Top 10 Brain Teasers of All Time
See how many of these classics you can answer correctly. All answers revealed at the end.
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What disappears the moment you say its name?
Children aged between 4 and 6 can solve this problem in less than 5 minutes. Can you?
The answer is 2. For each number count the number of circles present in the letters. Adult brains tend see what the numbers represent, an equation, and so we look for a mathematical solution. Those not yet trained to recognise the sequence as an equation do not limit their search for a solution and begin to evaluate the pattern visually. Interestingly in brain teasers like this people with ADHD and other neurological impairments tend to perform better.
The clever butler needed some extra cash, so he tells his master:
"I know almost every song that has ever been written"
The master laughs at this, but the butler says
"I am willing to bet you a months pay that I can sing a song that you have heard of with the lady's name of your choice in it."
"Deal", says the master. "How about my mother's name, Felicity Jane Ashley?"
And so the bulter sang and earned himself an extra months pay.
What song did he sing?
He sang "Happy Birthday" of course!
In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half the lake?
The patch doubles in size every day and so on the 47th day the patch will be half the size it is on the 48th day
Can you think of a word associated with all three of these words:
cottage, Swiss, cake
If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
Each machine takes 5 mintues to make its widget. Each of the 100 machines will have finished making its widget in 5 mintues
All roses are flowers.
Some flowers fade quickly.
Therefore some roses fade quickly.
True of False?
This is not a valid statement. Some flowers do fade quickly but roses are not the only type of flowers and so it is not necessarily true that roses fade quickly. In other words some flowers does not mean all roses.
A bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?
The ball costs 5c. Not 10c. One dollar more than 10c is $1.10, $1.10 + 10c is $1.20
One dollar more than 5c is $1.05. The sum of which is $1.10
A German spy was in Canada trying to steal insider information on how to set up new Maple Syrup factories in Germany. He was being introduced to the operations manager of the biggest factory in Canada.
However the manager was suspicious and decided to test him with a question before he trusted him. So he asked, what would you be sure to find in the middle of Toronto?
The spy thought fast and came up with an answer for the manager.
What did he say?
An "o" of course. (as in toronto).
A farmer in Australia grows a beautiful pear tree, which he harvests to supply fruit to all the nearby grocery stores.
One of the store owners has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available that he can buy. Unfortunately the farmer isn't currently near the tree, so he has to work it out in his head.
He knows that the main trunk of the tree has 24 branches. That each branch has 12 boughs and that each bough has only got 6 twigs. Each one of these twigs bears one piece of fruit, so how many plums will he be able to sell to the store owner?
None! He doesn't own a PLUM tree... he owns a PEAR trear!
(I know, right... that's just mean)
During a visit to a mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criteria is that defines if a patient should be admitted.
"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub. Then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the patient and ask the patient to empty the bathtub."
Okay, here's your test: Would you use the spoon, the teacup or the bucket?
"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would choose the bucket, as it is larger than the spoon."
What was the director's response?
"No," answered the Director. "A normal person would pull the plug."
(any answer with the word plug would be accepted)
3 Tips to help you answer:
- Don't trust your brain
- Go for a walk
These are creatively minded questions. Creativity relies upon right brain thinking. Research has shown the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex which is responsible for inhibition is not active in very creatively minded individuals like jazz musicians. Let go, meditate and breathe.
Our brains have evolved to see problems and quickly formulate intuitive answers. It's an efficient way to solve problems and save time. Unfortunately these intuitive answers are often wrong. Spend a few seconds to test your answers. You might be surprised at what you overlooked.
How many times have you given up on a problem you've concentrated intensely on only to have a breakthrough while in the shower or walking down the street?