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Lateral Thinking Tests

Lateral Thinking Tests

I would like to begin by giving these lateral thinking tests context.  In the days before television we often had family gatherings where we played all manner of parties.  After we children / adolescents had worn ourselves out with rough-and-tumble games such as 'murder in the dark' , sardines or charades, the adults would sit us down and play more cerebral games such as later thinking tests.

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How did Uncle Bill Hang Himself

In a lonesome farm there is a large barn. The barn is empty except for uncle Bill hanging from the central rafter.  Uncle Bill has been dead for at least twelve hours. The rope around his neck is eight feet long and his feet are four feet from the ground. The nearest wall is 20 feet away from Uncle Bill.  No one can climb the walls or along the rafters.  Puzzlingly the barn was locked securely from the inside. The post mortem proved that the Uncle Bill hanged himself.

The Question:  How did Uncle Bill commit suicide?

Solution: Uncle bill stood on a huge ice cube.

Clues: You could mention a puddle of water on the floor.  Alternatively you could say that the barn seemed unnaturally cold.

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Simon in the Elevator

Simon lives on the twenty first floor of a tenement building.  Each day Simon takes the elevator to the ground floor.  He then goes to work (You can ' pad out' this part). When he returns Simon takes the lift (elevator) to the eighth floor and then proceeds to walks up the stairs the remaining thirteen floors.Lateral thinking dwarf in lift

The Question:  Why does Simon take the lift all the way down, but always gets out on the eighth floor on the way up?

Solution:  Chick on the lift.

Clues: You could say that when other people are in the lift Simon gets out at the top floor.  One day when it was raining, he managed to reach his floor without walking.  (Had an umbrella.)  You may find that at least one person in the audience knows the answer, in which case the trick it to get them on your side and to add clues rather than give the game away.

 

Footnote:
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