Timewaster Tuesday: Mensa Brainteasers

This weekend, Dawn and I went to Barnes and Noble and found Mensa puzzle books on sale for $2 each, so we bought 3. Yeah, we’re the types that do Mensa puzzles for fun, or to relax and waste time. Anyway, I was reading some great simple thought process puzzles and thought that I would put some of them up here for you to waste time with today too! Answers will be in the first comment.

1. Four suspects are being interviewed at the scene of a murder. Each of the suspects is asked a question. Their answers are as follows.

Jack Vicious: “Sid Shifty committed the murder”
Sid Shifty: “Jim Pouncer committed the murder”
Alf Muggins: “I didn’t commit the murder”
Jim Pouncer: “Sid Shifty is lying”

Only one of the four answers is the truth.
Who committed the murder?

2. A census-taker calls at a house. He asks the woman living there the ages of her three daughters. The woman says, “If you multiply their ages the total is 72; if you add together their ages the total is the same as the number on my front door, which you can see.”

The census-taker says, “That is not enough information for me to calculate their ages.”

The women says, “Well, my eldest daughter has a cat with a wooden leg.”

The census-taker says, “Ah! Now I know their ages.”

What are the ages of the girls?

3. Charlie throws out a challenge to Ben in the local bar. “I’ll put this ordinary pocket handkerchief on the floor. You stand on one corner and I’ll stand on the other corner. Without either of us tearing, cutting, stretching, or altering it in any way, I bet you won’t be able to touch me.”

How can this be done?

4. Two men are arguing about whether a square open-topped water tank is half full or not. How can they decide without removing the water or using any measuring device?

Have fun wasting time. I did!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. GirlsAreGeeks
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 10:34:54


    1. Alf Muggins
    2. 8, 3, 3 (of all the combinations that multiply to 72, only two have the same sum (8-3-3 and 6-6-2) which is why the census-taker didn’t know the answer. There is an eldest, so the 6-6-2 combination doesn’t work.
    3. The handkerchief is under a closed door
    4. Tip it on it’s side, and the water should go from corner to corner if it is actually half


  2. Gina
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 20:37:23

    #2 was the hardest. I could not for the life of me figure out how you got the number on the front door. That’s a great leap in logic.

    I love these puzzles!


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