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15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers

Included in this challenging list are puzzles that aspiring astronauts must complete in order to be selected for training.

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
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Lockdowns are being gradually and tentatively eased throughout the world, and we're gradually being acclimatized to the idea of approaching something resembling normality.

If there's one thing we have enjoyed in these trying times — aside from priests with water pistols — it's our renewed love for brain teasers, riddles, and puzzles.

Here are a few more great, and difficult, ones to help you while away the time while keeping safe at home.

RELATED: 7 SIMPLE MATH EQUATIONS THAT WENT VIRAL AND DIVIDED THE INTERNET

1. How much is this picture worth? 

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: Elon Musk/Twitter

When Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't busy tweeting about astrophysics or SpaceX's recent CrewDragon launch, he sometimes tweets humorous, riddle-like messages. We've adapted a recent one, that we've shared below in the answers, into a riddle.

As the old saying goes, "a picture is worth more than a thousand words."

Can you give us an exception to this rule?

2. I am heavy and hard to pick up, but backwards I am not. What am I?

This riddle definitely had us scratching our heads for a good long while.

HINT: Give this riddle a good long read, back to front.

3. Given the choice, where is the one place you would likely choose to be in prison for a year rather than a day?

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: Pixabay

Where indeed. 

HINT:Look up to the skies.

4. Tim Peake's astronaut training #1

Speaking of looking up to the skies, British ESA astronaut Tim Peake, who spent 186 days on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016, shared a few puzzles he had to solve in order to be accepted into astronaut training. Here's one of them. 

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: Tim Peake/Twitter

5. Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

This clever little brain teaser was posted by cloudsruns on Reddit.

6. If I am holding a bee what do I have in my eye?

HINT: This riddle is a play on a well-known proverb.

7. Tim Peake's astronaut training #2

Another one of Tim Peake's astronaut puzzles. Answer this correctly and you might just have what it takes to be sent hurtling into space.

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: Tim Peake/Twitter

The questions are taken from Peake's book, 'The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes?'

8. You're in a boat and you throw out a suitcase. Does the water level increase?

As per Business Insider, this riddle was given by Microsoft to prospective employees during their recruitment process. 

9. How can 8 + 8 = 4 ?

This brain teaser was posted by brendantheraven on Reddit. And no, saying we're in a parallel universe where 2+2=5 and anything goes doesn't count.

10. If You Have Me, You Want To Share Me. If You Share Me, You Don't Have Me. What Am I?

That sounds like quite an elusive possession right there.

HINT: Maybe it's best to be honest.

11. Tim Peake's astronaut training #3

The last of Tim Peake's astronaut puzzles is quite a head-scratcher. Can't be letting anyone into space, can they.

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: Tim Peake/Twitter

12. The sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. Which manmade timepiece has the most moving pieces?

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: Liz West/Flickr

HINT: It's been around for a very long time.

13. I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I?

This riddle by Tatiana Ayazo of Reader's Digest is quite deceptive.

14. Which of the following is the largest? Triangle, circle, square, or rectangle?

One could also ask the question, how long is a string?

15. Open the lock

15 Interesting Brain Teasers to Challenge Intelligent Engineers
Source: erineeman/Twitter

To finish off here's a really tricky one that went viral and that we reported on back in April. Here's the puzzle:

682: One digit is right and in its place
614: One digit is right but in the wrong place
206: Two digits are right but both are in the wrong place
738: All digits are wrong
380: One digit is right but in the wrong place

Can you get the right code based on these instructions?

HINT: We recommend eliminating the 7's, 3's, and 8's first as all of these digits are wrong. 

Answers

1. How much is this picture worth?

The answer can be seen in Neil deGrasse Tyson's humorous tweet below.

2. I am heavy and hard to pick up, but backwards I am not. What am I?

A ton is equivalent to 2,000 pounds, but if you spell the word "ton" backwards you get the word 'not.'

3. Given the choice, where is the one place you would likely choose to be in prison for a year rather than a day?

Venus.

Venus rotates so slowly on its axis that a day on the planet is actually longer than the time it takes to orbit around the Sun. As per NASA, a day on Venus lasts 5,8323 hours.

So that means the planets orbital period is 225 Earth days, while the length of a day on Venus is the equivalent on 116 days and 18 hours.

4. Tim Peake's astronaut training #1

B.

The pattern mirrors adjacent shapes but in different colors.

5. Turn me on my side and I am everything. Cut me in half and I am nothing. What am I?

The number 8. On its side, it looks like an infinity symbol. Cut in half it looks like two zeros.

6. If I am holding a bee what do I have in my eye?

Beauty.

This riddle is a play on the proverb, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." So in this case, you are the "bee-holder." So beauty is in your eye.

7. Tim Peake's astronaut training #2

A. 

Wheels of the same radius at the start & end of the sequence will spin at the same speed.

8. You're in a boat and you throw out a suitcase. Does the water level increase?

No.

Water is already being displaced by the weight and density of the boat's hull. The weight taken away from the boat's hull will go into the water meaning there is no difference.

9. How can 8 + 8 = 4 ?

If the numbers are referring to times.

8:00 + 8:00 = 16:00, 16:00 = 4pm.

10. If You Have Me, You Want To Share Me. If You Share Me, You Don't Have Me. What Am I?

A secret.

11. Tim Peake's astronaut training #3

B.

For the mathematicians, it’s essentially asking for the locus of a straight line.

12. The sundial has the fewest moving parts of any timepiece. Which timepiece has the most moving pieces?

The hourglass, which has thousands of grains of sand in it.

13. I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. What am I?

A map.

14. Which of the following is the largest? Triangle, circle, square, or rectangle?

Rectangle, as it has the most letters in it.

15. Open the lock

The code is 042. Here to see an in-depth explanation of how to get the correct answer.

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