Fun Brainteaser & Lateral-Thinking Puzzles

The following list offers a variety of wonderful brain-teaser problems that require only pen & paper to present and/or solve.

Many of these lateral-thinking puzzles are ideal for inclusion in your Mastermind Relay activities.

A link for the solutions to all of the puzzles featured here is located at the bottom of the page.

You may also want to explore many of our dedicated team puzzles featured elsewhere in our database such as Wordles, Alphabet Equations, Word Circles, Minute Mysteries and One Word.


Explore Team Puzzles



Drawing only three lines, divide the circle (shown at left) into eight sections.

Empty line drawing of a circle

Illustration of letters A B C


The two lines of letters below are distinctly different.

Identify one of the possible next letters in the sequence of each line:

A  X  I  M  E  __

B  Q  D  J  U  __


You have only two buckets. One holds exactly 3 litres and the other holds exactly 5 litres. Other than an unlimited supply of water from a tap, there are no other props or materials available to assist you to solve this problem.

Your task: Using only the two containers, describe how you can measure exactly four litres of water. Your solution should aim to solve the problem using the least amount of water.

Illustration of a bucket

Diagram of many squares



How many squares are there in the diagram shown on the left?



What can you find twice in a week, once in a year but never in a day?

Illustration of question mark with text box

Illustration of question inside talking bubble



What is a one-syllable word that becomes a three-syllable word when you add just one letter?



A rooster is sitting on top of a pitched roof.

If the rooster lays an egg, on which side of the roof will it fall?

Illustration of a rooster

How many triangles in this hexagon



How many triangles are there in the diagram shown on the left?



Together a bow and arrow cost $21.00. On its own, the bow costs $20.00 more than the arrow.

How much does the arrow cost?

Illustration of bow and arrow

Illustration of a house



There is a house on a mountain. All four walls face south. A bear passes by.

What colour is the bear?



Connect all nine dots (in the diagram at right) by drawing only four straight consecutive lines.

9 dots lateral-thinking puzzle

Illustration of a set of scales


You have eight identical-looking balls. Every ball weighs the same except one ball which is slightly heavier.

Using a set of scales only twice (you know, the Libran zodiac style as shown on the left,) describe how you can definitively identify which one ball is heavier than the rest.

Note, it is not possible to discern the weight differential by holding the balls in your hands.



Draw only two squares so that each of the nine dots (shown in the diagram at right) is in a separate space, ie each individual dot will exist in a space separate from all others.

9 dots lateral-thinking puzzle

Looking for the Solutions?


When you’re ready, click the button below to reveal the answers to all of these brainteasers. Be sure to scroll slowly lest you uncover the answers to more than what you’re looking for.


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