Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Here’s some food for thought.  These are called lateral thinking puzzles.  I hope you enjoy them.  Just use them as a springboard for your creativity.

A man lives on the twelfth floor of an apartment building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator — or if it was raining that day — he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the tenth floor and walks up two flights of stairs to his apartment.

Solution:  The man is a dwarf.  He can only reach the tenth floor button, except when someone is in the elevator with him or he has an umbrella to reach number 12.

A man is lying dead in a room. There is a large pile of gold and jewels on the floor, a chandelier attached to the ceiling, and a large open window.

Solution:  The room is the ballroom of an ocean liner which sank some time ago. The man ran out of air while diving in the wreck

    3.  A man and his wife raced through the streets. They stopped, and the husband got out of the car. When he came back, his wife was dead, and there was a stranger in the car.

Solution:  The wife was about to have a baby. They drove to the hospital. The husband left to get a wheelchair, but the baby was born in the meantime, and the wife didn’t survive the birth.

A body is discovered in a park in Chicago in the middle of summer. It has a fractured skull and many other broken bones, but the cause of death was hypothermia.

Solution: A poor peasant from somewhere in Europe desperately wants to come to the United States. Lacking money for airfare, he stows away in the landing gear compartment of a jet. He dies of hypothermia in mid-flight and falls out when the compartment opens as the plane makes its final approach.

A man walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender pulls out a gun and points it at him. The man says, “Thank you,” and walks out.

Solution: The man has hiccups; the bartender scares them away by pulling a gun.

A man is returning from Switzerland by train. If he had been in a non-smoking car he would have died.

Solution: The man used to be blind — he’s returning from an eye operation which restored his sight. He spent all his money on the operation, so when the train (which had no internal lighting) goes through a tunnel, he thinks he’s gone blind again and decides to kill himself. But before he could do it, he saw the light of the cigarettes people were smoking and realized he could still see.

A man is dead in a puddle of blood and water on the floor of an otherwise empty locked room.

Solution: The man stabbed himself with an icicle.

 These are just a few of the ones I found at a great website called Brain Food.  Some of them are so outlandish, you have to laugh, but most of them make quite a bit of sense.  I’ve decided to take a little break from writing, and to take some time exploring possibilities.  I’ll still post regularly, so keep coming to my site, but the posts will be more rich in nature.  I’m working on improving my craft of writing.  It’s a daunting task, using modes and modalities, metaphors and similes, and the whole host of literary tools at my disposal.  So enjoy these lateral thinking puzzles and I’ll be back with a new article.


One Response to Lateral Thinking Puzzles

  1. Liara Covert says:

    Some say ‘pleasure’ is good. But this is nonsense. Pleasure is not good.

    For if they want to maintain that it is, then they must also say that there are disgraceful pleasures, and forget that nothing disgraceful can be good. CAN IT?

    (Borrowed from 101 Ethical Dilemmas by Martin Cohen)

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