# Conundrums

```Conundrums
1. What occurs once in a minute, twice in a moment, but never in a thousand years?
2. Farmer Joe was cleaning out his big old dusty farm shed. He dragged out an old water
container which was full of old dirty water and it weighed 5 kilograms. Joe put
something in the container and then it weighed less. What did he put in the container?
3. A patient is rushed into the emergency ward of the Conundrum National Hospital
after a horrific road crash, and is in urgent need of an operation to save his life. The
surgeon on duty walks into the room and says "Oh no! I can't operate on this boy. He
is my SON!" but the surgeon was not the boy's father. How could this be?
Answer: The surgeon was his mother.
4. An electric train is travelling at 100 kilometres per hour. The wind is blowing in an
easterly direction at 25 kilometres per hour. Which way is the smoke from the train
blowing? Answer: Smoke doesn’t come from electric trains.
5. A man rides to town on Saturday, stays two nights, and then rides home on
Wednesday. How does this happen? (and yes, he definitely stays two nights!!)
Answer: Saturday and Wednesday are the names of the horses he rode into and out of
town!
6. What can’t you hold for 10 minutes, even though it is as light as a feather?
7. Sam's mother had 4 children in all. The first one was named May. The second and
third were called June and July respectively. What was the fourth child's name?
8. Alex and Georgina were born at the same hour of the same day to the same mother in
the same hospital. They have the same father and yet they are not twins. Why?
Answer: Because they are two children of a set of triplets. There was also another
child born.
9. Though the discovers of Antarctica (South Pole) were often close to starvation, they
would never touch the meat of the polar bear, even though they possessed the means
to kill one. Why?
Answer: Polar bears are only found in the Arctic (North Pole).
10. The shamans of Central Asia knew of an ancient and ingenious way of passing right
through solid walls. What was it?
11. In the early 18th century, Mrs Abigail Eischrank of Cambridge Massachusetts gave
birth to 13 children. Exactly half of them were girls. Explain.
12. The diagram below is made up of matchsticks and represents a dry martini with an
olive in the glass. Move one matchstick to place the olive outside the glass.
The right hand side of the martini glass
moves around to the right. This creates
a new liquid section of the glass, leaving
the olive outside of the glass.
14. Before Sir Richard Burton attempted to discover the source of the Nile, what was the
world’s longest river?
15. In 1993, 78 year old Sergeant Noboru Yamamoto was discovered living on a remote
Pacific island, firmly under the impression that World War II was still on. He was
remaining relatives and hordes of journalists. Suddenly a young man pushed to the
front of the crowd, shot Yamamoto several times and then swiftly left the room. No
one took the slightest bit of notice. Why? The young man did not know the sergeant
and his motive was not any form of revenge.
Answer: He was a tourist looking for a souvenir shot and shot the sergeant with a
camera.
16. What has 21 spots but is never ill?
17. Dave went with his uncle to the movies. They went up to buy their tickets and Dave
had to pay, as usual. But that was not the worst of it. The ticket lady said, “You can
go in, but not your friend.” Why wouldn’t she let Dave’s uncle in? He was smartly
dressed and had often been to that cinema before without causing any trouble.
Answer: It was an adult movie and Dave’s uncle is only 10 years old. Dave is much
older than his uncle.
18. In the pioneer days of America, a man lived on his ranch quite a few miles out of
town. One night, his wife became sick and he had to ride into town to get the doctor.
He owned three horses, but one was sick, the other was too old to make the trip and
there was no way he was ever going to ride the third. Why not? He had only just
bought the third horse and there was nothing wrong with it or with himself. In the
stable there was no shortage of saddles and tack. What was the problem?
Answer: The third horse was a clothes horse.
19. Sue Sugar had a toothache. She went to the only dentists in town where she was
greeted by Dr Molar and Dr Bicuspid, the partners. She noticed that whereas Dr
Molar had a wonderful mouthful of teeth, Dr Bicuspid’s teeth seems in urgent need of
attention. With which dentist should she book her appointment?
Answer: Dr Bicuspid. Since there are only two dentists in town, it is certain that they
do each other’s dental work. Therefore, Dr Molar is responsible for the poor state of
Dr Bicuspid’s teeth and should be avoided.
20. Six men drove over 240 kilometres in a car at an average speed of 100 kilometres per
hour. The trip took 2.4 hours. When they unpacked their luggage, they realised that
the car had a flat tyre during the whole journey. Why hadn’t they noticed this before?
Answer: The flat tyre was the spare in the boot.
21. A train crossing from France to Germany suffered a terrible accident exactly on the
border. According to international law, in which country should the survivors be
buried?
22. Are there earthquakes on the moon?
Answer: No, they would be moonquakes.
23. Ali ben-Ibrahim was a salt dealer in old Baghdad. Every day he went from his home
just outside the city to the market with two huge sacks of salt tied to the back of his
donkey. His donkey was a small, evil smelling brute called Roxanna. It was, however,
not lacking in the brains department. One hot day as they passed along the banks of
the Tigris, it broke free from Ali and plunged into the cool water. When Ali finally
persuaded the beast to leave the river, it immediately noticed that much of the salt had
dissolved and it was considerably lighter. After that, no matter how hard he tried, Ali
could not prevent the donkey from diving into the river and ruining its load of salt.
But Ali was a clever man. One day he loaded up his donkey as usual. As expected, the
animal plunged into the river. However, the animal learned its lesson and never tried
that trick again. What had Ali done?
Answer: He loaded the sacks with sand so they would actually get heavier after they
24. Thomas and Craig go collecting sea shells. They take a bag with them to collect the
shells. Without knowing the exact dimensions of the bag, can you work out how many
sea shells they can put in the empty bag?
Answer: Only one. After that, it isn’t an empty bag anymore.
25. A man and his wife were driving rapidly through town late at night. Suddenly, the car
broke down. The man had to get help, but was nervous about leaving his wife alone at
that hour. However, there was absolutely no question of her coming too. Eventually,
he told her to lock all the doors, keep all the windows shut and wait for him to return.
Under no circumstances whatsoever was she to let anyone else in the car. The wife
did as she was told, but, even so, when the man returned to the locked car, he found
his wife entertaining two strangers. What had happened?
Answer: The wife was heavily pregnant and while her husband was away, she went
into labour and delivered the twins herself.
26. What has three hands, the second hand really being the third?
Answer: A clock with a second hand.
27. Two men are charged with murder. One committed the act, but the other is innocent.
The judge is in a quandary as to how to punish the guilty while letting the innocent
man go. Finally, he calls for a doctor to advise him. Why?
Answer: The men are Siamese twins. The judge wants to know whether they can be
separated.
28. What can you spend but never buy?
29. Why is the 31st of June of such great importance to the islanders of Minki?
Answer: The date, like the islanders, does not exist.
30. Two little boys come out of a movie. “I liked the bit where the dinosaur ate all those
cavemen,” said one. “Rubbish,” replied his friend, “it couldn’t do it.” “But that was
Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most fearsome reptile in the history of the world. Of course it
could eat a few lousy cave men.” “Oh no, it couldn’t,” insisted his friend. Who was
right?
Answer: Dinosaurs and humans never lived at the same time, so dinosaurs couldn’t
have eaten cave men.
31. Once upon a time in India, a queen owned two horses and helped them to destroy a
neighbouring king. There was a hard fought battle in which all the king’s men were
killed. When the battle was over, the victors (winners) and vanquished (losers) all lay
side by side in the same place. Explain.
32. What does nobody want, but nobody wants to lose?
33. Dan and his best friend Dave were out fishing when they noticed a shark circling their
dinghy. Whenever they tried to move their dinghy, the shark would barge into it,
nearly causing it to capsize. “Never mind,” said Dan, “if we wait long enough, it will
34. Two fathers and two sons went into a bar to have a Friday night drink together. They
spent \$15. Each spent the same amount. How much did each man spend?
Answer: \$5. The men were a grandfather, a father (who is also a son) and a grandson.
35. John has three brothers and two sisters. Coincidentally, his two sisters are also
brothers as well. How is this possible?
Answer: The family name of John, his three brothers and two sisters is brothers!
36. A man was outside taking a walk when it began to rain. He did not have an umbrella
and he wasn't wearing a hat. His clothes were soaked, yet not a single hair on his head
got wet. How could this happen?
37.
What starts with P, ends with E, and has thousands of letters in it?
38. If a rooster lays an egg in water, will it float or sink?
Answer: neither. Roosters don’t lay eggs.
39.
You are walking through a field, and you find something to eat. It doesn't have
bones, and it doesn't have meat. You pick it up and put it into your pocket. You take it
home and put it on a shelf, but 3 days later it walks away. What is it?
40. You are on a horse, galloping at a constant speed. On your right is a sharp drop off,
and on your left is an elephant thundering along at the same speed as you. Directly in
front of you is a galloping kangaroo and your horse is unable to overtake it. Behind
you is a lion running at the same speed as you and the kangaroo. What must you do to
safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?
41. You have only one match. You walk into a room where there is an oil burner, a
kerosene lamp and a wood stove. Which one would you light first?
42.
Jane drove her husband to the Melbourne Airport and watched him climb aboard
the 7:15pm flight to London. When she arrived home, she heard that the 7:15pm flight
to London had crashed on take-off and there were no survivors. Strangely, she
continued to get dinner ready for them both. Why?
Answer: Her husband was a member of the ground crew. He had climbed aboard the
plane, serviced it and then climbed right down again.
43.
What always runs but never walks, often murmurs, never talks, has a bed but never
sleeps, has a mouth but never eats?
44.
A man kisses his wife goodbye and leaves his house. His wife is very sick at home
and is unable to leave the house. The man heads off to work. About 20 minutes from
home he sees a car crash and knows that his wife is dead. How can he be so sure?
Answer: The crash happens at an electricity pole so knocks out the power in the area,
his wife is on a life support machine at home, no power no life support.
45.
The person who makes it never uses it. The person who purchases it does not
always use it. The person who does use it doesn’t know the person who made it.
What is it?
46. What can travel around the world while staying in the corner?
47. If there are three cups of sugar and you take away one, how many do you have?
Answer: You have just one, the one you took away.
48.
It is greater than God and more evil than the devil. The poor have it, the rich need it
and if you eat it you'll die. What is it?
Answer: The answer is nothing. Nothing is greater than God, nothing is more evil
than the devil, the poor have nothing, the rich need nothing and if you eat nothing
you'll die.
49.
What is heavier, 1 kilograms of feathers or 1 kilograms of gold?
Answer: They are both the same. They both weigh one kilogram.
50.
A young guy who has just started learning to drive went the wrong way down a one
way street but didn't break the law. Why?
51.
How can you make the number seven even?
Answer: Take off the letter s
52.
What is yours but your friends use it more than you do?
53.
A man is born in 1972 and dies in 1952 at the age of 25. How is this possible?
Answer: He's born in room number 1972 of a hospital and dies in room number
1952.
54.
The span of my life can be measured in hours. As I get older, I get smaller.
When I am thin, I am quick. When I am fat, I am slow. Wind is my enemy. What
am I?
55.
What happens if you throw a metamorphic rock into a flowing stream?
56.
I exist, but as soon as you say my name, I disappear. What am I?
57.
When going into the forest, you accidentally find me. Even though you
don’t want me, you now want to find me. You then go home with me because you
can’t find me. What am I?
58.
I am full of holes, yet I am full of water too. What am I?
59.
Feed me and I live. Give me a drink and I die. What am I?
60.
A man went into a hardware store to buy some items for his house
– 1 would cost 25 cents
– 12 would cost 50 cents
– 122 would cost \$1.25 cents.
When he left the store, he had spent \$1.25 cents. What did he buy?
61.
The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?
62.
Remove six letters from this sequence to reveal a familiar English word:
BSAINXLEATNTEARS
63.
If you drop me I'm sure to crack, but give me a smile and I'll always smile back.
What am I?
64.
65.
What instrument can make any sound and be heard, but not touched or seen?
66.
What piece of equipment do you throw out to use and bring in when you're done?
67.
I know of a six-letter word. If you take one letter away from this word, you are left
with a total of twelve. What is this word?
Answer: The word is dozens. If you take off the s, you are left with dozen (12).
68.
There’s only one room which no one can never enter or leave. What sort or room is
it?
69.
What can you break, but not touch?
70.
I am a five-letter word. If you remove my last four letters, I am still pronounced the
same. Which word am I?
71.
Mum and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many
people are in the family?
Answer: Seven. The four daughters have only one brother, making five children,
72.
What is harder to catch the faster you run?
73.
What is in the middle of nowhere?
74.
What has to be broken before it can be used?
75.
What goes up and down, but never actually moves?
76.
I have many feathers to help me fly. I have a body and head, but I'm not alive. It is
your strength which determines how far I go. You can hold me in your hand, but I am
never thrown. What am I?
77.
What remains dark when everything else is light?
78.
A horse is tied to a rope, which is five metres long. There is a barn filled with hay 8
meters away, yet the horse can get up and eat the hay whenever he wants. How can
that be?
Answer: The rope tied to the horse is not tied to anything else.
79.
Take away my first letter and I remain the same. Take away my second letter and I
remain the same. Take away all my letters, and I still remain the same. What am I?
80.
There is an instance where you can add 2 to 11 and the correct answer will be 1.
What is this instance?
Answer: When you add two hours to eleven o’clock, you get one o’clock.
81.
How far can a dog run into the woods?
Answer: As far as halfway, because after the halfway mark, the dog would be
running out of the woods.
82.
As I was going to St. Ives I met a man with seven wives, each wife had seven sacks,
each sack had seven cats, each cat had seven kittens. How many were going to St.
Ives?
Answer: One. As I was the only going to St. Ives.
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