Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Lateral thinking problems that require require a little imagination to solve.

1. Not far from Madrid, there is a large wooden barn. The barn is completely empty except for a dead man hanging from the middle of the central rafter. The rope around his neck is ten feet long and his feet are three feet off the ground. The nearest wall is 20 feet away from the man. There is a puddle of water nearby. It is not possible to climb up the walls or along the rafters. The man hanged himself. How did he do it?

Solution: He climbed on a block of ice which has since melted.

2. A woman has incontrovertible proof in court that her husband was murdered by her sister. Both the woman and her sister are before the Judge. The judge declares, "This is the strangest case I've ever seen. Though it's a cut-and-dried case, this woman before me cannot be punished." How can this possibly be?

Hint: The sister is alive and so could technically speaking be punished, but although probably not by the laws of any western judicial systems.
Solution: The sisters are conjoined twins.

3. It was a dark stormy night and a couple were in a car racing madly through a foreign city. The car broke down and the husband had to go get help from someone who spoke his language. He was afraid to leave his wife alone in the car so he pulled up the windows and locked the car before leaving. When he came back, the car was in the same state as he had left it but his wife was dead, there was blood on the floor and there was a stranger in the car. What happened?

Hint: The husband must have been away from the car for more than a mere couple of minutes.
Solution: The wife was about to have a baby. They were driving to the hospital. The baby was born, and the wife didn't survive the birth.

4. Five pieces of coal, a carrot and a scarf are lying on a hill near a remote house. Nobody put them on the lawn but there is a perfectly logical reason why they should be there. What is it?

Hint: They have been lying there a while.
Solution: They were used by children who made a snowman. The snow has now melted.


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