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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53
votes
4answers
33k 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
3answers
629 views

A Forked Path in the Forest [closed]

You, a young adventurer, are travelling through the forest. Suddenly, your path splits in 2. You have no map or compass - well, you do but your compass is broken. You know you have to keep travelling ...
4
votes
3answers
781 views

Hey. Don't tap on the glass [closed]

A man works at an aquarium. Every day, he has to spend way too much time telling people to stop tapping on the glass at the shark tank. Finally, he gets fed up with it and comes up with a solution. ...
119
votes
8answers
20k views

The Sheikh dies

The Sheikh dies, leaving behind three sons, 17 camels and the following order: His oldest son shall inherit one in two camels. His middle son shall inherit one in three camels. His youngest son shall ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

100 Marbles Puzzle

Here's a puzzle I heard some time ago, but I never heard the asker's solution. It took me ages to think up a satisfactory solution, but I'm wondering if there are any others you can think of? 100 ...
-4
votes
1answer
697 views

What's the problem in the following paragraph?

Brian wrote: Hi, my name is Brian. I love to play video games, and write stories. Nobody is better than me at it! The only problem is I'm running out of story ideas. Can you help me? Pitch some ...
-5
votes
2answers
382 views

The Blown Lightbulbs [duplicate]

Sitting on the table are 3 light bulbs. 1 of them just blown, 1 of them has been blown for ages, and the other works fine. You don't which is which, but you're allowed to test (turn on) 1 bulb . How ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

A sequence named by a children's toy [duplicate]

Here's a part of the sequence: (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) 1113122113 311311222113 ... The letters are the missing members (there are 5 missing members) and A is the ...
4
votes
1answer
751 views

The Secret Passcode

A top secret facility is guarded by 1 man, this man will kill anyone with the wrong, or without a, passcode. There are 5 spies. They have determined the code is one of the following; Orange Apple ...
-6
votes
2answers
631 views

The Long Bus Ride [closed]

I expect multiple answers to this, however only 1 of them is correct. A bus was scheduled to stop 10 times today. Each time, 7 people got on the bus and 5 got off. At the last stop, how many people ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

The Tricky Tunnels!

The king had a mutant rat problem in his kingdom, so he ordered 3 young men to go down under the depth of the ground to find the cause. The 3 young men jumped down the hole, and followed the tunnel. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Elevator puzzle [closed]

A guy lives in the 10th floor of an apartment building. On a normal day he goes to the 5th floor with the elevator and then climbs the remaining 5 floors. On a rainy day he goes to the 10th floor ...
1
vote
2answers
776 views

Who? What Color? Rank? Number? in a running match

There is a running match, but there isn't anyone to judge; we have only information that the audience gave us (but we know their info is true). We the have name, rank, T-shirt color, and T-shirt ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Miss Danner and the Elmer Boys

Miss Danner, a primary school teacher, is on her way to school - it's the first day of school this year. In class, she sees two identically looking boys sitting in the first row. Aw, twins, so cute!...
1
vote
1answer
641 views

3 Switches identification [duplicate]

Picture this. You are in a hallway of a very large office building. Near you are 50 light switches of which 3 are unlabled. These lightswitches are connected to 3 lights in 3 separate rooms. The ...
6
votes
1answer
784 views

What's the more general case of this puzzler?

There is a puzzle which I remember from many years ago which can be summarised as It is easy to arrange 20 items in five rows of four items, but how could you arrange just 10 items in five rows of ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

To be a bookworm

I have a complete set of encyclopaedias on my bookshelf, beautifully bound and neatly arranged with volume 1 on the left and volume 32 on the right. They were a talking point when I bought them 30-odd ...
52
votes
3answers
195k views

What is the number of the parking spot?

One needs to find the number under the car.
31
votes
3answers
6k views

Doctor's Dilemma

I found the following puzzle by Martin Gardner in an archived copy of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. I've heard it before, but in a more vulgar setting, involving condoms instead of gloves. ...
6
votes
2answers
954 views

Lighthouse keeper stuck the bath [closed]

A lighthouse keeper decides to take a bath an hour before the next lighthouse keeper comes to relieve him of his shift. This lighthouse keeper is having a bad day. First he accidentally locks ...
27
votes
3answers
4k views

Differentiate between the numbers from 1 to 5 with one single yes/no question

This question requires a bit of logical distortion to get the information required to answer the question. However, I've never seen it asked before what would happen if more modes of question ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

A rope-cutting problem

Here's another oldie from a book, slightly paraphrased to make it more quantitative. You're in a room with a ceiling exactly 100 feet high. Two thin but sturdy ropes are hanging from fixed hooks at ...
40
votes
4answers
4k views

Which switch goes to which bulb?

You are in a room with three switches, labeled $A$, $B$, and $C$. Initially, each switch is in an off state. In an adjoining room, there are three incandescent light bulbs. Your task is to ...