Main      Site Guide    
Brain Food

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.


A man rides into town on Friday. He stays three nights and leaves on Friday.



Beulah died in the Appalachians, while Craig died at sea. Everyone was much happier with Craig's death.



A man was brought before a tribal chief, who asked him a question. If he had known the answer, he probably would have died. He didn't, and lived.



Two men are found dead outside of an igloo.



A writer with an audience of millions insisted that he was never to be interrupted while writing. After the day when he actually was interrupted, he never wrote again.



Mr. Black asks for tea and gets $5,000. Then he asks for eyes, but Mrs. White can't give him any.



A young woman is whisked away to a far off land, where she kills the first person she meets. Then she teams up with three others to kill again.