Logic puzzles 101

Logic puzzles 101

As an academic discipline, logic is the study of reasoning. Logic puzzles, therefore, involve making a series of inferences and assessing them using reasoning. Easier logic puzzles for kids tend to have simpler setups – and therefore fewer possibilities to examine and eliminate. Harder logic puzzles for adults, however, are often deceptively short. They seem simple at first, but the solver is often left wondering how there could really be enough information to figure them out.

Like some of the hardest maths puzzles and maths riddles, these puzzles can get very complex. If you look for them online, you’ll find lots of examples of logic puzzles that come with grids to help you keep track of your thinking as you make your way through the various clues.

What is a logic puzzle?

These puzzles come in various forms and can have a nearly limitless number of different themes. But, at their core, logic puzzles present a series of clues and constraints. Solvers then must process each in turn to identify contradictions and eliminate possibilities until they arrive at the solution.

How to solve a logic puzzle

No matter the format, the key to solving any of these puzzles is to use a process of deduction. In harder logic puzzles for adults, it might not seem like there’s enough information at first. But by reading through the clues several times, you’ll have fewer and fewer possibilities to analyse with each pass.


Easy puzzles

Easy puzzles

These logic puzzles are ideal for beginners or anyone who wants to warm up to something more challenging. Looking for good logic puzzles for kids? Then the ones below are your best bet.

Summer Camp

Abigail, Oliver, Rosa, and Blake all attend the same summer camp, where they can cook, kayak, rock climb, and zip-line. Each child has a different favourite activity.

Abigail’s favourite activity isn’t rock climbing.

Oliver is afraid of heights.

Rosa can’t do her favourite activity without a harness.

Blake likes to keep his feet on the ground at all times.

Can you figure out who likes what?

Answer: Abigail likes to zip-line, ­Oliver likes to kayak, Rosa likes to rock climb, and Blake likes to cook.

The Good Life

The Good Life

Each of five neighbourhood dogs (Saber, Ginger, Nutmeg, Pepper, and Bear) is enjoying one of the following activities: getting its ears scratched, playing catch, taking a nap, burying a chew toy, and going for a walk.

Pepper is either playing catch or burying a chew toy.

Neither Ginger nor Saber nor Bear is on a walk.

One of the dogs named after a spice is getting its ears scratched.

A dog not named for a spice is playing catch.

Bear is getting some exercise.

Can you figure out what each pooch is doing?

Answer: Saber is taking a nap, ­Ginger is getting her ears scratched, Nutmeg is ­going for a walk, Pepper is burying a chew toy, and Bear is playing catch. Check out these brain games that’ll really sharpen your mind.

President’s Day

President’s Day

George, William, John, Abe, and Millard have their birthdays on consecutive days, all between Monday and Friday.

George’s birthday is as many days before Millard’s and William’s is after Abe’s.

John is two days older than Abe.

Millard’s birthday is on Thursday.

Can you figure out whose birthday is on each day?

Answer: John’s is on Monday, George’s on Tuesday, Abe’s on Wednesday, Millard’s on Thursday, and William’s on Friday. By the way, can you find the hidden objects in these pictures?

The Long and the short of it

The Long and the short of it

Here’s a great logic puzzle for kids: Six neighbourhood children (Leisha, Benito, Delia, Charlotte, Weldon, and Zina) were measured yesterday.

Weldon is taller than Delia but shorter than Zina.

Leisha is taller than Benito but shorter than Delia and Weldon.

Benito is not the shortest.

Can you put them in order of height from tallest to shortest?

Answer: Zina, Weldon, Delia, Leisha, Benito, Charlotte. If you really want to bust your brain, try to solve these tricky lateral thinking puzzles.

Medium puzzles

Medium puzzles

These are a bit trickier, so we recommend these logic puzzles for adults. They are still good logic puzzles for kids, but younger solvers might not be able to solve them on their own.

Dads and Grads

A joint Father’s Day and graduation party is being thrown for Michael, Ken, James, Alberto, Elias, and Stephanie. Three of them are newly minted high school graduates. The other three are their dads.

Stephanie went to the senior prom with Michael’s son.

Elias and James played on the school’s baseball team. One of them is Alberto’s son.

Michael and Elias are not related.

Can you match the high school graduates to their fathers at this joint celebration?

Answer: Alberto is Elias’ dad, Ken is Stephanie’s dad, and Michael is James’ dad.

Allergy Season

Allergy Season

Five friends (Allegra, Ben, Clara, Flora, and Zach) are each allergic to something different: pollen, shellfish, bee stings, cats, or nuts.

Allegra has a food allergy

Ben can play with his kitten for hours without issue (or medicine).

Clara’s allergy is not related to animals.

Flora has seasonal allergies.

Can you figure out who is allergic to what?

Answer: Allegra is allergic to shellfish, Ben to bee stings, Clara to nuts, Flora to pollen, and Zach to cats.

Here’s the deal

Here’s the deal

This one could be a good logic puzzle for kids because it also involves some math. Four playing cards, one of each suit, lie face down on a table. They are a three, a four, a five, and a six.

The cards on either side of the four are black.

The club is to the right of the three but not next to it.

The spade is to the left of the heart.

The middle two cards add up to an even number. Neither of them is a club.

Can you determine the cards’ suits and their order?

Answer: From left to right: Three of diamonds, six of spades, four of hearts, five of clubs. How many of these visual brain teasers can you solve?

Party at Charlie’s

Party at Charlie’s

And this one is a good logic puzzle for adults. You’ve been invited to a party at Charlie’s house, but you’ve never been there. He has seven friends who live nearby. They’ve given you a map showing all of their houses and Charlie’s house, along with the following information:

Daniel: I can’t see Benita’s house, because Greta’s house is in the way.

Adam: I live directly (not diagonally) across the street from Daniel.

Benita: Elena lives due west of me.

Elena: I have to cross three streets to walk to Franco’s house.

Hal: I live east of Benita.

Can you figure out which house is Charlie’s?

Answer: House E.

Hard puzzles

Hard puzzles

These more advanced challenges are definitely logic puzzles for adults. But while they are intricate, don’t feel bad taking as much time as you need to work out your logic.

Pass the Salt, Please

A perfect logic puzzle for adults who have kids: Try to outsmart your mischievous teenager!

On April Fool’s Day, your teenaged son replaces the salt in three of your four salt shakers with sugar. But he also leaves messages on each.

If only one of these inscriptions is true, which shaker still contains salt?

Answer: Shaker C.

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