Mensa Quiz
The following questions are provided by the folks at American Mensa, the High IQ Society. Without asking the assistance of others, can you provide the answers? If you find that you do need some help, the answers are at the bottom of this page.
By Dr. Abbie F. Salny

1. Fill in the missing letters to complete the word.

D _ _ T _ _ O _ _ A _

2. What two words, formed from different combinations of the same six letters, can be used to complete the sentence below?

The people of that country were unable
to understand why their
leader __________ certain facts, which
were __________ proved to be true.

3. A palindrome reads the same letters in two directions. Can you guess this one? What is the use of a salve recommended for shoulder pain?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

4. What would you call ugly bumps on dry grass?

S _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ S

5. There is a question coiled in the grid below. Start with a letter and move to an adjacent letter in any direction. (Hint: Start with W. One null.)

     N     U     L     F     O     T     S
     T     R     B     A     T     H     T
     E     R     K     I     N     E     A
     M     A     X     O     P     H     W

6. A single four-letter word can be placed before each of the following words in the first group. A different four-letter word can serve the same purpose in the second group. Find both words.

1.            2.
______WALK          ______TOWN
______BURNS          ______FALL
______SLIP          ______TURN

7. An eight-letter word is hidden in the box below. Find it by beginning with the correct letter and moving clockwise or counterclockwise around the box, using each letter only once.


8. Decode the moral hidden in the simple substitution cryptogram below.

3-15-14-19-3-9-5-14-3-5 9-19
23-8-1-20 8-21-18-20-19 23-8-5-14
5-22-5-18-25-20-8-9-14-7 5-12-19-5
6-5-5-12-19 7-15-15-4

9. Some letters have been removed from the following last names of movie stars past and present. Put back the letters and let the stars shine.

T _ _V _ _ _ _
_ T _ _ W _ _ K
_ E _ _ Y
A _ _ A _ _ _
_ A _ L _ _ _
T _ _P _ E
V _ _ E _ _ _ N _
F _ _ R _ _ _K _

Bonus Question: Identify the following art techniques and terms.
A. A painting executed on fresh plaster
B. A paint in which the pigment has been mixed with egg or other similar glutinous material
C. Literally “stone writing”: etching or chemically treating a reverse image into a stone or metal plate so ink only sticks to the parts to be printed
D. A painting, typically depicting scraps of cloth or paper nailed to a bare wall, intended to produce a startling three-dimensional realism

American Mensa Limited, known as the High IQ Society, is an organization for individuals who have one common trait: a score in the top two percent on any supervised, standardized intelligence test. For more information about American Mensa or to take the Mensa Home Test, visit or call (800) 66MENSA.
Dr. Abbie F. Salny was the supervisory psychologist for American Mensa and Mensa International for more than 25 years. She is the coauthor of the Mensa Think Smart Book. Quiz © 2005 by Dr. ­Abbie F. Salny and American Mensa Limited from the Mensa Page-A-Day Calendar (Workman Publishing).

Mensa Answers

1. Dictatorial
2. Denied, indeed
3. Bursitis rub
4. Straw warts
5. What’s the point of a blunt remark?
6. 1. Side 2. Down
7. Anagrams
8. Conscience is what hurts when everything else feels good. (Code: 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc.)
9. Travolta, Stanwyck, Kelly, Astaire, Garland, Temple, Valentino, Fairbanks
Bonus Question.
A. Fresco
B. Tempera
C. Lithography
D.Trompe l'oeil