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?
















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.



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

$5 Off Every Puzzle Order? Yes!

December 5, 2012 10:20 by kelly


The coupon says it all. Take $5 Off today 12/5 - on anything & everything you want to buy at www.SeriousPuzzles.com. No minimum order. Any puzzles you want. Today only. Perfect for holiday shopping for everyone on your list.  Or… just for you - because you've been wanting that one cutesy wutesy lovey dovey puppy in a hammock puzzle all for yourself. Hey, we're cool with that.

Leisure Time - 500pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Castorland


Use coupon code EML5OFF (and we don't have to tell anyone about the puppy puzzle). Happy puzzle shopping!


Only a Thousand? Sounds Like a Beatable Record

December 4, 2012 12:03 by rob

Do you jigsaw daily? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to hold a world record? Do you crave the fame and fortune that only a Guinness World Record celebrity can attain? Well, have we got an opportunity for you!

Just recently, Gina Gil Lacuna of the Philippines was declared the new world record holder for largest collection of completed jigsaw puzzles. She trounced the previous record (238… how was that even a record?!) with her total clocking in at 1,028.

Now 1000+ jigsaw puzzles is nothing to shake a stick at – no really, you don’t want to clean up several hundred jigsaw puzzles because of reckless stick shaking – but we’re finding it hard to believe that one of our serious puzzlers couldn’t topple that record.

The record requires each puzzle to be different and all the pieces complete for them to count, otherwise you may be closer than you ever thought to worldwide acclaim.

Easter Island - 1000pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Heye

Did you know that right now, SeriousPuzzles has over 3,900 jigsaw puzzles in stock? That’s a couple thousand more than you need for the record, and that’s if you’re starting from scratch! Take a moment and consider; how many jigsaws have you pieced together over the years? A few dozen, several hundred, more? All you have to do is keep them completely assembled (we have puzzle glue and frames to help with that as well) and beat 1,028 – soon to be 1,048 as Ms. Lacuna attempts to hold her record – and you could be the next recipient of a World Record!

Jigsaw Puzzle Fram Kit (20x27)

Find some new favorites, or check out some of our newest brands, and see if you can’t piece your way to a spot in Jigsaw Puzzle history; we’re rooting for you!

Cyber Monday 10% Off at All of our Retail Shops!

November 26, 2012 23:25 by kelly

This is Cyber:


And THIS is Cyber Monday:


So, let's say you were wanting to travel into - or out of, as the case may be - the Matrix. You'd want to choose the first picture, and this blog post probably won't help you. 


But, let's say you were waiting to buy that perfect thing from one of our Serious Shops.

Like... a Don't Break the Bottle Corkscrew wine bottle puzzle:


Or, maybe a big Squishable Narwhal:

(Many thanks to ToyBoxPhilosopher.com for this rad photo WITH a Rubik's Cube! How perfect is that?)


Or a bottle (or four) of Third Street Organic Chai:


Then, you'll want to choose the second picture, and quickly! Wait no longer. No longer than 11/29/2012 at 3am EST anyway, because that's when our 10% Off Sitewide Cyber Monday coupon expires. Go Cyber. Go Serious on Cyber Monday.

SeriousPuzzles.com Loves Word Clouds

November 16, 2012 12:06 by kelly

At SeriousPuzzles.com we love puzzles!

And words.

Mostly puzzles.

But, yeah, we're fond of words too...particularly when they describe puzzles in asthetically pleasing ways:



Word cloud created at wordle.net by KellyTry it for yourself (it's fun!!)!

Keep Calm and Cube On

October 15, 2012 09:55 by kelly

There's just something about a good internet meme, you know?

Here's our contribution:

keep calm and cube on

And, if you like cubing, we have a cubes-a-plenty, here.

The Ultimate Money Puzzle

September 28, 2012 12:28 by rob

When most puzzlers complete a jigsaw, it is just a measure of personal satisfaction that awaits them. For John Ackerman, there was undoubtedly an immense personal satisfaction, but also $500 for a close friend!

This was no ordinary jigsaw puzzle that John worked on. No, what he faced was in a league above even the most daunting of jigsaw puzzles.

A close friend had inadvertently dropped five $100 bills through a paper shredder and called John in tears over the apparently hopeless loss. As John put it, “Five hundred bucks is 500 bucks, no matter how you look at it."

Even when you’re looking at it as a baggie full of an estimated 3,000 shredded pieces, but it certainly won’t spend like that!

(Photo Source: John Ackerman / Tom Pfingsten)


John, an 86-year-old avid puzzler, offered to tackle the case. As long as the serial numbers and seals could be accounted for, he figured the Federal Reserve Bank would replace them with brand new bills. He took the bag of woeful monetary confetti out to his workshop and over the next two months took on the massive project. A magnifying glass and a pair of needle nosed pliers were crucial to the task as he separated the pieces, lining the matching strips up as he found them. Since these weren’t the convenient interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, he used a combination of straight pins and tape to keep his progress in place.


By the end, he’d assembled five Benjamins from the mess and was only missing a few end and corner pieces. It was a result to be proud of, but the real test came when his friend took the shredded bills to bank. After an examination, and employees excitedly gathering to see and photograph the puzzled masterpieces, the bank presented the fortunate friend of one talented jigsaw puzzler with crisp, spendable $100 bills.

(Photo Source: John Ackerman / Tom Pfingsten)

Disaster averted. (Find the original story by Tom Pfingsten, here)


Here at Serious Shops, we see some pretty intense jigsaw puzzles; there are ones without edge pieces, formidably blank puzzles like the Silver Krypt

(Silver Krypt, 654pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Ravensburger)

And even puzzles where the unassembled pieces resemble a pile of shredded bills

(Million Dollars, 1,000pc Jigsaw Puzzle by White Mountain)

But I’m pretty sure none of those compare to the feat John accomplished.

So with a very serious tip of my very serious hat, I salute one of the best puzzlers I’ve ever heard of, this one’s for you Mr. Ackerman!

SeriousShops.com Visits the New York Toy Fair 2011

March 5, 2011 12:19 by kelly

A couple weeks ago, we bundled up in our winter gear, piled into our car, and headed up for a day in the Big Apple to see what’s new on the puzzles, games, and plush horizons.

The New York Toy Fair is always exciting, and this year was no different!
TF11 treated us to amazing Lego sculptures:

Mega Blocks creations:

giant flexible balance beams:

TV-screen backpacks:

life-like bobblehead dolls:

and the "world’s largest puzzle":

a 32,000 piece jigsaw!

We’re happy to have discovered several awesome games and new jigsaw puzzle lines which we’re anxious to add to our websites in the coming weeks and months. Make sure to check back often, we’ll be featuring our newest items on the front page of SeriousPuzzles.com!

Earth-Friendly Puzzles

November 11, 2010 18:39 by kelly

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.

~Native American Proverb



We’re all trying to be more kind to the earth – and for good reason: when we leave this earth to our children, we want our earth to be as beautiful – or even more beautiful – than when we were children.  To this end, many companies are taking a greener approach to their manufacturing processes than ever before.  We at SeriousPuzzles.com are happy to announce that even your favorite pastime – puzzling – can be more earth-friendly!  We proudly carry several brands of eco-friendly puzzles:



1) ImagiPLAY


Naturally Safe…
Thoughtfully Produced…
Thoroughly Fun…
Toys With Integrity

 ImagiPLAY wooden puzzles are earth friendly and child safe. Made from plantation-grown, sustainably harvested, chemical-free rubberwood, these unique wooden puzzles are hand-painted with safety-tested paints & stains. Each puzzle is heirloom quality, and makes a beautiful, distinctive, and earth-friendly gift.

Majestic Oak – 9 Piece Eco-Friendly Wooden Puzzle




2) TDC Games


Green Pieces collection by TDC



TDC’s Green Pieces collection is a series of four 500 piece photomosaic jigsaw puzzles that are embedded with actual wildflower seeds! When you are finished with your puzzle, instead of throwing it away, you can actually PLANT the puzzle pieces to offset your carbon footprint!  TDC’s jigsaw puzzles’ board and packaging is made from 100% recycled paper, printed with 100% soy-based inks, and does not come wrapped in plastic. These awesome earth-friendly puzzles are made right here in the United States!

Green Pieces: I Need A Hug – 500 Piece Earth Friendly Photomosaic Jigsaw Puzzle




"Eco-Friendly" Collection by TDC


TDC’s 1000 piece Eco-Friendly puzzle collection features 8 poster-sized puzzles with original artwork from artists like Dale Klee and Linda Picken. Each jigsaw puzzle is made from recycled, renewable, biodegradable materials, and soy-based inks, and are printed and manufactured in the USA!

Linda Carruth’s Jungle Dew – 1,000 Piece Eco-Friendly Jigsaw Puzzle




3) Serendipity Puzzle Company 



ALL of Serendipity Puzzle Company’s jigsaw puzzles are made from 100% recycled material with 80-93% post-consumer content. Serendipity uses Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, ensuring it comes from professionally managed forests. In the printing process, water-based coatings and soy-based ink are used. In addition, Serendipity has reduced its packaging by 33%, their puzzles are easily recyclable, and are made in the U.S.A.

Frog Business - 1000pc Shaped Jigsaw Puzzle by Serendipity Puzzle Company


4) Buffalo Games




Each jigsaw puzzle made by Buffalo Games uses 100% recycled paperboard with 90% post-consumer content for both the box and the jigsaw puzzle itself. BGI puzzles are recycleable, and are made in the U.S.A.


The Living Seas: Turtle Play - 1000pc Jigsaw Puzzle by Buffalo Games