Brain Teasers

The Light Switch

      You must determine which switch on a three switch panel on the first floor controls a light on the third floor of the building. The problem is you can only make one trip up the stairs to the light. How can you with certainty determine which switch operates the light? The other two switches are not connected to anything and there is no way to see any light from the third floor without going up stairs. You have no tools and you can not take the switch cover off.

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      Turn on the middle switch and the right-hand switch, wait 10 minutes. Turn the middle one off and run up the stairs. If the lightbulb is off and cold it is the left-hand switch. If the bulb is off and hot it is the middle switch. If the bulb is on it is the right-hand switch.

Test Your Knowledge

  1. There is one word in the English language that is always pronounced incorrectly. What is it?

  2. A man gave one son 10 cents and another son was given 15 cents. What time is it?

  3. A boat has a ladder that has six rungs, each rung is one foot apart. The bottom rung is one foot from the water. The tide rises at 12 inches every 15 minutes. High tide peaks in one hour. When the tide is at it's highest, how many rungs are under water?

  4. There is a house with four walls. Each wall faces south. There is a window in each wall. A bear walks by one of the windows. What color is the bear?

  5. Is half of two plus two equal to two or three?

  6. There is a room. The shutters are blowing in. There is broken glass on the floor. There is water on the floor. You find Sloppy dead on the floor. How did sloppy die?

  7. How much dirt would be in a hole 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide that has been dug with a square edged shovel?

  8. If I were in Hawaii and dropped a bowling ball in a bucket of water which is 45 degrees F, and dropped another ball of the same weight, mass, and size in a bucket at 30 degrees F at the same time, which ball would hit the bottom of the bucket first? Same question, but the location is in Canada?

  9. What is the significance of the following: The year is 1978, thirty-four minutes past noon on May 6th.

  10. What can go up a chimney down, but can't go down a chimney up?

  11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in the center field?

  12. What is it that goes up and goes down but does not move?

  13. Paul is 20 years old in 1980, but only 15 years old in 1985. How is this possible?

  14. What has four legs but only one foot?

  15. How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark?

  16. Kindly old Grandfather Lunn
    Is twice as old as his son
    Twenty-five years ago
    Their age ratio
    Strange enough was three to one
    When does Grandfather celebrate his centenary?

  17. Said a certain young lady named Gwen
    Of her tally of smitten young men
    "one less and three more
    Divided by four
    Together give one more than ten"
    How many boyfriends had she?

  18. There was a young fellow named Clive
    Whose bees number ten power five
    The daughters to each son
    Were as nineteen to one,
    A truly remarkable hive.
    How many sons (drones) were in the hive?

  19. A team's opening batter named Nero
    Squared his number of hits, the big hero!
    After subtracting his score
    He took off ten and two more
    And the final result was a "zero".
    How many hits did Nero make?

  20. Some freshman from Trinity Hall
    Played hockey with a wonderful ball;
    Two times its weight
    Plus weight squared, minus eight,
    Gave "nothing" in ounces at all.
    What was the weight of the ball?

  21. The Bar Z ranch was a dude ranch. One day a new "dude" asked one of the stable hands how many men were tending the horses in the corral. Having a mischievous sense of humor, he replied, "I saw eighty-two feet and twenty-six heads". He then walked away, leaving the dude scratching his head trying to figure it out. How many men were tending the horses?

  22. One morning as Paul was getting his newspaper, he noticed on his new house something that needed to be fixed. Heading over to the hardware store, he spoke to the manager, describing his problem. The manager said, "I know just what you need". He led Paul down some aisles and stopped in front of some bins. Digging down into some of the bins, he set something up on the shelf. "I saw your house when it was built", the manager said.

      Here's all that you'll need and how much it'll cost...
      five will be 15 cents while fifty will be 30 cents,
      250 will be 45 cents, while 2507 will only cost you 60 cents.
      One lady, about 20 blocks from your house, bought 30247 and only paid 75 cents!
      These are black, but they also come in gold and silver.
      What was the manager selling?

  23. If it takes 3 people to dig a hole, how many does it take to dig half a hole?

  24. What is the beginning of eternity. The end of time and space. The beginning of every end. And the end of every place.

  25. Read this sentence:

    Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.

    Now count aloud the F's in that sentence. Count them ONLY ONCE; do not go back and count them again.

The Answers

  • Incorrectly.

  • 1:45. The man gave away a total of 25 cents. He divided it between two people. Therefore, he gave a quarter to two.

  • None, the boat rises with the tide. Duh.

  • White. If all the walls face south, the house is at the north pole, and the bear, therefore, is a polar bear.

  • Three. Well, it seems that it could almost be either, but if you follow the mathematical orders of operation, division is performed before addition. So... half of two is one. Then add two, and the answer is three.

  • Sloppy is a goldfish. The wind blew the shutters in, which knocked his goldfish-bowl off the table, and it broke, killing him.

  • None. No matter how big a hole is, it's still a hole: the absence of dirt. (And those of you who said 36 cubic feet are wrong for another reason, too. You would have needed the length measurement too. So you don't even know how much air is in the hole.)

  • Both questions, same answer: the ball in the bucket of 45 degree F water hits the bottom of the bucket last. Did you think that the water in the 30 degree F bucket is frozen? Think again. The question said nothing about that bucket having anything in it. Therefore, there is no water (or ice) to slow the ball down...

  • The time and month/date/year are 12:34, 5/6/78.

  • An umbrella.

  • One. If he combines all of his haystacks, they all become one big stack.

  • The temperature.

  • The years are in B.C., not A.D. as you probably assumed. Based on the system we use to number the years, the years counted down in B.C. (but they weren't counting backwards back then).

  • A bed.

  • None. Moses didn't take animals on the ark. Noah did.

  • This year. He is 100, and his son is 50.

  • Gwen had forty-two boyfriends. 42-1=41. 41+3=44. 44/4=11. 11-1=10.

  • Five Thousand. Ten power five = 100,000. Divide that out (it was a 19:1 ratio) and you get a ratio of 95,000:5,000 (daughters:sons).

  • Four. If you square it, you get 16. Subtract his number of hits and you get 12. Subtract 10 and then 2 more and you get 0.

  • Two ounces. (Beach ball, or ping-pong ball?) 2x2=4. 4+2^2=8. 8-8=0.

  • Eleven men (and 15 horses). 11 (men) x 2 (feet per man)=22, 15 (horses) x 4 (feet per horse)=60, and 22 (men's feet) + 60 (horse's feet) = 82 feet. Also, 11 (men) + 15 (horses) = 26 (total heads).

  • House numbers. Each digit costs 15 cents.

  • It's impossible to dig a half of a hole. Either you have a hole, or you don't.

  • The letter E.

  • There are six F's in the sentence. One of average intelligence finds three of them. if you spotted four, you're above average. if you got five, you can turn your nose at most anybody. if you found all six, you are a genius. There is no catch. Many people forget the "OF"s. The human brain tends to see them as "Vs" instead of "F's".

  • Psych Test

    Answer the questions before you check out the interpretations below.

    1. If your boat sank and then you swim to a life boat and climb in, how many people are in there with you?

    2. Then you row to shore and have to cross a desert, how many pairs of shoes do you use?

    3. In the distance you see a city, but to the side you pass an oasis. Do you stop and rest for as long as you want, rest for just a minute, or ignore it and keep going towards to the city?

    4. You get to the city and there's a castle, at the edge of a long corridor you see a king (or a queen) on the throne. What does he look like?

    5. You go down this spiral stairway and it's dark, along the walls it's lit with torches intermittently. As you're walking down a knight (or a lady) from the court passes you by. You only catch a glimpse of his face. Who was he/she? Someone you know?

    6. Then you get to a banquet room and you see this long table and in the middle of the table is a gold goblet. You look inside. How full of wine is it?

    Interpretations To Your Answers

    1. That's how many true friends you have.

    2. That's how many true loves you'll have before getting married.

    3. This shows your work ethic.

    4. What you imagine your ideal mate to look like.

    5. This is the person you'll never get over for the rest of your life.

    6. How full it is represents how much of yourself you give in a relationship.

    Pop Quiz

    1. How long did the Hundred Years War last?

    2. Which country makes Panama hats?

    3. From which animal do we get catgut?

    4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

    5. What is a camel's hair brush made of?

    6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

    7. What was King George VI's first name?

    8. What color is a purple finch?

    9. What country do Chinese gooseberries come from?

    10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

    11. What color is the black box found in airplanes?

    The Answers To The Quiz

    1. 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

    2. Ecuador.

    3. From sheep and horses.

    4. November. The Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.

    5. Squirrel fur.

    6. The Latin name was Insularia Canaria - Island of the Dogs.

    7. Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert.

    8. Distinctively crimson.

    9. New Zealand.

    10. Thirty years, of course. From 1618 to 1648.

    11. The black box is orange in color.

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