A few words on lateral thinking puzzles
Posted December 6, 2010on:
On Friday, one of the most famous puzzles of lateral thinking was put on the blog i.e. man in the elevator. (you can read the puzzle on: http://wp.me/pHUHq-e2). I would like to thank all those who read it, thought about it and /or tried to answer.
Answer is being given at the end of this post, once some light is thrown on the lateral thinking puzzles. (Source: Paul Sloane’s list of Classic Lateral Thinking
Lateral thinking puzzles teach to check assumptions about any situation.
To think laterally, a person need to be open-minded, flexible and creative in questioning. Further while thinking about the solutions for lateral thinking puzzles, a person has to be able to put lots of different clues and pieces of information together.
Once a person reach a viable solution, he / she has to keep going in order to refine it or replace it with a better solution. This is lateral thinking!
Lateral thinking puzzles are often strange situations which require an explanation. They are solved through a dialogue between the quiz master who sets the puzzle and the solver or solvers who try to figure out the answer. The puzzles as stated generally do not contain sufficient information for the solver to uncover the solution. So a key part of the process is asking questions.
The questions can receive one of only three possible answers – yes, no or irrelevant.
When one line of enquiry reaches an end then another approach is needed, often from a completely new direction. This is where the lateral thinking comes in.
Some people find it frustrating that for any puzzle it is possible to construct various answers which fit the initial statement of the puzzle. However, for a good lateral thinking puzzle, the proper answer will be the best in the sense of the most apt and satisfying. Here is the answer to Friday’s puzzle:
You can read the puzzle / question on: http://wp.me/pHUHq-e2
Answer: The man is very short in height i.e. he is a dwarf!
He is unable to reach tenth floor as his hand can’t reach the tenth floor button. While on rainy days, he has umbrella, through which he can press the tenth floor button.
There may be other possible answers too. Happy thinking!