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Tricky Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Lateral Thinking Puzzles, unlike most puzzles, are inexact. In a sense, they are a hybrid between puzzles and storytelling. In each puzzle, some clues to a scenario are given, but the clues don't tell the full story. Your job is to fill in the details and complete the story. Obviously, there is usually more than one answer to any given puzzle, but, in general, only one solution is truly satisfying.

You can try solving these puzzles on your own -- that's certainly a legitimate way to go about this -- but usually you can have more fun if you involve other people. The way this works is, you look at the answer (maybe you want to try the puzzle on your own first!), then read just the clues to your friends. Your friends must determine the answer by asking questions about it, which you may answer only with yes, no, or doesn't matter. You can adjust the difficulty of the puzzle by varying the initial clues, throwing in red herrings, and so forth.

Warning: For some reason, these puzzles have a tendency to be rather morbid.

The scenarios given on this page are a little more devious than those on the "realistic" page in that the clues sometimes rely on double meanings of words, and some of the scenarios couldn't occur in a realistic world.


Bruce wins the race, but he gets no trophy.



As a man jumps out of a window, he hears the telephone ring and regrets having jumped.



A man walks into a room, shoots, and kills himself.



Two people in a room alone. One looks around and realizes he's going to die.



A man lies dead in a room with fifty-three bicycles in front of him.



Charlie died when the music stopped.



A horse jumps over a tower and lands on a man, who disappears.



A train pulls into a station, but none of the waiting passengers move.



A man pushes a car up to a hotel and tells the owner he's bankrupt.



Glass breaks, and George and Gracie are dead.