Off-topic: obscure beers for your office happy hour

You know that point in the day when your brain feels like it got hit with a frying pan? (Maybe that’s where the expression “I’m so fried!” comes from…)

We’ve been there.

Switching to a low-stakes, low-intensity task is a good way to rejuvenate your grey matter. So why not give your brain a low-stakes task that’s fun?

We asked the intrepid members of the Atlassian Community for their favorite brain teasers, and true to form, they delivered! So sit back, relax, and see how many of these you can get without Googling it.

1: I have keys, but no locks. I have space, but no rooms. You can enter, but you can’t go outside. What am I? 

– from Bridget in California

2: There are two guards on your path.  One will let you pass, the other will not.  You can ask one of them a single question.  You know that one always lies, and the other always tells the truth.  What do you ask?

– from Nic in the U.K.

3: There are 8 people who have to cross the river on a raft: a police officer, a thief, a father, a mother, boy #1, boy #2, girl #1, girl #2. 

Only two people can cross at a time. Only the adults can operate the raft. The father can’t be with the girls unless the mother is there. The mother can’t be with the boys unless the father is there. The thief can’t remain with anyone unless the police officer is present. How do you get them all across?

– from Scott in Ohio

4: It’s shorter than the rest, but when you’re happy, you raise it up like it’s the best. What is it?

– from Omar in Panama

5: Mom and Dad have four daughters, and each daughter has one brother. How many people are in the family?

– from Marcos in Spain

6: There once was a one-level house that was famous for being pink. The floors were pink, the walls were pink, all the furniture was pink, even the people who lived in it was pink! I kid you not: their hair was pink, their eyes were pink, their toes? Pink! What color were the stairs?

– from Emily in Washington

Answer key

  1. A keyboard.
  2. Let’s say you’ve got a blue door and a yellow door, and the blue door is the one you want to take.  So you ask either guard “what would your friend say is the good door? If you’ve spoken to the liar, they will lie about what the other one would say, which is “blue” so you will get the answer “yellow”. If you’ve spoken to the truthful one, they will honestly report that the other one would say “yellow”. So it doesn’t matter which one you ask – just take the opposite door to what they say is the good one!
  3. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t get this one. It’s pretty darn hard. Here’s a nifty video that shows the solution.
  4. Your thumb.
  5. Seven.
  6. There are no stairs (it’s a one-level house)!


Look for our next “off-topic” post in 2 weeks. We’re scouring the nooks n’ crannies of planet Earth for obscure but delicious beers that’ll hop up your street cred a few IBUs when you bring them to happy hour. But never fear, lager lovers: we’re taking you beyond the pale (ales, that is).

Until then… work happy, be awesome, and don’t’ forget to have a little fun.

. . .

Got a good brain teaser to add to the collection? Let’s hear it! Hop over to the original discussion on Atlassian Community. If you’re an Atlassian Cloud user, you already have an account. If not, creating one is free and takes just a moment. See you there!

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Off-topic: riddle me this!