A man walks into a restaurant. He orders an ibis sandwich. After taking one bite, he leaves the restaurant and kills himself. Why does he kill himself?
The answer is reached by asking the puzzle master yes and no questions only. This was introduced to me at a youth retreat years ago and I have since introduced it to camps and classrooms. I’ve had young people solved within hours or over the course of weeks.
Engage if you’d like. The beauty of this puzzle is not the answer, but instead the process by which you reach the answer. The group of potential solvers takes baby steps toward piecing the story together until they have unraveled a fairly complex background story. To hear the answer straight out is very disappointing and a little irritating. You’d wonder, “How was I supposed to figure THAT out?” But if you take the journey one step at a time, itr can be meditative, ponderous and humorous.
Were there drugs in his food that made him depressed? NO
Did he take drugs that made him depressed? NO
Did he drink alcohol at the restaurant? NO
Did the food remind him of a terrible incident in his life? YES
Does he have a particular affinity for Ibis? NO
Did the ibis taste too much like chicken? NO (surprizingly common question)