20 Clever Brain Teasers and Witty Riddles for Kids and Adults

February 14, 2013 17:40 by kelly

Are you ready to give your brain a hearty workout? These clever brain teasers & witty riddles will require mental acuity, lateral thinking, and… a generous sense of humor! ;)

We've compiled twenty brainy puzzles of varying levels of difficulty - some are mathematical in nature, some will test your verbal cunning, and some are just plain silly. If you can't get one, don't fret, just move on to the next!

Now, there ARE answers at the bottom of the page, but... no peeking! You want to keep building those brain muscles - that IS why you're here, right? When you're finished, please leave us a comment & let us know how you did!

Good luck and have fun getting smarter!

The Questions:

1) Q: What 5-letter word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?

 

2) Q: Find a number less than 100 that is increased by one-fifth of its value when its digits are reversed.

 

3) Q: A farmer is trying to cross a river with a bag of corn, a hen, and a fox. The farmer's boat is only big enough to take himself and one other item per trip. The hen cannot be left alone with the corn or she will eat it. Likewise the fox cannot be left with the hen, or the hen will be eaten. How does the farmer get all three items across the river?

 

4) Q: A bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

 

5) Q: What letter comes next in the following sequence? D R M F S L T_

 

6) Q: Johnny's Mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

 

7) Q: A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

 

8) Q: If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

 

9) Q: How many times can you subtract the number two from the number fifty?

 

10) Q: It's a stormy night and a plane takes off from JFK airport in New York. The storm worsens, and the plane crashes - half lands in the United States, the other half lands in Canada. In which country do you bury the survivors?

 

11) Q: In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

 

12) Q: What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

 

13) Q: Given these equations, what does 4500 equal?

8898=7

4566=2

1203=1

2313=0

4566=2

5464=1

7774=0

1003=2

9856=4

9955=2

1886=5

1231=0

8764=3

4500=

 

14) Q: What's full of holes but can still hold water?

 

15) Q: Can you think of a common word that contains double C, double S and double L? Can you think of a second one?

 

16) Q: What number comes next in the following sequence? 2 4 8 10 20 _

 

17) Q: Without it, I'm dead. If I'm not, then then I'm behind. What am I?

 

18) Q: If you wrote all of the numbers from 300 to 400 on a piece of paper, how many times would you have written the number 3?

 

19) Q: You are in a place called Jack's World and there is only one law. There is a mirror, but no reflection. There is pizza with cheese, but not sausage. There is pepper, but no salt. There is a door, yet no entrance or exit. What is the law?

 

20) Q: I come in different shapes and sizes. Parts of me are curved, other parts are straight. You can put me anywhere you like, but there is only one right place for me. What am I?

Ready for the answers?

The Answers:

1) A: Short

2) A: 45 (1/5 of 45 = 9, 9 + 45 = 54)

3) A: The farmer takes the hen across first, and leaves her on the other bank. Next, he comes back, loads the fox onto his boat, and takes him back across the river. He drops off the fox on the opposite bank, picks up the hen, and brings her back to the original bank. He swaps the hen for the corn, and returns to the far bank with the corn - leaving it with the fox. Then, he returns once more to the original bank to get the hen. Once he brings her across, all four are happy to be on the other side!

4) A: The ball costs 5 cents. One dollar more than 5c is $1.05. The sum of which is $1.10.

5) A: D - each letter represents one note in the diatonic musical scale: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do

6) A: Johnny

7) A: Meat

8) A: 2nd Place

9) A: Once. After that, you'd be subtracting from 48.

10) A: You don't bury survivors!

11) A: You can't take a picture with a wooden leg; you need a camera.

12) A: Incorrectly

13) A: 2 - Each answer given equals the number of circles present in the numbers. So, 5699 would equal 3 and 4444 = 0

14) A: A sponge

15) A: Successfully. Unsuccessfully.

16) A: 22 (the sequence alternates +2, x2)

17) A: Ahead.

18) A: 120 (100 threes in the hundreds place + 10 threes in the tens place + 10 threes in the ones place)

19) A: Everything (each word) in Jack's World must contain double letters.

20) A: A jigsaw puzzle piece (how appropriate!)

 

A special thank you to Vernice, one of our Serious Customer Advocates and to Rob, our Serious Content Manager for contributing some ideas for this post!



So... how did you do? Leave us a comment & let us know your score!


Serious Brain Heath Part 3: Developing Brains, Active Minds

February 8, 2013 10:37 by rob

Early childhood is a pretty important time for a person [first understatement of 2013]. It's a time when much more than strengthening or sharpening skills is needed, children are currently in the process of developing all those skills! The more stimulation and interaction provided for these skills, the stronger their potential becomes.

 

SeriousPuzzles.com carries a wide selection of puzzles, games, and activities designed to engage the mind and strengthen these developing skills. Created by some of the most innovative and experienced minds in the market; they're full of fun from beginning to end, the fun just happens to be good for developing brains. The puzzles feature bright colors and visually exciting images to keep their attention, while larger and thicker pieces meet their motor skills on their level.

 

Assembling puzzles and playing with these interactive games helps to foster abilities like spatial recognition, attention and focus, as wells as encouraging positive feelings of achievement. It's entertainment with a benefit, both to growing minds and budding self-esteem!

 

Farm Sounds – Start puzzling early with this block puzzle filled with farm fun! The two pieces are cube pieces covered in half pictures of cheerful farm animals. When they are placed correctly in the included tray, the two pictures match up to show a Cow, a Pig, a Sheep, and more, but you'll also be rewarded with the sound that animal makes! (2 blocks, recommended for ages 2+)



 

Transport Trio – Chunky wooden pieces painted in bold colors interlock on top of each other within a sturdy wooden frame to form a playful and layered image of a jumbo jet, a car, and a sailboat. Not only does this help with spatial recognition as the child learns how the shapes fit, it also introduces sequencing. (8 pieces, recommended for ages 3+)



 

Spanish Alphabet (Alfabeto Español) – With bright colors and interactive sound, little puzzlers can learn the 27 letters of the Spanish Alphabet as well as a bit of simple vocabulary; engaging all the usual motor and visual recognition skills, this puzzle can play an effective role in early language development. (27 pieces, recommended for ages 3+)



 

Happy School Bus, Make 'Em Move – Just like in the song, the wheels on the bus go round and round! The fun here is just beginning when the puzzle is completed; you can turn the bus wheel like it's really rolling along, spin the soccer ball, and even make the skateboarder flip! (24 pieces, recommended for ages 4+)



 

I Learn: To Add & Subtract – This puzzle set includes several basic jigsaws that incorporate the flash card method for teaching basic arithmetic. Their clever design also shows concrete examples for the math with visual representations that are laid out as the puzzles are pieced together.

 

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Read Rob's other Brain Health Blogs:

 

Serious Brain Health Part 1: Is a Healthier Brain Just a Checkmate Away?

Serious Brain Health Part 2: Puzzling Makes Brain Health Not So Puzzling


Serious Brain Health Part 2: Puzzling Makes Brain Health Not So Puzzling!

December 12, 2012 22:55 by rob

Who doesn’t want improved neurological health, better cognitive performance, higher mental aptitude… You know, get a better brain box and stuff! 

There are a wide range of products and activities that make an even wider range of claims on how they’ll whip your noggin into shape. However, there is some dispute over whether their efficacy is exaggerated and the accuracy of results from testing and scoring these various fields of cognitive ability.

What is known, and this knowledge is reinforced by this contested field with experts and scientists arguing from all sides, is that that human brain is a complex muscle, an intricate organ, a practically magical spongy ball of smarts that we are still coming to understand. Keeping this still mysterious tool active and engaged is not a bad thing; definitely not detrimental to health or ability, on that we can all agree. Even if certain products won’t raise your IQ to Einstein levels, even if some tests are only narrowly applicable, keeping your brain engaged is definitely a positive!


While software and interactive programs have become increasingly popular – and hotly contested over their claims – in recent years, there have always been activities that keep the mind sharp. Last time we discussed the merits of Chess, and this week we come to jigsaw puzzles. [If you missed Part 1, click here to catch up!]

Jigsaw puzzles have been the gym equipment of the brain for decades, and there is substantial evidence that they help maintain, if not in fact improve, mental well-being. Jigsaws are more than just shaped pieces that interlock to form a completed picture, they are PUZZLES that challenge our brains! They challenge our shape recognition and our spatial intelligence, they stimulate fine motor skills and encourage creative thinking, they require focus and a developing ability to problem solve while exercising both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Through exercising these skills, the brain is strengthened via its natural process of attempting to increase efficiency in a repeated activity.

At Serious Puzzles we offer a huge variety of products under the Jigsaw Puzzle umbrella, and below are just some of the ones that fit the more standard definition. Jigsaws can incorporate a lot of additional aspects and factors, but that shouldn’t undercut the effectiveness of what is commonly understood as a jigsaw puzzle.


Heavenly Peace – Featuring art by James Meger, this puzzle depicts a charming winter scene with beautiful fallen snow, curious wildlife, a cozy cottage, and a traditional Christmas theme. Its 1500 piece count offers a significant step up from the challenge level of the average jigsaw, and like all Sunsout puzzles it was made in the USA.


Cookie Cutouts – This cheerfully colorful collection of Christmas cookies boasts a 2000 piece count and repeating patterns of designs and colors for a serious challenge with a seasonal flair. A reissue of a classic puzzle image, this puzzle is perfect for sharpening the mind on a cold winter’s night or in a warm, cookie-smell filled kitchen! As with all Springbok puzzles it was made in the USA.


Coral City – Piece yourself away to a magical underwater kingdom through this beautifully blue jigsaw puzzle featuring artwork by the beloved Fantasy artist, Ciro Marchetti. The heavy use of blue shades strengthens the challenge of this jigsaw, while the 1000 piece count offers accessibility to most puzzlers. Spiel Spass puzzles are made in Germany


Double Retrospect – Keith Harings recognizable artistic style pairs with a monstrous piece count to form the Guiness World Record holder for largest jigsaw puzzle, though it’s more like a jigsaw wall or a puzzle mural! If you don’t think you’re up for breaking the World Record of 1000+ completed jigsaws, you can at least get a feel for record breaking puzzling by completing this epic project. Get ready for a brain workout! This is like the marathon of jigsaw puzzling!
 

Whether they feature an epic size or complex imagery or feel more along the lines of the standard fare, jigsaw puzzles will always exercise the most important muscle we’ve got. Take your pick, the choices are numerous, and introduce some brain-strengthening fun to your life or even into this Holiday Season’s gift giving!