puzzle

This puzzle uses X characters of text. Can you replace "X" with the correct number? Spaces and punctuation are counted too. Good luck!
8
votes
1answer
328 views

Fill your bags with marbles

You have 50 bags. How many marbles do you need at least, so that you can have a different number of marbles in each bag?
5
votes
1answer
189 views

Predicting the future?

I was browsing my email one morning when I got this curious email: Date: February 17, 2020 Subject: Want to see the future? Hello, I am a clairvoyant who can predict the future. I have made a fortune ...
-7
votes
1answer
223 views

What is the difference between a bird?

Attention here one should not play on words, the question is to understand literally, and there is of course at least one answer. What is the difference between a bird?
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Five minutes puzzle: Multiway switches

Here's an easy puzzle that should take you only five minutes to solve, inspired by my hallway. Most intuitive answer get the mark: Six switches control the same light bulb in a multiway switching ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

The Magic LeaderBoard

Every Saturday at Netopia's Square, a peninsula at the tip of southwest Netopia, there is a leaderboard kept of Netopia's Square's six local resident wizards. (in no particular order) They are ranked ...
12
votes
3answers
624 views

The Eighteen Carefully Sorted Books

I will here propose you $9$ ways to sort $18$ books. Those books remain the same. For each $9$ ways you have to tell why this is a sort over this books. Meaning: There is no Bookleft > Bookright > ...
1
vote
4answers
282 views

It looks similar, but not the same

The puzzle: The solution is a single number, which replaces the question mark. Good luck!
7
votes
2answers
482 views

The Russian machine has a flaw

The year is 1969. You, Robert James Fischer, are invited in a secret Russian basement to 'play a chess game against a strong opponent'. When you finally meet your opponent, a Russian bald guy who is ...
-5
votes
4answers
281 views

Loophole in anti-sex laws

There is only one country on Earth, Oceania. It's a totalitarian society ruled by a person with title "the Greatest Of Dictators" (G.O.D. for short). There are videocameras everywhere, citizens of ...
15
votes
3answers
856 views

Four fanatics and one checkerboard

Four checkers-playing fanatics eagerly pair up for two simultaneous games of checkers but somehow find themselves with just one board. They do have enough checkers for two games, so it is time to act. ...
11
votes
2answers
905 views

Numbers in the series: The British way

What are the next two numbers in series? Six hundred and forty Five thousand Eight thousand ? ? What are the next two numbers? Is this a trick question? Note: I am using ...
4
votes
2answers
533 views

A short puzzle especially for social isolation time

Solve the following analogy. ":" means "is to" and "::" means "as". Text only: story with anopia : smell :: story with hyperosmia : ? Hint
6
votes
0answers
402 views

Complete the following analogical analogy

In an analogy ":" means "is to" and "::" means "as/like". Now, since this is almost an analogy (maybe a future type), I will accept the solution if it's almost correct. Kinberg : ‴niɘɈƨnɘƨiƎ‴  :: ? ...
3
votes
0answers
278 views

The answer to this visual puzzle is a name

The answer to this visual puzzle is a name
6
votes
1answer
180 views

Two related number sequences; 20,12,14,8,7 and 4,1,5,9,11

Can you predict the next numbers in these two sequences, which are strongly related to each other. 20,12,14,8,7 and 4,1,5,9,11 these number sequences do not appear in oeis.org
6
votes
1answer
337 views

Help Kevin come out of this mysterious world!

Kevin is stuck in a mysterious world. Your task is to help him find the correct route to get back to Earth. He finds the following pieces of paper on the ground. Kevin collects these ...
13
votes
5answers
371 views

I'm not a Tesla

Here goes: I won't say Yes 6 months from now Cast your net, as soon possible To Kevin Spacey: Who won the sequel? Play me once but skip the major I'm not a Tesla. What am I? Note that the ...
-1
votes
1answer
348 views

You don't know what this means

What name is missing from the second place in the following line? Rembrandt ? Heinrich Replace the question mark. Hint 2
5
votes
1answer
163 views

A Balanced Breakfast

An European mathematician likes to have a balanced breakfast every day. It always includes whole milk and exactly one ingredient out of the list below: Butter Cheese Yoghurt What is the ...
15
votes
1answer
759 views

No trap in this one

This visual puzzle resolves to a number. HINT Hint2 Hint3 Hint4 Hint5 Hint6 Hint7
6
votes
1answer
90 views

Find the two numbers not fitting the sequence

This sequence is complete (cannot be extended in any direction), however, two numbers don't fit. Which two? 15 68 53 8 66 6 73 5 57
6
votes
1answer
417 views

A unique rebus+

I'd call this a rebus+ (complexity, visual components, lateral thinking). The answer is a letter. Short story of the problem: I was happy, I felt I finally invented something solvable, easy, and ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Check my drawing skills!

I was never too good at drawing, but... if this is the case, there is a word associated with this bmp image. Find out which one. Hint 1: Hint 2: Hint 3: Hint 4: Hint 5: Hint 6:

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