Lateral Thinking Puzzlers consists of 93 puzzles, most of which are riddles. The puzzles are divided into 5 chapters: easy, moderate, historical, difficult, and fiendish. Following the puzzles is an extensive section with clues to each puzzle, and the last section is the solutions. I say most of the puzzles are riddles, but there are also some simple math-based logic puzzles, a few involving physics, some Jeopardy-style questions based on history and geography, and some puzzles that I would consider more like creative writing exercises.
Of the 93 puzzles, about 25 are excellent. The best puzzles in the book have simple solutions that could theoretically be discovered in seconds by an 8 year old, but it may take a group of adults some time to solve them, even if they're asking the right questions and thinking in the right ways. Another 45 or so puzzles are enjoyable to varying degrees, and about 20 puzzles in the book range from unsatisfying to implausible to downright stupid. Some puzzles simply contain flawed premises, nonsensical scenarios that require special knowledge of site-specific architecture, international laws, etc. Some provide insufficient information for anyone to reasonably arrive at the answer. On too many occasions, additional essential information can only be found in the Clues section, making it impossible to solve them without consulting the book's help. There are a handful of puzzles with solutions that are extremely absurd and/or implausible (in particular the “Deadly Block of Wood”), but if you think of these more as stimulants for creative writing, in which a number of other plausible solutions can be deduced rather than the one provided, they're more enjoyable.
As of 2014 this book is out of print. Despite its flaws, there's plenty of enjoyment to be had, and I'll be buying the author's other lateral thinking books. This book is great to contemplate alone, for parties and get-togethers or for teachers looking to enliven a classroom. I also recommend it to those who enjoy locked room mysteries and whodunnits.
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Sterling Pub Co Inc; Reprint edition (1 April 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806982276
- ISBN-13: 978-0806982274
- Product Dimensions:: 14 x 0.6 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 113 g
- Customer reviews: 43 customer ratings