By Michael Edmonds 04/01/2014

I love puzzles – word games, whodunnits, board games and mazes. It is a great way to test skills such as vocabulary, lateral thinking, spatial awareness, observation and strategy – all skills which are relevant in science.

While visiting my parents over Christmas I was reminded of my interest in puzzles so thought I might share a few with you.


Puzzle 1 – Who’s your daddy?

After a severe car accident, a father and son are brought into accident and emergency. The father dies on the way to the hospital while the son is taken immediately to surgery.

However, when the boy is wheeled into surgery, the surgeon says

“We need to find another surgeon, I can’t operate on this boy as he is my son.”

How is this possible?





Puzzle 2

Moving only 3 matches, turn this fish around to face the opposite direction*

* this puzzle comes from http://www.learning-tree.org.uk/stickpuzzles/stick_puzzles.htm





0 Responses to “Puzzling”

    • James, yes, some puzzles like the first one certainly do test out assumptions and prejudices. Although as Stephen has pointed out in the modern world there are at least two possible answers.

  • Puzzle 1. It is possible for a boy to have two fathers, e.g. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, though they are not both biological fathers.

  • Hi Michael

    There is a classic puzzle: If I walk south 1 km, east 1 km, then north 1 km, I finish where I started – where am I?

    It is usually supposed that there is a single solution, but in fact there are many more.

    • Ok, Ron I’m intrigued, I thought the only answer to this was the North Pole, what are the other possibilities?