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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Lateral puzzles... from our lives...

    An idea I just got. I've seen puzzle threads here and there on other forums, and they've been pretty good. I wanted to try this out.
    A lateral puzzle is one where you have to think about things from a different perspective. The "format" of a Lateral puzzle gives you a question to answer and some clues.

    Here's a good example:

    Puzzle: All her life, a girls mother told her not to open the door to a certain room. One day, unable to resist temptation, she disobeyed. What she saw made her uneasy, but it probably would seem standard to everyone else.

    Clues: You have to think of where the girl was in the house.

    Answer: The girl was in the room her mother told her not to open the door to. Upon opening it, she saw the rest of the house. She had oddly never seen the rest of the house, so it unnerved her.

    I know it's weird, but it's a paraphrase of an LP I heard a while back. It made much more sense in the actual puzzle.

    Anyway, I figured we could make our own puzzles like that, coming from situations or events in our own lives. The question could be almost anything, as long as there's a degree of mystery and logic to it. You can be as specific as you want to with the clues, as long as they all hint to the answer. Finally, make sure the answer syncs up with the question and clues, please. The puzzle should make total sense when all the pieces are there.

    Okay, I'll start:

    Puzzle: The house I live in is junky; there's no way around saying that. Some parts are clean, but otherwise the lack of space from the junk make this big house little. Ironically though, there's been a piece of clutter outside the house that's served me well these past two days by making sure deliveries are on time. What is it, and how did it perform this function?

    -When you're talking old people and porches, this object fits right into the equation.
    -Normally, if I'm not at the house, I don't get my delivery. I just get a note. The same goes for if I'm asleep.
    -It has to do with the visibility of the packages.
    -The answer to this one won't make too much sense either, when you consider that it's hard to miss a UPS truck and someone stepping out of it to place the package.

    You don't have to answer my puzzle before making your own, just to let you know.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Philly PA
    Thanked 1,478 Times in 470 Posts
    porch swing/rocking chair?

    your puzzle I get as a puzzle, though the example up top totally confused me. I thought the answer was already kind of obvious by way of how the question was presented, so I'm trying to think specific rooms (like, "the closet with the water heater in it? Would that make a person uneasy?")
    "Every little step considered one at a time is not terribly daunting" - Ethan Coen

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    That's the way a lateral puzzle is most times. Vague enough for many possibilities, but sensical enough for one specific answer.

    And yes, it's a chair. Not a rocking chair, but a chair. How did it serve that purpose though? It's really simple.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    The first one is a bit misleading because the way the question is phrased (the door "to" a room), immediately causes the presumption that the person is outside said room. Hence from the girl's perspective, the door is actually "to" the house, not to any other specific room. If she's always been in that room, her mother wouldn't say "don't open the door to that room", but just "don't open the door". Anyway, how would her mother talk to the girl without opening the door, allowing the girl to see the rest of the room anyway?

    Basically there's a lot of pitfalls to that, it's not really a "lateral puzzle", it's just a misleading one.

    Does the chair prop your front door open or something? Or do you leave a note saying "Place the parcel under the chair", so that nobody can see it from the street? What if it's a parcel you have to sign for?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    Well, the original puzzle I paraphrased made more sense. I would have used a better example if I thought of one.

    Hmm. You have a point. This was a parcel I got online though; I went through several means of validation.

    About the puzzle:
    You're extremely close, but there was no note or chair propping. The UPS guy got the idea to do this all on his own.
    As I said before, it's very simple.

    No one has puzzles of their own?

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