Brain Exercises – November 16

Trick Puzzles

  1. A bull is put on a scale But he is so big that only three of his four legs will fit on the scale. The scale shows 1000 pounds.  How much do you estimate the bull weighs when he stands on all four legs?

  2. Is it legal in the United States for a man to marry his widow’s sister?

  3. After conducting several experiments, a professor of chemistry discovered that it took eighty minutes for a specific chemical reaction to occur when he was wearing his glasses, but that it took the same reaction an hour and twenty minutes to occur when he was not wearing them. Why?

  4. Why are 1994 dollar bills worth more than 1984 dollar bills?

  5. How many times does the digit 4 appear in the numerals from 1 to 100?

  6. Can you make six letters with three straight lines?

  7. Use three fives to form a mathematical expression that equals six.

  8. Use seven nines to form a mathematical expression that equals twelve.

  9.  Use three ones to form a mathematical expression that equals zero.

  10. Use five twos to from a mathematical expression that equals two.


  1. This cryptogram conceals an English proverb. There are eleven words in it.  If you get stuck, start by trying to figure out what grammatical words are logical in the structure of a sentence (a, the, in, etc.)  To get you started, A (in the proverb) is encoded as B (in the cryptogram)

 B    C J S E      J O    U I F    I B O E      J T      X P S U I      U X P      J O     U I F    C V T I.      

  1. Here’s the title of a famous American movie that has been encrypted. There are four words in it.  What is the movie?

I Q P G     Y K V J     V J G     Y K P F

  1. Here’s a famous saying by a French philosopher that has been encrypted. There are five words in it.  What is the saying?

     M     X L M R O     X L I V I J S V I     M     E Q

  1. Some cryptograms replace numbers with letters instead of other letters.  A specific number will correspond to a specific letter.  In this cryptogram, the encoded message conceals the title of a Shakespearean play.  There are five words on the title.  What’s the play?  As a clue, S = 3.

       1 2 2 ‘ 3     4 5 2 2      6 7 1 6     5 8 9 3     4 5 2 2

  1. This message veils a fifteen word quotation from Maya Angelou. Some of the letters have not been encoded; they have been left in their original spot in the quotation.

    3 6     7 4 5     8 1 9 2    4 N L 7     4 N 2     S M 3 L 2      3 N     7 4 5,     G 3 9 2     3 T

         T 4     T H 2     P 2 4 P L 2     7 4 5     L 4 9 2






Trick puzzles

  1. The bull weighs 1000 pounds, whether it stands on four legs or on three. IF you do not see this, stand on a scale and look at the weight that the scale shows.  Then, staying on the scale, lift up one of your feet.  Has your weight changed?

  2. A man who leaves a widow is a dead man, and a dead man cannot marry his widow’s sister.

  3. I hope you spotted this one right away. Since 1 hour = 60 minutes , then one hour and twenty minutes equals 80 minutes.  There is nothing to explain, because it took the reactions one hour and 20 minutes which is the equivalent of eighty minutes

  4. If this puzzle stumped you, it’s because you interpreted 1994 and 1984 as representing calendar years. Instead, they represent the actual numbers:1994 and 1984.  $1994 dollars are worth more than $1984 dollars

  5. Twenty times: 4,14,24,34,40,41,42,43,44 (twice), 45,46,47,48,49,54,64,74,84,94

  6. The letters H,F, K,N, Y and Z all consist of three straight lines.

  7. 5 + 5/5 = 6

  8. 9 + 9/9 + 9/9 + 9/9 = 12

  9. 1 – 1/1= 0, (1 X  1)-1 = 0  or  1/1 -1 = 0

  10. 2 – 2/2 + 2/2 = 2



  1. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

  2. Gone with the Wind

  3. I think, therefore I am.

  4. All’s Well That Ends Well

  5. If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.