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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47 votes
4 answers
5k views

Which switch goes to which bulb?

You are in a room with three switches, labeled $A$, $B$, and $C$. Initially, each switch is in an off state. In an adjoining room, there are three incandescent light bulbs. Your task is to ...
Xynariz's user avatar
  • 3,622
133 votes
8 answers
24k views

The Sheikh dies

The Sheikh dies, leaving behind three sons, 17 camels and the following order: His oldest son shall inherit one in two camels. His middle son shall inherit one in three camels. His youngest son shall ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 2,433
60 votes
3 answers
288k views

What is the number of the parking spot?

One needs to find the number under the car. Source: unknown
klm123's user avatar
  • 16.2k
142 votes
8 answers
45k views

How can 64 = 65?

Here is a interesting picture with two arrangements of four shapes. How can they make a different area with the same shapes?
ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
41k views

What color was the bear [duplicate]

This is an old one but I don't see it here. A man stepped out of his tent with his rifle and walked 1 mile south, 1 mile east and 1 Mile north. Then he shot a bear in front of his tent. What ...
bowlturner's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
5k views

Differentiate between the numbers from 1 to 5 with one single yes/no question

This question requires a bit of logical distortion to get the information required to answer the question. However, I've never seen it asked before what would happen if more modes of question ...
user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
849 views

That's a story for another time

I'm a fan of nested puzzles, and especially puzzles that tell a story. I'm finding that I am quite good at them, so I'd like to post this one for the community. I wish you all the best of luck! ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
358 views

I make billions (#4)

I make billions (#4) For years did a sharp little verse, Grow fast in our ears like a curse, A tune on TV, Did subconsciously, Cause all to spend much from their purse, Who / what am ...
JS1's user avatar
  • 17.8k
149 votes
12 answers
22k views

A double-agent with a conundrum

You are a double-agent in the most important war of the 20th century, The Falklands war. For years you have been playing the United Kingdom and Argentinian governments against each other, taking ...
John Meacham's user avatar
  • 1,859
79 votes
11 answers
156k views

Poisoned Iced Tea [closed]

Two girls went to dinner together and both ordered iced tea. One girl pounded down five of them in about a minute, and the other took her time drinking one. The girl who drank one died, while the ...
generalcrispy's user avatar
28 votes
4 answers
6k 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 ...
DrD's user avatar
  • 39.2k
26 votes
9 answers
18k views

How to cut 12 in half and get 7

Here's a puzzle that a teacher told me today: How can you cut twelve in half and get seven? Hint (only if you're stumped): Another Hint
michaelpri's user avatar
  • 1,334
17 votes
5 answers
2k views

Race of patience for the sake of love

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful girl who had a lot of lovers. Every guy wanted to marry her, be with her. Given a lot of options, she had reduced the candidates from 128 to 2. Yet it was ...
Umur Kontacı's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
3k views

A Single Letter is missing from each, can you figure it out to find the answer and the question?

Grasshopper, in order to know the answer you must first figure out the question. ...
qwertylpc's user avatar
  • 1,519
12 votes
5 answers
844 views

I make billions (#5)

I make bullions balloons billions (#5) Main clues: These statues are wonderful! I'm going to invest in the sculptor. Move faster! I need to finish the 18th hole and return this golf ...
JS1's user avatar
  • 17.8k
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

The murder by the maid - Who is the murderer

A man was killed in a roundhouse with no doors or windows. Four maids were present at the time of the murder, but are saying nothing. When asked what they were doing they replied as thus: Maid 1: 'I ...
Beastly Gerbil's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
612 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 ...
Anthony Ingram-Westover's user avatar
128 votes
2 answers
14k views

Which country is INDIA in?

An intrepid globetrotter needs to know this: BENIN is in Libya CANADA is in China DENMARK is in the United States FRANCE is in Germany INDIA is in ??
Tom's user avatar
  • 70.5k
69 votes
4 answers
61k views

A seven letter word - the meaning doesn't change if you remove letters

I am a seven letter word. If you remove one letter from me my meaning does not change. If you remove two letters from me my meaning still does not change, and if you remove three letters from me, my ...
skv's user avatar
  • 4,992
65 votes
1 answer
4k views

Mysterious message from the NoSlaves™ Calculator Co

So my son is starting to show an interest in mathematics, and being the awesome dad that I am, I decided to buy him a basic calculator. Being the cheapskate that I am, I ordered the cheapest one I ...
Alconja's user avatar
  • 37.2k
41 votes
1 answer
1k views

Save our WWII planes

This is a true story, and an illustration of smart thinking. During WWII, Allied airforces were having a difficult time getting their bombers to withstand German artillery. Their planes desperately ...
Chuck's user avatar
  • 533
37 votes
12 answers
54k views

if you have one, you have none [closed]

If you have three, you have three. If you have two, you have two. If you have one, you have none. What is it?
Numberknot's user avatar
  • 3,032
35 votes
19 answers
13k views

Mysterious loss of weight

Now an entry into Fortnightly Topic Challenge #41: Short and Sweet A man enters a room and presses a button. Within seconds he loses 20 lbs body weight. How did he lose the weight?
Quark-epoch's user avatar
  • 1,697
34 votes
16 answers
12k views

Older twin's birthday is one day after younger's

I have been asked this puzzle in an interview. There was not a lot of time left so I couldn't solve it quickly and the interviewer kind of let it go as he had to wrap up the interview Foo and Bar ...
Vallabh Patade's user avatar
30 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
JamesENL's user avatar
  • 1,157
12 votes
1 answer
563 views

Tell me a story!

I've seen a lot of prefix-infix-suffix/Riley riddles lately on the site and have decided to write one myself; however, those of ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

The Dragon or the Magnifying Glass?

You've been sent to prison, but the prisons where you are from are very clever. They do not just lock you up, they put you in a room with 2 doors. Door A is guarded by an evil dragon that will kill ...
warspyking's user avatar
  • 14.5k
9 votes
9 answers
1k views

Who is Pete's favourite composer?

Pete had a conversation with his shy friend Dave from his old concert band "Plain Inspiration" Pete: Do you like classics? Dave: Absolutely! ... Pete: Is there any chance you would ...
Ian Fako's user avatar
  • 697
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Calendar Cubes are Impossible!

An easy one for the middle of the week! Jane and John were discussing a business idea. John wanted to make a little set to keep track of the date. It was to include two cubes with a single digit on ...
Dr Xorile's user avatar
  • 23k
8 votes
2 answers
651 views

The Basalisk and the Boy of Fire

As promised in my last riddle, the story continues. For those who haven't read the riddle preceding this one, I heavily recommend you do. The door swung open, slamming the wall; our heroes burst ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
8 votes
10 answers
10k views

Dead in a Field [closed]

Here is another classic that I couldn't find anywhere on the site: A man is lying dead in a field. Next to him there is an unopened package. There is no other creature in the field. How did he die? ...
Aggie Kidd's user avatar
  • 11.7k
7 votes
7 answers
23k views

A man is born in 1955

(I heard this in a movie and I think it’s pretty cool.) A man is born in 1955. Today, the 14th of August, 2017, he is 18. How is this possible?
JohnyNich's user avatar
  • 533
7 votes
1 answer
619 views

The Boy of Fire: The Final Battle

Welcome to the final part to the Boy of Fire. If you haven't read the previous parts you should do so prior to beginning this one. I've decided to take a different approach with this one as I've ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Elevator puzzle [closed]

A guy lives in the 10th floor of an apartment building. On a normal day he goes to the 5th floor with the elevator and then climbs the remaining 5 floors. On a rainy day he goes to the 10th floor ...
Elgert's user avatar
  • 205
2 votes
6 answers
413 views

The Boy of Fire: Into the Stronghold

When we last saw our heroes, they were resting after a long week in the Sea of Fire. They battled the great King of Serpents who despite his rage against the human race, assisted our heroes with a ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
-5 votes
3 answers
676 views

Who is the fifth child?

Jason's mother has five children. The first one is July. The second one is August. The third one is September. The fourth one is October. What is the fifth child's name?
toutsandnaushi's user avatar
-5 votes
3 answers
3k views

In a plane crash who died?

In a plane crash somewhere, every single person died but two people survived. How is this possible?
nikhil_sudan's user avatar
99 votes
3 answers
10k views

Do I Work with an Orangutan?

This morning I found myself face-down in front of a large building. It was obvious that I had taken a great fall from one of the rooms above me, but now I apparently had amnesia. I went in. I could ...
Chowzen's user avatar
  • 25.6k
56 votes
4 answers
6k views

The Secret Club

Since I was a kid, nobody wanted me in their super-exclusive clubs... the "House in the Tree Club"... the "Girls Only Club"... the "Whatever you are NOT Club"... but now that I am a skilled (and a bit ...
Hunter's user avatar
  • 2,850
51 votes
8 answers
63k views

29 - 1 = 30 how?

How is 29 - 1 = 30? If also 14 - 1 = 15 11 - 1 = 10 9 - 1 =10. Hint:
Amruth A's user avatar
  • 2,126
37 votes
13 answers
3k views

A UniCODE Puzzle

NOTE Please do not edit this puzzle or close for off-topic unless you REALLY know what you're doing. The whole thing, except this note, is part of the puzzle. Thanks! What unicode character am I? ...
yummypasta's user avatar
  • 1,259
36 votes
11 answers
26k views

Connect 3 houses with 3 wells

Connect every house with every well without the lines intersecting. I am not sure if this puzzle has a solution. I have been puzzled by it for a long long time. An old man from my village mentioned ...
Nermin's user avatar
  • 517
33 votes
2 answers
1k views

Scoring a grid​

As a professor of Awesomeness at the prestigious Ad Hoc University (other questions in this series), I decided to assign my students this puzzle. Unfortunately, they were all unable to get it! I want ...
Voldemort's Wrath's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Aify's user avatar
  • 1,939
25 votes
13 answers
5k views

3 Planks, 1 nail [closed]

John and Bob were doing some home construction and decided to take a beer break. Before grabbing a seat John pulls out 3 planks of wood, 1 nail and a hammer. John makes a bet with Bob saying I'll ...
Mark N's user avatar
  • 5,868
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

The clearly wrong proof

Bob claims to have a proof that $0.\dot1=1$. That's $0.\overline1=1$, $0.(1)=1$ or $0.11111...=1$ in other common formats. The proof starts $$\text{If }1x=0.\dot1,\\ \text{then }10x=1.\dot1\\ 10x-1x=1....
Artyer's user avatar
  • 591
13 votes
3 answers
927 views

Enter the Vermillion

I have a new riddle for everyone here at Puzzling.SE, and I believe it's a safe bet to say it will be difficult to solve. My suffix is my prefix, defined for both as well; My infix has one ...
Hazel へいぜる's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
539 views

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the richest of them all? (I make billions #7)

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the richest of them all? (I make billions #7) Clue group 1: This spa provides a great relaxation rub. Earbuds are included too. I compared virtual machines, and ...
JS1's user avatar
  • 17.8k
12 votes
17 answers
4k views

3 = 6 ? Another non math question. Another Grandpa Mystery

Now I know Grandpa asks silly questions all the time. He says to me: "Son, this is based on my personal experience. I was with a friend today. He made a gesture. By making this gesture he ...
DrD's user avatar
  • 39.2k
11 votes
2 answers
840 views

Checkmate all the kings #2

Following the rules created by Lord of dark in this puzzle, the idea is to find the minimum number of consecutive white moves to checkmate all the black kings (in this case just 1). You cannot make a ...
Dr Xorile's user avatar
  • 23k