Lateral thinking exercises assist with the development of thought patterns that you wouldn’t have considered before. The more often you challenge yourself and explore the art of ‘thinking’ and new ways of assimilating (collecting and reorganizing information) – the more ‘lateral’ you become.
Does your brain feel pulled and stretched?!
Here are the ‘solutions’ to the brain teasers posted in ‘Classic Lateral Thinking Exercises’.
- The man is very, very short and can only reach halfway up the elevator buttons. However, if it is raining then he will have his umbrella with him and can press the higher buttons with it.
- The surgeon was his mother.
- It was day time.
- At the time she went into labor, the mother of the twins was traveling by boat. The older twin, Terry, was born first early on March 1st. The boat then crossed a time zone and Kerry, the younger twin, was born on February the 28th. Therefore, the younger twin celebrates her birthday two days before her older brother.
- A square manhole cover can be turned and dropped down the diagonal of the manhole. A round manhole cannot be dropped down the manhole. So for safety and practicality, all manhole covers should be round.
- The poison in the punch came from the ice cubes. When the man drank the punch, the ice was fully frozen. Gradually it melted, poisoning the punch.
- He recognized Adam and Eve as the only people without navels. Because they were not born of women, they had never had umbilical cords and therefore they never had navels. This one seems perfectly logical but it can sometimes spark fierce theological arguments. (Just what a HUMOR list needs!!) ;^)
- They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets, etc.). This puzzle stumps many people. They try outlandish solutions involving test-tube babies or surrogate mothers. Why does the brain search for complex solutions when there is a much simpler one available?
- The man had hiccups. The barman recognized this from his speech and drew the gun in order to give him a shock. It worked and cured the hiccups–so the man no longer needed the water. The is a simple puzzle to state but a difficult one to solve. It is a perfect example of a seemingly irrational and incongruous situation having a simple and complete explanation. Amazingly this classic puzzle seems to work in different cultures and languages.
- The third. Lions that haven’t eaten in three years are dead.
- The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it, and hung it up to dry.
- Freeze them first. Take them out of the jugs and put the ice in the barrel. You will be able to tell which water came from which jug.
- The answer is Charcoal.
- Sure you can: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!
- The letter “e,” which is the most common letter in the English language, does not appear once in the long paragraph…
Kyle Powerly offers several alternate solutions that fit and that are actually simpler (Occam’s Razor: when presented with two explanations, the simpler of the two is probably the correct one).
- Because one of them did not necessarily celebrate their birthday on the day they were born, but celebrated later or earlier. Much simpler than having Mom giving birth while crossing the International Date Line and tossing in a Leap Year and the like. Needlessly complicated.
- Because he was the one who put the poison in the punch. Of course he wouldn’t drink any *after* he poisoned it. Who goes to the effort of making poison ice cubes, except Bond bad guys?!
- Because they were adopted. It’s a coincidence they were born on the same exact day.
Other alternate solutions offered:
- There’s another good answer to the gent in black being seen by the black car. (#3) Both were lit by the headlights of a car coming the other way.
The questions are here!