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.


11. Car Race
A New York car salesman tells his two sons to race their cars to Atlantic City to see who will inherit his fortune. The one whose car is slower will win. The brothers, after wandering around Manhattan aimlessly for days, ask a gas station attendant for advise. After hearing the advice they jump into the cars and race as fast as they can to Atlantic City. What does the gas station attendant say?



12. The Coin
Mark is on a raft, adrift in the ocean with several other survivors of a shipwreck. The others are too weak, so he or Steve will swim to a nearby island to look for help. It is almost certainly suicidal, due to the circling sharks, but they have little else to hope for. Steve takes the lose change from his pocket and puts two pennies in a hat. He tells Mark that one is a 2005 penny, and the other 1975. If Mark picks the newer penny he can stay on the rat, and Steve will risk his life. If Mark picks the older penny, he must go. Mark has seen that both pennies were actually dated 1975, but he doesn't want to say anything, because Steve is a big guy. How does he win, and get Steve to go, without exposing him as a fraud in front of the others?



More lateral thinking puzzles

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