Quiz: Can You Get 11 of These Basic Brain Teasers?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Get 11 of These Basic Brain Teasers?
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By: Robin Tyler
6 Min Quiz
Image: SEAN GLADWELL / Moment / Getty Images
About This Quiz
It's amazing how brain teasers can stump people. Even something to which you might know the obvious answer might not be a simple thing to work out for someone else.
Brain teasers have been around forever. Do you remember, as kids, swapping different brain teasers and trying to catch your friends with the newest one you found in a book in the library? Today's kids have it easy, thanks to the internet. Want some brain teasers? Just ask Google. But let's not get off topic here.
Believe it or not, even simple brain teasers can have people shaking their heads as they try to work out the answer. Sometimes all it takes is a little common sense to work them out. But what is common sense? It's about having practicality about yourself, and good judgment. That's fairly important. It's finding the right answer when others seem just as possible. It's about knowing situations, how people might react, and finding your way when things are a little cloudy.
And if you have common sense, then this easy brain teaser quiz shouldn't present much of a problem for you. But what about the questions in this quiz? Although many of them may obvious, they are not and you should carefully scrutinize all the available options before clicking on your choice.
Do you think you can ace it? Prove to yourself that our brain teasers are no match for your common sense! Good luck!
If you have six fish and half of them die from drowning, how many do you have?
This one catches out many, many people. Why? Well, it's because three would immediately jump into your mind. But if you read the question carefully ... fish can't drown, can they? So, you would still have six left!
Take three houses. One is red, the other blue and the final one is white. The red house is to the left of the one in the middle. The blue house is right of the one in the middle. Where is the White House?
OK, so that's not too tough. Notice we never say the red house is left of the white house but left of the house in the middle. On a side note, did you know that the White House is well over 200 years old? It was completed on October 13, 1792.
You're sitting in a cabin in the dark and cold and you are hungry. You have only one match. What do you light first?
Although you need to light all the other things to get warm and fill your belly, you won't light them if the match is not lit first. But you knew that, right?
Clive's dad had five sons. He named them 1, 2, 3, 4 and _______.
Well, you are probably kicking yourself if you got this one wrong. But don't feel bad. People just skim over the question and think it is an easy one. But the answer is in the question. Did you miss it? Yes, it is Clive!
If 10 pigeons sat on a wire and someone shot one, how many would be left?
First of all, no one should be shooting pigeons but this is a hypothetical situation just for the purpose of a brain teaser. If someone shot one pigeon, well then nine would be left. But they wouldn't be sitting on the wire anymore. They would have flown away after hearing the gunshot.
A house takes eight hours to be built by four men. How much time would it take one man to build it?
You got this one, right? Read the question carefully. We didn't say how long it would take one man to build another house. And for that reason, there is nothing to build. The eight men already finished the job, so therefore, zero hours.
What did the eye say to the other eye?
This is an old brain teaser but certainly a good one. And, of course, between your two eyes, you would find your nose. Did you know lungs do not like air that is dry? That is why you should breathe through your nose. It will help to add moisture and humidity to the air before it enters your lungs.
Can a man marry his widow's sister?
OK, let's think about that for a second. His widow's sister? Why not? Well, there is the small problem that he is actually gone. Gone where? He slipped the mortal coil; he is dead! Read it again, his widow's sister. The word widow is the dead giveaway (so to speak)!
When you dig a hole 4 feet deep, 5 feet wide and 6 feet long, how much dirt is in it?
Yes, none. When digging the whole, you would have placed the earth or dirt you removed from it on the side. If you put it back in the hole, you wouldn't have gotten very far. I can't be a hole if still has dirt in it.
While the wind is blowing from east to west, an orange falls from a tree. Where will it land?
Wind speed is going to do little to affect where an orange will fall when it drops from the tree. And there is no mention of a downslope or hill. So the orange will fall on the ground!
Find the answer to this brain teaser. Heavy it is but reverse it's not?
This is a classic word brain teaser. Did you get it right? It's always the best policy with brain teasers not to jump to the first answer that looks correct. So, the answer is ton. Sure, that's heavy. Now reverse it? And there you have the "not." Clever, hey?
In a year, how many seconds are there?
Twelve seconds? Yes, that is correct. "But how can that be?" you ask. Well, it is simple really. The 2nd of January, 2nd of February, 2nd of March, and so on until we get to December. Twelve seconds!
A doctor gives you three pills with the strict instruction to take one every half hour. How long will it take to finish them?
I bet you math whizzes got this answer correct. And yes, it is one hour, not one and a half hours. Why? If you take the first pill at 10, the second at 10.30 and the third at 11, then only one hour has elapsed.
Answer this brain teaser, please. My hands move but I can’t clap. What am I?
Yes, a clock has hands, but they certainly can't clap. They can do something else a human hand and finger can do ... and that is the point but only at the time! Clapping, or applause was thought to have started with the Romans.
If you want to throw a ball, have it reverse direction and come back to where it started, what do you do?
Throwing a ball in the air and catching it is the simple way to have it reverse its direction and come back to where it started. And it's all thanks to gravity because without it, the ball would keep on traveling. We would also float. Wait, how cool is that. Damn you, gravity!
In 2008, what was the president's name?
Although the president in 2008 was Barack Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, his name then was the same as it is today. You got this one right, didn't you?
The salesperson at a butcher shop is 7 feet tall and has size 18 feet. What does he weigh?
Well, we would need a scale to see how much the clerk clocks in terms of pounds but you can rest assured that every day, he weighs meat! Another classic brain teaser that kids will love!
At the end of every rainbow you will find what?
If Irish mythology is to be believed, its a pot of gold and a possessive leprechaun that you would find at the end of every rainbow. But in the world of the brain teaser, it is simply the letter "w."
What was the highest waterfall in the world before Angel Falls was discovered?
Despite the fact that it was not discovered, Angel Falls would still have been the highest waterfall in the world. Nothing was bigger, so therefore, discovery or not, it was the highest. Incidentally, Angel Falls is 979 meters high.
How many pies in a baker's dozen?
That's right. Apparently, bakers are the charitable sort, because a baker's dozen is 13. Actually, they made the extra one in case something went wrong. If it did, they then had a spare with which to replace the problem item.
If you have it, you want to share it. If you share it, you don’t have it anymore. What is it?
Isn't this so true? How many times have you been told a secret that you just want to tell someone? Every single time, right? And when you do, it's no longer your secret. Plus, the person who told you is probably going to get mad that you shared it. A secret is only a secret if you keep it!
Name the month that has 28 days?
Although February is a month with just 28 days, or 29 when it's a leap year, if you think about it, all the months of the year have 28 days. Did we catch you with that one or not? You would be surprised how many people get it wrong.
How do you lift a giant with one hand?
So true! Giants are hard to find these days and giants with one hand even more so. Try this one on your kids; they will love a classic brain teaser like this!
Do you know why a person living in New York cannot be buried in California?
OK, so this is a brain teaser classic! And you should have gotten it right, right? Certainly, there is no law from 1797 that doesn't allow someone from New York to be buried in California. The simple reason it cannot be done is that the person is not dead!
How is it possible to go five days without sleeping?
Imagine not sleeping for five days and nights! Yawn! It makes you tired just thinking about it. But back to the brain teaser. If you're not sleeping during the day, you certainly will be sleeping at night. So, no problems there.
In what year were Christmas Day and New Year's Day celebrated in the same year?
For some reason, our brains think that Christmas and New Year's Day are separated by two different years. But that is because we celebrate Christmas, and then, New Year's Day comes in the following year, just a week later. We forget we already had a New Year's Day in the year in which we just celebrated Christmas, however.
Is there a 4th of July in Great Britain?
Yes, there is even a 4th of July in North Korea and every other country in the world. It's a day in July and it happens annually. But the holiday of the 4th of July as celebrated by Americans happens only in the United States.
If you drop me, I crack. If you smile at me, I’ll smile back. What am I?
I bet you know a few people who would be lost without their mirror. Mirrors, as we know them today, are silvered-glassed and were first invented in 1835 in Germany by a chemist named Justus von Liebig.
A truck driver goes the wrong way down a one-way street and passes a few police officers. Why is he not stopped and ticketed?
Although it's possible that they may not have seen him, or they were too engrossed in their doughnuts, at no point did we say he drives his truck past them. So by logical deduction, we can say he was walking and that's not an offense.
What is something that you are forever leaving behind but still always have?
Isn't it amazing that every single person in the world has unique fingerprints? Just think about it. There are 7.7 billion people in the world and each of them has their own fingerprints, never to be repeated. The first time fingerprints were used to solve a crime was in 1892 in Argentina.
What runs around your home but doesn't move?
OK, this brain teaser only works if a fence really goes around the entire house. What if it is only on the front of the house? Just kidding! It's a great little brain teaser, especially for young kids.
Which of these can you catch but cannot throw?
The general saying in English when you get the sniffles is to say that you "caught a cold." Now, you cannot throw that at someone, can you? The common cold can be caused by 200 separate viruses.
Which is heavier? One-hundred pounds of gold or 100 pounds of feathers?
Although you would need plenty more feathers than gold to make up 100 pounds, they weigh exactly the same. Not sure what you are going to do with all those feathers!
Every single person on earth has me. And you can't lose me, even if you try. What am I?
As Cat Stevens once said, " Oh, I'm bein' followed by a moon shadow, moon shadow, moon shadow." Certainly, if there is a strong source of light around, then we are going to have a shadow. But why? Well, any object through which light cannot pass forces the light around it and essentially, that is how a shadow is cast.
What is always coming but never arrives?
Well, it just makes sense, doesn't it? By the time tomorrow comes, it has become today. And then, there is another tomorrow, but it's today again. So, does tomorrow even exist? Think about that!
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