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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22 votes
1 answer
666 views

Connecting Wall with a New Gimmick

This is a connecting wall puzzle containing a gimmick that I am not aware of in PSE (or indeed anywhere else). If I learn otherwise then I would still be happy to claim “I did it better” 😊 Divide ...
5 votes
1 answer
121 views

Happy Venndredi! A Nicer Team Diet?

Bonjour The overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions. Your task is to place the seven tiles so that there is exactly one tile in each region and the four tiles in any ellipse can be re-arranged ...
6 votes
2 answers
821 views

State of the Union?

Good evening all! Further advenntures in wordplay. Same rules as ever - the three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions. Place one tile in each region, so that the tiles in any ellipse can be ...
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

You will meet someone, and he will throw your father in a deep fryer

You are going to meet someone special. You'll love him, I swear. But there are some things you need to know about him first. If he says you're going to be liberated, bring a jacket. He always has a ...
2 votes
1 answer
186 views

Enclosed yet another sequence

There are so many sequences here already, I cannot guarantee that this is new. At least, I haven't found anything like this yet. But I can assure you that you will not find the sequence on OEIS. $$ 0, ...
0 votes
0 answers
247 views

What's the answer?

(Created Myself!) Layer 1: (Solve for number, addition, 2 digits, E12 series) At the trains station, there are brown stairs, green moss growing all around, and black railings. Further on, a sea of ...
19 votes
16 answers
6k views

You're invited! Now what?

(semi-interactive puzzle) BRIIING! BRIIING! BRIIING! You wake up with a start. It's 6:30... already!? Darn. You roll slowly out of bed, preparing for the day ...
6 votes
2 answers
521 views

The weird cipher password

During your search for the 'great hidden computer virus', you realized that you were just a password from accessing it. Frantically, you searched for a clue that might help you. At last you finally ...
18 votes
6 answers
2k views

Important days in history... and to come!

The other day I decided I wanted to come up with another simple puzzle before releasing another toughy on puzzling.SE. I came across an interesting series of dates that I wanted to share and see if ...
5 votes
1 answer
847 views

How did she do that?

The King wants to test his 2 very smart advisors Sadin and Lena. In the courtyard he sets up 4 closed wooden boxes on a table. All are the exact same size. In front of each box there is a name plate. ...
13 votes
1 answer
968 views

Six of one maybe?

As usual from me a Venn-based challenge. The three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions. There are seven tiles. Place one tile in each region so that the tiles in any one ellipse can be re-...
1 vote
1 answer
266 views

A take on custom ciphers

There is something hidden in the text below. Can you find out what it is? Note: no computers or tedious work required. ...
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 ...
8 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 ...
10 votes
1 answer
490 views

Confusing Statement

The three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions. There are seven tiles. Place one tile in each region so that the tiles in any one ellipse can be re-arranged to solve the corresponding clue.
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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
878 views

Which image should replace the question mark?

The answer to this puzzle is an image. Could you figure it out? Hints: Hint 1: Hint 2: Hint 3: Hint 4:
1 vote
1 answer
205 views

Gratitude Denied [closed]

In a small kingdom, there once was a evil king. A dashing prince showed up one day… and immediately died to puzzles. Even more princes showed up, and it was practically a XP farm for the evil king. ...
1 vote
3 answers
559 views

"Sphere ---> Circle, Ball---> ?"

I am struggling with a puzzle in Swedish. I will translate it to English: Sphere ---> Circle, Ball--->? a) Sphere b) Ring c) Circle d) ? The answer provided is "It is hottest that Ring ...
5 votes
1 answer
362 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 could be ...
42 votes
1 answer
3k views

French vs Italian resistance

I have computed that the French resistance is roughly 17% larger than the Italian one. Do you know how I did it?
3 votes
1 answer
207 views

The apps playground

LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Stackoverflow, Wechat, Telegram, LaTeX, Overleaf, Snapchat, Netflix, WhatsApp, Formula 1, Pinterest, GitHub, YouTube, [...] are all playing checkers. Instagram ...
1 vote
0 answers
285 views

Find how this finite sequence completes

7 14 31 51 70 81 104 107 129 149 155 175 192 215 238 259 279 299 301 301 314 328 350 372 Inspired by the discussion with the author of, and the clues to its solution are in that discussion: What ...
5 votes
5 answers
5k views

Find the next image in this abstract reasoning puzzle

I have been looking for patterns for a while now, but could not find one. I found some rules: The middle column always points the same direction. The first two in the first row are always ...
8 votes
1 answer
514 views

Next word in this progression

Given this ordered set of six words: Adapt, Abbreviate, Cacao, Forbidding, Queue, Daffodil You must discover the logical progression they follow and choose the word that should go next. Options are: ...
92 votes
25 answers
25k views

How do you prove that mirrors aren't parallel universes?

Migrated from WorldBuilding SE $:)$ "Each mirror is a world of it's own," Joe explains. "Joe, that's bulls***! Mirrors are just mirrors!" Rita proclaims. Joe proceeds to lay out the following~ $10~...
9 votes
1 answer
632 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 ...
11 votes
3 answers
727 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 good. ...
8 votes
0 answers
612 views

Connect The Wall-Words:

We have a group of 16 words here: ACIDITY TIME MICROSCOPE MARKS LIGHT SCALE CHEMISTRY CLAW REAL LEAD INTEREST BIOLOGY DUCK RADICAL ACADEMY LEAF Goal: Group these $16$ words into $4$ groups, each ...
7 votes
2 answers
180 views

Makes Switch - Literally!

Happy Venndredi everyone! The three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions - your task is to place one tile in each region so that the tiles in any one ellipse can be re-arranged into an eight-...
3 votes
3 answers
962 views

Put a number on both sides [closed]

Make the following equation correct by putting an exact same number on both sides of the equation. The final equation must be an "equal to" equation only. No "less than or greater than&...
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
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Not Bruce Wayne! Carry On!

Another advennture! The three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions - your task is to place one tile in each region so that the tiles in any one ellipse can be re-arranged into an eight-...
12 votes
1 answer
391 views

A rather odd number sequence!

Can you find the next number in this baffling sequence? 925, 955, 1040, 1140, 1255, 225, 410, ?
3 votes
2 answers
430 views

Move Two Lines to make the equation correct

Move 2 lines (one short and the other long) from one side (either) to the other side of the = sign to make the equation correct. Cannot use "not equal to" sign. You must move 2 lines as ...
7 votes
2 answers
464 views

Find the pattern and fill in the question mark

Hint: Hint 2 (added later): Hint 3 (added later): Hint 4 (added later):
12 votes
2 answers
835 views

Find My Mission For Me

Addendum 1/14/2023: I've given a new, major hint in an answer. I am a spy for the CIA. Since I am in a hostile territory, my next mission was given to me in a very coded manner. Today, while playing ...
8 votes
1 answer
380 views

The broken crosswalk timer

This is something that actually happened to me. In my city we have countdown timers on our crosswalk lights that let you know how many seconds you have to finish crossing the road, like this (source: ...
49 votes
14 answers
11k views

Almost half a million, yet smaller than a hundred [closed]

Consider, for example, the number 420109. It's quite big, isn't it? Not so far from half a million. Yet it can be interpreted to be smaller than a hundred with a very simple trick, without putting any ...
8 votes
2 answers
784 views

Terminator? Nah

Resonate me to leave me whole. Tamper with me to leave me good. Gather me to leave me alone. Trim me to leave me empty. What would happen if you retrieve me? Subtle Hint: Moderate Hint: Decisive ...
4 votes
1 answer
188 views

Mon Dieu! It's civil (servant) war!

The three overlapping ellipses form seven curved regions - place one tile in each region so that the tiles in any one ellipse can be re-arranged into an eight-letter solution to the corresponding clue!...
17 votes
1 answer
1k views

The Dispute at the Milky Way Restaurant

Fifteen related guests visited a restaurant and got into an argument about who was the greatest among them. To settle the dispute, they asked the owner to decide. He thought for a moment, then said “...
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

No Christmas presents until you solve this!

This morning I received an email from Santa Claus himself. He wanted to tell someone about the problems he’s facing and chose me. When I read about his problems I was worried because I like my ...
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Case of Punctured Tyre

A man drove his Innova car all the way from Shimla to Delhi only to discover at the end of the trip that he had a punctured tyre from the very start. Yet his Innova car was not at all affected by it. ...
5 votes
1 answer
634 views

Just a regular multiplication

What's the two-word phrase I'm looking for? tr x 4 = T re x 6 = C tr x 8 = O pe x 12 = D tr x 20 = I
5 votes
1 answer
210 views

Which Goes Where? Hint: Old Kid?

Usual folks! Each ellipse corresponds to an as-yet-unknown category - two tiles are placed for you - and each remaining tile belongs to at least one category - so the question remains - which goes ...
4 votes
9 answers
2k views

The London safes and their mysterious combinations

Here's the first riddle I invented for Puzzling SE. Hope you'll enjoy solving it. This story takes place during World War II. A German spy is assigned the task to sneak overnight into a military base ...
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
351 views

German number sequence

Classical format, here is a sequence of numbers, you need to find out how it continues: 5, 4, 14, 8, 0, 4, 2, 2, 2, 0, -3, -1, -2, -3, -7, -7, -6 This puzzle should also have the tag 'Germany' ...
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Only these six belong but which, where and why?

The two ellipses represent as-yet-unknown categories and of all the countries only the six shown belong to at least one of the categories. One is placed for you and for the remainder which belong ...

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