The following questions are provided by the folks at American Mensa, the High IQ Society. Without seeking the assistance of fellow passengers, can you provide the answers? If you find that you do need some help, the answers are below. 

By Dr. Abbie F. Salny

1. Fill in the blanks below to complete three words that contain the letters O, C, and T.
OCT_ _ _ (musical term)
_ OCT _ _ _ _ _ (active at night)
_ OC _ _ T (firework)
2. The sentence coiled in the grid below tells you why Santa doesn’t want to take Mrs. Claus on his open sleigh. To spell it out, start with one letter and move to an adjacent letter in any direction. (Hint: Start with the letter T. Three nulls.)

3. Find the word that completes the sequence.

Twins     Plants     Chairs     __________
1) Tenth
2) Later
3) Green

4. What palindrome (a word, sentence, or group of words that reads the same backward and forward) answers the question below?
Which section of the circus did the would-be performer like best?
T _ _ _ _ _ _ P _ _ _

5. The logic professor put a note on his classroom door: “Sorry to cancel class today, Tuesday. I’ll be here two days after two days before the day after tomorrow.” When will he be back?

6. Travis had only a certain amount to spend on his Halloween party. He found five paper jack-o’-lanterns and three witch decorations that cost $6.50, but five witch decorations and three paper jack-o’-lanterns that cost $5.50. So he bought three paper jack-o’-lanterns and five witch decorations. How much did each jack-o’-lantern cost?

7. Unscramble the words in each “pie” segment below, then find the letter that completes each word. (The missing letter, indicated by the question mark, is the same for each word.)

8. First, unscramble the letters in each word below. Then, unscramble the word order to create a Tom Swifty sentence.

9. Choose the correct letter from each clue in the rhyme below. When put in order, the five letters will spell the answer to the riddle.
My first is in pick but not in lime.
My second in after but not in time.
My third in people but not in rule.
My fourth in learn but not in school.
My last in write you’ll always see.
My whole is useful for you and me.
_ _ _ _ _

Bonus Question: Name the source of this quote: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?”

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) 66-MENSA.
Dr. Abbie F. Salny was the supervisory psychologist for American Mensa and Mensa International for more than 25 years. She is a 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. Octave, nocturnal, rocket
2. The weather prediction says rain, dear.
3. Later. Each word contains a new word between the first and last letters (win, ant, hair).
4. Trapeze part
5. Thursday
6. $1. (Witch decorations cost 50 cents.)
7. R (zero, rigid, bargain, broth)
8. “I’m leading a large group on a tour to a wilderness area,” said Tom expeditiously.
9. Paper
Bonus Answer: The Shadow, a radio/pulp novel