All NEW lateral thinking puzzles


Find “out-of-the-box” solutions for these lateral thinking puzzles.


Lateral thinking puzzles appearing on this page are “MUXY CREATED ORIGINALS”.

When you see MY PUZZLES copied onto other websites lauding their lateral thinking expertise … ha, ha, yeah right.


1/ The girlfriend lateral thinking awareness puzzle

Chloe is upset that her boyfriend has named his new puppy “Chloe”. She feels a little jealous of the loving attention he constantly gives her. The boyfriend, upon realizing the problem, moves a single piece of furniture. Problem solved.


Clue – Changing the puppy’s name wouldn’t help.

This is a really tough puzzle, so you get a …

Second clue – Something humans achieve far better than animals is a type of “awareness” LOL.

‘What did I do to deserve this?’


Muxy’s Original Answer – Chloe IS a dog (but doesn’t know it) that sees its own reflection in the mirror. The “boyfriend” simply turned the mirror around.

‘It hasn’t been the same around here since you showed up!’

Technically it’s NOT a lateral thinking problem unless there is more than one answer. Help me out here … do YOU have an alternative answer that fits all the clues? Please submit your answers at the bottom of this page.

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Problem-solving – Dispute resolution – Disruptive strategy techniques – Goal setting – Public speaking – Time management 

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2/ Lateral thinking passenger saves the boat

A sailboat is in a lot of trouble during a wild storm. One of the passengers goes below deck, finds an electric drill, and starts drilling holes into the bottom of the boat.


Clue. The captain doesn’t try to stop him.

‘I forgot my bucket … so, this will let the water out, right?’


Muxy’s Original Answer – The mast is caught up under a bridge. By letting water in, the boat will sit lower allowing it to pass under and make its way to safety.

Muxy’s Alternative Answer – Panicked passengers (not confident in their captain) were trying to take control of the bridge. By drilling the holes, it distracted the mutineering passengers allowing the captain to secure control.

Your answer could appear here …

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The MOST EXCITING book release of the twenty-first century is close.

Check out the book blurb here

What is lateral thinking FICTION?

Lateral thinking plot development strategies for writers of fiction

Check out my opening scenes here

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3/ The ballroom lateral thinking puzzle

A couple enters a grand ballroom only to find the occupants are dead. There has been no crime committed. The couple is not concerned about what they have found.

How is this possible?

     Clue – The couple expected what they found.

Ballroom lateral thinking puzzle

“They’re dead … they’re all dead!”


Muxy’s Original Answer – The couple is diving on a sunken cruise ship. The occupants had drowned when the ship sank suddenly in a terrible disaster at sea.

Muxy’s Alternative Answer – The couple owned a pest control business. They were inspecting the ballroom to be sure the fumigation had been successful.

indieGOjaquel – The couple are permanent residents of the Overlook Hotel (of Shining/Stephen King fame). (I like this answer).

Do you have an original answer that could appear here? Submit below.

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An Edward de Bono insight …

“Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns”

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4/ The lateral thinking puzzle … of murder!

Jason is working in his garden with a pitchfork in the presence of several reliable witnesses. A man approaches wearing a balaclava, gloves, and overcoat, and holding a handgun.

The man aims and fires a single shot directly at Jason. Jason runs toward the weapon, zigzagging to avoid being hit, and kills the man by thrusting his pitchfork into the man’s chest.

‘That was incredibly brave,’ a witness cry out. ‘Look at your jacket, Jason. The bullet passed through the sleeve barely missing you.’

Jason is NOT a hero. Jason was NEVER in danger.

Can you describe a scenario that explains this?

 Clue – A detective informs Jason that he was lucky that the pistol was homemade and could only hold a single round, and, for some reason, the chamber had been permanently sealed.

“How appropriate to find you tending to your lillies”

Muxy’s Original Answer – Jason told the man he needed to die in a way that allowed his family to claim insurance to pay the man the debt that he owed. Jason supplied the man with the weapon but loaded it with a blank and then permanently sealed the chamber so it could only be used once. Before doing so, he tested the weapon with a real bullet that he shot a hole through his jacket with.

Can you think of a scenario that fits the clues? (Submit below)

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5/ The brainteasing puzzle of snoring

The sound of Sam’s snoring is usually just annoying, but today it causes terror and panic.


      Clue – These people are hearing Sam’s snoring for the first time.

The snore that scared lateral thinking puzzle

“No jury would ever convict me … yes?”


Muxy’s Original Answer – Sam is a bus driver.

He’s fallen asleep while driving at high speed on the highway.

Muxy’s Alternative Twist – Sam is a pilot of a large passenger aircraft. He was reporting “an odd smell” coming through the air vents to a flight controller, who had put their conversation on loudspeaker.

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“We should NEVER have trusted the aliens”

An epic story of accidental contact with aliens that will forever alter our human destiny.  Check out the book blurb …

Genre: Speculative Metaphysical Sci-Fi Thriller

Wordcount: 70,000

Status update: Undergoing 6th professional developmental edit (I kid you not LOL)

BUT … it’s close folks … hang in there!

(Subscribe for notification of publication at the bottom of this page)

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6/ The astronaut’s despair lateral thinking riddle

In a not-too-distant future, the solo pilot of a spaceship crashes on a previously unknown planet. The nearest human being, rescue ship, technology, or any form of life is more than a year’s travel time away. The planet is uninhabited and lifeless, but it does have an atmosphere able to sustain human life for up to an hour. Nobody knows where he is.

The spaceship is a wreck … nothing works, it has no breathable air left. The astronaut decides to use his remaining time to explore the landscape before he succumbs to the hostile environment. He takes no technology or equipment with him. Thirty minutes into his journey he is startled by a human voice.

How is this possible?

     Clue – He heard the exact same voice on Earth previously.

The lost astronaut lateral thinking puzzle

“I don’t want to die here … alone!”


Muxy’s Original Answer – The astronaut heard his own echo when he cried out in anguish.

Muxy’s Alternative Twist – The astronaut is schizophrenic and thought the voice in his head belonged to someone else.

Boocaneer – The atmosphere on the planet was high in helium, which caused his voice to appear much higher – and therefore startled him – when he spoke to himself. (He’d experienced the same thing on Earth when he’d tried inhaling helium when filling party balloons)

indieGOjaquel – The astronaut’s body is slowly shutting down. Auditory hallucinations caused by the planets noxious atmosphere will be a pleasant distraction from the pilot’s impending asphyxiation

Do YOU have an alternative answer? Scroll to the bottom to leave your answer in the comments section.

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The most powerful examples of lateral thinking ingenuity applied to real-life situations can be found … here

Games – Teens – Business – Family – Conflict – Opportunity – Fun – Employment – Early childhood

Or … for a much younger audience …

Lateral thinking games and activities for children

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Lateral thinking puzzle CHALLENGE 

Submit an alternative answer. If it’s good and original, you’ll receive full credit.

Scroll down to submit

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7/ The “angry cat” lateral thinking puzzle

Rachael and Thomas have moved into a share house with several other occupants. Thomas doesn’t like their new accommodation though because of the angry and aggressive cat that greeted them when they first walked in.

Rachael realizes that there isn’t really a problem.


     Clue – Even if Rachael does nothing at all, Thomas will eventually be okay with their new circumstances.

The angry cat lateral thinking puzzle

“I can’t live with this cat!”


Muxy’s Original Answer – There is a mirror near the entrance. Thomas is a cat, saw his reflection, and thought that it was another cat challenging him for the territory.

Rachael can cover up the mirror until Thomas becomes settled, but Thomas will figure it out eventually even if she does nothing.

Muxy’s Alternative Answer – The angry cat belongs to the previous tenant. Rachael has offered to care for the cat for a few hours only until the previous tenants have completed their move.

Cal’s Answer – Thomas is blind and they have moved into a house full of lazy roommates, one of whom has a friendly and docile cat. The front door has never been maintained and so squeaks horribly, sounding just like a growling cat. As Rachel is walking out, she realizes that the door is to blame and so oils the hinges, stopping the sound and clearing the name of the innocent cat.

Ganesh Chandra It’s a stray cat that doesn’t normally live there. (Ha, Ha, sometimes even the simplest answers aren’t obvious. Well done!)

Do you have an alternative answer? – (Scroll down to submit)

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(OR … you could go to one those websites that display MY ORIGINAL PUZZLES to laud THEIR lateral thinking expertise and pay $5,000 or more, or much more, for a highly complex version of pretty much the same skills except that they’re presented in a complex way to drag the process out over weeks LOL.)

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8/ The lateral thinking puzzle of the cheating husband

A newly married woman comes home unexpectedly early from work and is horrified and upset when she sees her husband in bed making love to another woman.

“How could you, you, you, you … b#%@&#d!”

Almost immediately her anger abates, and she realizes that she shouldn’t be upset.


     Clue – Some might think there is still some reason not to be happy.

The cheating husband lateral thinking puzzle

“It’s all good. Don’t let me stop you.”


Muxy’s Original AnswerClick here to reveal the answers!

More “Muxy” original later thinking puzzles


40 all-time classic lateral thinking puzzles

(with new twists and original answers)


Brainteasing puzzles for a younger audience

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A BONUS puzzle to try on your friends:

Do YOU have blinkered thinking?

Use 3 separate lines (straight or curved) to join the boxes labeled with letters; a single line for each to join “A” to “A”, “B” to “B” and “C” to “C”.

The lines cannot touch or cross each other. They must stay inside the (black lines of the) diagram, and cannot touch the sides. They cannot touch or go through other boxes. There’s no trick involved.

Lateral thinking demonstration


Over a lifetime, your thought process has been conditioned, or “blinkered”. You probably couldn’t solve the puzzle because of two deeply entrenched teachings:

  1. “A” comes before “B” and “C; and
  2. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

SEE the “Blinkered Thinking” solution HERE

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Submit your original lateral thinking answer here:

Click here for more puzzles