10 Trivia Questions Only Geniuses Will Get Right
From tricky riddles to mind-boggling math puzzles, see how you fare against these challenging trivia questions.
Trivia question #1:
Name the number that is three more than one-fifth of one-tenth of one-half of 5,000.
Answer: C. 53
Work backward! Half of 5,000 is 2,500. One-tenth of that is 250. One-fifth of that is 50. Add three, and you’ve got your answer.
Can you pass the world’s shortest IQ test? (Less than 20 per cent of people can!)
Answer: B. Maine
Maine shares a border only with New Hampshire (and Canada). Maine also has another distinction as well—it’s the only state with a one-syllable name.
Trivia question #3:
What’s the missing number?
Answer: B. 21
Each number is the previous two numbers added together. The eighth number is the sixth and seventh numbers—8 and 13—added together. If you can figure this out, see if you can solve this tricky math puzzle.
Trivia question #4:
A. Istanbul, Turkey
B. Athens, Greece
D. Damascus, Syria
Answer: D. Damascus, Syria
Evidence of civilization in Damascus dates all the way back to 9000 BC.
Found that one too easy? Test your knowledge of English words with Arabic origins in our Word Power quiz!
Answer: A. 10
If you remember the a2 + b2 = c2 rule from math class, that’s what’ll help you solve this problem. This rule states that if you have a triangle, the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides equals the square of the longest side. And in this problem, the walkers’ paths form parts of triangles. You may want a pencil and paper to “draw out” this problem and visualize the triangles.
Draw two lines labeled “three feet” for the distance they walk away from each other. Then draw two lines labeled “four feet,” going in opposite directions, for the distance they walked after their left turns. Now draw a line connecting the points at the ends of those lines (representing where the people are now). This line represents the distance you’re trying to figure out.
Now, you’ve got two triangles touching at the corners. Two sides of each are 3 feet and 4 feet (the distances each person walked). The unknown sides represent two halves of the distance you’re trying to find. So break out that Pythagorean Theorem: Three is a, 4 is b. 32 + 42 = 9 + 16 = 25 = c2. Take the square root of 25 and you get 5, which is the longest side of these mini-triangles. Five feet is half of the distance between the people. Five times two is ten!
Trivia question #6:
You’re trapped in a room with two doors. Only one door will lead you out of the room safely, but you don’t know which. A guard stands in front of each door. One guard always lies, the other always tells the truth, but you don’t know which is which. You can only ask one guard one question. What question do you ask, and what do you do once the guard has answered?
A. “Which is the safe door?” Go through the door the guard tells you.
B. “Which is the safe door?” Go through the other door.
C. “If I were to ask the other guard which was the safe door, which door would s/he say?” Go through that door.
D. “If I were to ask the other guard which was the safe door, which door would s/he say?” Go through the other door.
Answer: D. “If I were to ask the other guard which was the safe door, which door would s/he say?” Go through the other door.
If you chose the lying guard, the lying guard is telling you the door that the truthful guard would not say is safe. If you chose the truthful guard, the truthful guard is telling you the door that the lying guard would say is safe. Either way, the door the guard responds with is not the safe door. Go through the other door and you’re out!
Are you a massive movie buff? Test your celluloid savvy with our ultimate Oscars trivia quiz!
Trivia question #7:
Lizzie, Isaac, Justine, and Mike each bought a different dessert. One of them bought a cupcake; one bought a doughnut; one bought a brownie; and one bought ice cream. One spent $1; one spent $2; one spent $3; and one spent $4. Using the set of clues below, who bought the ice cream?
- CLUE 1: Lizzie spent more money than Justine.
- CLUE 2: Justine bought the brownie.
- CLUE 3: Of the person who spent $1 and the person who spent $4, one of them was Lizzie and the other one bought the doughnut.
- CLUE 4: The person who bought the cupcake, the person who bought the brownie, the person who spent $2, and Isaac are all different people.
Who bought the ice cream?
Answer: D. Mike
- We know (because of Clue 3) that Lizzie spent either $1 or $4. Because of Clue 1, we also know Lizzie spent more money than Justine, which means Lizzie can’t have spent $1 (the lowest amount). So Lizzie spent $4. Because of Clue 3, this means that the person who did spend $1 bought the doughnut.
- Clue 2 says that Justine bought the brownie. Because of Clue 4, we then know that Justine didn’t spend $2, since the $2-spender and the brownie-buyer are not the same person. We also know that Isaac didn’t buy the cupcake (or the brownie) or spend $2.
- Therefore, since we already know Lizzie spent $4, Mike is the only one who could have spent $2.
- Since the $1-spender and the doughnut-buyer are the same person, this has to be Isaac—he’s now the only one who doesn’t have either dessert or money accounted for yet.
- That leaves Justine having spent $3.
- Clue 4 says that the person who spent $2 and the person who bought the cupcake are not the same. Since Mike spent the $2, Lizzie must have bought the cupcake.
- This leaves us with our answer: Mike bought the ice cream!
If you figured that out, reward yourself with your dessert of choice. Oh, and you might be ready to tackle what one MIT professor called “the hardest logic puzzle ever“!
“Dozens” is a six-letter word. Take away the “s,” and you have “dozen,” another word for “twelve.” (We never said it was twelve letters!)
Check out these 26 fascinating facts about every letter in the English alphabet!
Trivia question #9:
…whose first digit is one-fourth of the last digit; the second digit is six times the first digit; and the third digit is the second digit plus three.
Since the second digit is six times the first, the second digit must be 6, because it’s the only number that is still a single digit and is divisible by six. (It couldn’t be 0 either, because the second digit is six times the first digit, which would make the first digit 0, impossible for a four-digit number.) Once you’ve figured that out, you can figure out that the first digit is 1, the last digit is 4, and the third digit is 9.
Trivia question #10:
James’s mom has four children. Their names are April, May, June, and ______?
Don’t let the sequential month names fool you. It’s James’s mother, so James has to be one of the four children. Did we get you with this one?!
If you got that one right, you might be ready to try the Reader’s Digest Totally Random Trivia Quiz!