Let’s see - how brilliant you are???

Test yourself with these thinking exercises. The solutions are at the bottom of the page. Don't be lazy. Try hard to figure these out before you look! It'll be a lot more satisfying.

1. There is a man who lives on the top floor of a very tall building... Every day he gets the elevator down to the ground floor to leave the building to go to work. Upon returning from work though, he can only travel half way up in the lift and has to walk the rest of the way unless it's raining! Why?

2. A man and his son are in a car accident. The father dies on the scene, but the child is rushed to the hospital. When he arrives the surgeon says, "I can't operate on this boy, he is my son! " How can this be?

3. A man is wearing black. Black shoes, socks, trousers, coat, gloves and ski mask. He is walking down back street with all the street lamps off. A black car is coming towards him with its light off but somehow manages to stop in time. How did the driver see the man?

4. A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be?

5. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

6. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. But 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be?

7. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away?

8. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? (or day names in any other language)

9. This is an unusual paragraph. I'm curious how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so plain you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is unusual though. Study it, and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out.

The solutions are below.... Don't be lazy. Try hard to figure these out before you look!

1. The man is very, very short and can only reach halfway up the elevator buttons. However, if it is raining then he will have his umbrella with him and can press the higher buttons with it.

2. The surgeon was his mother.

3. It was day time.
4. They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets, etc.). This puzzle stumps many people. They try outlandish solutions involving test-tube babies or surrogate mothers... Why does the brain search for complex solutions when there is a much simpler one available?

5. The third. Lions that haven't eaten in three years are dead.

6. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry.

7. The answer is Charcoal.

8. Sure you can: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!

9. The letter "e," which is the most common letter in the English language, does not appear once in the long paragraph.