Lateral Thinking Puzzles


LATERAL THINKING:The solving of problems by an indirect and creative approach, typically through viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.

  • First of all, lateral thinking questions are not exact puzzles, i.e. there is no one exact answer for these questions. Though there are so many possible answers, only one answer truly satisfies the given puzzle.
  • Our way of answering reflects our thinking and innovating skills.
  • Here,are few examples:

1:A woman walked up to a man behind a counter and handed him a book. He looked at it and said, “That will be four dollars.” She paid the man and then walked out without the book. He saw her leave without it but did not call her back. How come?

The possible solution:

She was returning an overdue library book.

2: Two naturalists were walking in the country. They were both keen to protect the environment and to conserve nature and wildlife. One said to the other, ” I was impressed by the way that you hit that bird.” The second replied, ” Yes, it was good, but not as good as that eagle that you hit earlier.” What were they  talking about?

The possible solution:

They were two golfers. In golf parlance, one had hit a “birdie” (one under par) and the other an “eagle” (two under par).


Question 1:

A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every day he takes the elevator to go down to the ground floor to go to work or to go shopping. When he returns he takes the elevator to the seventh floor and walks up the stairs to reach his apartment on the tenth floor. He hates walking so why does he do it?

Question 2:

What are three things that you can eat but you can never have for breakfast?

Question 3:

A police officer was sitting on his motorcycle at a red traffic light when two teenagers in a sports car drove by him at 50mph. He did not chase them or try to apprehend them. Why not?

Question 4:

A truck driver called into his office to report that his truck had broken down. A tow-truck was sent out to tow back the disabled truck. When they arrived, the truck that had broken down was towing the tow-truck. Why?

Question 5:

Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones?

Question 6:

How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building and live?

Question 7:

A factory specializes in producing furniture that is 20% smaller than normal furniture. The furniture is not designed for or sold especially to smaller sized people. Why do they make it?

Question 8:

A young girl was listening to the radio. Suddenly it went off for a minute and then came back on again. There was nothing wrong with the radio or with the program transmission from the radio station. She did not touch the radio controls. Why did it go off and on?

Question 9:

A deaf man need to buy a saw to cut some wood. He went into a hardware store. How did he indicate to the storekeeper that he wanted to buy a saw?

Question 10:

How do you keep 100 people under an umbrella without getting wet?




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