Math Problems Only the Smartest Can Get Right

With the pandemic still raging, we spend a lot of time at home. This unprecedented stay-at-home phenomenon, however, is a good opportunity to take up a hobby, hone any skills you may have, or acquire some new ones. In any case, the first step is keeping your mind in shape. With that in mind(ha!), we have again rounded up some fun math problems to get your brain in gear.

Below, you will find six tasks. Can you solve them without a calculator? When you do, check out the answers at the end of the article. Good luck!

Math Problems

© Depositphotos
  1. Try to write 100 using five ones. Then, do the same using five fives. You can use any signs.
  2. How to measure exactly 15 minutes if you have two kinds of an hourglass, one for 11 minutes and the other for 7 minutes? © Depositphotos
  3. Having traveled one-third of the way, the passenger of the train fell asleep. When he woke up, he still had to go half the distance that separated him from his destination station when he fell asleep. What part of the journey did the passenger sleep through?
  4. A Swiss organization has 50 members. The native language of all 50 members is German, but 20 of them also speak Italian, 35 of them speak French, and 10 know neither Italian nor French. How many members of the organization speak both French and Italian? © Depositphotos
  5. Three hens lay three eggs in three days. How many eggs will twelve hens lay in twelve days?
  6. How many flowers do you have if all but two are roses, all but two are tulips, and all but two are daisies? © Depositphotos


  1. (111-11), (5+5+5+5)×5
  2. First, flip both hourglasses over. When the sand runs out in the 7-minute hourglass, turn it over again. At this time, there are still 4 minutes left in the 11-minute hourglass. When the 4 minutes run out, flip the 7-minute hourglass (in which only 4-minutes’ worth of sand has run out) over again. Therefore, they will measure another 4 minutes, which coupled with 11 minutes makes 15 minutes (11+4).
  3. Since ½ × ⅔ = ⅓, the passenger slept one-third of the way. © Depositphotos
  4. Of the 50 members of the society, 10 speak only German. The other 40 members of the society, in addition to their native language, also speak French or Italian. Since 20 + 35 = 55, and 55 – 40 = 15, we conclude that 15 members of the society speak both French and Italian.
  5. 12 eggs.
  6. Three flowers. © Depositphotos

Did you manage to solve all the math problems? Which did you find the most difficult? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments — we’d love to know!

If you’d like to test your outside-the-box thinking, check out these exercises, which only the most creatively minded individuals will be able to solve.


I am an English major with a love of languages and fiction, and with an incurable travel bug. In my free time, I read fantasy, drink copious amounts of coffee, and like to go see movies. Culinary art means everything to me. My main hypostasis is the taster, though. The music school has taught me to appreciate the symphony of airy meringues, to create harmonious overtures of light snacks, hard rock of meat, fish, and vegetables on the grill. Choir classes have accustomed me to hear and feel the people nearby and create perfect harmonies of sounds.

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