[Math Lair] Lateral Thinking Puzzles #4

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Lateral Thinking Puzzles on Math Lair:
Puzzles: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.
Hints: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.
Answers: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5.

Here are some more lateral thinking puzzles:

  1. A man is found dead in the middle of a field. His death was through misadventure, but no sign of any deadly weapons, traps, poisons, animals, or anything of that nature can be found either in the field or on the man. The man, while still some distance away from the field, knew that he would die once he reached the middle of the field, but, although he did not want to die, continued going there anyway. How did he die?
  2. Joe is playing in a correspondence chess tournament. He has two more games to play. He is playing white in one game and black in the other. Two points are awarded for a win and one point for a draw. If he scores two points, he will win the tournament. However, both opponents are much stronger than he is. How can Joe, who doesn't have any scruples, play so that he can get the two points he needs?
  3. The evening before daylight savings time ends, Fred sets all ten of his clocks an hour back for standard time so that they would show the correct time the next morning. However, when he wakes up at 8:00, only two of the clocks showed the correct time. Why?
  4. Acting on a tip, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don't know what he looks like but they know that his name is John and that he is inside the house. When the police enter the house, they find a carpenter, a truck driver, a mechanic, and a fireman playing poker. Without any hesitation or communication of any kind, they immediately arrest the fireman. How did they know that they had the right person?
  5. Many years ago, a farmer owed a large amount of money to a moneylender, who was going to have him thrown in jail. The farmer's daughter went to the moneylender and begged him not to throw her father in jail. The moneylender proposed the following bargain: He would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty money bag. The daughter would pick a pebble from the bag. Regardless of what colour pebble she picked, her father's debt would be forgiven, but if she picked the black pebble, she would have to marry the moneylender. The farmer's daughter did not want to marry the old, ugly moneylender, but agreed to this for her father's sake. They called the village judge to be a witness. Then, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles from the pebble-strewn path. However, the girl, being more sharp-eyed than the old judge, noticed that both pebbles were black. The moneylender then asked the girl to pick a pebble from the bag. What did she do?
  6. A man in the United Kingdom saw an advertisement for a colour engraving of Queen Elizabeth II for only £1. He purchased the engraving, but when it arrived in the mail, he was upset with his purchase, even though it was as described. Why?
  7. On a certain bus line, passengers are not allowed to carry luggage that is more than four feet in length. A man has a fishing rod five feet in length. How can he get it onto the bus?
  8. You are by a lake that is square-shaped. In the middle is a square-shaped island that is 20 feet away from each side. You would like to reach the island. However, all you have is two planks, each of which is slightly less than 20 feet. You have no means of fastening the two planks together. How can you reach the island?
  9. Two police officers are called to investigate a robbery in progress on the top floor of a three-storey office building. The only ways of reach the upper floors of the building are a single elevator and a single stairwell. There is no fire escape and the windows cannot be opened. Having learned that the robber is still on the third floor, one officer ascends the stairs and another rings for the elevator, gets in the empty elevator and rides it to the third floor. Both police officers arrive on the third floor at the exact same time, only to be told that the robber has just left the building. How did the robber escape?
  10. On his way to work each morning, a man living on the fifteenth storey of an apartment building takes the elevator to the first floor. When he returns, he takes the elevator from the first floor to the seventh floor and then walks the remaining eight floors. However, he doesn't need the exercise and doesn't particularly like walking up the stairs, so why does he do this?

The answers can be found at Lateral Thinking Puzzles #4 Answers. Need a hint?

If you enjoyed these puzzles, there are four other pages of lateral thinking puzzles on this site: See page 1, 2, 3, and 5.