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ThinkFun Family Brainstorms Challenge of the Week

Each week we feature a new puzzle that you can print out in black and white on a single page and use as a black line master with your students. Schools have reported great success by encouraging families to work on the puzzles together at home. Print out the PDF file, file the solution page and make copies of the Challenge page to hand out to your students.
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 Word Thoughts... Percy has found a new word game. What single four letter word can be placed before each of the words below to make four new words? (Hyphenated words are allowed.) _ _ _ _ TRAP, _ _ _ _ PLACE, _ _ _ _ BUG, and _ _ _ _ FLY Download Puzzle (60 KB)  |  Download Solution (44 KB)
 Counting Cubes... The stone cutter and his cat are trying to count the number of cubes that have already been placed in this monument. Can you determine the total number of cubes contained in this structure, based on seeing these front and back views and armed with the knowledge that it is not in any way hollow? Download Puzzle (245 KB)  |  Download Solution (102 KB)
 Prom Night... These young ladies are Rose, Daisy and Iris, but not necessarily in that order. On prom night they gathered to get their picture taken. While posing, the woman wearing the rose corsage said, "I just noticed that the flowers in our corsages match our names, but none of us are wearing a flower that matches our own name." "Wow!" said Iris, "You're right!" Given these clues, can you identify who is who in the illustration above? Download Puzzle (293 KB)  |  Download Solution (136 KB)
 Puppy Pondering... As little Bucky looks at himself in the mirror, which of the four reflections illustrated is the one he will see? Download Puzzle (272 KB)  |  Download Solution (249 KB)
 Fish Switch... Clarence's favorite joke is to switch the signs on the fish barrels. Today he mixed up the signs on the carp barrel, the catfish barrel, and the carp-and-catfish barrel, deliberately hanging each sign on the wrong barrel. Clarence will let you see only one fish, but it can be from any barrel you choose. Using only this information, can you restore the signs to their rightful barrels? How? Download Puzzle (43 KB)  |  Download Solution (43 KB)
 Bracelet Links... Roland is making a bracelet... He has four sections of chain to link together. It takes 15 minutes to cut open a link and weld it back together, and thus he would like to cut as few links as possible. How quickly can Roland complete the task? Download Puzzle (66 KB)  |  Download Solution (61 KB)
 Upside-Down Coin Stacks... Can Joan arrange a triangle of coins upside-down by moving only three coins? The only rule is that every time she moves a coin to a new position, it must touch two other coins. Download Puzzle (72 KB)  |  Download Solution (66 KB)
 Top View... Roland has sketched three different top views of a funny face for a new building project. From these three sketches, can you select the top view that Roland chose to make the three-dimensional head illustrated above? Download Puzzle (217 KB)  |  Download Solution (156 KB)
 Duplicate Count... The stone cutter has been asked by the Pharaoh to duplicate this monument at a new location. His first task is to make an accurate count of the individual cubes within the existing structure. How many cubes are there in the monument? (Note: please assume that all rows of cubes are solid unless you can observe gaps of endings.) Download Puzzle (38 KB)  |  Download Solution (24 KB)
 Calendar Confusion... Buzzy showed up for work on Monday only to discover that his delivery truck was in the shop for maintenance. He was told it would be ready two days after the day before the day after tomorrow. On what day can Buzzy expect the truck to be back on the road? Download Puzzle (68 KB)  |  Download Solution (54 KB)
 Five Minute Timer... The young sorceress is cooking up a brew that needs to simmer for five minutes, plus or minus a few seconds. All she has to measure with are a four-minute timer and a three-minute timer. Using only these instruments, can she successfully time her simmering? If so, how? Download Puzzle (70 KB)  |  Download Solution (57 KB)
 String of Rings... Paulina the pack rat is ready to drag her latest find back to the nest. Are all six rings captured on the loop of string? Download Puzzle (221 KB)  |  Download Solution (111 KB)
 Lavender Square Fold and Cut... Blanche runs a quilting class. She has asked her students to fold and cut a lavender square of fabric, following the pattern shown on the chart above. The results are in. Which of the four students' squares is the correct fold and cut as indicated by the chart? Download Puzzle (255 KB)  |  Download Solution (131 KB)
 Folding Cubes... Al is getting ready to cut out these patterns and fold each of them into a cube, assisted only by his roll of scotch tape. Do you think he will be successful with this? Download Puzzle (PDF: 221 KB)  |  Download Solution (PDF: 109 KB)
 Tennis Match… Frank and Helen's annual singles elimination tennis tournament has drawn 18 players this year. How many matches must be played before there is a winner for the year? Download (PDF: 395 KB)
 Top View… Roland has sketched three different top views of a funny face for a new building project. From these three sketches, can you select the top view that Roland chose to make the three dimensional head illustrated above? Download (PDF: 412 KB)
 Convention Chortle... Hilda D. Rosen, Earl Wade, and Roy Kewn had a big laugh at the convention when they realized that the letters of their names, when rearranged, spelled out the names of each of their home States. From what State does each of these delegates hail? Download (PDF: 352 KB)
 Blue Painted Cube… When the monument is finished it will be an enormous cube, painted blue on the outside walls but left unadorned on all inner surfaces.  How many of the remaining stones needed to complete the monument will be painted blue on exactly two sides? Download (PDF: 761 KB)
 Prom Night… These young ladies are Rose, Daisy and Iris, but not necessarily in that order. On prom night they gathered to get their picture taken. While posing, the woman wearing the rose corsage said, “I just noticed that the flowers in our corsages match our names, but none of us are wearing a flower that matches our own name.” “Wow!”, said Iris, “you’re right!” Given these clues, can you identify who is who in the illustration? Download (PDF: 742 KB)
 Measuring Dilemma… The young sorceress is planning a brew. The recipe calls for exactly 2 liters of liquid. To her dismay, she can only find a 5 liter and an 8 liter pitcher. Can she use these pitchers only to measure out the two liters of liquid she needs? Download (PDF: 1422 KB)
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 Last Updated: November 19, 2010 top
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