There's a type of question I've seen on YouTube (but can't find now) that is asked like a brainteaser, but is too easy to be really called a "brainteaser", but some (a small minority) people (including apparently normal healthy educated native speaker adults) surprisingly cannot solve no matter how many tries they are given.

Here's some examples.

  1. Q: If you have traveled for one hour at sixty miles per hour, how far have you traveled? A: Sixty miles.

  2. Q: A patch of weeds in a field doubles in area each day. After 20 days it fills the field.How many days did it take for the weeds to cover half the area of the field? A: This one is a fun one, so you need to scroll down to see the answer labelled with a "*". Note, this one might be a little bit too challenging to be an ideal example of what I am talking about.

They are in a sense tests of English, in that they test knowledge of what "miles per hour", and "doubles is area each day" mean in English and little else. But "English question" doesn't seem right, especially since being a native speaker of English seems not to guarantee ability to solve the question. They are not exactly tricky for most people, so "trick question" and "tricky question" also doesn't seem right either, because no matter how many tries the person is given, they cannot solve it. Thus it is not really a case of inattentiveness, but rather "inattentiveness" (in quotes), if you take my meaning.

I have tried Googling, "antibrainteaser" but that doesn't bring up the sort of questions I am looking for. "Trick question" works well to find these sorts of question, but mixed in with a lot of questions that I would call riddles, and others that I'd call true trick question and others that I'd call jokes, for example Q: "How many letters are in the alphabet? A: Eleven (“the alphabet”).

What would be a good name for this type of question/puzzle that is this specific type of trick question or perhaps is not even a trick question although very close to one?

"*" Answer: The first of the two two- digit numbers referred to in the title of that novel by Eric Blair (his real name, though he wrote under a pen name) that was his bestselling novel.

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    The second one is a 'trick question' in that it is deliberately worded so as to make the inattentive listener misinterpret what is being asked. It reminds me of one my aunt tried on me many years ago - "If a plane crashed on the border between two countries, where would the survivors be buried?" Apr 7, 2022 at 10:30
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    A gimmie is a golf putt that is so easy that your opponent doesn't even make you try; they just give you the stroke. I've seen it used in other situations to mean a task or feat or puzzle (in this case) that is trivially easy. Apr 7, 2022 at 13:53
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    @jimm101 I wouldn't call that a puzzle, but a riddle, and one that does not make sense strictly speaking and therefore a sort of joke. I heard it a few years ago and couldn't solve it, but I don't think that reflects badly on me. Conversely, I can believe that kindergarteners find it easier to solve than graduates do, but that doesn't reflect well on those kids, :) Apr 8, 2022 at 5:23
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    The 'classic Monty Hall' problem is known to throw even some maths teachers, but can be explained to some children to their satisfaction. It is counterintuitive. Apr 8, 2022 at 14:38
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    There are two busses driving toward each other from some distance away. One bus is driving 35 mph, and the other is 20 miles west of the ocean. A bird jumps off the first bus and flies at 100 mph toward the second bus. When it reaches the second bus, it immediately turns around and flies 100 mph back to the first bus. It keep oscillating between the two busses at that constant speed. One bus changes its speed every few miles, and the other occasionally makes a wrong turn. After an hour, the busses collide head first. How far did the bird fly? The answer is trivial. There is no trick.
    – jimm101
    Apr 9, 2022 at 22:10


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