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Futility Closet

Sep 30, 2019

Here are seven new lateral thinking puzzles -- play along with us as we try to untangle some perplexing situations using yes-or-no questions.


The Rotator typeface presents the digits 0-9 even when turned upside down.

In 1897 The Strand designed a complete alphabet using three human acrobats.

The sources for this week's puzzles are below. In a few places we've included links to further information -- these contain spoilers, so don't click until you've listened to the episode:

Puzzle #1 is from Kyle's Hendrickson's 1998 book Mental Fitness Puzzles.

Puzzle #2 was contributed by listener Chris.

Puzzle #3 was contributed by listener Wayne. Here are two links with further information.

Puzzle #4 is from listener Jeff Harvey.

Puzzle #5 is from listener Ben Sack, who sent two corroborating links.

Puzzle #6 is based on an item in Dan Lewis' Now I Know newsletter. Here's a corroborating link.

Puzzle #7 is from listener Katie Tripp.

You can listen using the player above, download this episode directly, or subscribe on Google Podcasts, on Apple Podcasts, or via the RSS feed at

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Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.

If you have any questions or comments you can reach us at Thanks for listening!