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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5
votes
2answers
786 views

Move just one match

Make a correct equation by just moving one matchstick! This is the source. Spoiler--source reveals answer.
8
votes
1answer
421 views

Anagram puzzles

5 independent problems in a "self-help arrangement" (which helps you figure out, what the task is, without presenting an example) not left + up = honest tear + boy = jail five + I = kiln ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

Where is the pilot flying to?

Barry is a pilot for the mafia. Due to his unique cargo, his employers have to give him his destination in code. Everywhere he has flown, from Edmonton to Frankfurt to Atlanta has had an international ...
3
votes
1answer
638 views

Is this puzzle legitimate?

I've been browsing through Puzzling SE's most downvoted questions, when I stumbled upon one of those "bad communication I will xkcd cut your arm off" questions. I've heard similar questions with the ...
9
votes
1answer
212 views

Old Bob is ill : Said Grandpa

“Darn good computer, this new one I just got. So you can have my old one”, said Grandpa to my sister. I was impressed, but a bit cynical. “What’s the catch?” Grandpa smiled. “Just guess the 4 letter ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

Short but impossible math problem

Given these four equations/inequalities: 1x=2 2x=4 3x=3 4x>8 What is x?
-1
votes
1answer
96 views

Burger Riddle, Can you solve it? [duplicate]

There once were 2 mothers and 2 daughters. One day they went to eat burgers. Each woman ate only one WHOLE burger. Yet only 3 burgers are eaten! Perplexed? Unravel this mind-boggling riddle!
7
votes
7answers
974 views

Math-stick problem [closed]

Here are 6 matchsticks. You should rearrange them, to make nothing But you should not waste or get other matchsticks
5
votes
11answers
6k views

In what field does π²=2?

In what field does $\pi^2=2$, where $π$ is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter? Remember to think outside the box and that I am looking for a complete answer. Hint:
2
votes
1answer
198 views

John is trying to solve this problem for his son . Can you identify the problem?

It is really easy I believe. The answer is wherever you look Kinda my first attempt. Be kind and thanks for a great community
2
votes
2answers
253 views

New version of Math [duplicate]

This is a question I found in a book, let's see who can puzzle this out: How is 7 half of 12?
11
votes
1answer
248 views

Fun with ^#**#!@ flags

(h/t to @sarsaparilla and that user's Fun with Flags series of puzzles earlier this year) "Hi Pat." "Hey, did you get my note about our next trip?" "If by 'note', you mean '...
8
votes
1answer
210 views

My friend's scrapbook

I was visiting with my friend Susie the other day when we got talking about our travels. As we discussed favorite cities we had been to, she suddenly got up and went to grab a dusty scrapbook from the ...
15
votes
3answers
385 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
677 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 ...
24
votes
21answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
848 views

The Starks, Parks, Clarks and their kids

Inspired by Martin Gardner's puzzle from his book John,a new student at the Math Department of the College, was invited to a get-together at one of the Professor's house. Professor Stark welcomed ...
13
votes
1answer
552 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
275 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
187 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
784 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
409 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‴  :: ? ...
-4
votes
2answers
155 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?
15
votes
1answer
772 views

No trap in this one

This visual puzzle resolves to a number. HINT Hint2 Hint3 Hint4 Hint5 Hint6 Hint7
-12
votes
2answers
162 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
829 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
539 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
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
467 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 ~/....
5
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

A man was born in 1881 and died in 1883, yet he was 90. How?

A man was born in 1881 and died in 1883, yet he was 90. How it is possible?
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?
9
votes
12answers
713 views

Write a Schrödinger's sentence [closed]

Write an indicative sentence whose truthfulness cannot be objectively determined before you try to find it out, but is immediately decided as soon as you begin to find it. The truthfulness must not ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

Some numbers are more equivalent than others

[Second part and bounty challenge appended in May 2020]           ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL    BUT ...
12
votes
3answers
626 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 > ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

Same word fills all the blanks

Inspired by the famous puzzle (origin unknown to me) Fill in the blanks in the following sentence using the same word OR its split versions (not anagrams). A _____ surgeon, was _______ to ...
9
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
338 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: ...
6
votes
10answers
422 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 ...
18
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
531 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
193 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\...
4
votes
1answer
206 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
337 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
135 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
218 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
257 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
647 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
330 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?

1
2 3 4 5
21