After the long holiday we’ve just had, most students’ brains are still probably fast asleep. Sometimes it’s hard to get our brains back into gear and working productively. In that spirit, today I would like to set you 3 brain teasers to wake up your mind. Have a go at them, share them with your friends and when you think you have the answer, check out our Facebook page for the full solutions.


1. A Startling Puzzle

STARTLING is an interesting 9 letter word. You can remove one letter from the word to leave STARTING, a proper 8 letter word. You can remove one letter from this word to give a proper 7 letter word, and so on until you only have a 1 letter word left. See if you can remove 1 letter each time to find the 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 letter words. You can remove any letter, but the remaining letters must be left in the same order.



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2. Two Doors

There are two doors in front of you. Behind one, is a man-eating tiger. Behind the other is a pot of gold. In front of each door stands a guard who knows which door leads to tiger and which to the gold, but one of the guards always lies and the other one always tells the truth. You are allowed to ask one guard only one question that can be answered “yes” or “no”, but unfortunately, you do not know which guard is the liar. How do you make sure you open the door with the gold behind it and not the tiger?


3. The Liars’ Club

A valuable painting was stolen from the Liars’ Club, but the police are having a hard time identifying the culprit because every statement made by a member of the Liars’ Club is false. Only four members visited the club on the day that the painting was stolen. This is what they told the police:

  • Chris: None of us took the painting. The painting was here when I left.
  • Shaun: I arrived second. The painting was already gone.
  • Jenny: I was the third to arrive. The painting was here when I arrived.
  • Tom: Whoever stole the painting arrived before me. The painting was already gone.

Who of these four liars stole the painting?