Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Lateral thinking problems that require you to pay close attention to the exact wording of the problem.

1. A woman gave natural birth to two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same month of the same year. But they were not twins and she had no access to a time machine. How could this be?

Solution: They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets, etc.)


2. A man was driving alone in his car when he spun off the road at high speed. He crashed through a fence and bounced down a steep ravine before the car plunged into a fast flowing river. As the car slowly settled in the river, the man realized that his arm was broken and that he could not release his seat belt and get out of the car. The car sank to the bottom of the river. He was trapped in the car. Rescuers arrived two hours later, yet they found him still in the river, but alive. How come?

Solution: The water in the river only came up to the man's chest.

3. A police officer saw a truck driver clearly going the wrong way down a one-way street, but did not try to stop him. Why not?

Hint: The truck driver was not in reverse, nor was he in any particular emergency.
Solution: The truck driver was walking.

4. A man buys rice at $1 a pound from American growers and sells them at $0.05 a pound in India. As a result of this he becomes a millionaire. How come?

Hint: This really could happen, and probably does in some form or other.
Solution: The man is a philanthropist who bought great quantities of rice to sell to poor people at prices they could afford. He started out as a billionaire, but lost so much money in his good works that he became a millionaire!

5. A New York city hairdresser recently said that he would rather cut the hair of three Canadians than that of one New Yorker. Why?

Solution: Because he would earn three times as much money!


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