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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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
708 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
615 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 > ...
25
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
232 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
304 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
367 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 ...
17
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
485 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
161 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
189 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
303 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
118 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
191 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
226 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
622 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
313 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?
7
votes
2answers
420 views

West face East face

The 1 x 1 x 2 die with new configuration was created from 2 dice (with opposite faces totalling 7) that were glued together on one of their faces. If this long die is rolled twice, the sum of non-...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

Predicting the future?

I was browsing my email one morning when I got this curious email: Date: February 17, 2020 Subject: Want to see the future? Hello, I am a clairvoyant who can predict the future. I have ...
-7
votes
1answer
210 views

What is the difference between a bird?

Attention here one should not play on words, the question is to understand literally, and there is of course at least one answer. What is the difference between a bird?
63
votes
4answers
49k 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

Five minutes puzzle: Multiway switches

Here's an easy puzzle that should take you only five minutes to solve, inspired by my hallway. Most intuitive answer get the mark: Six switches control the same light bulb in a multiway switching ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

The Magic LeaderBoard

Every Saturday at Netopia's Square, a peninsula at the tip of southwest Netopia, there is a leaderboard kept of Netopia's Square's six local resident wizards. (in no particular order) They are ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Check my drawing skills!

I was never too good at drawing, but... if this is the case, there is a word associated with this bmp image. Find out which one. Hint 1: Hint 2: Hint 3: Hint 4: Hint 5: Hint 6:
1
vote
4answers
266 views

It looks similar, but not the same

The puzzle: The solution is a single number, which replaces the question mark. Good luck!
7
votes
2answers
466 views

The Russian machine has a flaw

The year is 1969. You, Robert James Fischer, are invited in a secret Russian basement to 'play a chess game against a strong opponent'. When you finally meet your opponent, a Russian bald guy who is ...
7
votes
0answers
468 views

Zed's Phone: Failure to Communicate

My friend Beto and I constantly buy things for one another. One day, he gave me a strange-looking phone and said it was my birthday gift (My birthday wouldn't be until 3 more months). He said he ...
6
votes
1answer
330 views

Help Kevin come out of this mysterious world!

Kevin is stuck in a mysterious world. Your task is to help him find the correct route to get back to Earth. He finds the following pieces of paper on the ground. Kevin collects these ...
15
votes
3answers
845 views

Four fanatics and one checkerboard

Four checkers-playing fanatics eagerly pair up for two simultaneous games of checkers but somehow find themselves with just one board. They do have enough checkers for two games, so it is time to act. ...
-4
votes
4answers
271 views

Loophole in anti-sex laws

There is only one country on Earth, Oceania. It's a totalitarian society ruled by a person with title "the Greatest Of Dictators" (G.O.D. for short). There are videocameras everywhere, citizens of ...
4
votes
0answers
228 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‴  :: ?
11
votes
2answers
890 views

Numbers in the series: The British way

What are the next two numbers in series? Six hundred and forty Five thousand Eight thousand ? ? What are the next two numbers? Is this a trick question? Note: I am using ...
9
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 ...
-6
votes
2answers
522 views

The 100 Point Maze

How do you score 100 points without using the same route twice?
2
votes
1answer
377 views

A short puzzle especially for social isolation time

Solve the following analogy. ":" means "is to" and "::" means "as". Text only:
4
votes
0answers
408 views

Zed's E-mail: My Good Ol' Uncle Sugar

My friend Gabby and I constantly look out for each other. Just the other day, she received a strange message from what I thought was an uncle of hers. "Problem is," she started with a worried look, "I ...
-2
votes
1answer
336 views

You don't know what this means

What name is missing from the second place in the following line? Rembrandt ? Heinrich Replace the question mark. Hint 2
11
votes
0answers
474 views

No trap in this one

This visual puzzle resolves to a number. HINT Hint2 Hint3
6
votes
1answer
177 views

Two related number sequences; 20,12,14,8,7 and 4,1,5,9,11

Can you predict the next numbers in these two sequences, which are strongly related to each other. 20,12,14,8,7 and 4,1,5,9,11 these number sequences do not appear in oeis.org
3
votes
0answers
251 views

The answer to this visual puzzle is a name

The answer to this visual puzzle is a name
5
votes
1answer
305 views

The Weird cipher password?

During your search to the ' great hidden computer virus ' , you realized that you are just a password from accessing it. Frantically , you searched for a clue that might help you . At last you ...
13
votes
5answers
369 views

I'm not a Tesla

Here goes: I won't say Yes 6 months from now Cast your net, as soon possible To Kevin Spacey: Who won the sequel? Play me once but skip the major I'm not a Tesla. What am I? Note that the ...
5
votes
1answer
392 views

A unique rebus+

I'd call this a rebus+ (complexity, visual components, lateral thinking). The answer is a letter. Short story of the problem: I was happy, I felt I finally invented something solvable, easy, and ...
134
votes
8answers
35k 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?
-4
votes
4answers
825 views

An interesting mathematical question

If a gas station is 1 mile away from my house and the average person walks 5mph. Its a sunny day and no wind. Why does it take my dad 15 years to come back from the gas station?
5
votes
1answer
159 views

A Balanced Breakfast

An European mathematician likes to have a balanced breakfast every day. It always includes whole milk and exactly one ingredient out of the list below: Butter Cheese Yoghurt What is the ...
5
votes
1answer
82 views

Find the two numbers not fitting the sequence

This sequence is complete (cannot be extended in any direction), however, two numbers don't fit. Which two? 15 68 53 8 66 6 73 5 57
0
votes
2answers
717 views

Who was the murderer? 550971051

The florist has just been murdered, and you, a freelance detective called on to the case by the police, arrive at the crime scene. Three suspects are present in the flower shop: the florist's ...
9
votes
3answers
271 views

Seventh System Shattered

By Jove! I just dropped my seventh calculator, and now it's telling me that a circle with an area of nothing has radius 3. You know that: The calculator calculates perfectly well The calculator's ...

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