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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.

3
votes
9answers
2k views

Find the odd one out: Hand signals [closed]

Not all of us are familiar with sign language. It is used predominantly by the deaf and people who can hear but cannot speak. But it's not a big deal in understanding some of the hand signals. Even we ...
1
vote
4answers
416 views

A cunning involution [closed]

You've probably seen this trick question floating around the Internet before: If 1 = 5, 2 = 10, 3 = 15, and 4 = 20, then 5 = ? The question is twofold: What is the trick answer they expect? (You ...
14
votes
1answer
463 views

Functional Puzzle Solving

A professor has written a note to help him remember his password. I'm sure you can find out what it is. After all, he's very functional. $\text{4,24 AOPCRTLIFA}$ $\text{10,5 RAVHLE}$ $\text{0,1 ...
19
votes
26answers
11k views

Building a 2 mile runway on a 1x1 mile island [closed]

You have a 1-mile long x 1-mile wide island. When taking off from a flat runway, a plane requires a runway of minimum length 2 ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Five puzzles in one!

This is an experiment of nested puzzles. The answer of each puzzle is necessary to solve the next one. Sometimes you have to manipulate it, sometimes you have to open your eyes (and mind). Run, to ...
32
votes
2answers
3k views

Ancient machine in the desert… how does it generate its output?

I was walking through the desert and came across an ancient contraption of cogs and gears. It had a series of dials on one side that appeared to allow the input and output of numbers. On the other ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Ants playing tag!

$5$ ants are initially arranged on the corners of a regular pentagonal table (edges are long $L$), as showed in this picture: At some point they all start moving with a constant speed $S$ and, at any ...
7
votes
1answer
673 views

The answer is a two-digit number

0870678884068983409815824039880670002291 Hint 1: Hint 2:
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Box of text contains hidden message

I invented a novel encryption technique that hides a message in the below text box. ...
1
vote
1answer
244 views

Forecasters strike back!

Three forecasters, Phil, Jim and Bob, come out of their office during a rainstorm. Phil: The weather won't change until the next full moon. Jim: I agree, and the sun won't shine in 48 hours. Bob: I ...
4
votes
1answer
315 views

Male and Female functions

You are given two goniometric functions: Male: $g(\rho, \Theta) = \rho \, \cos\Theta \sin\Theta$ Female: $f(\rho, \Theta) = \rho \, \cos^2\Theta$ Why are these two functions labeled "male" and "...
129
votes
4answers
6k views

Find the letters that complete these five patterns

Complete the last line in each of the following five series: Puzzle 1: "Using" is E "Desist" is I "Visits" is E "Design" is ??? Puzzle 2: ...
26
votes
4answers
6k views

Double whammy murder case! What happened?

It's Friday the 13th, and you and a group of 7 friends from the "Survivor" club belonging to University LeMao (A, B, C, D, E, F, and G) go camping. You're all pretty good friends, and talk quite a ...
18
votes
4answers
6k views

A semi truck weighing exactly 10,000 pounds

A semi truck weighing exactly 10,000 pounds gets onto a bridge that is 100 miles long. The bridge's actual weight limit (not the posted limit) is exactly 10,000 pounds; any more will break the bridge. ...
25
votes
3answers
3k views

What, the answer isn't the No of the Yes is?

Doorknob knows exactly how to solve this, so I ask him to not answer this question. Well, here's the puzzle: No, an answer is the cube without A, No? The Yes is No. The squared answer, Yes, is to an ...
2
votes
1answer
622 views

4 Friends take a test

4 friends, A, B, C, and D, meet up after taking a test. Reading their results, they exclaimed, A says, "Hah! I'm ranked 32!" B says, "I'm ranked 63, better than you, A!" C says, "I ranked 12, I'm ...
23
votes
12answers
17k views

Two sisters born on the same day [closed]

Two sisters were born on the same day in the same year, yet they aren't twins. None of their other sisters share the birthday. What's going on? Explain.
27
votes
1answer
4k views

The Comforting Death Message

Linda sadly passes away in a stampede of elephants and when she reaches St. Peter, she is distressed because she doesn't think she'll be buried properly on the family grave plot and having to listen ...
4
votes
2answers
702 views

Which number does 1995 correspond to in this number pattern? [duplicate]

I saw this puzzle many moons ago and so I assumed it would already be on here somewhere. I have looked and not found, though, and so I present to you a puzzle that baffled me when first I saw it. What ...
14
votes
12answers
3k views

Up to your head in trouble

You've gotten in trouble with a Mob Boss, and as punishment have been brought to a sandy beach. You're ordered by him at gunpoint to bury yourself in the sand up to your neck. He specifies a spot ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

The story of green apples and red herrings

Let's say we are in a magic land with lots of fantastical animals and plants and whatever... Imagine you have way too much time, really like apples and love collecting and growing them. In fact, ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

100 Marbles Puzzle

Here's a puzzle I heard some time ago, but I never heard the asker's solution. It took me ages to think up a satisfactory solution, but I'm wondering if there are any others you can think of? 100 ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How to ensure your logic puzzle has no loopholes?

Alright, say you've made this logic based puzzle, but when you post it, people find tons of loop holes, that obviously wasn't what you want! You didn't tag it with lateral-thinking or brainteaser! It'...
0
votes
1answer
16k views

Puzzle about a deaf,dumb and a blind person [duplicate]

A deaf person stole a blind person's hen and a dumb person saw him stealing.How can the dumb person convey this to the blind person?
45
votes
3answers
3k views

Which floor does this company occupy?

There is a seven-story skyscraper. Each floor hosts exactly one company. Pangloss Washers Co, Ltd. is located on the 7th floor. Alice PC Chips Co., Ltd. is located on the 6th floor. Jumanji Arcade Co....
2
votes
2answers
1k views

A sequence named by a children's toy [duplicate]

Here's a part of the sequence: (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) 1113122113 311311222113 ... The letters are the missing members (there are 5 missing members) and A is the ...
4
votes
1answer
580 views

A Strange Sequence [duplicate]

This puzzle is taken from a French bestseller I read years ago. The solution is much simpler than it looks... Find the following line in this sequence : ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

I'm stumped on a simple roman numeral puzzle

I was working on this puzzle called cupid which listed a bunch of greek gods. I filled in all the answers in the answer grid which were their roman counterparts. Since these answers were now left ...
10
votes
1answer
868 views

An international affair: Find the common property in incorrect equations

Chaos at the international conference for world leaders: What should have been a peaceful exchange of ideas for common growth quickly exploded into hostility shortly after the German speaker addressed ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

How many faces does this object have? [closed]

The object came with a few clues to help you figure it out. I can be viewed on paper I cannot be viewed in reality by your kind I am made up of what your mind can truly comprehend I resemble ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Come out alive from locked room [duplicate]

You are locked in a 50 x 50 x 50-foot room which sits on 100-foot stilts. There is an open window at the coner of the room, near the floor, with a strong hook cemented into the floor by the window. So ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Looking at a die

I have an opaque 6-sided die. Without using mirrors or any other optical aids, what is the greatest number of faces of the die that I am able to see at the same time?
-3
votes
3answers
285 views

Formatting Puzzle! [closed]

This puzzle works best if you do not look in edit. If you do, please refrain from posting answers. So basically the idea is to count how many squares/rectangles this post includes. Don't ...
-4
votes
1answer
549 views

What could the only answer to this question be? [closed]

You're not allowed to restate the question, or answer with a question. What could the answer be?
2
votes
3answers
626 views

Conversation with a cop - please explain

I've heard the following second half of a story: A policeman got out of the car and saw the boy. He walked up to him and said amiably, "What's your name?" "Shut up!" the boy replied. "...
0
votes
2answers
632 views

Where'd you end up? [Part 3!]

You're in a country which contains thousands of soldiers whom never fight. You take the 1st number of the name of this country, and subtract lines of 7. Under the square tree's stump. ...
9
votes
3answers
790 views

Shifted symbol cipher

This is a cool cipher I determined. It involves lateral thinking, so try it out. The answer is a English plaintext, with the following being the cipher text... Try to decrypt it... or decipher it, you ...
8
votes
2answers
335 views

Place the numbers

Consider the set of positive integers. Each integer can be definitively placed either above the line or below it. Given the initial collection of placements below, what are The next two numbers in ...
7
votes
4answers
927 views

Nerd on the Loose I - WHEN

Chat. I've created a chat room in case anyone wish to discuss this further. Preface. This is the first time I'm creating a puzzle. Since I find enjoyment in science and technology, the series of ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What do these colorful triangles mean?

The following picture shows an arrangement of colored triangles. What is their meaning?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Neanderthal Man

A neanderthal walks into a room. Inside are a man and a woman with large sticks, surrounded by dozens of unintelligible glass discs and squares. The man (with the stick) comments he can see the ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

The way to Acarien puzzle

You are on a quest to the find the lost kingdom of Acarien. On your way, you end up at a fork in the road. Both paths look exactly the same. At the junction sits a wise man. The wise man will only ...
4
votes
3answers
771 views

The Alaskan Dream

Scott is an expert outdoorsman, pursuing his dream by living in the remote Alaskan wilderness. Scott has everything he needs, and would prefer to remain a recluse, yet he will have to leave his home ...
0
votes
3answers
892 views

Inheritance by cards [duplicate]

An old farmer passes away in his sleep. After a suitable period of mourning, his three sons find their father's will in his study. Amongst other, simpler bequests is the following: "I wish my small ...
1
vote
2answers
773 views

Who? What Color? Rank? Number? in a running match

There is a running match, but there isn't anyone to judge; we have only information that the audience gave us (but we know their info is true). We the have name, rank, T-shirt color, and T-shirt ...
1
vote
1answer
639 views

3 Switches identification [duplicate]

Picture this. You are in a hallway of a very large office building. Near you are 50 light switches of which 3 are unlabled. These lightswitches are connected to 3 lights in 3 separate rooms. The ...
6
votes
1answer
770 views

What's the more general case of this puzzler?

There is a puzzle which I remember from many years ago which can be summarised as It is easy to arrange 20 items in five rows of four items, but how could you arrange just 10 items in five rows of ...
6
votes
2answers
937 views

Lighthouse keeper stuck the bath [closed]

A lighthouse keeper decides to take a bath an hour before the next lighthouse keeper comes to relieve him of his shift. This lighthouse keeper is having a bad day. First he accidentally locks ...