Looking for a little mental challenge? Test your cerebral fortitude with 22 tricky logic puzzles and riddles.
1. Water Jugs
Q: You have a 5-gallon jug , a 3-gallon jug and a water faucet. How can you accurately pour 4 gallons of water into the 5-gallon jug?
2. The Hourglasses
Q: On a table sits two hourglasses. One contains 11 minutes of sand and the other contains 7 minutes of sand. Using just these 2 hourglasses, how can you accurately time 15 minutes?
3. The River Crossing
Q: A detachment of soldiers must cross a river. The bridge is broken and the river is deep. Thinking of what to do, suddenly the officer in charge spots two boys playing in a rowboat by the shore. The boat is so tiny, however, that it can only hold two boys or one soldier. Still, all the soldiers succeed in crossing the river in the boat.
4. The Wolf, Goat and Cabbage
Q: A man has to take a wolf, goat and some cabbage across a river. His rowboat has enough room for the man plus either the wolf or the goat or the cabbage. If he takes the cabbage with him, the wolf will eat the goat. If he takes the wolf, the goat will eat the cabbage. Only when the man is present are the goat and the cabbage safe from their enemies. All the same, the man carries wolf, goat, and cabbage across the river. How?
5. How Old Am I?
Q: When my father was 31, I was 8. Now he is twice as old as I am. How old am I?
6. How Many Siblings?
Q: A boy has twice as many sisters as brothers, but each sister has only half as many sisters as brothers. How many brothers and sisters are in the family?
7. A Logical Draw
Q: Three puzzle participants are blindfolded. A white card is glued to each one’s forehead and they are told that not all the cards are black. The blindfolds are removed and the prize goes to the one who can correctly deduce the color of his card. All three announce white at the same time. Why?
8. Three Philosophers
Q: Three philosophers took a nap under a tree. While they were asleep, a prankster smeared their faces with charcoal. Upon waking they began to laugh, each thinking the other two were laughing at the other. Suddenly one man stopped laughing. How did he realize his own face was also smeared?
9. Making Change
Q: What is the maximum value of change that you can have in U.S. coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters) without being able to give someone exact change for a one-dollar bill?
10. Rope Burning
Q: You have two ropes. Each rope takes one hour to burn completely. Both ropes have varying thicknesses, meaning that different parts of each rope burn at different speeds. How can you accurately time forty-five minutes with just two ropes and a lighter?
11. Bridge Crossing
Q: Abe, Bill, Chris and Donald are all on one side of a narrow and dangerous bridge that they need to cross. It is late at night and very dark so they require a flashlight to cross safely. They have only one flashlight and the bridge is only strong enough to support the weight of two people at once. Each of the four people walk at different speeds: Abe can cross the bridge in one minute, Bill can cross in two minutes, Chris can cross in five minutes, and Donald can cross in ten minutes. When two people are walking together sharing the flashlight they can walk at the slower person’s pace.
How quickly can Abe, Bill, Chris and Donald cross the bridge safely?
12. Shashank Plan
Q: A man is imprisoned in a 10 ft. by 10 ft. by 10 ft. room. The walls are made of concrete, the floor is made of dirt. The only openings are a locked door and a skylight. The only tool he has is a small shovel with which he begins to dig a hole in the floor. The man knows it is impossible to tunnel out of his prison cell but continues anyway.
What is the man’s plan?
13. Between Two Trees
Q: You are standing at the edge of a lake. The lake is 500 feet in diameter and there is a small island in the middle of it. Next to you is a large tree and in the middle of the island there is a tree also. You cannot swim but you have a rope that is a little over 500 feet long. How can you use the rope to reach the island?
14. Five Apples
Q: Five apples are in a basket. How do you divide them among five girls so that each girl gets an apple but one apple remains in the basket?
Q: How many cats are sitting in a small room if in each of the four corners a cat is sitting, and opposite each cat there sit three cats, and at each cat’s tail sits another cat.
16. Broken Chain
Q: A metal smith needs to join five short pieces of chain into one long chain. Each segment contains three links each. He could easily complete this task in 8 steps of opening and closing links, but the metal smith believes he can do it in 6 steps.
17. Eating Garbage
Q: Your friend tells you his favorite food is the one where you throw away the outside and cook the inside, then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What food is he talking about?
18. The Dove
Q: A wise old man lived in little house on a hill. One day, two young boys from town decided they wanted to fool the man. They took a dove with them and knocked on his door. When he opened, one of the boys said to him, “Let’s see how smart you really are! Is the dove I’m holding behind my back dead or alive?” The old man smiled and replied “I cannot answer you because I know you are trying to trick me.” Despite knowing the condition of the dove, why didn’t the old man answer the young boy?
19. Bear Hunting
Q: A famous hunter woke up early one morning and headed south to hunt bears after eating breakfast. After travelling a mile south he spotted a bear, aimed his gun fired and missed. The bear was frightened and headed east. The hunter followed the bear and caught up with it after travelling half a mile. He shot the bear this time but only wounded it. The bear limped another mile but the hunter finally shot and killed it. The hunter walked the mile back north to his cabin and discovered it being marauded by another bear.
What color was the bear that was tearing up the hunter’s cabin?
20. What Am I? #1
Q: I will munch on what you feed me
Although I am not greedy
I easily add many pounds
Without my weight increasing
I do not begrudge thee
when you push and punch me
I have no will or goal than to
Resolve that which you ask me
What am I?
21. What Am I? #2
Q: Sometimes I follow
At times I lead
Sometimes I move
Right under your feet
Although I’m not bright
I am light indeed
At night I leave
What Am I?
22. What Am I? #3
Q: In water I’m born
On land I die
I’m like a cyclops
though I am blind
Although I have
no path in mind
Where I go
Death trails behind
What Am I?
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