Word Games - Lateral Thinking


These puzzles involve some novel way of thinking or looking at the problem from an unexpected viewpoint. The term 'lateral thinking' was coined by Edward de Bono to denote a problem-solving style that involves looking at the given situation from unexpected angles. It is the sort of thinking that computers cannot not do: creative and perceptual thinking. These puzzles can be more easily solved by applying new approaches and checking assumptions.

Example: Why do Chinese men eat more rice than Japanese men?
Solution: There are more Chinese men than Japanese men.

4. Ball in a Hole
A table tennis ball fell into a tight deep pipe. The pipe was only a bit wider then the ball, so you can not use your hand. How would you take it out, with no damage?



5. U2 has a concert that starts in 17 minutes and they must all cross a bridge to get there. All four men begin on the same side of the bridge. You must help them across to the other side. It is night. There is one flashlight. A maximum of two people can cross at one time. Any party who crosses, either 1 or 2 people, must have the flashlight with them. The flashlight must be walked back and forth, it cannot be thrown etc.

Each band member walks at a different speed. A pair must walk together at the rate of the slower man's pace:

Bono:- 1 minute to cross
Edge:- 2 minutes to cross
Adam:- 5 minutes to cross
Larry:-10 minutes to cross

For example: if Bono and Larry walk across first, 10 minutes have elapsed when they get to the other side of the bridge. If Larry then returns with the flashlight, a total of 20 minutes have passed and you have failed the mission.


More lateral thinking puzzles

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