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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12
votes
7answers
5k views

A cowboy enters and leaves town

1880, August the first, Jones is a cowboy. and he is ready to settle down and look for a house to stay in. He's been wandering Texas for quite some time now. He doesn't have much with him - only a few ...
6
votes
1answer
875 views

I take 1/5th of the following:

If I take one 5th of the following what am I doing? Sharks Tritinite Socks Bulls Fungi Canines Bridges
47
votes
2answers
7k views

Why did John buy so many batteries?

World-famous engineer John Johnson decided to take a break from his latest invention, and asked his wife if she had any chores he could do to clear his mind. She handed him a grocery list and told him ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How to pronounce this word? [closed]

After reading this question just yet, it reminded me of something my English teacher once told me. What is the proper pronunciation of the following word, and why? ghoti
4
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1answer
545 views

The Disappearance

On an unknown date, Robert Hensworth's wife, Ashley, suddenly disappeared without a trace. Her body was found long after her disappearance. The police are trying their best to investigate, but there ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Who stole the sorcerer's stone?

In a world of magicians, the sorcerer's stone was stolen. The investigating team conducted some searches, but couldn't find it. They came to the conclusion that one of the teachers of the "Magic Chess ...
12
votes
14answers
3k views

Why won't the plane start? [closed]

I enter a perfectly normal airplane at a perfectly normal airport and I sit down in a perfectly normal seat. However, so long as I am sitting in this seat, the plane will not start. I'm not in the ...
9
votes
2answers
481 views

Michel's mysterious message

The following text-message exchange took place yesterday between me and my friend Michel: M: Çorâ ârb fyk! Çî bwæ rœt nœ mæ þœśol? Ap kôx so śêm am śêmipat ø jûp? Aś wæ śadwol ap îp lakrœ am tœmb! D: ...
13
votes
1answer
869 views

Finger the digit

Officials acquired two anonymized self texts by the G Gang member known as i, and hope these will help you identify ...
8
votes
16answers
4k views

The magical water drum [closed]

You have a leak-proof drum that can hold 50 litres of water. It has a separable lid, like the one you have on barrels. On Monday, you fill the drum to the brim, the full 50 litres. Then you leave the ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

Add a letter to make this true

Add a letter to make this true. Please retain the = sign. (I consider solutions involving ≠, for example, to be trivial)
-5
votes
1answer
178 views

Read closely, or you will fail [duplicate]

Jason's mother had 4 children. Three of their names were Penny, Nickel, and Dime. What was the fourth child's name? If you need a hint, you are very lucky for one:
14
votes
2answers
724 views

Don't take everything at face value

M. Night Shyamalan's claim to fame. A rapid switch of these may prove catastrophic. You can do this at home, at the gym, and now even on a bus. The Notebook, Clueless, and Twilight are some ...
6
votes
1answer
674 views

Where is my inheritance?

Apparently, it's not a good week for relatives. My friend's grandfather just recently passed away, and now my grandfather has died too! He was quite messy, and I had to help clean out his belongings. ...
-1
votes
1answer
265 views

The football trial

A football (or soccer) team is holding trials. Unfortunately the team has only one goal available. The coach splits the ten players into two teams. There are 4 defenders. The goalkeeper will play ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Never listen to your parents

I am a rock but never roll No need to be a death toll I can fly, yet I can't swim. I am fly, but can not fly. Space can not contain me, But i'm smaller than a hedgehog. Silly, scratching your head ...
12
votes
1answer
534 views

A super smart rebus

This rebus describes exactly just how smart I am.
25
votes
2answers
2k views

A Chess Puzzle With a Twist

You enter a chess club and see pieces arranged on a board like this: Someone tells you that 2 players were playing a game (according to standard chess rules). At the end white announced a mate in 4, ...
15
votes
1answer
740 views

Japan is in India

Inspired by this question: Which country is INDIA in? Japan is in India. New Caledonia is in Lima. Greenland is in Quebec, but only during the winter. Portugal is in November in the winter too. ...
6
votes
8answers
677 views

4 Chair Constant

You are in a room with four chairs and four people. Each chair stays ten feet away from one person (one chair per person in the group) in a constant direction (i.e. North). Find a way to get each ...
113
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 ??
-1
votes
11answers
370 views

Business or Pleasure? [closed]

Tom is sitting in a hotel lobby, facing the reception desk, and observing customers checking into their rooms. He is playing a game with himself where he tries to guess whether each customer is ...
18
votes
2answers
3k views

What place is this?

The following text is a clue and will lead to a place on earth. The answer will be one word containing eight characters. Can Heaven flush its Gates as innocent Kisses, then must we all take Heed, and ...
1
vote
3answers
330 views

Alice and Bob Alphametic

Let me tell you a story about Alice and Bob. When they are together it's all fun and games, we know that. But what happens when they are not together? I'll tell you. Alice has an odd feeling. It might ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Cowboys and Bicycles

There are 4 cowboys and 53 bicycles. One of the cowboys is shot by the others. Why? The correct answer should be able to adequately explain the circumstances of the shooting. Hint 1 Hint 2 (...
5
votes
9answers
528 views

The betting man [closed]

Paul likes to bet on the football. Each morning, he places bets on which team will win the day's matches. For each bet, he will either win or lose, depending on the outcome of the match. The matches ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

A man and his dog [closed]

Whenever James takes his dog for a walk, before attaching the dog's lead, he stands by the front door and calls the dog's name towards him. He does this even if he can physically feel the dog already ...
13
votes
11answers
5k views

A strange way of buying eggs

Someone goes into a grocery store, and says he wants to buy an egg. Immediately, as if he just changed his mind, asks for 9 further eggs. The conversation can go like this: I would like an egg, ...
5
votes
1answer
311 views

A Musical Math Rebus

One day left in the fortnightly challenge so I decided to do another musical puzzle. $\frac{ 066108111111100 }{\lfloor 068097110099101 \rfloor } $ What's the song?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Which country am I thinking of?

Fill in the gaps with the answers of the rebuses, and then answer the question: Which country am I thinking of? It's → 2 ↓↲ And they will be the ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Complicated Mixture Problem

A woman has a pot that contains a mixture of sand, salt, sawdust, and iron filings in it. She needs to separate all the different parts, how does she do it?
2
votes
2answers
374 views

What is the result of the sum?

$A_1$: lateral-thinking 0H828JD1FGHODB82JOO $A_2$: computer-puzzles 01111011 $A_3$: visuallateral-thinking (Sorry if you are colorblind..) $A_4$: ...
5
votes
1answer
899 views

Not MONEY but GIFT alphametic

There is a well-known alphametic story where a poor college student sends a telegram with the words "SEND MORE MONEY" to his parents, asking for more money, and asking to fill in each letter with a ...
2
votes
1answer
602 views

My colleague who liked to puzzle, riddle, juggle

A few years back I remember a colleague whom if you had met, you would fail to forget. He was extraordinary in many different ways. In addition to never being able to meet deadlines and never turning ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Hello, I am a pretty big number. Add a line to make me many things

I am a pretty big number: Here are a few challenges for you: Add a line to make me a millennium. Add a line to make me a millennium and ten. Add a line to make me a century and one. Add a line to ...
1
vote
5answers
234 views

What areas of math are related to both $\pi$ and $\varphi$? [closed]

What areas of math are related to both $\pi$ and $\varphi$? There are at least two answers.
2
votes
11answers
934 views

What's the door code? [closed]

You're running late to your first day on the job and after arriving at the meeting location, you see the orientation group just leaving without you through a door with a keypad. Panicked, you confirm ...
4
votes
8answers
918 views

The one-way street [closed]

A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn't break the law. How is this possible?
21
votes
1answer
1k views

Romance and Higher Learning

I as sorting through my books the other day and I came across an old philosophy textbook. When I saw what was scrawled on the back, it brought back a flood of memories. It was almost the end of my ...
16
votes
5answers
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 ...
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....
4
votes
9answers
412 views

A simple Grade 8 test question [closed]

Bob has been given the following question during a test: x is a number. x is half of 2(x+1). What is x? Can you help Bob to solve this?
1
vote
1answer
215 views

My Bowl of Alphabet Soup

Here's a simple one. What happened to the alphabet? AEFHIKLMNTVWXYZUSRQPOJGDCB No hints necessary on this one.
9
votes
1answer
566 views

Another Lost Password

I'm on a roll now. I just lost my whole keychain! Please help me figure out this password ASAP. Luckily, I saved the process I used to get the password in my email. This is what I wrote: Add one ...
1
vote
7answers
640 views

How was the data stolen? [closed]

There lived a famous scientist named Professor Bob. The opposition companies were keen to steal his secret findings. So he created a robot named Jack to protect the secret data. So in the night, he ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

Musical in Nature

What is the next song in the list? Pedal To The Medal Not Inside -- Outside The Final Countdown Every Rose Has Its Thorn ......... The Puzzle Within these dots, you shall find a magical, mystical, ...
8
votes
1answer
661 views

This keeps coming back

Find the appropriate fillers for the blanks... jafe, maap, maju, ____, ____, node Hint:
4
votes
1answer
494 views

The gang's all here?

Many people have fond memories of us. A little over two years ago, said memories resurfaced when one of us died. It's a shame, because that means we'll have to deal with him again at some point, and ...
8
votes
1answer
358 views

My friend is being held somewhere in New Zealand! Please help!

My friend ran into trouble when in New Zealand. He has been captured and is being moved around the country to a series of undisclosed locations. This is the last message I received from him. ...
6
votes
2answers
600 views

I don't exist yet. Help me fix that!

At the time of this posting, I don't exist. You can help fix that, though. In fact, the author posits that if you're reading this, you've probably done something similar enough already. That doesn'...

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