Edward de Bono introduced the term Lateral Thinking. Nowadays it is used quite commonly. Lateral thinking requires an open mind and you need to be very aware of hidden assumptions. It’s an important skill in finding different solutions than the obvious ones to all kinds of questions. Einstein even took it a level deeper:
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
- Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
Riddles are a good way to train your lateral thinking skills. Here’s a list of 21 riddles (Update: here’s 21 more)
- The strongest chains will not bind it
Ditch and rampart will not slow it down
A thousand soldiers cannot beat it
It can knock down trees with a single push
- The one who made it
Didn’t want it
The one who bought it
Didn’t need it
The one who used it
Never saw it
- Buckets, barrels, baskets, cans;
What must you fill with empty hands?
- Five pieces of coal, a carrot and a scarf are lying on a hill near a
remote house. Nobody put them on the lawn but there is a perfectly
logical reason why they should be there. What is it?
- Every creature in the world has seen it
But to their dying day they’ll never see
The same one again
- Look in my face
I am somebody
Look at my back
I am nobody
- A man leaves home and makes 3 left turns.
When he returns home he is met by two men
one of whom is wearing a mask. Who are they?
- We love it more than life
We fear it more than death
The wealthy want for it
The poor have it in plenty
- The light one breaks but never falls
His brother falls but never breaks
- Which four letter sport begins with a ‘T’ ?
- Assume there are approximately 6,000,000,000 (6 billion) people on
Earth. What would you estimate to be the result, if you multiply
together the number of fingers on every person’s left-hands? (For the
purposes of this exercise, thumbs count as fingers, for five fingers
per hand.) If you cannot estimate the number then try to gues how long
the number would be.
- An archeologist proudly told that he had found four silver coins which, according to the inscription “649 B.C.”, should now be 2720 years old. The press considered him a fraud and a dreamer. Why?
- He got it in the woods
And brought it home in his hand
Because he couldn’t find it.
The more he looked for it
The more he felt it. When he
finally found it he threw it away.
- This wondrous thing, though not
An herb, can help comfort the weak
And the dying. It can even be used to
Rally the troops, or make one start
Laughing or crying
- A New York city hairdresser recently said that he would rather cut the hair of three Canadians than one New Yorker. Why?
- This sparkling globe
Can float on water
And weighs no more
Than a feather
Yet despite its weight
Ten giants could
Never pick it up
- How could a baby fall out of a twenty-story building onto the ground and live?
- Whoever has it is angry
Whoever loses it is even angrier
Whoever wins it has it no more
- This engulfing thing
Is strange indeed
The greater it grows
The less you see
- It can pierce the best armor
And make swords crumble with a rub
Yet for all its power
It can’t harm a club
- Today he is there to trip you up
And he will torture you tomorrow
Yet he is also there to ease the pain
When you are lost in grief and sorrow
Please post your answers in the comments. I’m sure you’ll be able to solve all of them
Warning: If you scroll down from here, there are answers and spoilers in the comments!