Not Even a Harvard Grad Could Ace This Extremely Difficult Brainteaser Quiz

By: Becky
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Are you a fan of brainteasers? Do you pride yourself on being the only one of your friends and family who can get them all right? If either of these statements describes you to a tee, then you've stumbled on the perfect quiz for you - or hey, maybe you Googled "brainteasers," and this is what you found ... either way, we're good. We've put together a quiz of 35 of the most challenging brainteasers we could find. Do you think you can get them all right?

We all agree that brainteasers are fun, but many people give up on them too quickly because they often prove too frustrating. The key to mastering brainteasers is to get rid of the preconceived notions that we all have when we read. Brainteasers work in a couple of ways ... they either contain information that is irrelevant to the question, or they are worded in such a way that tends to lead the reader to assume only the obvious. To solve a brainteaser, try to look past the superfluous information while reading between the lines - that's a brainteaser in itself!

So, if you think you're smarter than a Harvard grad, take this quiz to prove it.

Karen’s father had three children. The first child was named June. The second child was named July. What was the third child’s name?

The third child's name is Karen. The answer is in the question. The question asks, "Karen's father...," so, in addition to June and July, Karen's father has a child named Karen.

Jerry works at the butcher's counter at the grocery store. Jerry is six feet two inches tall and wears size 12 boots. What does Jerry weigh?

Jerry weighs meat. That's his job.

Harold moves his car to a hotel. Upon reaching the hotel, Harold is immediately bankrupt. Why?

Harold is playing Monopoly. He's becomes immediately bankrupt because he does not have enough money to pay the rent.

What makes the number 8,549,176,320 different?

This number is unique in that it contains numbers zero through nine in alphabetical order. We'll wait while you go back and say it out loud.

What do the following words have in common: polish and job?

These words are pronounced differently if you capitalize the first letter. Polish becomes a nationality instead of a nail decoration, and job becomes a name instead of an occupation.

Which word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

Incorrectly is the only word that is spelled incorrectly. Unless you spell incorrectly incorrectly. Confused?

Charlie was born on July 15th, yet his birthday always falls in the winter. How is this possible?

Charlie lives in the southern hemisphere. When it is winter in the northern hemisphere, it is summer in the southern hemisphere, so, for Charlie, July is winter, not summer.

In New Zealand, you can't take a photo of a person with a wooden leg. Why not?

Like many brain teasers, this one is all about the wording. Only a camera can take photos. In other words, you can't use a wooden leg to take a photo.

Janie is running a marathon. She passes the person in 2nd place. What place is Janie in now?

It would be an honest mistake to say first place. But if Janie passes the person in 2nd place, she then takes that person's place. So, Janie is in second place.

Which sentence is correct? “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”

Neither sentence is correct. Egg yolks are not white. So, regardless of which sentence is grammatically correct, neither sentence is actually correct.

What can you make more of as you take them?

You make more footsteps as you take more steps. Confused?

Farmer Joe has three haystacks in one field and six haystacks in another. How many haystacks would Farmer Joe have if he combined them all in one field?

Farmer Joe would have one large haystack. This one is tricky. We're not asking you to combine the fields, we're asking you to combine the haystacks.

Peter stands on one side of the Thames River. His dog, Fido is on the other side of the river. Peter calls Fido, who immediately crosses the Thames without getting wet and without using a bridge or a boat. How did Fido accomplish this?

This brainteaser works because the river is frozen. We tend to think of rivers as running water, but in this case, Fido can only accomplish this feat if the river is solid.

A sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. What timepiece has the most moving parts?

We don't often think of an hourglass as a timepiece, but it is. There are thousands, even millions, of moving parts (the grains of sand) in an hourglass.

Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the tallest mountain in the world?

Before Mt. Everest was discovered, Mt. Everest was the tallest mountain in the world. Even though it had not yet been discovered, it was still the tallest mountain in the world.

What is unusual about these words: revive, banana, grammar, voodoo, assess, potato, dresser, uneven?

These words are unusual in that, if you take the first letter of each word and place it at the end of the word, it spells the same word. We'll wait while you go back and look at them again.

What 4-letter word becomes longer when you add two letters to it?

The word "long" becomes "longer" when you add to letters to it. The two letters to add are "er." Tricky, right?!

Sandy put a penny into an empty bottle and inserted a cork into the neck of the bottle. Can Sandy remove the penny without removing the cork or breaking the bottle?

Yes, Sandy can. She would simply have to push the cork down into the bottle and shake out the penny. This method would leave the cork in the bottle and the bottle intact.

In 1995, Jimmy is 15 years old. In 2000, Jimmy is 10 years old. How is this possible?

Jimmy lives in BC time, or BCE, Before Common Era. In BC, time counted down toward 0.

You dig a hole that measures five feet by three feet by six feet. How much dirt is in the hole?

If you dig a hole that measures five feet by six feet, there is no dirt in the hole. Holes are, by definition, empty.

Betty is in a cabin and it is pitch black. Betty has one match. What should Betty light first: the newspaper, the lamp, the candle or the fire?

Betty would have to light the match first. Even if she lit any of the items listed, Betty would have to light the match first.

Farmer Ben has 15 horses. All but 10 die. How many horses does Farmer Ben have left?

If Farmer Ben had 15 horses, and all but 10 die, Farmer Ben would have ten horses left. We tend to subtract ten from 15, but this teaser is worded tricky.

How far can a bear run into the woods?

A bear can only run halfway into the woods. After the halfway point, the bear would technically be running out of the woods.

In a year, there are 12 months. Four months have 30 days. How many months have 28 days?

All 12 months in a year have at least 28 days. Did this one fool you?

Which is heavier? A pound of sugar or a pound of cement?

Neither is heavier. A pound is a pound regardless of what item is being weighed.

A plane crashes on the border of the U.S. and Canada. Where do they bury the survivors?

They don't bury the survivors anywhere. Survivors are alive. This one is an oldie but a goodie!

You are driving a bus. At the first stop, five women get on. At the second stop, four women get on and three women get off. At the third stop, two children and their father get on, and one woman gets off. The bus is blue, and it is snowing outside. What color is the bus driver’s hair?

Since you are driving the bus, the bus driver's hair is the color of your hair. This teaser contains a ton of extraneous information to confuse you.

First, you threw away the outside and cooked the inside. Then you ate the outside and threw away the inside. What did you eat?

If you threw away the outside (the husk) and cooked the inside, then you ate the outside and threw away the inside (the cob), you ate corn on the cob. Did you get this one right?

A two-year-old girl is walking down the road with a doctor. While the girl is the doctor’s daughter, the doctor is not the girl's father. Who is the doctor?

The doctor is the girl's mother. This teaser plays on to things: too much information and the fact that we tend to think of doctors as men.

Hery Rajaonarimampianina has a long one. Huey Long has a short one. Cher does not use hers. Hillary Clinton always uses hers. The Pope never uses his. What is it?

A surname is a last name. This teaser is referring to last names, or surnames.

Your parents have four daughters, including you and each daughter has two brothers. How many people are in the family?

There are eight people in the family. There are two parents, four daughters and two brothers.

What word describes a man who does not have all his fingers on one hand?

The man would be described as normal. Since most people have ten fingers, only five of them would be on one hand, not all of them.

Kevin is just learning how to drive. He goes down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but he didn’t break the law. How is this possible?

Kevin is walking, not driving. This teaser is tricky, because it includes information that is not pertinent to the question.

Barry ate one egg every day. Barry does not have any chickens at home. Barry also never bought, borrowed, or stole chicken eggs. How is it possible that Barry ate one egg every day?

This is possible because Barry is not eating chicken eggs. This teaser is tricky because we tend to think of eggs as always coming from chickens.

What can travel around the world while still in a corner?

A stamp travels around the world, but it's always in a corner ... the corner of an envelope, that is. We thought we'd end on a high note... get it? Note?

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