Thought-provoking lateral thinking puzzles that stimulate fresh and original thinking


1. Lateral Thinking Puzzle of Survival … (with three very different answers)

A baby falls out of a window of a 20 story building … yet lives.


     Clue – The baby’s mother jumped out of the same window after she saw her baby fall. She also survived.

     Answer – It was a ground-floor window.

Muxy’s Alternative Answer – The mother and baby were birds.

Susan Dunn (from LIGHTBOX COMMUNICATIONS – Employer branding specialists based in Australia) – The baby and mother fell onto a window-cleaning platform that happened to be just outside at the time.

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Lateral thinking puzzles are perfect for the workplace or the classroom.

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2. The Elevator Lateral Thinking Puzzle … (with a twist)

A man living on the 30th floor of a high-rise building uses the elevator every day.

The man hates using the stairs, so he always catches the elevator all the way down to the ground level. However, when returning home, he usually gets out on the 24th floor and walks up the remaining stairs.


     Clue – On rainy and wet days only, he catches the elevator all the way up to the 30th floor.

Lateral thinking elevator

     Answer – The man is a dwarf.

On wet days he uses his umbrella to reach the 30th-floor elevator button.

Muxy’s Twist – The man is following the advice of his doctor who has told him he must exercise by climbing six flights of stairs every day.

There is a leak in the stairwell making it unsafe to use the stairs on wet and rainy days.

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*** Lateral thinking puzzle CHALLENGE ***

Submit your alternative answers in the comments section below. If I think it’s good and original, you’ll receive full credit

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3. The Barman Lateral Thinking Puzzle … (with my alternative answer)

A man walks into a bar and asks for a glass of water.

The barman ducks behind the bar and emerges holding a gun. He points the gun at the man’s face and yells “BANG”.

The man smiles at the barman and says quite sincerely, “thank you”.



     Clue – The man leaves happy and satisfied, without drinking any water.

Lateral thinking is all about “disruption”. It breaks the shackles that inhibit original and creative thinking.

It literally . . . sets you . . .   . .    .    free



     Answer – The man had hiccups.

Muxy’s Answer – The man had recently run off with the barman’s wife. The barman had threatened to kill the man in a fit of rage. The man had gone into the bar to try to sort things out. The barman’s actions were his way of saying … “my rage is over”. LOL

     Your answer could be here – (Scroll to the bottom of the page to submit an alternative answer)


These lateral thinking puzzle pages receive more than 2,000-page visits per month. If you’d like to see you and your answer on display, submit your best effort!

And have fun!

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4. Lateral Thinking Bankruptcy Puzzle … (with multiple answers)

A man pushes his car until he reaches a hotel, at which point he realizes that he is bankrupt.


     Clue – This car wasn’t broken or out of fuel.

Lateral thinking monopoly puzzle

“The disruptive creativity of lateral thinking has the power to change your life in a positive direction”

The MOST POWERFUL lateral thinking examples

anywhere on the internet

can be found right


     Answer – The man is playing Monopoly.

Muxy’s Answer – The man lives at the hotel. A finance company sent someone to repossess his car. He pushed the car in the hope that he can convince the agent of the finance company that the car is broken and isn’t worth the effort of repossessing. When he arrives at the hotel, the agent doesn’t fall for his ploy, and he is locked out of his hotel room unable to pay his bill.

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SEE . . . lateral thinking in “action”:

Lateral thinking in business

Lateral thinking job interview questions and answers


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Dead man lateral thinking puzzle

5. The Death That Puzzles.

While walking across a large open field, you come across a man that has died very suddenly, unexpectedly, and only a very short time ago.

You look around but there is no one and nothing about except for an unopened package next to the man.

How did he die?

     Clue – The man’s death was accidental.

Lateral thinking puzzles help fight the onset of dementia and promote cognitive vitality

Thank goodness (LOL)

Muxy’s collection of inspirational quotes

     Answer – The unopened package was the man’s parachute.

Muxy’s Answer – The man was supposed to throw a package of vital medical supplies down to troops on the ground but slipped and fell.

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Police raid lateral thinking puzzle

6. Police Raid with a puzzling lateral thinking outcome.  

Police are given a tip-off to the location of a man who just murdered someone. They don’t know what he looks like.

When they enter the room, they see a poker game in play between a carpenter, a truck driver, a fireman, and a mechanic. Without hesitation, they arrest the fireman.

How do they know that they’ve chosen correctly?

     Clue – Equal opportunity

Creativity can be learned:

Creativity can be EASILY learned:

Lateral Thinking and Creative Management Lessons

Everything is absolutely FREE

     Answer – Only the fireman was a man, the rest were women.

Muxy’s Answer – The location was a “visitor area” at a jail. The fireman was visiting with three inmates, playing a friendly game of cards to enjoy their time together. They clearly didn’t have equal opportunity to commit the crime.

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Something HUGE is on the horizon …

Michael Muxworthy Sci-fi Novel
Coming soon – Michael Muxworthy

‘That first domino began an endless chain of events that cannot be escaped …

not by the limitlessness of space,

nor even by the end of time itself …’


Chapter ONE



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7. The Locked Cellar Puzzles.

A woman was told to never open the locked cellar door or she would be in big trouble.

One day, she decided to force open the door. She then left, never to return, and went straight to the police station even though there was nothing unusual in the cellar.


     Clue – She didn’t know if anyone would see her when she opened the door.

Creativity shared with children is time well spent

Practice! Creativity is like most things … the more you practice, the better you get:

Lateral Thinking Exercises

     Answer – The woman was being kept a prisoner in the cellar.

Muxy’s Answer – The woman was stationed as a security guard outside a bank’s underground vault. She succumbed to temptation but lost her nerve so turned herself into police.

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8. The Man Who Hanged Himself Puzzles

There is a large empty shed with a dead man hanging from the middle of the central rafter.

The rope around his neck is eight feet long and his feet are two feet off the ground. The nearest wall is 20 feet away from the man. It is not possible to climb up the walls or along the rafters.

The man hanged himself.

How did he do it?

     Clue – The floor is wet.

When you notice the attention of your audience waning … take a quick break

Lateral thinking puzzles … the perfect refreshment for the mind

Success results from good habits:

Time Management … for life!

     Answer – The man stood on a large block of ice.

Muxy’s Answer – The rope is made from a material that shrinks when it gets wet.

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9. A Lateral Thinking Puzzle of Twins.

A mother gave birth to two children within an hour of each other on the same day and year, but the children aren’t twins.


     Clue – There can be several related answers.

Lighten up!

Puzzles lighten the mood and inspire creativity!

Creativity … the end of your troubles


     Answer – They were triplets, or quadruplets, or . . .

Muxy’s Answer – The mother agreed to become a surrogate mother, but happened to fall pregnant at the same time.

     What’s Your Answer? – (Have a try! More than 5,000 people a month will see your effort)

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10. Puzzling Bus Stop Dilemma

It is a cold, wet, wild, and stormy evening as a man drives along an open, rural, and exposed road. As he nears a bus stop he notices that there are three people waiting:

  1. An old lady who is in urgent need of medical attention;
  2. His best friend who saved his life recently; and
  3. A wonderful girl that he had always wanted the opportunity to meet and ask out.

The man decides to stop and help out, but his car only holds the driver and one passenger. He will not overload his car.

What does he do?

     Clue – He achieves everything possible with this solution.

Stop when the thinking gets stale

Break through with a stimulating puzzle

Conquer your fear …

Creative Solution to Public Speaking

     Answer – The man gives the keys to his best friend and asks him to drive the old lady to the hospital while he “bravely” keeps the company of the girl until the bus arrives.

Muxy’s Answer – Rather than risk moving the old lady, the man uses his considerable medical knowledge to administer immediate first aid with the help of the wonderful woman he’s wanted to ask out. He sends his best friend to get help while he impresses the girl with his ability to take control and save the lady’s life.

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*** Lateral thinking puzzle CHALLENGE ***

Submit your alternative answer to any lateral thinking puzzle using “comment” below. If I think it’s good and original, you’ll receive full credit for you, your business, your website, or your cause.

*** Lateral thinking puzzle CHALLENGE***


Lateral thinking PUZZLES 11 TO 20

Try this BONUS puzzle with 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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More than 10 years in the writing, my first novel is currently undergoing its 8th professional edit. It’s close(r) LOL …

Michael Muxworthy author

“Life’s purpose … is to evolve.

It is our capacity for creativity … that makes our human evolution so exceptional“

Coming soon from lateral thinking author, Michael Muxworthy: a powerful exposition into the alien question.

Lateral thinking investigations … of the third kind


Chapter ONE

These 50 lateral thinking puzzles were brought to you by Michael John Muxworthy, Disruptive Author

Lateral thinking puzzles for EVERYONE

Check out the concise definition: What is lateral thinking?

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For the complete lateral thinking menuClick here

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