Lateral Thinking

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lateral thinking is a term coined by Edward de Bono. He defines it as a technique of problem solving by approaching problems indirectly at diverse angles instead of concentrating on one approach at length.

Check out your lateral thinking prowess!

The first 4 images are the questions and the last four the answers.

Please do not look at the answers first, these are really good, try it out



Anonymous j2 said...

I liked those, though I only got the egg/basket and recluse ones right. Where'd you find them? I'd be interested in doing more.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Sean Santa said...

i really dont understand the fireman one. can anyone explain it?



6:39 PM  
Anonymous Matthew said...

I "solved" the egg one a different way. They took five eggs and the last person took it from another. Each person took one egg.

The second one made no sense to me.

The third one was brilliant and I'll have to smack myself for not getting it.

The fourth one was easy peasy.

Nice post!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the rest did say if the person was male or female besides fireMAN all the rest could have been other genders.

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the fireman one...I guess it's supposed to be about how the carpenter, the lorry driver (not sure what that is myself) and the car mechanic are women, even though those are jobs you typically think of as being "man-jobs" and since in it, it specifically says "fireMAN" instead of fireWOMAN or -person, it's..ya know, I don't know either. =\

Although I kinda got the orange juice one..

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the lighthouse one... I guessed he was in charge of the towns energy...Cold night, turned off ALL the lights. Oh well it makes sense to me.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'About the lighthouse one... I guessed he was in charge of the towns energy...Cold night, turned off ALL the lights. Oh well it makes sense to me.'

No.Lighthouses are for boats. He turned the lights off and the boats crashed.

Also, the second one. They know 'his' name is John therefore they are looking for a 'man called John'. If there are four people, three of which are women, guess which one will be a 'man called John'?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got them all right. I'm into these kinds of puzzles and tests, so I am used to thinking this way. Here's one of the first ones I evr saw:

Two Indians are sitting under a tree.
The younger one is the older one's son, but the older one isn't the younger one's father. Explain.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Matt Matt said...

No. The lighthouse uses the big light at the top to guide ships around rocks. He turned off the light, so the ships couldn't see and crashed. Therefore, he caused the deaths of people on board.
I can't believe I explained that, but it's really that simple.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got them all. Your indian question, It;s his mother right?

12:57 PM  
Anonymous B said...

I got the lighthouse one and the orange juice one, but I solved the other two a different way.

With the eggs I thought like Matthew: They took five eggs and the last person took it from another. Each person took one egg.

The fireman one I thought they would arrest him for not being on duty during the day which could result in someone dying in a fire or something meaning he was a murderer... but that doesn't completely work... :/


1:49 PM  
Anonymous i-am-bored said...

From the 2nd puzzle:

"They don't know what he looks like, but they know his name is John."

More clues that they're looking for a male murderer, don't you think?

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got them all
Heard some of them before ;)

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lorry driver is a truck driver, lorry is the English/british word for truck.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought they got the fireman because he had a name badge on that said "John (last name)." Plausible explanation, as well, right?

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont wanna seem bigheaded but i got them all cause they were easy!!!

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got them all, except the last, which I half got. He lived in a little house on an island which couldnt be seen because his lights were out. Kicking myself, but the rest were obvious.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Painfully Predictable said...

I got the orange juice one but the others took a while.

I love these things and this is one that will always stick with me:

Six people (2 fathers, 2 sons, 1 grandson and 1 grandfather) go to a car salesplace and buy 3 jeeps.

Only one person is sat in each jeep when they drive home and no one is left car-less.


6:52 PM  
Anonymous Corran_Horn said...

I found the puzzles fairly easy and quite clever. I only got the second one wrong due to a linguistics question. I assumed he had some sort of name tag or other identifying mark.
The linguistics question I mentioned is that in my native tongue of Portuguese, adjectives have genre. Meaning, there's a slightly different word for male fireman and female fireman/person, same for lory driver and car mechanic. That one would never work in Portuiguese. Other that that, very clever, really enjoyed it.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous odiwan said...

in the first one, she is taking the basket, not the egg.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A father can be a son, and a son can be a father. Hence, one grandfather is also one father, and his son is also a father of a son, who is in turn a grandson.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no the father grandson etc. one is even esaier than that. They came in 3 cars, and left with those 3 cars, plus the three new jeeps, making 6 cars for the 6 people.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dang, only got the cup one right, lol
pretty cool man

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool man, only got the 3rd one right tho, lol

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got them all yay

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Painfully Predictable's post is either only part of a riddle... or just a poor attempt at one. It doesn't specify how many cars they come in, So they could have all got there in one vehicle... making it too easy. If you do specify however, then it's just common sense.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Marisa said...

I got them all except the one with the fireman, I thought it was because al of the others were wearing nametags on their uniforms. The rest were pretty easy to figure out.

12:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the second 1 I thought that everybody else was dead and thats how they knew who he was

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got them all, but I had a different rationale for #2:

Obviously the fireman was playing solitaire after murdering the carpenter, lorry driver, and car mechanic.


12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love love love the last one.

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got the orange juice and the lighthouse one. for the fireman one i thought maybe the other three were dead. the fireman wasn't cos he's playing cards.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could also be that many of the left over people could be kneeling, standing, or possibly laying down. There are several answers to Painfully Predictable's riddle.

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

only got the one about the juice right. i also fell for the badge or name tag thing about john the fireman, but then thought it couldnt be that easy. didnt get it right anyway

4:12 AM  
Anonymous nobody in particular said...

I didn't get the first one but it was clever.

The second one was too easy.

I got the third one.

I didn't get the fourth one but I should've.

4:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only one I got was the second one...

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Painfully Predictable's post gives you all you need. There are three people total. One is a grandfather and a father, one is a father and a son, and the other is a son and a grandson.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous I said...

i wasn't really trying to figure them out i guess, but they were really interetsing, i got the egg, but don't get the fireman or the lighthouse one

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god damn, i only got the lighthouse one right!!!
lmao o well
maybe im just stupid!!! lamo

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got them all, but like someone else thought the fireman one was because he had a name tag "John" on his uniform...

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's OK that some people got different answers for some of them (such as the nametag or the others being dead), isn't that what "Lateral Thinking" is all about?

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was correct for most of them but for the fireman one I figured he was a con-man and was playing solitaire and was also a carpenter, lorry driver, and car mechanic.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous McMonkey said...

I got them all but the Fireman. I figured that it was just the one person, he was just all those things.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A real challenge with creating riddles is to have only one answer. With the exception of the third riddle, the others are not phrased precisely enough to restrict multiple answers.

The first riddle could also have the answer that there were seven eggs in the basket to start. It states: "There are six eggs in the basket." There may be more. If there are seven eggs, then there are also six eggs, one for each person to take, with one left over. It works, if you discount the picture (which clearly shows only six eggs). Without the picture, there's no reason to assume there's only six eggs. Easily fixed if the riddle were to say "only six eggs."

As others have said, the fireman could have been the only one left alive and playing cards to fill his time...after all, he was a suspected murderer. A bit macabre, but still correctly answers "how they know they've got their man." Simple solution to fix the riddle: make him wanted for another crime besides murder - say tax evasion. Then, it is improbable that the others are dead. As the riddle is written now, it is practically a laundry list of inhabitants - with the exception of the fireman who is performing an action.

Likewise, the lighthouse riddle could also have applied to a man who worked/lived in a power station (possibly remote/artic); the riddle only states he caused the deaths of hundreds of people by turning off all the lights and asks "How?"

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fag ^^

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i did mine differnt.
the 1st 1 i didnt get the 2nd 1 i said the fireman might have a nametag o.o teh 3rd 1 i had the same answer and the 4th 1 the guy could own a hotel so he closed it and left his guests out

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blake the Great says:

You are all freaking idiots. Whoever came up with the second and fourth riddles should be maimed and/or shot. A riddle, by definition has one answer. You can come up with a million different scenarios to the aforementioned retard aptitute tests. And as for the other two.. an illiterate child with downsyndrome having an epileptic seizure could figure them out. Good try though for all you retards that aren't inept enough to screw in a lightbulb. Blake the Great has spoken.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could give an example of a 'good' riddle with only one answer, 'Blake the Great'?

I reckoned there was also a chicken in the basket. While eggs were being taken (or after), it laid another one.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mindtrap is a great game to play if you like solving puzzles.
I'm not very good at thinking like this, though.

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got all but the fireman one, I dunno if i have a sick mind or what, but the first thing i thought of with the lighthouse is he sleep walked or i should say sleep murdered... And Blake the (not so) Great is a heathenistic self worshiper, sorry dude thats a massive ego you got and until you get past that your less then everyone else, <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3 <3<3<3<3

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel so sexist. I got all of them very easily except for the fireman one. I assumed the others had name tags from work. But I'm even a woman!

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuckity fuckin shit that was hard!! I mean ass crack but hole shit terd balls I had a hell of a time figurine them things out. Son of a bitch! Fuck ass!

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

boo! ^^ great stuff up there

9:24 AM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

I got two right. The eggs, I had a completely different, but valid answer (someone put an egg back). The orange juice I gave up on. Because I don't have much time. Yeah, thats the ticket!

5:07 PM  
Blogger Emelia said...

hmm i got the fireman one another way. I thought everyone else was dead in the house except the fireman...but then again how could dead people play cards?? :S ... I'm sure theres some way;P

3:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the first, how about...

one of the eggs was left, eventually hatched, and laid an additional egg of it's own?

It did suggest thinking laterally?

Per haps Balke the G. will approve

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Kayla said...

If you think about it, the one about the fireman says clearly, "Inside they find a carpenter, a lorry driver, a car mechanic, and a fireman playing cards." Which suggests to me that they were all found inside the house but the fireman was playing cards but the rest werent, I assume that the rest were killed, by the fireman...Just my opinion

7:49 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

the fireman was they only MAN playing cards. the others were all WOMEN. that is how they knew right away.

It plays on the fact that the other jobs specified would make you assume that they were men.

these are all really easy, classic puzzles.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd accept the "father/grandfather" etc explaination for Painfully Predictable's riddle, except it clearly states there's six people. Being both a father and a grandfather does not make you two people.

They drove to the car lot with three cars.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the fireman one was because he tried to look innocent by playing cards but it gave him away... but it's obviously the historical gender association.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a surgeon and apparently I have a high IQ, but I did not get a single one of these. How freakin' awesome is that.

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

with the murder one...I figured he had a nametag on

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do u add 3 identical numbers to make 12? u cant use the number 4?

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I managed to get all of them...except the fireman. I knew the answer was the fireman but I gave a different answer

I said it was the fireman because they went to is house and he lived, at the time, in the fire station?

I've heard a riddle once before that went.

"Driving down a dark road, a son and a father are involved in a car accident. The paramedics take the son to a nearby hospital and call the doctor. The doctor looks at the boy and says "I cannot operate on him because he is my son" how is this possible?"

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easy, the doctor is the son's mother...

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got the egg one right and i wasnt able to see the 3rd one. the firefighter one i got a different answer.

Never mind i got it wrong cause it i thought it said they knwo what he looks like, but they dont.

whatever i'd like to do more.

for the light one i thought the ppl who delivered his supplies cause they got caught in the storm

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer to the adding 3 identical numbers question. "How do you add 3 identical numbers to equal 12, when the numbers cannot be 4?" Easy enough. "2+2+2 = 12" I will leave you with the puzzle of solving how this is possible.

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought those puzzles were great, and they didn't say their riddles only have one answer, they just simply stated one of the ways the answers were to be found of the puzzles, lateral thinking!!!

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The trick with using lateral thinking puzzles in, say, interviews is to remember that there's almost *never* only one answer, and sources that pretend otherwise are just being stupid.

The only proper use of a lateral thinking puzzle is to see how *clever* an answer the respondant comes up with, not whether they come up with the exact answer listed in the book. That, of course, requires judgment on the part of the person conducting the interview.

For example, other solutions to the egg puzzle:
-It never says that all six people took eggs *from the basket*. One person might have taken an egg from elsewhere.
-It never says that none of the people put eggs back after taking them; someone might have done that.

Other solutions to the fireman puzzle:
-The four players were stragglers from a party, and were all wearing name tags.
-The anonymous source had said that the murderer was "a fireman named John," and John was in uniform. The puzzle just states that the police didn't know what he looked like, not that they didn't know his job.
-As they were entering, the police heard one of the other players addressing the fireman as "John."
-The fireman was covered in bloodstains and had a human head on his lap.
-The police *don't* know they've got their man, but the fireman was snorting cocaine off the table, so they arrested him for *that*.

All of these are just as reasonable as the answers given.

12:05 AM  
Blogger gr814lyf said...

to Painfully Predictable's riddle about the father/grandfather...i suppose the answer is that a father and a grandfather can be the same person..but i didnt think of it that way.
I thought that all 6 people went to the store in 3 cars, 2 in each car. Then they bought 3 cars, and all went home in 6 cars - the old and the new. Is that a possible answer?

6:10 AM  
Anonymous ali said...

they were easy peasy!

6:52 PM  
Anonymous TwinsPrincess said...

LOL. I didn't get ANY of these. I guess I'm not very good at lateral thinking. The lighthouse-keeper puzzle was a good one, though. I never would have thought of that. XD

4:34 AM  
Anonymous Rozalinia-x said...

In answer to:
"Driving down a dark road, a son and a father are involved in a car accident. The paramedics take the son to a nearby hospital and call the doctor. The doctor looks at the boy and says "I cannot operate on him because he is my son" how is this possible?"

-the son doesn't have to be the father's son. the father could be another person's father, and the son is the doctor's son.
if that makes sense :S

i only got the glass one right.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Audun said...

I got the first three right, but I solved the egg one in another way, where the last person took an egg from somewhere else..

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Hm. Nice stuff, got the egg one and the lighthouse one.

<3 Jess

4:06 AM  
Blogger Ice_mocha said...

I got all correct expect the fireman one, because it is rare to have female car mechanics, carpenters and etc.

The last one is simple people. the third one i managed to solve it thanks to the pictures/

5:24 AM  

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