Lateral Thinking Riddles

Lateral thinking puzzles involve solving problems through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious, thinking out of the box and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

Anonymous Phone Call

Acting on an anonymous phone call, the police raid a house to arrest a suspected murderer. They don’t know what he looks like but they know his name is John and that he is inside the house. The police bust in on a carpenter, a lorry driver, a mechanic and a fireman playing cards. Without hesitation or communication of any kind, they immediately arrest the fireman. How do they know they’ve got their man?

Riddle Answer

3 Switches and 1 Light Bulb

You have a set of 3 light switches outside a closed door. One of them controls the incandescent light bulb inside the room. With the door closed from outside the room, you can turn the light switches on or off as many times as you would like.

You can go into the room – one time only – to see the light. You cannot see whether the light is on or off from outside the room, nor can you change the light switches while inside the room.

No one else is in the room to help you. The room has no windows.

Based on the information above, how would you determine which of the three light switches controls the light inside the room?

Riddle Answer