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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11 votes
0 answers
524 views

Found the key, but what to unlock?

Here's a series of text messages between me and my friend. Me: Couldn't use ebg13, so used ______ to hide my messages. Him: What? How is this possible??? Me: A big prime ______, what else did you ...
  • 327
2 votes
1 answer
177 views

The fix is in : Any guesses?

My prefix is in the infix My infix is in the suffix My suffix is in the prefix 3 and 3 totally six What's the word?
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0 votes
1 answer
279 views

NO. DIFFICULTY. PUZZLE

Up here is down on the ________ side. The article used in this sentence. What is this again? The verb used above The second answer is here too. Open my lock with a ___. Where is the key?
  • 327
3 votes
1 answer
207 views

Curved brick wall

Below is a fully functioning curved brick wall. Amazingly it uses fewer bricks than a functioning straight brick wall of comparable length. How is this possible?
-2 votes
3 answers
149 views

How to become a millionaire by selling coconuts? [closed]

A woman is buying many coconuts for 5\$ a dozen. Afterwards, she is selling the coconuts for 3\$ a dozen. After this transaction, the woman has become a millionaire! How could that happen? Hint: ...
3 votes
1 answer
328 views

Sorry, I'm new. to this SE

spoil the unlukcy number for this text fbeel, V'z arj fb gvuf jvyy or fchre rm. 3 > 4 and 4 > 3 ^\w|[A-Z]|[^w](?=i) is the whole clue minus a letter. Find it ...
  • 327
-4 votes
3 answers
200 views

Coin in a jar trick

A jar with a single key inside has its lid closed shut. How can you get the key out? The jar is glued to the table, and the lid is stuck as well. Your solution should be quick (a minute max).
1 vote
1 answer
131 views

Some pocket challenges

A "pocket challenge" is a short puzzle where you don't need any complicated process nor writing material and, some times, not even a great knowledge. That's what I like to call them... Here ...
  • 2,253
8 votes
1 answer
279 views

A Simple Subtraction, Three Answers

Think laterally and you will get three answers to a simple question. The question is: What do you get if you minus Ten from Forty Nine? The answers are 39 41 59 How? Please explain. No partial ...
  • 38.9k
3 votes
3 answers
353 views

Spiritual chemistry take two

When the three meet there’s a Ghost. When one departs and another gains weight God remains. What elementary abbreviations do I speak of? I am looking for an exact answer - no spare letters. A hint ...
  • 448
1 vote
1 answer
197 views

Spiritual chemistry spell

What three abbreviations can be used to spell Ghost and God? This is meant to be elementary but there is a twist.
  • 448
9 votes
7 answers
2k views

Matchstick rearrangement: Zero to Hero

Below is an expression that has a value of 0. How can you move only three matchsticks for the resulting value to be 49?
33 votes
2 answers
1k views

Scoring a grid​

As a professor of Awesomeness at the prestigious Ad Hoc University (other questions in this series), I decided to assign my students this puzzle. Unfortunately, they were all unable to get it! I want ...
2 votes
3 answers
265 views

Silent Chinese Whispers

There is an advanced course for experienced lip-readers who want to become intructors. If they qualify, they will teach lip-reading classes themselves. All the participants in this course-for-...
5 votes
2 answers
977 views

Move just one match

Make a correct equation by just moving one matchstick! This is the source. Spoiler--source reveals answer.
8 votes
1 answer
497 views

Anagram puzzles

5 independent problems in a "self-help arrangement" (which helps you figure out, what the task is, without presenting an example) not left + up = honest tear + boy = jail five + I = kiln ...
  • 1,681
6 votes
1 answer
596 views

Where is the pilot flying to?

Barry is a pilot for the mafia. Due to his unique cargo, his employers have to give him his destination in code. Everywhere he has flown, from Edmonton to Frankfurt to Atlanta has had an international ...
10 votes
1 answer
356 views

Old Bob is ill : Said Grandpa

“Darn good computer, this new one I just got. So you can have my old one”, said Grandpa to my sister. I was impressed, but a bit cynical. “What’s the catch?” Grandpa smiled. “Just guess the 4 letter ...
  • 38.9k
-1 votes
1 answer
261 views

Burger Riddle, Can you solve it? [duplicate]

There once were 2 mothers and 2 daughters. One day they went to eat burgers. Each woman ate only one WHOLE burger. Yet only 3 burgers are eaten! Perplexed? Unravel this mind-boggling riddle!
  • 69
28 votes
4 answers
6k views

Short but impossible math problem

Given these four equations/inequalities: 1x=2 2x=4 3x=3 4x>8 What is x?
  • 407
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

Math-stick problem [closed]

Here are 6 matchsticks. You should rearrange them, to make nothing But you should not waste or get other matchsticks
  • 1,149
2 votes
1 answer
272 views

John is trying to solve this problem for his son . Can you identify the problem?

It is really easy I believe. The answer is wherever you look Kinda my first attempt. Be kind and thanks for a great community
14 votes
1 answer
453 views

Fun with ^#**#!@ flags

(h/t to @sarsaparilla and that user's Fun with Flags series of puzzles earlier this year) "Hi Pat." "Hey, did you get my note about our next trip?" "If by 'note', you mean '...
  • 25.3k
8 votes
1 answer
258 views

My friend's scrapbook

I was visiting with my friend Susie the other day when we got talking about our travels. As we discussed favorite cities we had been to, she suddenly got up and went to grab a dusty scrapbook from the ...
  • 1,927
17 votes
1 answer
780 views

A phone call with my travel agent

"Hi Pat, I just got the itinerary you sent over. Are you actually drinking at work?" "Nolo contendre. But what's the problem?" "It doesn't make any sense. I mean, one of the ...
  • 25.3k
15 votes
3 answers
427 views

A Connect Fano Plane

The Fano plane is the smallest example of a finite projective plane, with 7 points and 7 lines, which has the property that every pair of points lie together on a unique line, and every pair of lines ...
  • 25.3k
8 votes
1 answer
262 views

Obfuscated characters

Hidden in These Numbers, letters, and symbols YOu will find something quite Particular. To solVE: please stAte the name foR Code LIke this ...
  • 2,414
24 votes
21 answers
3k views

When you take away two

I am an odd number. When you take away two, I become even. What am I? Edit: @hexomino got my original answer but I have come up with another valid answer. Edit 2: @QuantumTwinkie got my other ...
  • 10.3k
12 votes
1 answer
616 views

A Puzzle in The Two Towers

Our local used book store is going out of business, and I ran in to pick up another copy of Lord of the Rings. When I picked up a likely copy, a scrap of paper fell out of The Two Towers...I've done ...
  • 25.3k
6 votes
1 answer
311 views

Make this equation correct

Using your creativity, conversion skills and adding one letter (anywhere) to both sides, make the following equation correct. Same letter must be added to both sides. V I E N T = D Hint Check the ...
  • 38.9k
6 votes
2 answers
829 views

Exam statistics

250 teenagers gather for an exam. Peeking at the roll, a math-inclined among them note that if they are split into 10 groups of 25 per alphabetical order, then in each group, there are two with the ...
  • 383
8 votes
2 answers
226 views

A Puzzling Family

Ben is brother to Pat; Daisy is sister to Tori; Gail has two big brothers: Carl and Kyle, who look very similar. They all stay close to town, don't like to venture out. But then there's the other ...
  • 364
-4 votes
2 answers
176 views

Sometimes to find an answer to a short question you have to travel far. Sometimes not [closed]

This one's simple: When and where is con the opposite of sin?
  • 2,343
-12 votes
2 answers
231 views

Mathlandia Cake Cutting (very short riddle) [closed]

In Mathlandia, everything is divided perfectly. A cake has just been cut into 9 pieces, so every piece has 0.111 of the cake, right? Jeff the cake cutter confirms this is so. But $1 - 9 \cdot 0.111 = ...
  • 2,130
25 votes
1 answer
935 views

An Evolutionary Experiment

Dr. Farnsworth entered class today and announced that we were going to conduct an experiment to see if we could force cells to evolve to communicate with us. The experiment is as follows: we are given ...
  • 25.3k
11 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's next? Think laterally

What is next in this sequence? V I V I I I V I I I I I V V I I V I V I I I I V ? Answer is one of the following three options A: I I I V I V I I V B: I I I V I I I I I I V C: V I I I V Hint Not a ...
  • 38.9k
5 votes
1 answer
402 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 ...
13 votes
2 answers
634 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 ~/....
  • 25.3k
32 votes
4 answers
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?
  • 437
4 votes
2 answers
370 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: ...
  • 5,881
10 votes
1 answer
576 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 ...
  • 5,542
9 votes
1 answer
327 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
6 answers
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 ...
  • 3,642
5 votes
5 answers
242 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\...
  • 5,881
5 votes
10 answers
635 views

Matchsticks 9 + 9 = 8 [closed]

You are given the wrong equation (made out of matchsticks) 9 + 9 = 8 and you can move at most 3 matches. Your aim is to find all possible correct equations. Selected answer will be one that discovers ...
  • 5,881
4 votes
1 answer
253 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 ...
  • 5,881
9 votes
1 answer
412 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.
  • 20.2k
0 votes
2 answers
159 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 ...
  • 6,606
1 vote
5 answers
2k 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 ...
8 votes
2 answers
383 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
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