# Lateral thinking puzzles.

Schrodinger's Dog
OK I'm a big fan of lateral thinking puzzles, logic puzzes are great for testing those little grey cells and I thoroughlly enjoy them too, but when you want to get and a little of the beaten track: lateral is the way to go, so I found some. Have fun...

Ok these aren't that hard, but feel free to post answers and some real tough ones.

Question 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?

Question 2:

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?

Question 3:

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?

Question 4:

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?

Question 5:

There are only two T's in Timothy Tuttle. True or false?

Source: Sterling, Brain Teasers, p.24

Question 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!)

Question 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?

Question 8 Digging Dirt:

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!)

Question 9 Minus Two:

How many times can you subtract the number 2 from the number 32?

Question 10 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?

Question 11 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?

Question 12:

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?

Question 13 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 into 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?

Question 14 Which Way?:

Once a boy was walking down the road, and came to a place where the road divided in two, each separate road forking off in a different direction.

A girl was standing at the fork in the road. The boy knew that one road led to Lieville, a town where everyone always lied, and the other led to Trueville, a town where everyone always told the truth. He also knew that the girl came from one of those towns, but he didn't know which one.

Can you think of a question the boy could ask the girl to find out the way to Trueville?

Question 15 The Barbershop Puzzle:

A traveler arrives in a small town and decides he wants to get a haircut. According to the manager of the hotel where he's staying, there are only two barbershops in town — one on East Street and one on West Street. The traveler goes to check out both shops. The East Street barbershop is a mess, and the barber has the worst haircut the traveler has ever seen. The West Street barbershop is neat and clean; its barber's hair looks as good as a movie star's.

Which barbershop does the traveler go to for his haircut, and why?

Source: A Haircut in Horse Town, p.64 (and other sources)

Question 16 Cats & Dogs.

All of Jenny's pets are dogs except one. All of her pets are cats except one. How many cats and dogs does Jenny have?

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Homework Helper
For 16, I'd say Jenny had only one pet - a gerbil.

For 14, he just has to ask, "Which fork do I take to get to your town?" Regardless of which girl it is, she'll point to Trueville.

Why did stores start charging odd prices like $9.95? Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member For 16, I'd say Jenny had only one pet - a gerbil. I'd have thought she had one cat and one dog. mattmns 2: She was walking? 6: They would be the same distance from the west coast 7: No water in the river? 8: Since it is a hole there should be no, or very little, dirt left in it. 9: As many times as you want. 10: Nelly 11: One of the mothers is the daughter of the other mother. 12: 7 rungs under the water 15: The barber with the bad haircut. Since the other barber must have given him that bad cut. Last edited: Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member 9: As many times as you want. I'd say only once because once you've subtracted it from 32 you get a different number (i.e. 30). ||spoon|| 2: she isn't driving 3: throw it upward 4: they are blind? have blindfolds? mattmns I'd say only once because once you've subtracted it from 32 you get a different number (i.e. 30). Ahh yes, I think you are correct. 5: True. Capital T's, not lower case? ||spoon|| 7: walked over a bridge? 8: none, its a hole 9: only once (agree with Kurdt) 11: maybe two of them onlyhave one leg? 12: none, the boat rises aswell 13: dindt go past the stream? 16: one dog and one cat mattmns 12: none, the boat rises aswell Looks like I was wrong again :grumpy: ||spoon|| 2: she might also be reversing?? Schrodinger's Dog 2: She was walking? 6: They would be the same distance from the west coast 10: Nelly 8: Since it is a hole there should be no, or very little, dirt left in it. 11: One of the mothers is the daughter of the other mother. 15: The barber with the bad haircut. Since the other barber must have given him that bad cut. Correct. 7: No water in the river? What about a bridge? 9: As many times as you want. Once you can only take 2 from 32 once. 12: 7 rungs under the water 4 think about it 2: she isn't driving 3: throw it upward 4: they are blind? have blindfolds? Correct. 4 also if they had their backs to each other or were asleep etc etc etc. I'd have thought she had one cat and one dog. Correct for no 16 For 16, I'd say Jenny had only one pet - a gerbil. For 14, he just has to ask, "Which fork do I take to get to your town?" Regardless of which girl it is, she'll point to Trueville. Why did stores start charging odd prices like$9.95?

Correct.

Because fools think $9.99 isn't$10 and $9.95 isn't$9.99 isn't $10 These ones are easy enough once you think about it. 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 into 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? ? 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? Last edited: Roq 13- Filled the sack with something besides salt, like clothes, so the sacks would become much heavier? 14- He could ask her if she was a girl, then ask which way. Schrodinger's Dog 13- Filled the sack with something besides salt, like clothes, so the sacks would become much heavier? 14- He could ask her if she was a girl, then ask which way. Both correct although not the original answers, but this is lateral not logical; sand, clothes anything that would make the sack heavier What about the other one, about the man who lives on the 12th floor, it's a tough one. Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member The tower block one is an oldie. The guy is a dwarf (or very short) so can't reach the button without an umbrella or assistance from anyone else. Gold Member Question 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? Heat the bottle - expanding air pops the cork so you can dump out the coin. Question 2: 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. Question 3: 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? Throw straight up. Question 4: 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? They are facing in opposite directions. Question 5: There are only two T's in Timothy Tuttle. True or false? True. the lower-case t's don't count. Source: Sterling, Brain Teasers, p.24 Question 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!) Neither. Question 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? Frozen river. Question 8 Digging Dirt: 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!) No dirt in the hole. Question 9 Minus Two: How many times can you subtract the number 2 from the number 32? Only once. Question 10 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? Nelly Question 11 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? Grandmother, mother and daughter shopped together. Question 12: 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? None. The boat rises with the tide. Question 13 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 into 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? Filled the sacks with something that would absorb water. Question 14 Which Way?: Once a boy was walking down the road, and came to a place where the road divided in two, each separate road forking off in a different direction. A girl was standing at the fork in the road. The boy knew that one road led to Lieville, a town where everyone always lied, and the other led to Trueville, a town where everyone always told the truth. He also knew that the girl came from one of those towns, but he didn't know which one. Can you think of a question the boy could ask the girl to find out the way to Trueville? If I asked you the direction to your town which of the roads would you tell me to use? Question 15 The Barbershop Puzzle: A traveler arrives in a small town and decides he wants to get a haircut. According to the manager of the hotel where he's staying, there are only two barbershops in town — one on East Street and one on West Street. The traveler goes to check out both shops. The East Street barbershop is a mess, and the barber has the worst haircut the traveler has ever seen. The West Street barbershop is neat and clean; its barber's hair looks as good as a movie star's. Which barbershop does the traveler go to for his haircut, and why? Go to the East street barber, who cuts the hair of the West street barber. Source: A Haircut in Horse Town, p.64 (and other sources) Question 16 Cats & Dogs. All of Jenny's pets are dogs except one. All of her pets are cats except one. How many cats and dogs does Jenny have? One cat and one dog Am I batting 1000? Science Advisor Homework Helper 1. Push the cork in, then take out the coin. 2. She wasn't driving at the time. 3. Throw it up. 4. They're blind, or the lights are off, or their eyes are closed, etc. 5. True, there are only two capital T's. 6. The one that started from the west. 7. The river was frozen. 8. There is no dirt in a hole. 9. Once? (Any subsequent subtraction of 2 is of another number, e.g. of 30) 10. Brownie 11. The "middle" woman was the daughter of the oldest woman and the mother of the youngest. 12. All of them: as the water rises, so does the boat, and thus so does the ladder. 13. He put empty buckets on the donkey that would fill with water and increase the load after the donkey gets out of the water. 14. Ask "Which way do I go to get to your town?" and go whichever way he's directed. 15. The East Street barbershop, because the barber from West Street must get his hair cut at the East Street shop, and his hair looks better. 16. 1 cat, 1 dog. hayshed hahaha 15 is easy.the dude with the good hair can't hav cut it himself, it must hav been the guy with the bad hair (whos hair is cut by the good looking dude) Schrodinger's Dog Am I batting 1000? Lateral thinking but also cheating Three men die. On the pavement are pieces of ice and broken glass. Try this one without using the internet minimum information lateral puzzle. Last edited: Jimmy Snyder 1. Use a Klein bottle. 2. It was in a ghost town. 3. Be too weak to throw far. 4. There is none so blind as one who will not see. 5. False. His middle name is Thomas. 6. Train A. Train B was vaporized in the collision. 7. He already was wet. 8. 3 trillion tons. It's a black hole. 9. Infinitely many times. 32 - 2 = 30, 32 - 2 = 30, 32 - 2 = 30, ... 10. Brownie. 11. They were communists. 12. Three. The boat has a gaping hole in it and does not rise with the tide. 13. He filled the river bed with salt. 14. Why don't you hop in my Lambourghini and I'll treat you to a shopping spree at the Neimann-Marcus in Truesville? 15. He goes to a beauty parlor because he is fay. 16. Jenny is a man who has a single pet, a female cat. Jenny's cat has a pet dog and several pet cats. Last edited: Schrodinger's Dog 1. Use a Klein bottle. 2. It was in a ghost town. 3. Be too weak to throw far. 4. There is none so blind as one who will not see. 5. False. His middle name is Thomas. 6. Train A. Train B was vaporized in the collision. 7. He already was wet. 8. 3 trillion tons. It's a black hole. 9. Infinitely many times. 32 - 2 = 30, 32 - 2 = 30, 32 - 2 = 30, ... 10. Brownie. 11. They were communists. 12. Three. The boat has a gaping hole in it and does not rise with the tide. 13. He filled the river bed with salt. 14. Why don't you hop in my Lambourghini and I'll treat you to a shopping spree at the Neimann-Marcus in Truesville? 15. He goes to a beauty parlor because he is fay. 16. Jenny is a man who has a single pet, a female cat. Jenny's cat has a pet dog and several pet cats. Mostly correct but the boat doesn't have a gaping hole as it would have sank already so the question would be redundent, the train doesn't colide and black holes aren't found in your garden nor I'm fairly sure do they contain much dirt or 3 trillion tonnes of it generally although there are some exceptions I suspect? Barber B is secretly a woman trapped in a mans body; is the best answer, so "he" traipses 56 miles into the city to have "his" hair done for$50 and a cup of coffee instead of $10 and a conversation about todays youth. Answer is both barbers are ok. the bad haircut barber cuts his own hair. The man should chose either, although barber B will probably brush up against his leg for a cheap thrill(he has been jailed for this before) He's running his shop to pay for gender reassignment. Answer to 1 is there is no bottle. Or, don't put bloody coins in bottles and then cork them, or if you do take the bloody thing out. Not allowed to pull the cork/ nazzis :grumpy:. Get a big hammer smash it into shards take the coin and go buy your self a bag of peanuts or something. Better still melt the bottle and then take the coin out when it's liquid. Then refashion a new bottle from the glass. Last edited: davee123 Schrodinger's Dog said: Question 14 Which Way?: Once a boy was walking down the road, and came to a place where the road divided in two, each separate road forking off in a different direction. A girl was standing at the fork in the road. The boy knew that one road led to Lieville, a town where everyone always lied, and the other led to Trueville, a town where everyone always told the truth. He also knew that the girl came from one of those towns, but he didn't know which one. Can you think of a question the boy could ask the girl to find out the way to Trueville? If I asked you the direction to your town which of the roads would you tell me to use? Actually, this won't work on a cute little technicality. If you asked: "which is the direction to your town?", a liar would point to trueville, and a truth-teller would also point to trueville. However, since you asked "If I asked you the direction to your town ...", the TRUTH is that the liar would point to trueville, so, since the liar lies, the liar would INSTEAD point to lieville. DaveE mdelisio Question 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? Hand the bottle with the coin in it to the first person you see and say: "You can keep the coin if you take it out of the bottle for me." Schrodinger's Dog Three men die. On the pavement are pieces of ice and broken glass. Anyone want to have a stab at this one?? Science Advisor Homework Helper BobG said: For 16, I'd say Jenny had only one pet - a gerbil. For 14, he just has to ask, "Which fork do I take to get to your town?" Regardless of which girl it is, she'll point to Trueville. Why did stores start charging odd prices like$9.95?

Correct.

Because fools think $9.99 isn't$10 and $9.95 isn't$9.99 isn't $10 These ones are easy enough once you think about it. Actually the practice started about the same time that cash registers started recording transactions. If the prices were an even amount like$5, the clerk could slip the five in their pocket with no one the wiser. If the clerk has to make change for the customer, then the clerk has to enter the transaction in order to get access to the cash drawer and the amount of money in the register had better match the transactions that took place.

The clerk could enter the wrong price, but that gets ugly if the customer sees one amount on the register but has to pay something different. There's other ways to game the system, but it gets more difficult all the time - such as the difficulty you can run into when you want change from a store clerk, but don't want to buy anything.

Homework Helper
Am I batting 1000?

No, if a grandmother, mother, and daughter were shopping together, that would be two mothers and three daughters, at least one of whom went shopping without her mother. I guess all three could be unrelated to each other and all of them were shopping without their mother, but, for that matter, you can't be sure the daughter wasn't also a mother that happened to be shopping without her daughter.

Schrodinger's Dog
No, if a grandmother, mother, and daughter were shopping together, that would be two mothers and three daughters, at least one of whom went shopping without her mother. I guess all three could be unrelated to each other and all of them were shopping without their mother, but, for that matter, you can't be sure the daughter wasn't also a mother that happened to be shopping without her daughter.

Bob your a smart man and a lateral one, care to try the lateral puzzle above post no.23, it's a doozy, it involves a situation only a married man could think of?

Jimmy Snyder
No, if a grandmother, mother, and daughter were shopping together, that would be two mothers and three daughters ...
Not necessarily.

eom

daveb
1 Push the cork in the bottle.
2 She was walking
3 Throw it straight up
4 The lights are out, their eyes are closed, etc.
5 True (there are two T's and 3 t's)
6 The back part of train B is closerthan the front part of A.
7 The river was dry
8 None (it's a hole)
9 Once, then you'll be subtracting from 30
10 Nelly
11 There was a female with no daughter, her mother, and her mother. )OK, technically, the grandmother is a daughter too, so if you want it that way
there is no solution
12 None - the ladder rises withtheboat which rises withthe tide.
13 He carried the sacks as they passed the stream then put them back on the donkey (OK, not really teaching it a lesson...)
14 Ask which way to the girl's home. If she is a truth teller she'll point towards Trueville. If she is a liar, she'll also pint towards Trueville.
15 Go to the messy one because he cut the hair of the clean shop (and vice versa).
16 She has 1 cat and 1 dog.

Amir1999
#13 Amir filled the sacks with Cesium. He sold donkey kebabs at the market that day.

Schrodinger's Dog
Er no he filled the sacks with sand on several occasions, the donkey eventually got the message that jumping in water would make its load unbearable.

But it's lateral

I think the problem is though that he would of lost out, because all his donkeys would be kebab meat, and so none of their cargo would be able to be sold.

And as bad as kebab meat is, it's not really going to make up the price of a decent donkey

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Gold Member
Lateral thinking but also cheating

ree men die. On the pavement are pieces of ice and broken glass.

Try this one without using the internet minimum information lateral puzzle.

I don't know this one but my intuition tells me there was a glass of booze in there somewhere.

Homework Helper
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Three men die. On the pavement are pieces of ice and broken glass.
I think you forgot to mention that the object of this puzzle is to explain the scenario described above, and that we are allowed to ask you questions which can only be answered with "yes," "no," or "irrelevant." So I'll start with some questions:

1. Did the 3 men die at the same time?
2. Did any of the men know any of the other men?
3. Did the pieces of ice or broken glass cause any of the deaths?

Schrodinger's Dog
I think you forgot to mention that the object of this puzzle is to explain the scenario described above, and that we are allowed to ask you questions which can only be answered with "yes," "no," or "irrelevant." So I'll start with some questions:

1. Did the 3 men die at the same time?
2. Did any of the men know any of the other men?
3. Did the pieces of ice or broken glass cause any of the deaths?

Ok I can vaguely remember the answer, so I'll go look up the exact answer. It's not really a feedback thing, it's meant to be that hard, it was flagged as mind numbingly difficult and requires imagination. Ie intelligence

1. Within seconds of each other, the incident is related in some way by the answer
2. None of them know each other, but they are related by an incident.
3. No but they may lead you to assume something happened involving glass.(I can't be less vague without giving a huge clue)

This puzzle is a swizz really, it like all good lateral puzzles has many answers, if you use your imagination, the given answer though does reveal the most vital part of the puzzle which is not in the question, thus minimum information puzzle.

I don't know this one but my intuition tells me there was a glass of booze in there somewhere.

Might do might not, it doesn't have to, let's put it that way.

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Schrodinger's Dog
I'm going to give away the answer to this one and no um ahing and groaning I know it sucks

spoiler:
[color="#black"]A large man takes the elevator from the ground floor to the third floor penthouse apartment he shares with his wife. After greeting her, he sees a man's watch on the table and assumes she's been having an affair. Thinking her boyfriend has escaped down the stairs, he rushes to the French windows and sees a good-looking man just leaving the main entrance of the building. Furious, the husband pushes the refrigerator through the window onto the young man below. The young man is killed by the refrigerator. The husband is killed from a heart attack caused by overexertion. The wife's boyfriend, who was hiding inside the refrigerator, is killed from the fall.[/color]

Jimmy Snyder
I figured that was the answer, but I didn't post it because I wasn't sure about the French Windows.