Posted on November 03, 2005 at 11:50 AM
Lateral Thinking is a term used to describe a technique of problem solving in which you attack a problem from different points of view rather than focusing on one approach at a time. These types of puzzles try to get you to think about outcomes that aren't usually predictable, but obvious once they are discovered. At times there can seem to be more than one solution to a given scenario. This is mainly because the information you are given to solve the problem is insufficient, causing your answer to be different from the solution given by the author. Your solution isn't necessarily wrong, just different in a lateral sense.
Here are a few of examples of lateral thinking puzzles:
The Man in the Bar
A man walks into a bar and asks the barman for a glass of water. The barman pulls out a gun and points it at the man. The man says 'Thank you' and walks out.
Push that Car
A man pushed his car. He stopped when he reached a hotel at which point he knew he was bankrupt. Why?
The Broken Match
A man is found dead in a field. He is clutching a broken match. What happened?
Read Paul Sloane's list of Classic Lateral Thinking Puzzles to find the solutions and test how lateral you can think.
Legal Disclaimer: This blog will not be held responsible if your brain begins to melt while attempting to solve the above puzzles. Also, we will not be held liable for any involuntary head trauma you may incur once you read the solution.