The Man in the Elevator

3.5 stars
A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building.

In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator - or if it was raining that day - he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?

This is one of the best known and most celebrated of all lateral thinking logic puzzles. Although there are many possible solutions which fit the initial conditions, only the canonical answer is truly satisfying.

Scroll down for the solution














The man is a of short stature. He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella.

  • Moderate
  • Logic
Submit your vote:



Nonsens is the answer
- Mohit (2 Jan 2010)

So why not always carry an umbrella?
- (4 Mar 2010)

why not always carry an umberleea ?
- (27 Mar 2010)

always wear shoes with high heel so that finger can
go upto button 10
- nk jain (9 Oct 2012)

If he can reach 7, then he can probably reach 9, which makes him better off.
- (31 Jan 2014)

this one has a weird answer

- logical d (1 Feb 2014)

So easy could not figure that out!!!
- Random person (2 Jun 2014)

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