Puzzles

A man pushed his car. He stopped when he reached a hotel at which point he knew he was bankrupt. Why?

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A man pushed his car. He stopped when he reached a hotel at which point he knew he was bankrupt. Why?

A man died and went to Heaven. There were thousands of other people there. They were all naked and all looked as they did at the age of 21. He looked around to see if there was anyone he recognized. He saw a couple and he knew immediately that they were Adam and Eve. How did he know?

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He recognized Adam and Eve as the only people without navels. Because they were not born of women, they had never had umbilical cords and therefore they never had navels.

This one seems perfectly logical but it can sometimes spark fierce theological arguments!

A man rode into town on Friday. He stayed for three nights and then left on Friday. How come? A silly one - but it is surprisingly popular.

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The man's horse was called Friday.

OK, so this is really a schoolboy riddle but people keep asking it!

A man was walking downstairs in a building when he suddenly realized that his wife had just died. How?

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The man had visited his wife in hospital. She was on a life-support machine. As he was walking down the stairs all the lights went out. There had been a power cut and the emergency back-up systems had failed. He knew that she had died.

A blind beggar had a brother who died. What relation was the blind beggar to the brother who died? (Brother is not the answer).

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The blind beggar was the sister of her brother who died.

This puzzle is one of a type that depends on the listener making implicit assumptions about gender - in this case that a blind beggar is a man. Similar puzzles involve surgeons who refuse to operate on their sons etc. This is probably the best of the class because it is very simply stated and yet which has the power to baffle those who have not heard it before.

A man is found dead in a field. He is clutching a broken match. What happened?

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He and a number of other passengers were making a balloon trip in a desperate attempt to flee a country. The balloon had to lose weight to stop it from crashing. He drew the short match and had to jump.

The music stopped. She died. Explain.

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She was a circus tight-rope walker who walked blindfolded over a high wire. The band played as she crossed and when the music stopped it was the signal that she had reached the end of the walk and could safely alight. One day the conductor was taken ill and the stand-in conductor ended the piece of music too early. She stepped off to her death.

Deep in the forest was found the body of a man who was wearing only swimming trunks, snorkel and facemask. The nearest lake was 8 miles away and the sea was 100 miles away. How had he died? This is supposedly based on a true incident. Does this make it an urban legend? Many urban legends can be restated as lateral thinking puzzles. This is a very good one of this type.

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During a forest fire, a fire-fighting plane had scooped up some water from the lake to drop on the fire. The plane had accidentally picked up the unfortunate swimmer.

One day Kerry celebrated her birthday. Two days later her older twin brother, Terry, celebrated his birthday. How come?

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At the time she went into labor, the mother of the twins was traveling by boat. The older twin, Terry, was born first early on March 1st. The boat then crossed the International Date line (or any time zone line) and Kerry, the younger twin, was born on February the 28th. In a leap year the younger twin celebrates her birthday two days before her older brother. This puzzle was submitted to Games Magazine's 'How Come' competition in 1992 by Judy Dean. It won.

12 members were present at a board meeting. Each member shook hands with all of the other members before & after the meeting. How many hand shakes were there?

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132. Think of it this way: the first person shakes hands with 11 people, the second person also shakes hands with 11 people, but you only count 10, because the hand shake with the first person was already counted. Then add 9 for the third person, 8 for the fourth, & so on. 66 hand shakes took place before & after the meeting, for a total of 132.

 

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