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# Brainteasers for ESL Classes These are good to use as a warm up activity in ESL classes.

(1) If you went to bed at 8pm and set the alarm to get up at 9am how many hours sleep would this permit you to have? (2) Why cant a man living in Kingston, Ontario be buried west of Lake Superior? (3) If you had only one match and entered a room in which there was a kerosene lamp, an oil burner, and a wood-burning stove, which would you light first? (4) Some months have 30 days, some have 31 days, how many have 28 days? (5) If a doctor gave you 3 pills and told you to take one every half hour, how long would they last you? (6) A man builds a house with four sides to it and it is rectangular in shape. Each side has a southern exposure. A big bear came wandering by. What colour is the bear? (7) How far can a dog run into the woods? (8) I have two Canadian coins in my pocket and together they total 55 cents in value. One is not a nickel. What are the two coins? (9) A farmer had 17 sheep. All but 9 died. How many sheep did he have left? (10) Divide 30 by a half and add 10. What is the answer? (11) Take two apples from three apples and what do you have? (12) An archeologist claimed that he found some gold coins dated 46 BC. Do you believe him? (13) A woman gives a beggar 50 cents. The woman is the beggars sister, but the beggar is not the womans brother. How come? (14) How many animals of each species did Moses take aboard the ark with him?

(15) Is it legal in Canada for a man to marry his widows sister? (16) An electric locomotive is travelling north at the rate of 40 miles an hour. It is being chased from the south by a wind blowing at 80 miles an hour. Will the smoke from the locomotive be blown ahead of the train at the rate of 40 miles an hour? (17) There is a ten-foot steel ladder attached to the side of a boat. The rungs on the ladder are exactly one foot apart with the bottom rung resting exactly on the top of the water. If the tide rises one foot every half hour, how long will it take to cover the first three rungs of the ladder? (18) Are there more doorknobs on the right side of doors or on the left side? (19) You have 4 and a half, 5 and a half and 3 and a half haystacks and you put them all together. How many haystacks do you then have? (20) A small planeload of Americans flying over Canadian territory meet with a fatal accident. None of the remains can be identified. In which country will the survivors be buried?

Solutions

DONT PEEK!! (1) One if the alarm has no a.m. or p.m. setting. (2) He is still alive. (3) The match. (4) All of them. (5) One hour. (6) White as this house can only be built at the north pole. (7) Half way. After that he is running out of the woods. (8) A half-dollar and a nickel. (One is not a nickel, the other is.) (9) Nine. (10) 70. (11) Two applies. (12) No, as the person who made the coin could not know that it was 46 years before the birth of Christ. (13) The beggar is a woman. (14) Moses did not take any animals aboard an ark. (15) No, as he would be dead. (16) Smoke from an electric train? (17) Never. AS the tide rises, so does the boat, and so does the ladder attached to the boat. (18) Same number on each side. (19) One. (20) You want to bury the survivors?

## Foods and Cooking - Cross Out Puzzle

Instructions: Cross out (put a line through) the words in the diagram in the order of the numbered instructions below. You will be left with a proverb, when remaining words are read left to right, top to bottom. A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 GRAPE SUSHI POT RICE BREAD COOKS BASTES MIXES B GRITS TOO FRIES PEACH C BASKET PORK LUNCH HAM D PAN BANANA CHICKEN UDON E F

HAMBURGER SKILLET CHOCOLATE DIMSUM MANY TUTTIFRUTTI APPLE POTATO ROAST BRUNCH PEAR MINT DINNER KETTLE PASTA EGG ROLL STRAWBERRY

MACARONI GRIDDLE MILKSHAKE BEEF CARAMEL SODA BUN TOASTS LAMB SUPPER

## CHOCOLATE WONTON CHIP BROTH CREAMS SUNDAE NOODLES

Words that begin with "B" in lines 1 through 6. Names for meals. Fruits. Fast food in odd lines. Starchy foods, columns A, B, E, F. Asian food in columns A, C, D, F. Cooking verbs in the 3rd Person, Singular, Present form in lines 7 through 12. 8. Flavours of ice cream in even rows. 9. Cookware. 10. Meats. Solution:

1. Words that begin with "B" in lines 1 through 6. (basket, bread, banana, beef, bun) 2. Names for meals. (lunch, dinner, supper, breakfast, brunch) 3. Fruits. (grape, pear, peach, apple, apricot, strawberry) 4. Fast food in odd lines. (hamburger, fries, milkshake, soda, onion rings, sundae) 5. Starchy foods, columns A, B, E, F. (rice, grits, macaroni, corn, potatoes, pasta, noodles) 6. Asian food in columns A, C, D, F. (sushi, sashimi, udon, tofu, dim sum, egg roll, wonton) 7. Cooking verbs in the 3rd Person, Singular, Present form in lines 7 through 12. (bastes, toasts, mixes, bakes, broils, stirs, burns, folds, creams) 8. Flavours of ice cream in even rows. (chocolate, tutti-frutti, mint, caramel, vanilla, chocolate chip) 9. Cookware. (pan, skillet, pot, griddle, kettle, wok, poacher) 10. Meats. (pork, chicken, ham, lamb, roast, steak, veal, mutton) Crossing out the words above leaves you with the proverb "Too many cooks spoil the broth." Do you notice that the grammatical form of the proverb is not quite right? It really should have a punctuation mark after "cooks," but is more common with no punctuation. The underlying structure would be "(if there are) too many cooks (they will) spoil the broth." Instead, in the form above "cooks spoil," the verb seems to agree in number (plural) with the plural noun "cooks." However, according to the meaning, it is a single situation being described, "having too many cooks," which would be followed by "spoils" not "spoil." The underlying structure in that case would be "(having) too many cooks spoils the broth." So, either the verb form or the punctuation is incorrect in the form "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

Japanese IQ Test

This is an IQ test given to job applicants in Japan. Beside a river there is:

## Father Son 1 Son 2 Mother Daughter 1 Daughter 2 Policeman Thief

"Everybody has to cross the river" The following rules apply: 1. Only 2 people on the raft at a time. 2. The Father cannot stay with any of the daughters, without their Mother's presence. 3. The Mother cannot stay with any of the sons, without their Father's presence 4. The thief cannot stay with any family member, if the Policeman is not there. 5. Only the Father, the Mother and the Policeman know how to operate the raft.

Solution:

1. Cop & Thief --> 2. <-- Cop 3. Cop & Son 1 --> 4. <-- Cop & Thief 5. Father & Son 1 --> 6. <-- Father 7. Father & Son 2 --> 8. <-- Father 9. Father & Mother --> 10. <-- Mother 11. Cop & Thief --> 12. <-- Father 13. Father & Mother --> 14. <-- Mother 15. Mother & Daughter 1 --> 16. <-- Mother 17. Mother & Daughter 2 -->

## Cross Out Paragraph Puzzle - To Keep It Secret

Allan leaned over the badly bent axle and sighed. He lifted his hat slowly and cleared his throat. Under his breath he said, "Third bent axle, Allan, it was your best axle. Obviously shot." Then he muttered, "Have to keep asking Andy for another axle." To solve, cross out words in the paragraph above as follows 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Adverbs. Verbs in the past tense. Past participles used as adjectives. Verb plus preposition (two words) which means "requesting." Words beginning with "a" or "A." Determiners. rd 7. 3 person, singular, masculine pronouns, nominative case. rd 8. 3 person, singular, masculine possessive pronouns. 9. Preposition the opposite of "under." 10. Coordinating conjunctions. 11. Words connected with "mouth." 12. Number which comes after "second." 13. The present tense of "had." 14. The comparative form of "good." 15. The superlative form of "good." Rearrange the remaining words into an idiom which means "to keep it secret." *axel- a long metal bar which connects two wheels on a vehicle

Allan leaned over the badly bent axle and sighed. He lifted his hat slowly and cleared his throat. Under his breath he said, "Third bent axle, Allan,

your best axle. Obviously shot." Then he muttered, "Have to keep asking Andy for another axle." To solve, cross out words in the paragraph above as follows 1. Adverbs (badly, slowly, obviously, then) 2. Verbs in the past tense (leaned, sighed, lifted, cleared, said, muttered) 3. Past participles used as adjectives (bent, bent, shot) 4. Verb plus preposition (two words) which means "requesting" (asking for) 5. Words beginning with "a" or "A" (Allan, axle, axle, Allan, asking, Andy, a, another, axle) 6. Determiners (the) rd 7. 3 person, singular, masculine pronouns, nominative case (he, he, he) rd 8. 3 person, singular, masculine possessive pronouns (his, his, his) 9. Preposition the opposite of "under" (over) 10. Coordinating conjunctions (and, and) 11. Words connected with "mouth" (throat, breath) 12. Number which comes after "second" (third) 13. The present tense of "had" (have) 14. The comparative form of "good" (better) 15. The superlative form of "good" (best) The remaining words are "hat," "under," "it," "your," "to keep." Rearranged, they make the idiom "to keep it under your hat," which means "to keep it secret."

## Smoked Delicacy - Follow the Instructions Puzzle

Solving this puzzle is a good way to learn the alphabet, learn to follow directions in English, or just relax. Start with the phrase: SMOKED DELICACY Make the following changes to solve the puzzle: 1. Double the O. 2. Move Y between the double D's. 3. Switch I and A 4. Add N after the second E. 5. Move M to the sixth position from the end. 6. Move O to between the N and M. 7. Delete the two letters on the end. 8. Add S to the end. 9. Reverse the order of the last seven letters. 10. move C to the third position. 11. Delete the two D's. Smoked Delicacy - Puzzle Answers by Sally Jennings Starting with the words "SMOKED DELICACY" the changes step by step: 1. SMOOKEDDELICACY 2. SMOOKEDYDELICAC 3. SMOOKEDYDELACIC 4. SMOOKEDYDENLACIC 5. SOOKEDYDENMLACIC 6. SOKEDYDENOMLACIC 7. SOKEDYDENOMLAC 8. SOKEDYDENOMLACS 9. SOKEDYDESCALMON 10. SOKEDYDESCALMON 11. SOCKEDYDESALMON 12. SOCKEYE SALMON

## What king can you make if you take:

the head of a lamb the middle of a pig the back of a buffalo and the tail of a dragon

A Lion the head of a Lamb the middle of a pIg the hind of a buffalO and the tail of a dragoN

## Vocabulary Matching Quiz Two - Food Pairs

Choose the right word from the list at the bottom of the exercise to complete the expressions. Use each answer once. The first one has been done for you. burger and fries 2. bacon and 3. tea and 4. fish and 5. liver and 6. macaroni and 7. salt and 8. bread and 9. cake and 10. pancakes and 11. milk and 12. bread and 13. cheese and 14. spaghetti and 15. peas and 16. rice and 17. bread and 18. veggies and 19. pasta and 20.sour cream and 21. salad and 22.berries and
1.

## salsa butter cheese dressing chips onions

Vocabulary Matching Quiz Two Answers - Food Pairs 1. burger and fries --- The drive-in restaurants of the past specialized in burgers and fries. Now many drive-in restaurants have disappeared, and the burger has been upgraded to a "gourmet" burger and fries. 2. bacon and eggs --- A popular "pancake house" restaurant breakfast is pancakes, bacon and eggs. 3. tea and toast --- A light snack would be tea and toast. 4. fish and chips --- Atlantic Canada is known for its fish and chips. Is cod better than haddock? You decide. 5. liver and onions --- In the 1950s, popular diner meals were meatloaf, roast beef, or liver and onions. 6. macaroni and cheese --- Anyone can prepare that macaroni and cheese that comes in a box. Right? 7. salt and pepper --- When you pack the picnic food, don't forget to take the salt and pepper. Salt and pepper is also a color term, meaning mixed gray and white, as in "she has salt and pepper hair." 8. bread and jam --- Small children often like a snack of bread and jam before nap time. 9. cake and ice cream --- Birthday party food usually includes cake and ice cream. 10. pancakes and syrup --- In the spring when the sugar maple sap runs, is a good time to eat pancakes and maple syrup. 11. milk and cookies --- Children just coming home from school enjoy a snack of milk and cookies before doing their homework. 12. bread and water --- When someone doesn't have much food, we say they are down to bread and water. 13. cheese and crackers --- Airlines sometimes serve peanuts and soda, or perhaps cheese and crackers for a mid-flight snack.

14. spaghetti and meatballs --- The canned version of this favourite became popular with children years ago. Adults still prefer the old fashioned homemade variety, spaghetti and meatballs, topped with Parmesan cheese. 15. peas and carrots --- Mothers of the early 1960s bought frozen vegetables to serve their families. Mixed vegetables, or peas and carrots were frequently part of the dinner menu.
16.

rice and beans --- One of my favourite Mexican meals is chicken burritos, beef tamales, and rice and beans.

17. bread and butter --- The basis for an old-fashioned sandwich is bread and butter. 18. veggies and dip --- It's party time, and the veggies and dip are ready on the platters on the sideboard. 19. pasta and sauce --- North American Italian fare is not only spaghetti and meatballs, but also includes other pasta and sauce combinations, such as fettuccine with Alfredo sauce, or rigatoni, or cannelloni smothered in a mushroom marinara sauce. 20.sour cream and salsa --- The Mexican burritos and rice and beans just might have a side of sour cream and salsa, or perhaps guacamole. 21. salad and dressing --- Salad buffets in restaurants usually have several choices: tossed salad and dressing, pasta or rice salad, potato salad, pickles, veggies, and perhaps Jell-O salad. 22.berries and cream --- A perfect breakfast during berry season is berries and cream, with a cup of good, strong coffee.