Did you know that your brain needs exercising in order to function effectively, let it go and your mental processing can become sluggish. All too often we get bogged down by the mundane and fall into the same patterns of thinking that lead us to the same results day after day.
The following 50 brain teasers will not only get your grey matter working but for some of them you will really need to think “out of the box” to work them out and in doing so you will be able to create new neural pathways leading to better problem solving abilities and a wider perspective on life in general.
1 EINSTEIN’S RIDDLE
Here is one only for the bravest of you. Einstein said that 98% of the world would NOT be able to solve this puzzle. Can you? The trick is to be patient and to pay attention to the details.
There are 5 houses in 5 different colours in a row. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage. Clues:
1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.
5. The green house’s owner drinks coffee.
6. The owner who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The owner living in the centre house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The owner who keeps the horse lives next to the one who smokes Dunhill.
12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who drinks water.
The question is: WHO OWNS THE FISH?
2 IF THEY AREN’T TWINS, HOW CAN THIS BE?
Two children are born to the same mother, at exactly the same time on the same day in the same year and yet they are not twins. How?
3 WHO IS IN THE PHOTOGRAPH?
I am staring at a photo of someone. I don’t have any brothers or sisters and yet that man’s father is my father’s son. Who am I looking at?
4 ONE WAY STREET
A young guy who has just started learning to drive went down a one way street but didn’t break the law. Why?
Why can’t a man living in London be buried in Paris?
If there are three apples and you take away 2, how many do you have?
7 HOW FAR?
How far can you run into the woods?
8 THE MISSING DINNER PLATE
Two men sit down to dinner, each with his own son but there are only 3 plates and each person has his own. Can you work out how?
9 MAGIC NUMBER
Think of any number. Add 7 to it. Subtract 2. Subtract your original number. Multiply this by 4. Subtract 2. You will always get 18. Why?
11 WHY THE THANK YOU?
A guy walks into a bar and asks for a glass of iced water. The barman immediately pulls out a gun and points it at the man. The man then says “thank you so much” and leaves the bar. Why?
12 WHY DOESN’T THE KING DIE?
A king and one of his knights order a gin and tonic from the bar. Unknown to them, the drink has been poisoned. The King gulps his down in one go and has a bit of a tummy ache but nothing more. The knight sips his slowly but dies a few hours later. Why didn’t the king die?
13 WHO GETS THE MONEY?
An old man wanted to leave all of his money to one of his three sons, but he didn’t know which one he should give it to. He gave each of them a few coins and told them to buy something that would be able to fill their living room. The first man bought straw, but there was not enough to fill the room. The second bought some sticks, but they still did not fill the room. The third man bought two things that filled the room, so he obtained his father’s fortune. What were the two things that the man bought?
14 A SHOOTING INCIDENT
A woman shoots her husband and then holds him under water for over 5 minutes before hanging him up. However, a few minutes later they both go out and celebrate their anniversary. How can this be so?
15 WHAT IS THE PLAN?
Two inmates are locked in a cell. There is a window that isn’t barred but it is high up in the cell. No matter what they try to stand on they cannot reach the window. Then one of them decides to try and tunnel out. They give up tunnelling because it is taking them too long. Finally, one of them manages to work out how to escape. What is the plan?
16 WHY DID THE SHIP SINK?
One fine sunny morning a ship was in the harbour when all of a sudden it started to skin. There was nothing wrong with the ship and the weather conditions were calm yet there it sank, right in front of everyone. Why?
17 THE ARK
How many of each type of animal did Moses take on the Ark?
18 THE PARROT
A woman went to a pet shop to buy a parrot. Inside the pet shop there was a parrot with a sign on its cage that said “Parrot repeats everything it hears”. Great thought the woman, so she bought the parrot and for two weeks she spoke to it constantly and yet the parrot didn’t utter a word. She returned the parrot to the shop but the shopkeeper said he never lied about the parrot. How can this be?
19 AGE REVERSALS
The ages of a father and son add up to 66. The father’s age is the son’s age reversed.
How old could they be? (NB there are 3 possible solutions).
20 THE LONGER WORD
What 7 letter word becomes longer when the third letter is removed?
21 WHAT AM I?
I am the beginning of eternity, the end of time and space, the beginning of every end and the end of every place. What am I?
22 WHAT IS THE COMMON WORD?
What common English word will describe a person or thing as not being found in any place and yet with no changes other than a space between syllables, will correctly describe that person or thing as being actually present at this very moment?
23 WHAT IS THE NINE LETTER WORD?
There is a common English word that is nine letters long. Each time you remove a letter from it, it still remains an English word – from nine letters right down to a single letter. What is the original word, and what are the words that it becomes after removing one letter at a time?
24 WHAT POSITION?
You are running a race and you overtake the second person, what position are you in?
25 MATH MADNESS
Take 1000, then add 40, then add 1000, then add 30, then add 1000, then add 20, then add 1000, then add 10. What is the answer?
26 HOW MANY F’S?
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS.
How many F’s can you see in the above statement?
27 MORE MATHS MADNESS
Divide 30 by a half and then add ten. What is the answer?
A doctor gives you three pills telling you to take one every half hour. How long would the pills last?
29 COUNTING SHEEP
A farmer has 17 sheep, all but 9 of them die. How many does he have left?
30 INCORRECT PRONUNCIATION
There is one word in the English language that is always pronounced incorrectly. What is it?
31 SNAIL PACE
A snail is at the bottom of a 20 meters deep pit. Every day the snail climbs 5 meters upwards, but at night it slides 4 meters back downwards. How many days will it take the snail to reach the top of the pit?
32 HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?
Jack is standing behind Jill but Jill is standing behind Jack. How?
33 WHAT IS IT?
The poor have it, the rich want it, but if you eat it you will die. What is it?
34 HOW MANY RUNGS ARE UNDERWATER?
A boat has a ladder that has six rungs; each rung is one foot apart. The bottom rung is one foot from the water. The tide rises at 12 inches every 15 minutes. High tide peaks in one hour. When the tide is at its highest, how many rungs are under water?
35 DIGGING A HOLE
If it takes 3 people to dig a hole, how many does it take to dig half a hole?
36 DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS?
What is it that goes up and goes down but does not move?
37 ANOTHER RIDDLE
What has 4 legs but only 1 foot
38 THE LONGEST WORD
Of all the words in the English language, which word is longest?
39 HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BOIL EGGS?
If it takes 10 minutes to boil an egg, how long does it take to boil a dozen eggs?
40 IDENTIFY THE FRUIT
What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
41 THE FIRST PLANET
Which was the first planet to be discovered?
42 THE SHORTER WORD
What common English word becomes shorter when you add two letters?
43 THE 4TH OF JULY
Do they have the Fourth of July in France?
44 CAN YOU HOLD IT?
What can you hold without touching it?
45 ODDS AND EVENS
How can you make the number seven even?
46 ANOTHER RIDDLE
If you have it, you want to share it. If you share it, you don’t have it. What is it?
47 WHAT IS ITS NAME?
What is it that is so fragile you can break it just by saying its name?
There are 3 switches in the room you are in and in the next room there are 3 bulbs, all of which are off. Each of the 3 switches is connected to one of the 3 bulbs but you cannot see which one. You are allowed to enter the room with the bulbs only once. How can you work out which switch belongs to which bulb?
49 THE BALL
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?
50 WHERE IS THE MISSING POUND?
Three young men check into a hotel. They pay Ã‚Â£30 in total to the manager and go off to the room. The manager finds out that the room rate is actually only Ã‚Â£25 and gives Ã‚Â£5 back to the hotel assistant to return to the men. On the way the assistant decides that as it would be too difficult to split Ã‚Â£5 between 3, he would keep Ã‚Â£2 and give Ã‚Â£1 to each guy. So now each guy has paid Ã‚Â£10 to begin with and got back Ã‚Â£1 so have paid Ã‚Â£9 each, the hotel assistant has Ã‚Â£2 making the total Ã‚Â£29. Where is the missing Ã‚Â£1?
Here Are The Answers !!
1/ The answer is the German who lives in the Green House, smoking Prince cigars, drinking coffee, and who keeps FISH. The others are as follows:
1st House: Yellow, Norwegian, Water, Cats, Dunhill
2nd House: Blue, Dane, Tea, Horse, Blends
3rd House: Red, Brit, Milk, Birds, Pall Malls
4th House: Green, German, Coffee, FISH, Prince
5th House: White, Swede, Beer, Dogs, Bluemasters
2/They are 2 of a set of triplets.
3/I am looking at a photograph of my son
4/He was walking
5/Because as he is “living” in London he isn’t dead
6/You have 2, the ones you took away.
7/You can only run half way into the woods otherwise you’ll be running out of the woods
8/It is a grandfather, his son and his grandson
9/You got the number 18 because it doesn’t matter what number you start with at the beginning, this problem is more of an illusion as the “unknown” number has been calculated mathematically to reach 18.
11/He had hiccups
12/The poison was in the ice cubes and in the king’s case didn’t have time to melt fully into the drink
13/A candle and matches and the light filled the entire room
14/The woman was a photographer and she did a shot of her husband, developed it and hung it up to dry
15/The plan was to use the earth from tunnelling to climb up onto and out of the unbarred window
16/It was a submarine
17/None, it was Noah who took the animals on the Ark
18/The parrot was deaf
19/They could be 51 and 15, 42 and 24, or 60 and 06
21/The letter e
22/ the word is “NOWHERE”. When a space is placed between the ‘w’ and ‘h’, you get the words “NOW HERE”
23/ The common word is Startling – starting – staring – string – sting – sing – sin – in – I
24/Second because you overtook the person in 2nd place
25/Bet you thought it was 5000 didn’t you? Wrong. The answer is 4100; check it out on a calculator.
26/There are 6 F’s, most people forget to include the f in of
27/The answer is 70 not 25. If you divide 30 by a half you get 60 you aren’t dividing it by 2.
28/They would last an hour because you take one straight away
29/There are 9 left as all but 9 have died
30/The word is incorrectly because it is always pronounced incorrectly
31/ The snail reaches the top of the pit on the 16th day!…On the first day, the snail reaches a height of 5 meters and slides down 4 meters at night, and thus ends at a height of 1 meter. On the second day, he reaches 6 meters, but slides back to 2 meters. On the third day, he reaches 7 meters, but slides back to 3 meters. On the fifteenth day, he reaches 19 meters, but slides back to 15 meters.
On the sixteenth day, he reaches 20 meters, so now he is at the top of the pit!
32/They are standing back to back
33/The answer is simple, Nothing
34/None, the boat rises with the tide
35/You can’t dig half a hole, a hole is a hole no matter how small it is
38/It is the word longest
39/It would still take 10 minutes to boil a dozen eggs although if you want to be pedantic about it, maybe a couple more because the water would take slightly longer to reach boiling point
40/A strawberry has its seeds on the outside
41/Earth of course
42/The word is “short” add e and r to it and you have shorter
43/Of course they do, they have 4th of July in every country
45/Just take off the letter s
48/Simple really. Turn one switch on for a couple of minutes then switch it off and turn another one on. Go into the room with the bulbs and you will be able to identify the one that is on, the one that was on because the bulb will still be warm and the one that is left.
49/Just throw the ball straight up into the air
50 /This one is misleading to start with as there is no missing pound. The actual amount paid out is Ã‚Â£27, minus the Ã‚Â£2 for the hotel assistant makes Ã‚Â£25. It’s only because the numbers are so close to Ã‚Â£30 that it is confusing.