Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Bye, "Lateral Thinking"

(Or, what I ran into while thinking about a completely different posting that might turn out interesting.)

From a guy who hates those guess-what-I'm-thinking puzzles:
1. A man lives on the top floor of a tall building. Every morning he takes the lift to the ground floor to leave for work. Upon his return, however, he can only travel halfway up in the lift and has to walk the rest of the way - unless it's raining. What is the explanation for this?


The answer is simple but deeply satisfying once you know it. Every evening when he gets home a fat lunatic gets on the lift at a middle floor, sits on him, and slaps his cheeks to the tune of Bonanza for the rest of the night. To avoid this he has to get out before the lunatic's floor and walk the rest of the way. However, he lives in that cool building off Stingray which is lowered into the ground for protection when under attack, or when it's raining. In the latter case he can simply walk onto the roof and drop down through the skylight to reach the top floor.

Lots more at the link, progressing to funnier answers. Seen from a comment on Unfogged, the ingroupiest blog I know, but still plenty of fun to read. If you don't share my distaste for these lateral-thinking puzzles, that's actually the debate hidden in that thread.

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