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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4
votes
1answer
211 views

Murder on the Fairway

A body has been found at the Green Estates Fairway. Next to the body was a bloody golf club which was later confirmed by the medical examiner to be the murder weapon. Thankfully, only ten men ...
4
votes
0answers
103 views

One code to rule them all

Kurt, our crusty old mainframe admin, finally retired last week and I've been given the task of sorting through his files. Most of the files were comprehensible, if not understandable, like his old ~/....
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?
4
votes
2answers
313 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:...
10
votes
1answer
497 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
168 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\...
6
votes
10answers
383 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
190 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
304 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
120 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
197 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
231 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
626 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
317 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?
5
votes
1answer
181 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
212 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?
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 ...
12
votes
3answers
616 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 > ...
1
vote
4answers
269 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
467 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 ...
-4
votes
4answers
272 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
848 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. ...
11
votes
2answers
893 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
378 views

A short puzzle especially for social isolation time

Solve the following analogy. ":" means "is to" and "::" means "as". Text only:
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‴  :: ?
3
votes
0answers
255 views

The answer to this visual puzzle is a name

The answer to this visual puzzle is a name
6
votes
1answer
178 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
6
votes
1answer
332 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 ...
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
338 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
5
votes
1answer
160 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
571 views

No trap in this one

This visual puzzle resolves to a number. HINT Hint2 Hint3 Hint4 Hint5
6
votes
1answer
84 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
5
votes
1answer
397 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 ...
17
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:
10
votes
3answers
464 views

Ten squares inside a rectangle

You are given 10 squares with side length of 1 to 10 units each. You want to put them in a rectangle such that there is no overlapping and no piece of a square is outside the rectange. The sides of ...
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
163 views

A sensitive lent

The number of days from the first day of Lent to the last day, inclusive, may be best described by: a) XL b) Xl + VI
12
votes
3answers
335 views

Equal distribution of coins to pirates

Ten pirates are sitting around a table. Each of them has an even number of coins. At order of the captain, each pirate passes half of his coins to the neighbor to the right. After that round, each ...
8
votes
2answers
365 views

Divisibility when dropping digits

A positive integer has all digits different and none of the digits is 0. If any digit d is dropped from this number, the new number is divisible by d. Find the greatest number with this property. ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

A chess board with numbers

A 8x8 chess board is marked with the numbers from 1 to 64 sequentially from left to right, row by row and top to bottom. Now a minus sign is added to 32 of those numbers such that in each row and in ...
24
votes
1answer
949 views

Using burning ropes as timer - how to measure 1 hour and 8 minutes with 3 ropes?

This is a variation of a well known puzzle, you can find the other versions on PSE. You have three ropes and a box with ten matches. As usual each rope takes one hour to burn completely when lighted ...
5
votes
1answer
273 views

What's the word this cryptic message refers to?

Constantly move more than 1850 needles to renew your life!
1
vote
0answers
101 views

My friend got poisoned but I didn't [duplicate]

Last night I went to a bar with my roommate. We ordered the same drink (Campari spritz of course) and I quickly begin to drink mine. My friend is much slower than me: when I finished my drink they had ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What was this unstoppable vehicle?

I've made a small edit to this puzzle to try to make it slightly more difficult; see the edit history for the original version. The other day, I was taking a driving lesson. My instructor was sitting ...
4
votes
1answer
388 views

Calculators are bad at Arithmetic

Consider the following fraction: 17/30 Punch this into a calculator and you'll get the following answer: 0.566666666666666666666666666667 However, I disagree. I say the answer is most ...
14
votes
3answers
841 views

Returning with solution in hand

My beginning, as you may see, has a unit of account. That it does take first parts for me is clearly paramount. My middle, for writing refined, is a symbol for its correction. If you look, then you ...

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