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25 Printable Brain Teasers You Can Print for Free

How many of these brain busters can you solve?

Three brain teaser images spliced into one 3x1 gridMind Stretchers

Give your brain a workout with these free printable brain teasers

Ready to get the gears in your head turning? If so, you’re in the right place. Some people like to utilize printable crossword puzzlesprintable word searches, and printable sudoku puzzles to test their smarts, but printable brain teasers can do the trick, too. These brain teasers vary in difficulty and form—some require wordplay, whereas others require math skills. There’s a brain teaser here for everyone, from brain teaser beginners to brain-busting pros. Simply click the buttons below to download these printable brain teasers and put your smarts to the test (no peeking at the answers!) And if you love brain games, make sure you see what Wordle is all about.

Brain teaser #1: Play the slotsMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #1: Play the slots

Below the wheels of the slot machine, you see a wheel laid out flat. Which symbol (1-6) should replace the question mark?

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Answer: Symbol 4. Join the beginning and the end of the strip to see the rest. Don’t forget to bookmark these holiday word searches you can print for free!

Brain teaser 2: HourglassMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #2: Hourglass

Starting in the middle, each word in the top half has the letters of the word below it, plus a new letter, and each word in the bottom half has the letters of the word above it, plus a new letter.

(1) small army unit

(2) tease

(3) made from dough

(4) lyric poet

(5) short for Abraham

(6) deep yellow color

(7) sculpture rock

(8) pedestrian

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(1) brigade

(2) badger

(3) bread

(4) bard

(5) Bram

(6) amber

(7) marble

(8) rambler

Brain teaser #3: One letter less or moreMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #3: One letter less or more

The word on the right side contains the letters of the word on the left side plus or minus the letter in the middle. One letter is already in the right place.

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Answer: Notepad

Brain teaser #4: MedicationMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #4: Medication

Which combination of pills will the patient have to take next time?

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Answer: The combination of pulls 1 and 4 because that finishes all possible two-pill combinations of the five available pills.

Brain teaser #5: Keeping scoreMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #5: Keeping score

Which digit should replace the question mark in the score?

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Answer: 6. The difference in the scores forms the following sequence: -2, +4, -6, +8. Alternating per column you also see the following two series: 7-14-21-28 and 9-18-27-36. Got this one right? See if you can answer these rebus puzzles that are impossible to solve.

Brain teaser #6: Word PyramidMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #6: Word Pyramid

Each word in the pyramid has the letters of the word above it, plus a new letter.

(1) exist

(2) place to sleep

(3) liability

(4) introduction

(5) broken

(6) slowest

(7) tripped

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(1) be

(2) bed

(3) debt

(4) debut

(5) busted

(6) dumbest

(7) stumbled

Brain teaser #7: Word laddersMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #7: Word ladders

Convert the word at the tops of the ladders to the word at the bottom, using all the rungs in between. On each rung, you must put a valid word that has the same letters as the word above it, apart from one letter change. There may be more than one way of achieving this.

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For laser ladder: laser, large, learn, later, table, beast, beams

For water ladder: water, waste, swear, laser, flare, false, falls

Brain teaser #8: FencingMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #8: Fencing

Which posts (1-6) should replace letters A, B, and C?

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Answer: Posts 4, 3, and 5. A large and small post always alternate. The large posts alternate between black and white so B=3. The small posts follow the color pattern gray, black, and white combined with the shape pattern pointed and round.

Brain teaser #9: ClockwiseMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #9: Clockwise

The answers to the clues from 1 to 12 are all seven-letter words that end with the letter G. When you have solved the puzzle correctly, working clockwise from 1, the 12 letters in the outer circle will spell an abrupt word.

(1) covering up

(2) current

(3) obtrusive and persistent

(4) way in

(5) young tree

(6) open wide

(7) enduring

(8) in want of

(9) moving at an easy pace

(10) illicit goods

(11) drooping loosely

(12) bringing to mind

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(1) masking

(2) ongoing

(3) nagging

(4) opening

(5) sapling

(6) yawning

(7) lasting

(8) lacking

(9) ambling

(10) bootleg

(11) lolling

(12) evoking

Outer circle word: monosyllable

Brain teaser #10: CorrectionsMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #10: Corrections

Which two numbers should be erased in order to restore the logic of the series numbers?

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Answer: 7 and 5. Each set in the series consists of one digit more and the combined total of these digits equals 9.

Brain teaser #11: Word wheelMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #11: Word wheel

How many words of three or more letters, each including the letter at the center of the wheel, can you make from this diagram? No plurals or conjugations. We’ve found 17, including one nine-letter word. Can you do better?

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Answers: per, pie, pro, rip, pier, poor, prof, ripe, rope, prier, prior, proof, repro, roper, proffer, reproof, fireproof.

Brain teaser #12: In balanceMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #12: In balance

Which weight (A-D) should replace the question mark so that the scale is in balance?

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Answer: B.

A = B + C + D, C = B + D, A = 3D so 3D = 2B + 2D, 3D – 2D = 2B so D = 2B.

RELATED: 14 Weird Brain Exercises That Help You Get Smarter

Brain teaser #13: CelebrationMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #13: Celebration

Which letter is made up of the wrong confetti?

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Answer: W. The consonants are always composed of white, blue, red, and yellow confetti.

Brain teaser #14: LetterblocksMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #14: Letterblocks

Move the letter blocks around so that words are formed on top and below that you can associate with winter. In some blocks, the letter from the top row has been switched with the letter from the bottom row.

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Answers: chimney, snowman

Brain teaser #15: Safe codeMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #15: Safe code

To open the safe you have to replace the question mark with the correct figure. You can find this figure by determining the logical method behind the numbers shown. These methods can include calculation, inversion, repetition, chronological succession, or forming ascending and descending series.

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Answer: 33

Brain teaser #16: ToweringMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #16: Towering

A red tower is visible through an airplane window. With which tower (1-11) on the floor plan does the red tower correspond?

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Answer: Tower 7

Brain teaser #17: Block anagramMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #17: Block anagram

Form the word that is described in the brackets with the letters above the grid. Extra letters are already in the right place.

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Answer: Anticyclone

Brain teaser #18: BeadyMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #18: Beady

Which color (1-6) should replace the bead with the question mark?

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Answer: Color 5. The beads are split into groups of three. The color of the middle bead is a combination of the outer two colors.

RELATED: 26 Logic Puzzles That Will Keep You Guessing

Brain teaser #19: Monkey businessMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #19: Monkey business

Some of the older kids have been monkeying about with the best kids’ book titles list in the library. Can you fix it?

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(1) Wonder

(2) After Eli

(3) The Third Wheel

(4) The Serpent’s Shadow 

(5) See You At Harry’s

Brainteaser20Mind Stretchers

Brain teaser #20: Surveillance!

Enter the maze, pass over all security cameras from behind (thereby disabling them), and then exit. You may not pass through a grid more than once, and may not enter a grid space in the line of a camera you have not disabled.

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See Answer

Brain teaser #21: Christmas lightsMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #21: Christmas lights

Which Christmas tree (1-6) is lit up incorrectly?

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Answer: Christmas tree 2. On all the other Christmas trees the left and right sides are decorated with identically colored Christmas tree lights.

Brain teaser #22: FutoshikiMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #22: Futoshiki

Fill in the 5 x 5 grid with the numbers from 1 to 5 once per row and column, while following the greater than/less than symbols shown. There is only one valid solution that can be reached through logic and clear thinking alone!

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See Answer

Brain teaser #23: Letter soupMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #23: Letter soup

Use up all the letters in the soup to fill in the spaces and find eight sailing terms.

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Answers: anchor, yacht, compass, catamaran, water, regatta, boom, afterdeck

Brain teaser #24: Word partsMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #24: Word parts

Place the left and right word parts with the middle letters to form six new words.

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Answers: scrolling, cabriolet, radiation, dangerous, quarterly, knockdown

RELATED: 15 Word Puzzles That Will Leave You Stumped

Brain teaser #25: HoroscopeMind Stretchers

Brain teaser #25: Horoscope

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every frame of six boxes contains six different symbols: health, work, money, happiness, family, and love. Look at the row or column that corresponds with your sign of the zodiac and find out which of the six symbols are important for your today. The symbols appear in increasing order of importance (1-6). It’s up to you to translate the meaning of each symbol to your specific situation.

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See Answer

mind stretchers covers vol 1 and vol 2Mind Stretchers (2)

More puzzles

If you enjoyed these printable brain teasers and want even more puzzles to challenge your brain, check out Mind Stretchers. Challenge your brain with sudoku, crosswords, word searches, logic puzzles, and more.

P.S.—don’t forget to browse more of our brain teasers to boost your brain power.

Kelly Kuehn
Kelly Kuehn is an associate editor for Reader’s Digest covering entertainment, trivia and history. When she’s not writing you can find her watching the latest and greatest movies, listening to a true-crime podcast (or two), blasting ‘90s music and hiking with her dog, Ryker, throughout the Finger Lakes.