10 Brainteasers to Test Your Mental Sharpness

Last month, Forbes.com published an article titled “10 Brainteasers to Test Your Mental Sharpness.” Within this article, Holly Green examines the hidden meaning behind how our brain interprets these tricky questions and how this effects our leadership ability.

“Thanks to the way our brain works, we have a very strong tendency to see what we want to see and what we expect to see. This has huge implications when studying our customers, markets, competitors, and other data that influences key business decisions.

When we only see what we want or expect to see, we miss competitive threats because our brain tells us a threat couldn’t possibly come from that direction. We miss opportunities because we only see what has worked in the past rather than what could be. And we miss major market shifts and changes in customer needs that seem obvious in hindsight but are easily overlooked when focusing on what we already know.

Our brain doesn’t like information gaps, so we tend to jump at the first answer/solution that looks good rather than take the time to examine all the data. This is especially true in a world where we receive more information every day than we have time to assimilate. Finally, our brains love to see patterns and make connections. This trait serves us well in many ways as we move through the world. But the brain doesn’t always get it right.”

So, take a stab at these 10 brainteasers and see how well you do. Think through your answer, then, when finished, click the HT link below to see how you did!

1. Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name?

2. A clerk at a butcher shop stands five feet ten inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh?

3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet?

5. What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?

6. Billie was born on December 28th, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?

7. In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not?

8. If you were running a race and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now?

9. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”

10. A farmer has five haystacks in one field and four haystacks in another. How many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in one field?

(HT: Forbes)