# Lateral Thinking Puzzles

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Lateral Thinking Puzzles
GOAL

Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
The term 'lateral thinking' was coined by Edward de Bono to denote a problem-solving style that involves looking at the given situation from unexpected angles. Sometimes a problem seems difficult or insoluble because our assumptions about it are wrong.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Classic Example Lateral Thinking Puzzles The Surgeon... A father and his son are involved in a car accident, as a result of which the father is very badly injured and his son is rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.  However, the surgeon takes one look at the boy and says "I cannot operate on him". When asked why, the surgeon replies "Because he's my son...". How could this be the case? Answer: The surgeon is the boy's mother...

Edward De Bono's Six Thinking Hats
Blue Hat Thinking: Managing the thinking White Hat Thinking: Just the facts  Green Hat Thinking: Creativity. Ideas. Possibilities Yellow Hat Thinking: Benefits. Pluses Black Hat Thinking: Difficulties. Problems Red Hat Thinking: Feelings. Gut Instinct. Intuition

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

Puzzle # 1 Bottleneck  Put a coin in a bottle and then stop the opening with a cork. How can you get the coin out of the bottle without pulling out the cork or breaking the bottle? Push the cork into the bottle, and shake the coin out.

Puzzle # 2 Can You Explain?
Question: 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 come? She was walking the wrong way.

Puzzle # 3 Can You Explain?
Question: How can you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you, even if it doesn't hit anything, there is nothing attached to it, and no one else catches or throws it? Answer: Throw the ball straight up in the air.

Puzzle # 4 Can You Explain?
Question: Two students are sitting on opposite sides of the same desk. There is nothing in between them but the desk. Why can't they see each other? Answer: The two students have their backs to each other.

Puzzle # 5 Can You Explain?
Question: There are only two T's in Timothy Tuttle. True or false? Answer: True. There are only two T's (upper case). There are also three t's (lower case).

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

Puzzle # 6 Coast to Coast   Train A and train B are crossing the country, from coast to coast, over 3,000 miles of railroad track. Train A is going from east to west at 80 miles per hour, and Train B is going from west to east at 90 miles per hour. Which train will be closer to the west coast when they meet? (Hint: You don’t have to do any math to get the answer. Just use your head!)

Puzzle # 6 Answer: When the trains meet, they will be at exactly the same point. Therefore, they will each be the same distance from the west coast.

Puzzle # 7 Crossing the River
Jake was standing on one side of the river, and his dog Scruffy was standing on the other side. "Come on Scruffy, come, boy!" shouted Jake. Scruffy crossed the river, ran to Jake, and got a treat for being a good dog. The amazing thing was that Scruffy didn't even get wet! How did Scruffy do that?

Puzzle # 7 Possible Answers: The river was frozen.
There was a bridge over the river, and Scruffy crossed the bridge.

Puzzle # 8 Digging Dirt: Question: How much dirt is in a round hole that is 9 feet deep with a diameter of 3 feet? (Hint: You don’t have to do any math to get the answer. Just use your head!) Answer: None. You make a hole by digging out the dirt, so the hole is empty.

Puzzle # 9 Getting Younger?  In the year 1201, a woman was 35 years old. In the year 1206, the same woman was 30. How is this possible?   Answer: The dates are B.C. rather than A.D.

Puzzle # 9 Getting Younger?  In the year 1201, a woman was 35 years old. In the year 1206, the same woman was 30. How is this possible?   Answer: The dates are B.C. rather than A.D. 30 YRS OLD YRS OLD BC AD

Puzzle # 10 Home:  Regina left home one afternoon. She turned to the right and started running straight ahead. Then she turned to her left, ran, turned to her left again, ran, turned to her left one more time, and ran even faster. She headed for home. Then she saw a masked boy waiting for her. Who was he? Answer: The masked boy was the catcher. Regina played on a coed baseball team.

Puzzle # 11 Name the Dog: Once a dog named Nelly lived on a farm. There were three other dogs on the farm. Their names were Blackie, Whitey, and Brownie. What do you think the fourth dog’s name was? Answer: Nelly. (If there are only four dogs on the farm, the fourth one must be Nelly!)

Puzzle # 12 New Shoes:  One day, two mothers and two daughters went shopping for shoes. Their shopping spree was successful — each bought a pair of shoes, and all together, they had three pairs. How is this possible? Answer: Only three people went shopping: a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter — but remember that the mother was the grandmother's daughter!

Puzzle # 13 One for Each:  You have a bag with four candy bars in it. You promised to give each of your three friends a candy bar, and you want one for yourself. How can you accomplish this, and still have one candy bar left in the bag? Answer: Take a candy bar for yourself. Then take out two more and give them to two of your friends. Give your third friend the bag with the third candy bar still in it. Or, give each friend a candy bar and keep the candy bar in the bag for yourself.

Puzzle # 14 Outsmarting the Donkey:   Amir tied two sacks of salt to the back of his donkey and headed for the market to sell the salt. On the way, Amir and the donkey passed a stream. The donkey jumped in to cool himself. As a result, much of the salt dissolved into the water, ruining the salt for Amir but improving matters for the donkey because his load became much lighter. Amir tried to get to the market on the following days, but the donkey always ruined the salt. Finally, Amir decided to teach the donkey a lesson. He once again set out with the donkey and the two sacks. What did Amir do differently this time so that after that day the donkey stopped taking a swim?

Puzzle # 14 Answer: Amir loaded the sacks not with salt but with sand. When the donkey jumped in the stream and got the sacks wet, they became much heavier.

Puzzle # 15 The Last Three:  Each letter below stands for the name of something. What should the last three letters be? M V E M J S ? ? ? Answer: U for Uranus, N for Neptune, and P for Pluto

Puzzle # 16 Regular or Diet?  One teenager goes up to a food booth at a fair and says, "A cola, please." The man working the booth asks, "Regular or diet?" The teenager asks, "What's the difference?" and is told that the regular costs 90 cents but that the diet soda costs \$1. The teenager says, "Give me a diet cola, please" and places a dollar on the counter. Next, another teenager comes up to the booth and says, "A cola, please," placing a dollar on the counter. The man in the booth gives him a diet cola. How did the man in the booth know which soda-regular or diet-the second teenager wanted?

Puzzle # 16 Answer: The second teenager put a dollar in change on the counter: 2 quarters and 5 dimes. If the teenager had wanted a regular cola, he would have put only 2 quarters and 4 dimes on the counter.

Puzzle # 17 Rising Tide:   The rope ladder of a boat hangs over the side of the boat and just reaches the water. Its rungs are 8 inches apart. How many rungs will be under the water when the tide rises 4 feet? Answer: When the tide rises 4 feet, the boat and its ladder will also rise. So no rungs will be under the water.

Puzzle # 18 Time to Tell:  A sundial is said to be the timepiece with the fewest moving parts. What is the timepiece with the most moving parts? Answer: An hourglass—filled with many grains of sand or other granular material.

Puzzle # 19 Ups and Downs: A man lives on the twelfth floor of an apartment building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator -- or if it was raining that day -- he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the tenth floor and walks up two flights of stairs to his apartment. Why?

Puzzle # 19 Answer: The man is a dwarf. He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

Puzzle # 20 Explain Joe’s Actions:
Joe, wearing a mask and carrying an empty sack, leaves his house. An hour later he returns with a full sack. He goes into a room and turns out the lights. Joe is a kid who goes trick-or-treating for Halloween, returns, and goes to sleep.

Puzzle # 21 What do you see? Answer: an Eskimo or an Indian

Puzzle # 22 How many faces can you see in this picture?
Seven is good, but if you can see 10 you are doing better ...

Puzzle # 23

Puzzle # 23 If you look closely at the hypotenuse (long) edge of the triangle, you will find that it is not straight. In one case it is slightly concave (bends in) and in one case it is slightly convex (bends out). The difference between these two, is the area of one square. Try cutting them out of card and putting a ruler against the edge.

Puzzle # 24 Three Switches and Three Bulbs:
Three switches outside a windowless room are connected to three light bulbs inside the room. How can you determine which switch is connected to which bulb if you may enter the room only once? Answer: Switch one light on for a minute; turn it off and turn another one on. Go into the room and feel the off-bulbs. The warm one is connected to the first switch, the on-bulb is connected to the second.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

Puzzle # 25 Nutty Problem A man is replacing a wheel on his car, when he accidentally drops the four nuts used to hold the wheel on the car, and they fall into a deep drain, irretrievably lost. A passing girl offers him a solution which enables him to drive home. What is it? Use one nut from each of the four other wheels.

Puzzle # 26 15 Cents: Can 15 cents be made from 2 coins if one coin is not a dime? Hint: What can the other coin be? Answer: Yes, a nickel and a dime, the question only says that one coin can't be a dime.

Puzzle # 27 To Light a Fire: You are hiking with a friend in the deep woods of northern Canada. A cold front quickly approaches and you find cover behind a sheltered boulder. A fire will be necessary if you are to survive the storm. In your pack you have a only one match, a candle, a tightly wound ball of birch bark and a roll of toilet paper. Which would you light first? Answer: The match

Puzzle # 28 Reading Light: There is a girl reading quietly in a dark room. All the lights are off and she has no special night vision or anything. How is she reading? Answer: The girl is blind, she is reading Braille .

Puzzle # 29 Make a word from boas that can be used to keep you clean. b o a s b s o a b

Puzzle # 30 Pretend you are an alien who had managed to learn the English language, but you do not know what significance the days of the week have. On which day of the week would you assume 1. You would cook a meal. 2. You would get paid. 3. You would get married. 4. It would be unusually bright. Friday Monday Wednesday Sunday

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

Puzzle # 31 If none of the following statements are true, who can we conclude broke the vase? Mike: Sally broke the vase. Tom: Mike will tell you who broke the vase. April: Tom, Mike & I could not have broken the vase. Chris: I did not break the vase. Erik: Mike broke the vase, so Tom & April couldn't have. Jim: I broke the vase, so Tom is innocent.

Puzzle # 31 Chris. If the statement "I did not break the vase" is definitely false, we can be certain that Chris broke the vase. Statements that some individuals "couldn't have" broken the vase only mean that these individuals could have broken the vase, but do not guarantee that they did. Jim's statement that "Tom is innocent" is too vague. We know that Tom is not innocent, but this does not assure us that he broke the vase.

Puzzle # 32

Puzzle # 33

Puzzle # 34

Puzzle # 35

Puzzle # 36

Puzzle # 37

Puzzle # 38 ALPHABET TICKLE: Take away one of the letters in this grid and yet still leave all 26 letters of the alphabet. Which letter can be taken away?

Puzzle # 38 ALPHABET TICKLE: Take away one of the letters in this grid and yet still leave all 26 letters of the alphabet. Which letter can be taken away?

Puzzle # 39 Monday: A man rode into town on Monday. He stayed for three nights and then left on Monday. How come? Answer: Monday is the name of his horse.

Puzzle # 40 Scientists Solve Ancient Mystery
It Baffled Researchers for a Century. What do you think this 2,000-Year-Old Device Did? (Click for more details)

Puzzle # 40 The sunken ship carrying the Antikythera Mechanism was found in 1900, but for the past century, the device baffled scientists. (Click for more details)

Puzzle # 40 Scientists built a reconstruction.
(Click for more details)

Puzzle # 40 Another reconstruction of the device sits in Athens. "If the ancient Greeks made this, what else could they do?" said project leader Mike Edmunds. (Click for answer)

Puzzle # 40 It was an "astrological calculator," amazingly accurate and more complex than any instrument for the next 1,000 years. The box-shaped mechanism -- the size of office paper and operated with a hand-crank -- could predict an eclipse to a precise hour on a specific day.

41. The Coal, Carrot, and Scarf
Five pieces of coal, a carrot, and a scarf are lying on the lawn. Nobody put them on the lawn, but there is a perfectly logical reason for their being there. What is it?

41. The Coal, Carrot, and Scarf
Ask: Does the time of year matter? Yes Were the objects brought out to the yard by human beings? Were they used for some entertainment purpose?

41. The Coal, Carrot, and Scarf
So why were they there? They were used by children who made a snowman. The snow has now melted.

42. The Two Americans There were two Americans waiting at the entrance to the British Museum. One of them was the father of the other one’s son. How could this be?

42. The Two Americans This one is based on a familiar theme. You either get it quickly or not at all. It does not lend itself to a long line of intelligent questioning. It boils down to the simple question – how can two people have the same son? They were husband and wife

43. The Men in the Hotel Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones are two businessmen who book into the same hotel for the night. They are given adjacent rooms on the third floor. During the night, Mr. Smith sleeps soundly. However, despite being very tired, Mr. Jones cannot fall asleep. He eventually phones Mr. Smith and falls asleep immediately after hanging up. Why should this be so?

43. The Men in the Hotel Was there something happening in Mr. Smith’s room that was preventing Mr. Jones from sleeping? Yes Was it a noise? Did they speak for long on the phone? No

43. The Men in the Hotel Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones are two businessmen who book into the same hotel for the night. They are given adjacent rooms on the third floor. During the night, Mr. Smith sleeps soundly. However, despite being very tired, Mr. Jones cannot fall asleep. He eventually phones Mr. Smith and falls asleep immediately after hanging up. Why should this be so? Mr. Jones could not sleep because Mr. Smith was snoring. His phone call awoke Mr. Smith and stopped him from snoring long enough for Mr. Jones to get to sleep.

44. Happy or Sad Three women dressed in swimsuits were standing together. Two were sad and one was happy. But the sad women were both smiling and the happy one was crying. Why should that be so?

44. Happy or Sad Were they on the beach or at a swimming pool? No
Is it relevant that they were wearing swimsuits? Yes Was the happy one crying because she was happy? Were the sad ones smiling because they were sad?

44. Happy or Sad It was the final of the Miss World Beauty Contest. The winner always cries. The disappointed runners-up smile because everyone is watching them and they are expected to look happy and radiant.

45. A Peculiar House Mrs. Jones wanted a new house. She very much liked to see the sun shining into a room, so she instructed the builders to construct a house of which all four walls face south. After much thought, the builder managed to erect just such a house. How did he do it?

45. A Peculiar House This house had only four walls and they all faced south. Think about where it might be located. S

45. A Peculiar House Mrs. Jones wanted a new house. She very much liked to see the sun shining into a room, so she instructed the builders to construct a house of which all four walls face south. After much thought, the builder managed to erect just such a house. How did he do it? The builder built the house at the North Pole.

46. The Painted Tower A painter was hired to repaint the Eatonville water tower which was located just off a very busy street in the centre of the town.  Everyday for two weeks the man painted diligently but he was never seen working by anyone and nobody noticed any change in the tower.  When he had finished he was congratulated for doing such a splendid job and paid by the Eatonville Town Clerk. Why?

46. The Painted Tower Did he actually paint the tower? Yes
Is there some way that the painter could do the job and not be seen? Did the shape of the water tower affect the view of the painter working? No

The painter had painted the inside of the water tower, as he had been employed to do...

47. The Delivery A farmer in Somerset owns a beautiful pear tree, from which he supplies the fruit to a nearby grocery store.  The store owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs and each bough has exactly 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to deliver?

47. The Delivery Answer None - the farmer owns a Pear tree, not a Plum tree...

Cents Can 15 cents be made from 2 coins if one coin is not a dime? Hint: What can the other coin be? Answer: Yes, a nickel and a dime, the question only says that one coin can't be a dime.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

49. A Chess Piece Two grandmasters played five games of chess. Each won the same number of games and lost the same number of games. There were no draws in any of the games. How could this be so?

49. A Chess Piece This is the kind of problem that depends on the reader or the listener making the wrong assumptions. Test all the assumptions with questions like the following: Q: Were they playing normal chess? A: yes Q: In chess, if one player wins then the other loses? Yes, always.

49. A Chess Piece Q: So when one of the grandmasters won a game, the other grandmaster lost it? No. Q: Was there anybody else involved? Yes. Let’s see it one more time.

49. A Chess Piece Two grandmasters played five games of chess. Each won the same number of games and lost the same number of games. There were no draws in any of the games. How could this be so? Answer: Who said they were playing each other?

50. The Unseen Walker On a busy Friday afternoon, a man walked several miles across London from Westminister to Knightsbridge without seeing anybody or being seen by anybody. The day was clear and bright. He had perfect eyesight and he looked where he was going. He did not travel by any method of transport other than by foot. London was thronged with people yet not one of them saw him. How?

50. The Unseen Walker Q: If he walked into this room now, would we see him and he see us? A: Yes Q: Did he wear anything special? A: Yes. Clue: It was a miner’s helmet. Q: Did he walk along normal roads? A: No

50. The Unseen Walker On a busy Friday afternoon, a man walked several miles across London from Westminister to Knightsbridge without seeing anybody or being seen by anybody. The day was clear and bright. He had perfect eyesight and he looked where he was going. He did not travel by any method of transport other than by foot. London was thronged with people yet not one of them saw him. How? He walked through the sewers.

51. A Riddle For a little light relief, we will now have an old riddle. What is it that gets wetter as it dries? No clues for this one. The answer is a towel

52. Five Men Five men were proceeding together down a country path. It began to rain. Four of the men quickened their step and began to walk faster. The fifth man made no effort to move any faster. However, he remained dry and the other four got wet. They all arrived at their destination together. How could this be so?

52. Five Men Clue: They all relied only on foot power.
Did the man who stayed dry carry any kind of umbrella or covering? Answer: No Did he walk?

52. Five Men Five men were proceeding together down a country path. It began to rain. Four of the men quickened their step and began to walk faster. The fifth man made no effort to move any faster. However, he remained dry and the other four got wet. They all arrived at their destination together. How could this be so? (Click once for answer)

52. Five Men The four men were carrying the fifth man, who was in his coffin.

53. Another Riddle What is it that the man who makes it does not need; the man who buys it does not use himself, and the person who uses it does so without knowing? Clue: It might also be said that nobody wants it, but everybody needs it. (Click once for answer)

53. Another Riddle What is it that the man who makes it does not need; the man who buys it does not use himself, and the person who uses it does so without knowing? The answer is a coffin.

54. The Disappearing Pickles
Peter Piper the pickle salesman went to market and sold half of his pickles plus half a pickle. He was left with one whole pickle. How many pickles did Peter Piper start with? Three. If he sold half of his pickles that would leave him with one and a half. Then selling a half, he has one pickle left. (Click Once for Solution)

55. Pied Piper Wanted How many rats are in the room if there is a rat in each of the 4 corners and 3 rats across from every rat and a rat in the corner next to every rat? 4 rats: There are only 4 corners to the room.

56. Dog Dayz D N O S A J __ What is the next letter in the series?
J (June – the letters are the first letters of the month of the year in reverse order.) (Click once for answer)

57. Just Kidding “Let’s go play with the 3 kids up on that hill,” said Silly Sally. Joe ran ahead but only found 2 children and some grazing farm animals when he arrived. Where did the third kid go? Clue. Does a “kid” have to be a person? (Click once for a clue) (Click for answer)

57. Just Kidding “Let’s go play with the 3 kids up on that hill,” said Silly Sally. Joe ran ahead but only found 2 children and some grazing farm animals when he arrived. Where did the third kid go? The third kid was a baby goat.

58. Happy Family Homer’s mother has four children. Three of them are named Spring, Summer and Autumn. What is the fourth named? Homer (Of course!) (Click for answer)

59. Wide Load Mr. Stone’s truck attempted to enter a parking garage, but got caught underneath the garage ceiling because of the truck’s 6’6” height. It won’t budge forward or backward. How can he get the truck out from under the garage ceiling? (Click once for a clue)

Mr. Stone’s truck attempted to enter a parking garage, but got caught underneath the garage ceiling because of the truck’s 6’6” height. It won’t budge forward or backward. How can he get the truck out from under the garage ceiling? Clue: Is there anything they could do to shorten the truck’s overall height? (Click for answer)

59. Wide Load Mr. Stone’s truck attempted to enter a parking garage, but got caught underneath the garage ceiling because of the truck’s 6’6” height. It won’t budge forward or backward. How can he get the truck out from under the garage ceiling? Answer: Let the air out of the tires (The truck will lower and be able to drive forward.)

60. Life Lesson f What is it that you need to have life, you won’t have with death, and you can’t start fun without? Answer: The letter “f.” f (Click twice for clues)

61. Sizzler What am I? I sizzle like bacon. I’m made with an egg.
I’ve got lots of backbone, but not even one leg. I peel like an onion, yet still remain whole. I’m long like a fishpole, but fit in a hole. What am I? (Click for answer)

61. Sizzler What am I? a snake I sizzle like bacon.
I’m made with an egg. I’ve got lots of backbone, but not even one leg. I peel like an onion, yet still remain whole. I’m long like a fishpole, but fit in a hole. What am I? a snake

62. Exciting! What am I? E E E I start with the letter E.
I end with the letter E. I usually contain one letter. But I am not the letter E. What am I? E E E (Click for answer)

62. Exciting! What am I? E E E I start with the letter E.
I end with the letter E. I usually contain one letter. But I am not the letter E. I am an envelope What am I? E E E

63. I’m Never Blue Sometimes I’m green, sometimes I’m black.
When I’m yellow, I’m a very nice fellow. That’s when I’m feeling mighty a-peeling. What am I? (Click for answer)

63. I’m Never Blue a banana Sometimes I’m green, sometimes I’m black.
When I’m yellow, I’m a very nice fellow. That’s when I’m feeling mighty a-peeling. What am I? a banana

64. Out of Touch Hey, What’s up?
They Don’t touch when you say “TOUCH.” -- but they do touch when you say “SEPARATE.” What are they? (Click for answer)

Your lips 64. Out of Touch Hey, What’s up?
They Don’t touch when you say “TOUCH.” -- but they do touch when you say “SEPARATE.” What are they? Your lips

65. E-X-T-R-A Credit What two European cities would you visit to find Ed and Sara? Ed Sara

Scotland

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Edinburgh and Sarajevo
65. E-X-T-R-A Credit What two European cities would you visit to find Ed and Sara? Edinburgh and Sarajevo

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

66. SSSSSSS What word becomes plural when an “s” is added, but becomes singular again by adding another “s”? hint (Click for answer)

66. SSSSSSS What word becomes plural when an “s” is added, but becomes singular again by adding another “s”? hint Prince Princes Princess

67. Peanut Riddle A peanut tree was planted on the west side if a house. The wind is blowing from the north. When the peanuts fall to the ground, will they fall on the north or south side of the tree? (Click for answer)

67. Peanut Riddle A peanut tree was planted on the west side if a house. The wind is blowing from the north. When the peanuts fall to the ground, will they fall on the north or south side of the tree? Peanuts don’t grow on trees – they grow under ground

68. Meaty Guy At a local market, the meat manager is 5 feet 9 inches tall, wears a size 16 shirt and size 7 shoes. What does he weigh? Hint: You don’t have to do any math to solve this one. (Click once for a hint)

68. Meaty Guy At a local market, the meat manager is 5 feet 9 inches tall, wears a size 16 shirt and size 7 shoes. What does he weigh? The meat manager weighs meat.

69. Door-to-Door Going to school you count 15 houses on the right side of the street. Going home you count 15 on the left side. How many houses did you count? (Click for answer)

69. Door-to-Door Going to school you count 15 houses on the right side of the street. Going home you count 15 on the left side. How many houses did you count? Fifteen. You count the same number of houses because it is the same side of the street.

70. My Hero Zero How can the number 8 be divided into two equal halves so that the result is zero? There is no math involved. o o (Click once for a hint)

70. My Hero Zero How can the number 8 be divided into two equal halves so that the result is zero? o o

71. Day by Day Some months have 30 days; others have 31. How many months have 28 days?

71. Day by Day Some months have 30 days; others have 31. How many months have 28 days? All the months have 28 days.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

72. The Secretary’s Daughter
A woman went to visit her bank manager and she took her daughter with her. The bank manager said the woman’s daughter could stay with his secretary during the meeting. When the woman and her daughter left, the secretary turned to another secretary and said to her, “That little girl was my daughter.” How could that be?

72. The Secretary’s Daughter
A woman went to visit her bank manager and she took her daughter with her. The bank manager said the woman’s daughter could stay with his secretary during the meeting. When the woman and her daughter left, the secretary turned to another secretary and said to her, “That little girl was my daughter.” How could that be? Clue: This does not involve adoptions, step-parents, in-laws, or grandparents. The little girl was the secretary’s daughter and she was the daughter of the woman who visited the bank manager. That is all you need to know.

72. The Secretary’s Daughter
A woman went to visit her bank manager and she took her daughter with her. The bank manager said the woman’s daughter could stay with his secretary during the meeting. When the woman and her daughter left, the secretary turned to another secretary and said to her, “That little girl was my daughter.” How could that be? Answer: the secretary was the girl’s father.

73. Pizza A man walks into a take-away pizza parlor. He ordered one deep-dish pizza with cheese, tomatoes, and double anchovies, one crispy pizza with asparagus, cheese, and tuna, and one house special with extra cheese, two portions of onion rings, a diet cola with ice, a diet cola without ice, a water, and an orange juice. The woman behind the counter served the man and then said, “You are a plainclothes police officer aren’t you?” The man was indeed a plainclothes officer. He had never been in the pizza parlor before and the woman didn’t know him and had never seen him before, so how did she know what he did?

73. Pizza A man walks into a take-away pizza parlor. He ordered one deep-dish pizza with cheese, tomatoes, and double anchovies, one crispy pizza with asparagus, cheese, and tuna, and one house special with extra cheese, two portions of onion rings, a diet cola with ice, a diet cola without ice, a water, and an orange juice. The woman behind the counter served the man and then said, “You are a plainclothes police officer aren’t you?” The man was indeed a plainclothes officer. He had never been in the pizza parlor before and the woman didn’t know him and had never seen him before, so how did she know what he did? Clues: There was no visible sign from the man’s appearance, speech, or mannerisms that he was a police officer. The assistant deduced it from his order. The assistant had heard the same order before

73. Pizza Answer: At 11 p.m. every Thursday evening a police officer (in uniform) would come into the pizza parlor and place a particular order, which the night shift at the local station then shared. One Thursday evening the man in plain clothes came and placed the same regular order.

74. The Fishermen’s Riddle
An old riddle tells the tale of two fishermen who returned one day and made the following statement: “The ones we caught we threw away. The ones we could not catch we kept.” What did they mean?

74. The Fishermen’s Riddle
An old riddle tells the tale of two fishermen who returned one day and made the following statement: “The ones we caught we threw away. The ones we could not catch we kept.” What did they mean? Clue: They were not talking about fish. But they were talking about other creatures which were unwelcome.

74. The Fishermen’s Riddle
An old riddle tells the tale of two fishermen who returned one day and made the following statement: “The ones we caught we threw away. The ones we could not catch we kept.” What did they mean? Answer: The two fishermen were talking about their fleas!

75. The Barber Paradox In a town in ancient Greece there was a law stating that all men must be clean-shaven and that no man might shave himself. The only person allowed to shave people was the licensed town barber (who was forty years old) There was only one barber. Since the barber was bound by the same law, who shaved the barber?

75. The Barber Paradox In a town in ancient Greece there was a law stating that all men must be clean-shaven and that no man might shave himself. The only person allowed to shave people was the licensed town barber (who was forty years old) There was only one barber. Since the barber was bound by the same law, who shaved the barber? Clue: The barber did not break the law. There was no beard, moustache, or whisker on the barber’s face, yet that face was not shaved by the barber.

75. The Barber Paradox In a town in ancient Greece there was a law stating that all men must be clean-shaven and that no man might shave himself. The only person allowed to shave people was the licensed town barber (who was forty years old) There was only one barber. Since the barber was bound by the same law, who shaved the barber? Answer: The barber is a woman.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

76. The Late Arrival A father was speaking to his teenage daughter. “You arrived very late, at 3 o’clock in the morning, and you kept me and your mother up waiting anxiously for you. I do not want that to ever happen again.” “But, Father,” the girl replied, “I will never be able to do that again.” What did she mean?

76. The Late Arrival A father was speaking to his teenage daughter. “You arrived very late, at 3 o’clock in the morning, and you kept me and your mother up waiting anxiously for you. I do not want that to ever happen again.” “But, Father,” the girl replied, “I will never be able to do that again.” What did she mean? Clue: 1. All the statements were correct. The father was not angry. He was teasing his daughter. The girl could not arrive in that fashion again because what she did can only be done once. 2. The statements made did not refer to the previous night or any recent night.

76. The Late Arrival A father was speaking to his teenage daughter. “You arrived very late, at 3 o’clock in the morning, and you kept me and your mother up waiting anxiously for you. I do not want that to ever happen again.” “But, Father,” the girl replied, “I will never be able to do that again.” What did she mean? Answer: They had been talking about the girl’s birth.

77. Watch That Movie Hugh had never seen the movie “Top Gun” before he got on the transatlantic flight to take him from London to Los Angeles. However, he had heard that it was good and was pleased to see that it was due to be shown during the flight. After lunch, “Top Gun” was screened but Hugh did not bother to watch it even though he had a clear view of the screen and the sound and picture quality were fine. Why not?

77. Watch That Movie Hugh had never seen the movie “Top Gun” before he got on the transatlantic flight to take him from London to Los Angeles. However, he had heard that it was good and was pleased to see that it was due to be shown during the flight. After lunch, “Top Gun” was screened but Hugh did not bother to watch it even though he had a clear view of the screen and the sound and picture quality were fine. Why not? Clue: 1. He wanted to watch the movie when he got on the plane but not when it was shown after lunch. Nobody had ruined the movie for him by telling him the plot. He had nothing particularly interesting to do after lunch. He had a perfect view of the screen. 2. This has nothing to do with the lunch or the plane or anyone else on the plane. It has everything to do with the timing of showing the movie after lunch. 3. He watched the movie.

77. Watch That Movie Hugh had never seen the movie “Top Gun” before he got on the transatlantic flight to take him from London to Los Angeles. However, he had heard that it was good and was pleased to see that it was due to be shown during the flight. After lunch, “Top Gun” was screened but Hugh did not bother to watch it even though he had a clear view of the screen and the sound and picture quality were fine. Why not? Answer: The movie was shown twice on the flight, once before lunch and once after lunch. Hugh watched it the first time and was therefore not interested the second time.

78. The Cabin In the mountains there is a cabin. Inside, three people lie dead. The cabin is locked from the inside and there is no sign of a struggle or of any weapons. What happened?

78. The Cabin In the mountains there is a cabin. Inside, three people lie dead. The cabin is locked from the inside and there is no sign of a struggle or of any weapons. What happened? . Clue: 1. All three died at the same time. Their deaths were violent but accidental. 2. They knew they were going to die immediately before they died. They died because they were in the cabin. 3. If they had gotten out of the cabin three hours earlier they would have lived. If they could have gotten out three minutes earlier they still would have died.

78. The Cabin In the mountains there is a cabin. Inside, three people lie dead. The cabin is locked from the inside and there is no sign of a struggle or of any weapons. What happened? Answer: It is a plane cabin. The plane crashed, killing both pilots and the passenger.

79. The Unkind Cut A man deliberately cut off some of his fingers and one of his ears. Why?

79. The Unkind Cut A man deliberately cut off some of his fingers and one of his ears. Why? Clue: 1. He did this deliberately to deceive certain people. 2. The man was imprisoned at the time he did this.

79. The Unkind Cut A man deliberately cut off some of his fingers and one of his ears. Why? Answer: The man imprisoned in the notorious Devil’s Island penal colony. Over a period of months he cut off fingers and an ear and he feigned numbness in a leg in order to pretend that he had leprosy. He was transferred to a different island which held only lepers. It was much easier to escape from this island and he duly made his getaway and reached Brazil. Unfortunately (for this is a true story) he was subsequently found to have developed leprosy.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

80. The Bird A man saw a bird on a tree in his garden and he immediately knew he lost something of value to him. What was it?

80. The Bird A man saw a bird on a tree in his garden and he immediately knew he lost something of value to him. What was it? (Click for two clues) Clues: The bird was a large but not particularly rare bird. The type of bird is not important. The bird had taken what he had lost but he could now get it back from the bird. What he lost was something he had recently bought at considerable expense. (Click once for answer)

80. The Bird A man saw a bird on a tree in his garden and he immediately knew he lost something of value to him. What was it? Answer: He saw a big heron in the tree over his ornamental pond and guessed (correctly) that it had eaten his large and valuable koi carp.

81. The Bank Manager A bank manager was on his way to work one day. He was wearing a mask. Why?

81. The Bank Manager A bank manager was on his way to work one day. He was wearing a mask. Why? (Click for two clues) Clues: He had a very long journey to work. He was not trying to hide anything. He was trying to exclude something – but not something you breathe. (Click once for answer)

81. The Bank Manager A bank manager was on his way to work one day. He was wearing a mask. Why? Answer: He was flying from New York to Switzerland for an important meeting. He wore the face-mask to exclude the light so that he could sleep on the flight.

82. Luigi’s Luigi’s is an excellent restaurant with a fine reputation. However, one day all the people who had lunch there were sick. There was nothing wrong with the food. What happened?

82. Luigi’s Luigi’s is an excellent restaurant with a fine reputation. However, one day all the people who had lunch there were sick. There was nothing wrong with the food. What happened? (Click once for a clue) Clue: There was nothing wrong with the food, the drink that was served, or the atmosphere. The people eating lunch were normal, healthy people. Other people eating lunch at other places that day were fine. It was not something they saw. The problem was caused by the location of Luigi’s restaurant. (Click once for answer)

82. Luigi’s Luigi’s is an excellent restaurant with a fine reputation. However, one day all the people who had lunch there were sick. There was nothing wrong with the food. What happened? Answer: Luigi’s restaurant is on board a ship. The passengers became seasick from a rocky patch of ocean.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

83. What a Drive A golfer in the United States took a club from his golf bag and hit a drive so that the ball traveled through four states. How did he do this?

83. What a Drive A golfer in the United States took a club from his golf bag and hit a drive so that the ball traveled through four states. How did he do this? (Click for 3 clues) He was a regular golfer with no special skills. He stood on the ground and hit the ball, which then traveled through four states before coming to rest. No one else touched the ball after he hit it, and no additional speed or energy was imparted to the ball in any way. The ball did hit something and was deflected. The four U.S. states are big states, including Arizona and Colorado.

83. What a Drive A golfer in the United States took a club from his golf bag and hit a drive so that the ball traveled through four states. How did he do this? (Answer) The four states are Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, which meet at a single point. A pipe was set up there in the form of a large circle, and placed so that it lay in all four states. A well-struck golf ball entering the pipe would travel through the four states.

83. What a Drive Four Corners

84. Tall Buildings A well-respected Japanese insurance company has many offices around the world. All its offices are at least ten stories high and the company insists on taking at least a ten-story building even if it does not need all that space. Why does it do this?

84. Tall Buildings A well-respected Japanese insurance company has many offices around the world. All its offices are at least ten stories high and the company insists on taking at least a ten-story building even if it does not need all that space. Why does it do this? (Click twice for clues) This has nothing to do with the company’s products, name, or advertising, but it has to do with the company philosophy. The company does this with its employees in mind.

84. Tall Buildings A well-respected Japanese insurance company has many offices around the world. All its offices are at least ten stories high and the company insists on taking at least a ten-story building even if it does not need all that space. Why does it do this? (Click for answer) The Japanese insurance company believes strongly in physical fitness and that going up and down stairs keeps its employees healthier and more alert. No employee is allowed to use the elevator unless she or he has a medical certificate!

85. Cutting the Cake How could you cut a plain circular cake into eight equal portions with just three straight cuts of a knife? No rearrangements of the pieces after cutting is allowed?

85. Cutting the Cake How could you cut a plain circular cake into eight equal portions with just three straight cuts of a knife? No rearrangements of the pieces after cutting is allowed? You make three straight cuts while the cake is in place. The first two are rather obvious and the third is very lateral.

85. Cutting the Cake How could you cut a plain circular cake into eight equal portions with just three straight cuts of a knife? No rearrangements of the pieces after cutting is allowed? With the first two cuts you divide the cake from the top into quarters. You then take the knife and slice through the middle of the side of the cake.

85. Cutting the Cake

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

86. Trouble with Sons A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so?

86. Trouble with Sons A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so? (Click once for answer) They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets etc.) (This simple little puzzle stumps many people. They try outlandish solutions involving test-tube babies or surrogate mothers. Why does the brain search for complex solutions when there is a much simpler one available?)

87. Push that Car A man pushed his car. He stopped when he reached a hotel at which point he knew he was bankrupt. Why?

87. Push that Car A man pushed his car. He stopped when he reached a hotel at which point he knew he was bankrupt. Why? (Click once for answer) He was playing Monopoly.

88. The Blind Beggar A blind beggar had a brother who died. What relation was the blind beggar to the brother who died? (Brother is not the answer).

88. The Blind Beggar A blind beggar had a brother who died. What relation was the blind beggar to the brother who died? (Brother is not the answer). Answer: The blind beggar was the sister of her brother who died.

89. The Broken Match A man is found dead in a field. He is clutching a broken match. What happened?

89. The Broken Match A man is found dead in a field. He is clutching a broken match. What happened? (Answer) He and a number of other passengers were making a balloon trip in a desperate attempt to flee a country. The balloon had to lose weight to stop it from crashing. He drew the short match and had to jump.

90. The Music Stopped The music stopped. She died. Explain. .

90. The Music Stopped The music stopped. She died. Explain.
(Answer) She was a circus tight-rope walker who walked blindfolded over a high wire. The band played as she crossed and when the music stopped it was the signal that she had reached the end of the walk and could safely alight. One day the conductor was taken ill and the stand-in conductor ended the piece of music too early. She stepped off to her death.

91. The Elder Twin One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

91. The Elder Twin One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come? (Answer) At the time she went into labor, the mother of the twins was traveling by boat. The older twin, Terry, was born first early on March 1st. The boat then crossed the International Date line (or any time zone line) and Kerry, the younger twin, was born on February the 28th. In a leap year the younger twin celebrates her birthday two days before her older brother.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

92. The All-Night Party In a small town in the United States a teenage boy asked his parents if he could go to a friends party. His parents agreed, provided that he was back before sunrise. He left the house that evening clean-shaven and when he returned just before the following sunrise his parents were amazed to see that he had a fully grown beard. What happened? (Click once for clues)

92. The All-Night Party (Clue) No potions, transplants, wigs or tricks are involved. It was the same boy and he returned before the next sunrise, having been out long enough to grow a proper beard. (Click once for the answer)

92. The All-Night Party (Answer) The small town was Barrow in Alaska, the northernmost town in the United States. When the sun sets there in the middle of November, it does not rise again for 65 days. That allowed plenty of time for the boy to grow a beard before the next sunrise.

93. The Legacy A man received an envelope in the mail. Inside it there was another envelope which contained only a letter. The letter said, “Here is the \$20,000 I promised you. Best regards, Dad.” There was no check or cash but the man was perfectly satisfied. Why? (Click once for clues)

93. The Legacy There was no secret or coded information passed in the letter or envelope. There was an outer envelope, an inner envelope, and a letter. Yet the man had received something worth \$20,000. The outer envelope was new and had the man’s address on it. The inner envelope was old and had someone else’s address on it. The address on the inner envelope was not of someone known to either man. (Click once for the answer)

93. The Legacy (Answer) The man and his father were stamp collectors. The inner envelope had a rare stamp on it worth \$20,000.

95. Food for Thought The Danish government issues all the staff in one government department free biscuits every morning. Why? (Click once for clues)

95. Food for Thought The Danish government issues all the staff in one government department free biscuits every morning. Why? (Clues) The biscuits are not for the staff’s own consumption. They give them away. They give them away for their own protection. (Click once for the answer)

95. Food for Thought The Danish government issues all the staff in one government department free biscuits every morning. Why? (Answer) The Danish government issues dog biscuits to all its postal delivery people every morning so that they can use them to distract hostile dogs.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles
Mr. Comm GOAL

96. Guess Who? Puzzle Which famous person is spelled out above?
(Click for a clue)

96. Guess Who? Puzzle A I V N D I C
Which famous person is spelled out above? (Click for answer)

96. Guess Who? Puzzle DA VINCI
Which famous person is spelled out above?

97. You can’t answer this brain teaser, but a preschooler can
Which way is the bus below traveling? To the left or to the right? (Click for a clue)

97. You can’t answer this brain teaser, but a preschooler can
Can’t make up your mind? Look carefully at the picture again. Still don’t know? Preschoolers all over the United States were shown this picture and asked the same question. 90% of preschooler’s gave this answer. (Click for answer)

97. You can’t answer this brain teaser, but a preschooler can
Which way is the bus below traveling? To the left or to the right? Answer: To the left because you can’t see the door to get on the bus

98. I Build My House of Sticks
Rearrange two of these five toothpicks to leave a view of a famous building in the USA. (Click for answer)

98. I Build My House of Sticks
Rearrange two of these five toothpicks to leave a view of a famous building in the USA.

99. Twister Can you figure out what these weird looking things are?