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Ten Intuitive Puzzles to Test Your Smarts

The trick with good puzzles is not to overthink them. Here are 10 quick puzzles to give your brain a bit of a workout. Give yourself a minute for each item. If you’re stuck, ask a kid. Good luck.

 

1.  Missing Word

What word is missing from this sequence?

inch
chapel
elongate
[?????]
amaze
zebra
radius
user

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2.  What Time Is It?

It’s dark, and you are in bed trying to fall asleep. A nearby clock signals each hour with as many strikes as the hour. For example, at five o’clock, the clock strikes five times. Every half-hour, the clock strikes once. You hear the clock strike once but cannot be sure what time it is. Half an hour later, the clock strikes once, but you still cannot tell what time it is. Finally, 30 minutes later, the clock strikes once and now you know the time. What time is it?

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3.  Sentance Errors

There are four misteaks concealed in this sentance; can you find them.

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4.  Crayon Box

A box of crayons contains purple, orange, and yellow crayons. The total number of crayons is 60. There are four times as many orange crayons as yellow crayons. There are also six more purple crayons than orange crayons. How many crayons of each color are there?

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5.  Cowboy Comes and Goes

A cowboy rides into town on Friday, stays for three days, and leaves on Friday. How is that possible?

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6.  Bridge Puzzle 1

A bridge is 10 miles in length. The capacity of the bridge at the exact center is exactly 10 tons. A pound of load more and the bridge collapses. A truck that weighs exactly 10 tons starts to cross the bridge. As the truck gets to the center of the bridge, 10 seagulls land on the truck. Nonetheless, the truck crosses the bridge without problems. Why doesn’t the bridge collapse?

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7.  Bridge Puzzle 2

This time the truck is carrying hundreds of live birds. Fully loaded, the truck weighs 10 tons and one pound as it approaches the center of the bridge that has a capacity of exactly 10 tons. As the truck goes over the center, the driver blows the horn to get all the birds to fly around inside the interior of the truck. Does this maneuver allow the truck to cross the bridge safely?

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8.  Unusual Paragraph

This is such an unusual paragraph. I am curious how quickly you can find out what is so unfamiliar about it. Look at it again. What’s significant about this string of words? It’s grammatically spot-on and nothing is wrong. But if you think about probability, it is atypical. So what’s wrong? A school kid can think it out in a pinch. Can you?

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9.  Vicious Dog

A vicious dog is tied to a tree with a six-foot leash. The dog follows your every move. You want to get within three feet of the tree without fear of being bit. How can you do so without hurting the dog?

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10.  Caged Canaries

If I put in one canary per cage, I have one bird too many. If I put in two canaries per cage, I have one cage too many. How many cages and canaries do I have?

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ANSWERS

 

 

1. team. The words are constructed by the final two letters of the preceding word and the first two letters of the subsequent word.

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2. 1:30 a.m. The first strike was at 12:30.   

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3. Mistake is spelled wrong. Sentence is misspelled. The question is missing a question mark. The fourth mistake is that the statement is wrong in that there are only three mistakes.

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4. 30 purple crayons, 24 orange crayons, 6 yellow crayons.

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5. Friday was the name of the cowboy’s horse.

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6. By the time the truck got to the middle of the bridge, it had burned five miles worth of fuel, lightening its load far more than the added weight of a few birds. 

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7. Theoretically, yes. The truck’s weight will be lightened by the birds flying around and no longer adding their weight to the truck. Note that this will work only if the truck is ventilated. If the truck is sealed, the weight of the birds will be transmitted to the truck by the air pressure created by the fluttering wings. 

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8. The paragraph is unusual in that it doesn’t contain a single letter “e,” the most common letter in English. 

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9. Since the dog follows every move you make, just start circling the tree. After several revolutions, the leash winds around the tree and becomes shorter. Eventually you can approach the tree knowing the dog is restrained.

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10. I have three cages and four canaries. 

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