Podcast Episode 300: Lateral Thinking Puzzles


Here are six new lateral thinking puzzles — play along with us as we try to untangle some perplexing situations using yes-or-no questions.


In the 1850s, a $5 bill featuring Santa Claus was legal tender in the United States.

In 1910 DuPont suggested that “some farmers have a wrong idea about dynamite.”

The sources for this week’s puzzles are below. In a few places we’ve included links to further information — these contain spoilers, so don’t click until you’ve listened to the episode:

Puzzle #1 is from listener Cody Scace.

Puzzle #2 is from listener Jay Graham.

Puzzle #3 is from Greg. Here are two links.

Puzzle #4 is from listener Paul Rippey.

Puzzle #5 is from listener Hanno Zulla, who sent these links.

Puzzle #6 is from Greg.

You can listen using the player above, download this episode directly, or subscribe on Google Podcasts, on Apple Podcasts, or via the RSS feed at https://futilitycloset.libsyn.com/rss.

Please consider becoming a patron of Futility Closet — you can choose the amount you want to pledge, and we’ve set up some rewards to help thank you for your support. You can also make a one-time donation on the Support Us page of the Futility Closet website.

Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.

If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at podcast@futilitycloset.com. Thanks for listening!