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Lateral Thinking


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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. Sometimes a problem seems difficult or insoluble because our assumptions about it are wrong. In his own words "You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper. This means that trying harder in the same direction may not be as useful as changing direction. Effort in the same direction (approach) will not necessarily succeed.
Lateral Thinking is for changing concepts and perceptions". It requires thinking "out of the box"......Here are some well known examples.  

Puzzle # 1

A landlord is threatening to evict a father and his beautiful young daughter, unless she agrees to marry him. In a false gesture of sincerity, he offers her an opportunity for her and her father to remain in the house, without marrying him. He has a silk bag in which he says he has placed a white and a black stone from the footpath on which they're standing. If she picks the white stone from the bag, without looking, she wins; if she picks the black, she loses. However, the young girl saw him place two black stones in the bag. She can't expose him in front of the witnesses without angering him and making things worse. How does the clever girl win? Answer

Puzzle #2

Three switches outside a windowless room are connected to three light bulbs inside the room. How can you determine which switch is connected to which bulb if you may enter the room only once? Answer

Puzzle #3

A man is replacing a wheel on his car, when he accidentally drops the four nuts used to hold the wheel on the car, and they fall into a deep drain, irretrievably lost. A passing girl offers him a solution which enables him to drive home. What is it? Answer

Puzzle #4

A truck is stuck at a road under a bridge. It's just a couple of inches too high to pass under. Any other route, avoiding the bridge would add a couple of hours to the journey. A young boy comes along and again saves the day. How? Answer

Puzzle #5

A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every day he takes the elevator to go down to the ground floor to go to work. When he returns he takes the elevator to the 7th floor and walks up the stairs to reach his apartment on the 10th floor. He hates walking so why does he do it? Clue: on rainy days he goes up in the elevator to the tenth floor. Answer