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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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Alternative solutions to a Michael Rabin puzzle

I first heard the puzzle below around 1990 while working at Carnegie Mellon University; the puzzle was attributed to Michael Rabin. After solving it, I realized that alternative solutions are ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

I am obviously not a thief!

Tearing from fearing, Thumbs nervously interlocking because of the robbing, Since the cheating done in that meeting, So in the center of a dark alley I hide, Like a rudiment the heart pounds at my ...
16 votes
1 answer
881 views

Data is plural?

The three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions. Your task is to place exactly one tile per region, so that the four tiles in any one ellipse can solve the corresponding clue!
0 votes
1 answer
307 views

What was her sentence suggestion?

I'm a judge, and I'm currently judging a littering case. I was going to go with the usual sentence of a public hanging, but when I texted my friend she gave me a much better idea The problem is that I'...
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Four-cornered cow inheritance

While travelling down a road in a socialist country you meet a group of four young men and women sitting in the front porch of their house, with a lively cattle ranch adjoining. "Our father died, ...
13 votes
3 answers
765 views

Mr. Martin And The Mismanaged Airport Terminal

There is a small international airport in Greece. It has just 6 gates, lined up from 1 to 6 going away from the front desk. Tickets here only have the last names of passengers and gate numbers clearly ...
11 votes
1 answer
992 views

Compare and you'll see they're not all the same (Keep them LARGE)

Find the odd-one-out... ...
5 votes
1 answer
253 views

Simple number sequence puzzle

Complete the sequence: 8, 6, 7, 3, 6, 5, 4, 5, 5, 2, ?
0 votes
2 answers
274 views

Another Little Number riddle!

Please try your best to solve the puzzle below GOOD LUCK!! ...
6 votes
1 answer
156 views

A little number riddle

Try your best to solve the puzzle below GOOD LUCK!!! Explain why 1=0 2=0 3=0 4=0 10=0 And 7=1 8=1 9=1 But 5=2 6=2 11=2 12=2
7 votes
2 answers
458 views

Is this another affix-riddle to Really Bore You?

My ‘prefix’ is a ‘prime’ My ‘infix’ is a combination of ‘primes’ My ‘suffix’ is found between ‘primes’ My whole is often found at the origin of a very long sequence! What am I? Small hint: Moderate ...
3 votes
1 answer
282 views

The Question of the Seven Barbies

This question reminded me of this brainteaser I first saw, in an extended format, in a mystery manga from my younger days. I bought my young niece a seven-pack of Barbies for Christmas. (Okay, they ...
13 votes
2 answers
784 views

Missing A Figure

Out of all the elements of a specific set, a subset of 7 elements have a special property. Your job is to replace the question mark so that the list below becomes complete.
-1 votes
1 answer
385 views

Became out of reign

I created this puzzle today: THEPE:MON:NOTEA (US) …. … ..h The puzzle above wants you to fill in the blanks Edit: I just made it maybe a little easier to work out Hint: Big Hint: Hint
2 votes
0 answers
136 views

Time Rules - a fraud case

Agent J of Time Rules, a sub-division of the Bureau of Inter-temporal Fraud Force (BIFF) shook his head. Since 2041, when quantum computers had inadvertently created entanglement through time, rogue ...
5 votes
1 answer
173 views

Double Scramble 2: End of Year Scramble?

Following on from the Scary Sequence is another overly done scrambling. We have a sequence that is doubly scrambled (both the order and the terms themselves). Can you reverse out the sequence and re-...
8 votes
2 answers
843 views

A very presentable number sequence

(The title holds a clue) 12,22,30,36,40,42,42,40… Here is a finite sequence. Can you tell me the sum of all of its numbers?
6 votes
1 answer
241 views

Once upon a tile in Hollywood

Bon Venndredi, the three overlapping ellipses create seven disjoint regions. Each ellipse represents an as yet unknown category. Your job is to place the tiles in the regions and deduce the ...
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can One Solve This Scary Sequence?

The following terms appear in a sequence. Unfortunately, they are scrambled (both the original terms and their order). Theory, Policeman?, Contest, Clarice, Bad Act, One in Rome, Fashionable, Confess,...
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Move one matchstick to create a three-letter word

On a table, you have several matchsticks as arranged below. Your objective is to move a single matchstick to create a three-letter word. Which matchstick do you move, and how do you move it?
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Find the secret word in this encrypted image (part 2)

While walking around aimlessly and bored, you find a piece of paper on the sidewalk containing a heck of a lot of numbers. Normally someone seeing that would be like "ain't nobody got time for that" ...
0 votes
8 answers
633 views

How to sell at the buying price and still have something in hand? [closed]

A farmer walked into the cattle market and found the price is fixed at "5 for 2 coins", either buy or sell. He thought a little and then bought cattle of 250 cows for 100 coins (250/5 * 2). ...
34 votes
1 answer
1k views

A number sequence in disguise

What number should replace the question mark? Explain why. ...
7 votes
1 answer
404 views

Pantomime Ladies

Cinderella was returning home from taking Bruno on a Christmas Day walk. She passed by her lounge window on the way to her front door and decided to spy on what her ugly sisters were doing inside. ...
14 votes
1 answer
2k views

Take BOSS to a SHOW, but quickly

Start with the word BOSS Change one letter to get another word. Change another letter and you will get the SHOW (the word SHOW that is)! Can you do it that quickly? No rearranging letters.
1 vote
2 answers
322 views

Equality-breaking function

There's a function that satisfies the following: $f(2) = 1, f(2^2) = 2, f(-3^3) = 3$ $f^n(x) = 3(n-1) + f(x)$ Where $f^n$ means $f$ composed with itself $n$ times. Lastly, $f$ is not equality ...
11 votes
15 answers
4k views

Turn 1111 into zero [closed]

Draw exactly two non-touching straight lines to turn 1111 (as shown below) into zero. Note: A minus sign is one line
2 votes
1 answer
303 views

When I said I used sugar in coffee, I was asked, "For tea, too?"

My road is filled with answers, and my body has the hints, but it is in my head where the question sits. My shoes are brand new, hence their tags. Can you end my walk down this road with an answer-...
1 vote
5 answers
566 views

A question from Bob to Bob

Set-up: John and Bob are playing a game that goes like this: Bob is alone in a completely opaque, featureless room. Bob chooses a question, though some types of questions are off-limits, which will ...
7 votes
5 answers
2k views

Move a coin without touching it

There are three coins lying flat on a table, arranged in a straight line with their edges touching. Call the coins A, B, and C (B is in the middle). Here are the rules: You can touch and move only ...
5 votes
1 answer
477 views

Am odd expression?

As any mathematician will tell you there are many expressions involving X. X can mark the spot. XX is male. XXX is naughty. XXXX is naughtier still. But how can XXXXX be M?
2 votes
2 answers
348 views

Someone is going to get fired for this!

A fire has erupted in at a house. When the fire department arrives three people, Riley, Billy, and Bob, are all trapped inside the house. Riley is conscious and able to call out of a window for help,...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Find the secret phrase in this encrypted image (part 3)

Welcome to part 3 of Quark's quest to make an image puzzle that isn't solved in under an hour. Like the last one, this will be much more difficult than the last. In the below encrypted message, there ...
1 vote
1 answer
51k views

What is it that comes once in a year, twice in a month, three times in a week and four times in a day?

What is it that comes- Once in a year Twice in a month Three times in a week Four times in a day?
20 votes
2 answers
1k views

A symmetrical number sequence

What 5-letter word does this sequence represent? ...
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Two penguins canoeing through the desert

Here's a simple riddle I remembered from a long time ago: On a trip to the Sahara desert, you spot two penguins canoeing through the sand. You hear the first penguin ask, "Where's your paddle?&...
8 votes
1 answer
402 views

Two out of three

What is hidden below? The answer speaks for itself. ndetarotraorinenceameyatudowwladuouniteaseiphyorouoo back, time, drink, drink, time, sprint, ...
4 votes
1 answer
396 views

To be reminded of the old days

I recently was in a hotel in a small community somewhere near a capital of a certain country (I don't want to say exactly where, I'll let you figure that out on your own) which I was very fond of (had ...
-3 votes
6 answers
421 views

The King's Assassination [closed]

Somewhere far, far away, in the Kingdom of Puzzling, disaster has struck: the king's been assassinated! Here's the crime scene report: The king was discovered dead in his royal bathroom with a single ...
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Putting stones into bags

Given 2 bags and 5 stones, how would you place the stones into the bags so that the following three conditions are met: Both bags contain an odd number of stones. Every stone is inside a bag. The bags ...
2 votes
1 answer
299 views

An alternate answer

Really rare report! Today, Todd texted this: ♦☼ ↓☼§ ♂♫☼↨ ¶◘♣ ☺♫‼○↨♣↕ ♠☼↕ ◄§♣‼¶♥○☼♫ ‼○↑ ☼♫ ¶◘♣ ♪☺¶◘ ◘☼♪♣↨☼♣↕♂? ○ ♥☺♫'¶ ♠○•§↕♣ ○¶ ☼§¶. Although, having solved it, I decided it's too easy and decided ...
12 votes
1 answer
507 views

A picture of a line

Four Harvard students Bates, Denise, Dennis and Sacha had someone take a picture of them with all of them holding a specific drink in their hands. All four of them were also wearing the same type of ...
13 votes
4 answers
871 views

Who destroyed my grandmother's pillow?

The Victim: My favorite pillow. A gift from my grandmother, embroidered with my initials. Ripped open, torn to pieces, soft innards spilled everywhere. The Suspects: Clifford the puppy, Caleb the ...
18 votes
3 answers
1k views

Sums in a (very small) box

This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #14: Think inside the (very small) box!. Place the digits 1 to 9 in the box below in such a way that in each row, each column and each diagonal, one ...
9 votes
2 answers
735 views

A fantastic puzzle

Explain why the string of letters below is equal to -1 somehow. ...
2 votes
2 answers
622 views

Connect dots on a grid with one continuous line

Rules: Line must be straight. Line must be continuous. Line must not intersect itself. Line is allowed to take 45 degree turns to itself, for example: The dots:
6 votes
3 answers
394 views

Zodiac Signs at the Table

"And we find ourselves at another one of Ophiuchus' little themed puzzle dinners," you say while glancing at the other seven people. "I really like its puzzle dinners, honestly," ...
3 votes
1 answer
277 views

We name everything

Hint: We name everything. And then I mean everything. E V E R Y T H I N G. Hard to sum it all up. Well, have a go at it: 13/59-21/18 11/36/15/19(2)/14 12/1/19/37 17/17(2)/53/36(2)/31/43 32/...
27 votes
1 answer
957 views

"Missing letters (?)", a Nazo-like

This was an attempt at making a Nazo-type puzzle. Nazo puzzles are lateral thinking puzzles, centered around a single neat observation/realisation, as a way to let you find that interesting ...
-1 votes
2 answers
194 views

Adventures of the riddle (solve the riddle)

In sports and games, I'm in the play, Bouncing and spinning, throughout the day. From basketball to tennis, I'm found, A familiar sight, rolling around. In nature's realm, I bring delight, A fruit so ...

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