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Question 1 Bottleneck:

Put a coin in a bottle and then stop the opening with a cork. How can you get the coin out of the bottle without pulling out the cork or breaking the bottle?

Can you explain?

To answer these questions, you have to let your brain think in different ways than you may be used to. Here's an example:

Question 2: 

A girl who was just learning to drive went down a one-way street in the wrong direction, but didn't break the law. How come?

See if you can let your brain switch directions to answer these questions:

Question 3:

How can you throw a ball as hard as you can and have it come back to you, even if it doesn't hit anything, there is nothing attached to it, and no one else catches or throws it?

Question 4:

Two students are sitting on opposite sides of the same desk. There is nothing in between them but the desk. Why can't they see each other?

Question 5:

There are only two T's in Timothy Tuttle. True or false?

Source: Sterling, Brain Teasers, p.24

Question 6 Coast to Coast:

Train A and train B are crossing the country, from coast to coast, over 3,000 miles of railroad track. Train A is going from east to west at 80 miles per hour, and Train B is going from west to east at 90 miles per hour. Which train will be closer to the west coast when they meet? (Hint: You donít have to do any math to get the answer. Just use your head!)

Question 7 Crossing the River:

Jake was standing on one side of the river, and his dog Scruffy was standing on the other side. "Come on Scruffy, come, boy!" shouted Jake. Scruffy crossed the river, ran to Jake, and got a treat for being a good dog. The amazing thing was that Scruffy didn't even get wet! How did Scruffy do that?

Question 8 Digging Dirt:

How much dirt is in a round hole that is 9 feet deep with a diameter of 3 feet? (Hint: You donít have to do any math to get the answer. Just use your head!)

Question 9 Minus Two:

How many times can you subtract the number 2 from the number 32?

Question 10 Name the Dog:

Once a dog named Nelly lived on a farm. There were three other dogs on the farm. Their names were Blackie, Whitey, and Brownie. What do you think the fourth dogís name was?

Question 11 New Shoes:

One day, two mothers and two daughters went shopping for shoes. Their shopping spree was successful ó each bought a pair of shoes, and all together, they had three pairs. How is this possible?

Question 12:

The rope ladder of a boat hangs over the side of the boat and just reaches the water. Its rungs are 8 inches apart.

How many rungs will be under the water when the tide rises 4 feet?

Question 13 Outsmarting the Donkey:

Amir tied two sacks of salt to the back of his donkey and headed for the market to sell the salt. On the way, Amir and the donkey passed a stream. The donkey jumped in to cool himself. As a result, much of the salt dissolved into the water, ruining the salt for Amir but improving matters for the donkey because his load became much lighter. Amir tried to get to the market on the following days, but the donkey always ruined the salt. Finally, Amir decided to teach the donkey a lesson. He once again set out with the donkey and the two sacks.

What did Amir do differently this time so that after that day the donkey stopped taking a swim?

Question 14 Which Way?:

Once a boy was walking down the road, and came to a place where the road divided in two, each separate road forking off in a different direction.

A girl was standing at the fork in the road. The boy knew that one road led to Lieville, a town where everyone always lied, and the other led to Trueville, a town where everyone always told the truth. He also knew that the girl came from one of those towns, but he didn't know which one.

Can you think of a question the boy could ask the girl to find out the way to Trueville?


Question 15 The Barbershop Puzzle:

A traveler arrives in a small town and decides he wants to get a haircut. According to the manager of the hotel where he's staying, there are only two barbershops in town ó one on East Street and one on West Street. The traveler goes to check out both shops. The East Street barbershop is a mess, and the barber has the worst haircut the traveler has ever seen. The West Street barbershop is neat and clean; its barber's hair looks as good as a movie star's.

Which barbershop does the traveler go to for his haircut, and why?

Source: A Haircut in Horse Town, p.64 (and other sources)

Question 16 Cats & Dogs:

All of Jenny's pets are dogs except one. All of her pets are cats except one. How many cats and dogs does Jenny have?
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Answers:

Question 1:

Push the cork into the bottle, and shake the coin out.

Question 2:  

She was walking.

Question 3:

Throw the ball straight up in the air.

Question 4:

The two students have their backs to each other.

Question 5:

True. There are only two T's (upper case). There are also three t's (lower case).

Source: Sterling, Brain Teasers, p.24

Question 6:

When the trains meet, they will be at exactly the same point. Therefore, they will each be the same distance from the west coast.

Question 7:

There are two possible answers:

The river was frozen.

There was a bridge over the river, and Scruffy crossed the bridge.

 

Question 8:

None. You make a hole by digging out the dirt, so the hole is empty.

Question 9:

Once. After you subtract 2 from 32, you subtract 2 from 30, from 28, and so on.

Question 10:

Nelly. (If there are only four dogs on the farm, the fourth one must be Nelly!)

Question 11:

Only three people went shopping: a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter ó but remember that the mother was the grandmother's daughter!

Question 12:

When the tide rises 4 feet, the boat and its ladder will also rise. So no rungs will be under the water.

Question 13:

Amir loaded the sacks not with salt but with sand. When the donkey jumped in the stream and got the sacks wet, they became much heavier.

Question 14:

The question the boy should ask is, "Which way is your town?"

If the girl is from Lieville, she will point to Trueville because she has to lie; if she is from Trueville, she'll point to Trueville because she has to tell the truth. So whatever road the girl points to will be the road to Trueville.

Question 15:

The traveler goes to have his hair cut at the barbershop on East Street. He figures that since there are only two barbershops in town the East Street barber must have his hair cut by the West Street barber and vice versa. So if the traveler wants to look as good as the West Street barber (the one with the good haircut), he'd better go to the man who cuts the West Street barber's hair-the East Street barber.

By the way, the reason the West Street barbershop is so clean and neat is that it seldom gets customers.

Question 16:

Jenny has one cat and one dog.

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