Lateral Thinking Quiz 1

Posted in other trivia quizzes

The following quiz round was submitted by Andy Lake from the UK. Many thanks Andy, great work

1. When can you add 'two' to 'eleven' and get 'one' as the correct answer?

2. An old beggar collects cigarette ends from ashtrays and pavements and uses the tobacco to roll her own cigarettes. She has this practice down to a fine art, knowing that seven cigarettes ends will make one cigarette. Since she has collected 49 ends, how many cigarettes can she make from these?

3. A farmer in Somerset owns a beautiful pear tree. He supplies the fruit to a nearby grocery store. The store owner has called the farmer to see how much fruit is available for him to purchase. The farmer knows that the main trunk has 24 branches. Each branch has exactly 12 boughs and each bough has exactly 6 twigs. Since each twig bears one piece of fruit, how many plums will the farmer be able to deliver?

4. What five letter word does every oxford graduate pronounce wrong?

5. A high speed electric train is travelling Southwest at 90 kilometres per hour. The wind is blowing Westward at 30 kilometres per hour. In what direction will the smoke from the engine blow?

6. Two mothers and two daughters were fishing. They managed to catch one big fish, one small fish, and one fat fish. Since only three fish were caught how is it possible that they each took home a fish?

7. If you were to step into a sealed room filled with 100% methane gas and strike a match, what would happen?

8. Before mount Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain on earth?

9. Benjamin can never tell a lie. Fred can never tell the truth. One of them said, "The other one said he is Fred". Which one said that? Explain.

10. How can you physically stand behind your father while he is standing behind you?

11. If a doctor gives you three pills and tells you to take one pill every half hour, how long will they last?

12. Benjamin and jack were in a 100 metre race. When Benjamin crossed the finish line, jack was only at the 90 metre mark. Benjamin suggested they run another race. This time, Benjamin would start 10 metres behind the starting line. All other things being equal, will jack win, lose, or will it be a tie in the second race?

13. A man found a stick that weighed exactly two pounds. If the man cut the stick into eight equal pieces, how much would each piece weigh?

14. How can you throw a ball as hard as you can, and make it stop and return to you, without hitting anything and with nothing attached to it?

15. A cowboy rode into town on Friday, spent one night there, and left on Friday. How do you account for this?


1. When you add two hours to eleven o'clock, you get one o'clock.

2. Eight. She makes seven cigarettes from the 49 ends, and then she is able to make one more from the seven she has just smoked.

3. None. A pear tree does not bear plums.

4. The word "wrong". Only the word wrong can be pronounced as 'wrong'.

5. Electric engines don't blow smoke.

6. The fishing party consisted of three people. A grandmother, a mother and a daughter. The mother is both a mother and a daughter.

7. Nothing. The match cannot spark without oxygen.

8. Mount Everest.

9. It was Fred. Since Fred can never tell the truth, Benjamin couldn't have said, "The other one said he is Fred" since this would be a true statement made by Fred.

10. The two of you must stand back to back.

11. One hour. You would take the first pill immediately, the second a half hour later, and the third exactly one hour after taking the first.

12. Jack will lose again. In the second race, Benjamin started ten metres back. By the time jack reaches the 90 metre mark, Benjamin will have caught up to him. Therefore the final 10 metres will belong to the faster of the two. Since Benjamin is faster than jack, he will win the final 10 metres and of course the race.

13. Each piece would weigh just less than a quarter of a pound. (you must remember the sawdust created from the cut would cause the loss.) This is similar to the situation that appeared in Shakespeare's play 'the merchant of Venice.' when shylock won a pound of Antonio's flesh, he was allotted only the pound of flesh. This meant he could take a pound of flesh, but he could only do it on condition that he take no blood or even a fraction more than one pound of flesh.

14. Be outside and throw it upwards

15. His horse was named Friday


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