15 Mind-Bending Riddles That Will Give Your Brain A True Workout

man wearing glasses staring at computer in amazement

Are you feeling especially clever today? We’re right there with you, and we’re ready to test our skills!


Luckily for us, it’s Train Your Brain Day, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. These 15 tricky riddles and duplicitous brainteasers will put your mind through a true workout. Do you dare to accept this challenge? Let’s get started!

1. You live in a one-story house made entirely of redwood. What color would the stairs be?

Answer: What stairs? You live in a one-story house.

2. Forrest left home running. He ran a ways and then turned left, ran the same distance and turned left again, ran the same distance and turned left again. When he got home, there were two masked men. Who were they?

Answer: The catcher and the umpire. 

3. What has six faces, but does not wear makeup, has 21 eyes, but cannot see?

Answer: A die (dice).

4. In 1990, a person is 15 years old. In 1995, that same person is 10 years old. How can this be?

Answer: The person was born in 2005 B.C.

5. A man is looking at a photograph of someone. His friend asks who it is. The man replies, “Brothers and sisters, I have none. But that man’s father is my father’s son.” Who was in the photograph?

Answer: His son.

6. There are two ducks in front of two other ducks. There are two ducks behind two other ducks. There are two ducks beside two other ducks. How many ducks are there?

Answer: Just four, in a square formation.

7. There are 20 people in an empty, square room. Each person has full sight of the entire room and everyone in it without turning his head or body, or moving in any way (other than the eyes). Where can you place an apple so that all but one person can see it?

Answer: Place the apple on one person’s head.

8. I am strong enough to smash ships, but I fear the sun. What am I?

Answer: Ice.

woman thinking about chess moves

9. How do you make the number 7 even without addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division?

Answer: Drop the “S.”

10. You are in a room that has three switches and a closed door. The switches control three light bulbs on the other side of the door. Once you open the door, you may never touch the switches again. How can you definitively tell which switch is connected to each of the light bulbs?

Answer: Turn on the first two switches. Leave them on for five minutes. Once five minutes has passed, turn off the second switch, leaving one switch on. Now go through the door. The light that is still on is connected to the first switch. Whichever of the other two is warm to the touch is connected to the second switch. The bulb that is cold is connected to the switch that was never turned on.

11. How can you take 2 from 5 and leave 4?

Answer: F-I-V-E. Remove the two letters “F” and “E” from FIVE and you have IV.

12. Mr. and Mrs. Mustard have six daughters and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the Mustard family?

Answer: There are nine Mustards in the family. Since each daughter shares the same brother, there are six girls, one boy, and Mr. and Mrs. Mustard.

13. One is to three as three is to five, and five is to four and four is the magic number. What is the pattern?

Answer: One has three letters in the word; three has five letters in it; five has four letters, and four has four letters in it. If you try more numbers, they will always come back to the number four, so four is the magic number.

14. What can you hold in your right hand, but not in your left?

Answer: Your left hand!

15. A man was walking in the rain. He was in the middle of nowhere. He had nothing and nowhere to hide. He came home all wet, but not a single hair on his head was wet. Why is that?

Answer: The man was bald. 

Turns out, we weren’t as mentally prepared for these as we thought. We’ll just have to try again!

How many riddles did you guess correctly? Share these brainteasers with a friend to see if they can do better.

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