New and highly original lateral thinking puzzles

Multiple creative answers for all puzzles, with a reader challenge to submit your own lateral thinking answers for consideration


Test your ability to think “out-of-the-box” with lateral thinking puzzles


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 by 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!”


 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.

 – – – – –

There are no single “correct” answers with lateral thinking puzzles. Creativity can’t be judged as being “right” or “wrong” … it’s all about the possibilities. There are multiple lateral thinking answers given here to each of SEVENTY LATERAL THINKING PUZZLES. The creativity doesn’t stop there though. YOU are invited to submit your own “out-of-the-box” thinking to be permanently on display to the 100,000 plus annual views of this website.

 – – – – –

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


 Answer – Sam is a bus driver.

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

Muxy’s 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.

 – – – – –

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, 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!”


      Answer – The astronaut heard his own echo when he cried out in anguish.

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

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

 – – – – –

“We should NEVER have trusted the aliens”

. . . is the title of my soon-to-be-released lateral thinking work of fiction.

Check it out here

 – – – – –

Lateral thinking puzzle CHALLENGE 

Submit your alternative answer to any lateral thinking puzzle using “comment” at the bottom of this page. If I think it’s good and original, you’ll receive full credit.

Are you up to this lateral thinking puzzle CHALLENGE?

 – – – – –

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!”

      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 Twisted 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 a great answer to any of the puzzles on this page? – (Scroll to the bottom of the page to submit your alternative answers in the comments section)

 – – – – –

Creativity is something that can be easily learned.

14 FREE life-changing lessons

 – – – – –

Coming soon:

An epic story of accidental contact with aliens that will forever alter our human destiny …

Check out the blurb for the first-ever lateral thinking fiction here

 – – – – –

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.”


 Answer – The new and devoted husband had been taking advantage of his wife’s time at work to delete videos/images from his past romantic encounters. Unsure what a video file contained, he opened it just as she walked in the door. Once the wife understood, she at least wanted the task complete.

Muxy’s Alternative Answer – Her new husband has an identical twin brother. She wasn’t exactly delighted that the couple had decided to sneak in a “quickie” in her home, but … all good. LOL

Your answer could appear here – Leave your answer in the comments section at the bottom of this page and I’ll show it if it’s good AND original.

 – – – – –

“Disruption” is the key to creative thinking.

Check out how easily I personally apply lateral thinking tools of “disruption” into real, everyday situations by clicking:

Real, everyday lateral thinking examples

 – – – – –

This NEXT contribution comes from Sam Hicken’s new book of lateral thinking party games … EXPLAIN THIS!

The Movie Lateral Thinking Puzzle

A man takes a woman to a well-attended theatre. Halfway through the movie, he kills the woman with a knife. At the end of the movie, the couple leaves together without any of the other members of the audience realizing that the man has committed murder.

How is this possible?

      Clue – The man INTENDED to murder her. He’d planned it!


Murder at the theatre lateral thinking puzzle

“That last scream … wow! It sounded so real”


Sam Hicken’s Answer – The couple was at a drive-in theatre. The car had tinted windows. (Check out this from Sam lateral thinking book of games)

Muxy’s Answer – It was a Halloween screening of a popular horror flick that invited attendees to come in costume. The audience thought the couple was play-acting.

 – – – – –

A puzzle isn’t technically a lateral thinking puzzle unless it has multiple answers.

What exactly is lateral thinking?

 – – – – –

Last Drinks! An original Sam Hicken lateral thinking puzzle

A man buys two exactly identical drinks at a bar and gives one to his friend. The friend dies from poison found in his drink, but the man who bought the drinks lives without consuming any poison at all despite finishing his drink.

How did he die?

     Clue – They have different drinking habits

The poisoned drink lateral thinking puzzle

“A toast … to your good health”


Answer – The poison was in the ice. The man who died drank slowly, while the man who lived sculled his drink before the ice could melt.

Muxy’s Answer – The man who bought the drinks added the poison to his friend’s drink after finding out his friend was having an affair with his wife.

 – – – – –

Creativity can be learned:

Creativity can be EASILY learned:

Lateral Thinking and Creative Management Lessons

Everything is absolutely FREE

About two hours total will give you skills that will serve you for a lifetime.

 – – – – –

This next puzzle is a game from Sam Hicken:


Explain This Death! A lateral thinking puzzle that is also a game

A newspaper article states that Mr. Smith and his wife were skiing in the Alps and that Mrs. Smith had an accident, fell off the mountain, and was killed.

How does the man reading the newspaper know that Mr. Smith murdered his wife?


The "explain this" lateral thinking puzzle

“That was no accident. Mr. Smith killed his wife.”


  Sam Hicken’s Answer – The man reading the paper is the travel agent who sold Mr. Smith his tickets.  Smith had bought a round-trip ticket for himself, but a one-way ticket for his wife.

Muxy’s Answer – The man is a Catholic priest. He’d heard Mr. Smith’s confession.

Alexander’s Answer – The man reading the newspaper IS Mr. Smith himself.

Sam Hicken’s lateral thinking book of party games, “EXPLAIN THIS!”, can be found on Amazon.

 – – – – –

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

Lateral Thinking Exercises

 – – – – –

The Oyster Diver. A lateral thinking puzzle that needs another answer

A man dives for oysters for a living. One day, an angry and extremely dangerous shark confronts the man. He has no way to defend himself but he isn’t worried.


     Clue – Normally, he’d be concerned, but today is the man’s lucky day.

The shark lateral thinking puzzle


Muxy’s Answer – The shark was a loan shark. The man owed money to the loan shark but he got lucky that day and found a valuable pearl in one of the oysters that easily covered the debt.

Technically … it’s not a lateral thinking puzzle if it only has one answer. Have a go and submit your answer in the “comment” section at the bottom of this page.

– – – – –

Check out these amazing creative activities you can do with your child that inspire their natural creativity.

Creativity shared with children is time well spent

 – – – – –

The long search is over. A NEW lateral thinking puzzle

Betty has been missing for more than 50 years.

When a person finds her, he/she immediately knows that they’ve found Betty after going missing all those years ago.

How does he/she know this?

     Clue – The person wasn’t even looking for Betty.

The woman found lateral thinking puzzle

“You found me!”

     Answer – Betty was a boat that mysteriously disappeared. A diver found the boat with the name “Betty” still on the bow.

Muxy’s Answer – Betty is a turtle that was once a pet. Her name and return address are engraved in her shell.

  – – – – –

Lateral thinking example of alternative perspectives

“How do you explain evolution?”

An old man and his grandson were getting a bit loud in a cafe.

See how lateral thinking resolved this

 – – – – –

The curious lateral thinking puzzle of determining guilt

Jenny is found dead in her car … an act of violence. Her purse, handbag, and phone are missing. Police work out who she is and contact her husband.

“We have terrible news to tell you, sir Your wife has been murdered. It looks like robbery. Are you able to come to the crime scene immediately?”

The husband rushes to the crime scene and is immediately arrested.

How are the police so certain it’s him?

     Clue – The husband made a mistake.

You murdered your wife lateral thinking puzzle

“What gave me away?”

Muxy’s Answer – The husband knew where the crime scene was without being told.

 – – – – –

How did you go with my new and original puzzles? Leave any original answers below.

Next … try these 50 classic puzzles revisited with multiple answers and twisted clues.


Click here for more puzzles

 – – – – –

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

Understanding the distinct types of thinking

Critical Thinking = Subjective

Vertical Thinking = Objective

Creative Thinking = Out-of-the-box

Lateral Thinking = Disruptive strategies to achieve “out-of-the-box”

The initial puzzle tests your ability to think creatively. The CLUE is designed to DISRUPT your normal flow of thinking.

What exactly is lateral thinking?

 – – – – –

Submit your original lateral thinking answer here:

Click here for more puzzles