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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.

40
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
118
votes
8answers
19k 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 ...
52
votes
3answers
191k views

What is the number of the parking spot?

One needs to find the number under the car.
4
votes
5answers
32k 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 ...
24
votes
9answers
13k 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
12
votes
2answers
445 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! ...
26
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
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. ...
123
votes
8answers
31k 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?
132
votes
12answers
19k 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 ...
104
votes
2answers
12k 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 ??
55
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
32
votes
16answers
11k 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 ...
39
votes
13answers
41k 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?
9
votes
9answers
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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
286 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
376 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
16k 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?
12
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
357 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 ...
7
votes
11answers
8k 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? ...
6
votes
2answers
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 ...
3
votes
6answers
264 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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
564 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?
-5
votes
3answers
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?
50
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
74
votes
11answers
125k 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 ...
33
votes
17answers
11k 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?
86
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
36
votes
13answers
2k 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? ...
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 ...
25
votes
13answers
4k 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 ...
13
votes
18answers
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 ...
35
votes
11answers
18k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
329 views

Falcon Circus, Chapter 0: The Decision

The Prologue Lycan pouted. I guess he was expecting his little riddle to be hard. Lichen didn't have a change in expression, although this doesn't surprise you. The red twin glared at you for another ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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....
10
votes
2answers
1k views

The three utilities puzzle

Here is a variant of the three utilities puzzle. Famously, It is impossible to solve it on a plane paper (Euler's theorem can prove that). But can you solve it on a coffee mug? ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

A rope-cutting problem

Here's another oldie from a book, slightly paraphrased to make it more quantitative. You're in a room with a ceiling exactly 100 feet high. Two thin but sturdy ropes are hanging from fixed hooks at ...
6
votes
1answer
811 views

ASCII Puzzler 1: Part 1

This is a prequel to ASCII Puzzler 2: Arrows Depicting Movement, Things, or Pointing Out Objects, ASCII Puzzler 3: The Trees, and https://puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/32439/ascii-puzzler-4-...
-4
votes
6answers
82k views

When does 1+1=3? [closed]

When does one plus one equal three?
12
votes
3answers
546 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 ...
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
votes
2answers
1k views

A man walks into a bar [closed]

He asks for a glass of water. The bartender pulls out a shotgun and points it at him. The man says, thank you and leaves. Why did he thank him?? Source
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Who has more? Ireland or Iceland?

China has three more than Chile Algeria has two more than Nigeria Ireland has _____ more than Iceland. Or other way around? How many and why? This is also a clue to the previous puzzle " ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Seeing the forest for the trees and all that jazz

No math involved here, just a bit of lateral thinking. Can you figure out what comes next? 2, 4, 8, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 7, 8, 3, 3, 6, 3, 4, 5... Bonus: How about here? 6, 3, 6, 3, 3, 5, 3, 3, 4...
8
votes
2answers
501 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Disaster in Madrid!

A couple were in a car racing madly through Madrid in the middle of the night. Suddenly the engine juddered, whirred, and died. The broken-down car rolled to a halt, leaving them stranded with nobody ...