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Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - March 2006 » [Haenlomal] Ut sementem feceris ita metes « Previous Next »

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Archive through November 30, 2005Haenlomal22 11-30-05  7:40 pm
Archive through December 21, 2005Lewis Zeiters22 12-21-05  11:45 pm
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Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 6:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

a roasted or barbecued dish? relevant that they don't use ovens? Was the addition of the stuff off the floor meant to give the food a particular appearance, as if the "fix" the customer requested had actually been done?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2006 - 9:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

a roasted or barbecued dish? Neither relevant that they don't use ovens? No Was the addition of the stuff off the floor meant to give the food a particular appearance, as if the "fix" the customer requested had actually been done? No -- quite the contrary, in fact...

There may be a small FA lurking behind your questions, but I can't be sure until I see more...
Erick Robertson (Vir4030)
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 2:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer order egg drop soup?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 6:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer order egg drop soup? No
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 6:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was it actually prepared properly the first time, then, but since the person complained about it even though he/she didn't know what they were complaining about, the chef "altered" the dish to make the customer think he/she was right?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 7:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was it actually prepared properly the first time Actually, this point is debatable...if you can figure out why, then this story almost writes itself., then, but since the person complained about it even though he/she didn't know what they were complaining about YES, the chef "altered" the dish to make the customer think he/she was right? Well, the chef "altered" the dish all right, but not really to make the customer think he was right: he did it because the customer did not know what he was talking about and that really ticked off the chef.

Good questions....you're very close now!

I shall be posting a recap shortly to help with the final push.
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 9:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

RECAP/RE-FOCUS/HINTS:

My uncle used to work as a waiter in a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant specialized in Cantonese cuisine.

One night during dinner time, a customer arrived and ordered something relevant. What the customer ordered surprised both my uncle and the chef, but they tried their best to accomodate him.

When the food was prepared, my uncle served it to the customer, only to have it rejected due to a complaint. My uncle returned the dish to the kitchen, and told the chef what had happened.

The chef was very upset and livid, and did something to the food that involved the kitchen floor, and then directed my uncle to serve the dish to the customer again. The customer accepted the food, and apparently ate the rest of the meal without complaints.

An observer to this entire situation might tempted to think: "The kitchen floor must be tasty indeed!"

Areas to focus on:
1. My uncle and the chef were initially surprised by the customer's request. Figuring out why this is so will help immensely.

2. What was the customer's complaint, and why would it make the chef so upset?

3. Exactly what did the chef do to the food? ;)

4. The Latin title is a hint that in a way, the customer reaped what he sowed. Keep that in mind.

Good luck!
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Tuesday, February 07, 2006 - 4:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer's comment include a reference to the floor?

Did the chef drop portions of the dish on the floor? did he scrape something off the floor and mix into the food?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Thursday, February 09, 2006 - 4:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer's comment include a reference to the floor? No...as a matter of fact, it's pretty common, as far as complaints go.

Did the chef drop portions of the dish on the floor? Yes'ish...the food was dropped by the chef all right, but let's just say that no accident was involved... did he scrape something off the floor and mix into the food? Not this exactly....no scrapping involved, but definitely some very thorough mixing happened!
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Thursday, February 09, 2006 - 6:09 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer expect the food items to be well, er, blended together, and they weren't because they weren't supposed to be for that particular dish??
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Saturday, February 11, 2006 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer expect the food items to be well, er, blended together, and they weren't because they weren't supposed to be for that particular dish?? No...but identifying the dish that was served might give you some ideas.
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 12:03 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

egg-drop soup? :O
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 4:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

egg-drop soup? No...and there may be a bit of a FA lurking here!
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 6:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

spices and/or seasoning relevant? freshness of ingredients relevant?

please pardon my now-partially-corrected ignorance regarding Cantonese cuisine that led to the previous question....
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 12:34 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

spices and/or seasoning relevant? freshness of ingredients relevant? None of these

please pardon my now-partially-corrected ignorance regarding Cantonese cuisine that led to the previous question....

Quite the contrary, my friend. :) Egg drop soup is indeed something that one can expect to find gracing the menus of Cantonese restaurants. Rather, the potential FA is referring to quite a different direction...
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 6:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was the dish primarily a meat dish? vegetable dish? tofu dish? seafood?

was his complaint regarding the food's:
taste?
appearance?
presentation?
something else?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 9:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was the dish primarily a meat dish? This one vegetable dish? tofu dish? seafood?

was his complaint regarding the food's:
taste? This one
appearance?
presentation?
something else?
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 6:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was it 'too bland' for the customer? Since Cantonese cuisine is not meant to be seasoned very much (indeed, often the less seasoning, the fresher the ingredients, per my sources), the food was very fresh and very well-prepared, but the customer complained, after which the food got either dropped and rubbed on the floor, or stuff was scraped off the floor and added to the food. After this, the food was returned and the customer finished it without complaint.

Is this pretty much it? is there anything else we need to figure out?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, March 01, 2006 - 7:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was it 'too bland' for the customer? Since Cantonese cuisine is not meant to be seasoned very much (indeed, often the less seasoning, the fresher the ingredients, per my sources), the food was very fresh and very well-prepared, but the customer complained, after which the food got either dropped and rubbed on the floor, or stuff was scraped off the floor and added to the food. After this, the food was returned and the customer finished it without complaint.

Is this pretty much it? is there anything else we need to figure out?

Well, you've got the basic scenario down pat. What the customer actually said was that "The <food> was not tasty enough." And the chef did indeed flip out when he heard about it, and proceed to throw the <food> on the kitchen floor, stomp on it, wipe the floor with it, then return it to the dish to be served to the customer (Ewwwww...).

But what you haven't gotten is WHY the chef would flip out like that. I mean, the food not being "tasty enough" is a common enough complaint. And no, the chef would not normally flip out like that at complaints. There is one tiny but important detail that you've missed.

As I said before, this puzzle is essentially solved, so if you don't feel like going for that extra bit, let me know, and I'll $poil.
B. Johnson (Sycorax)
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - 6:11 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer order something that was on the menu?
If no, was it something not remotely Cantonese (such as a hamburger)?
If yes, did they specify "not too spicy" when ordering? Is the dish ordinarily not served spicy?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - 6:59 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer order something that was on the menu? NO -- good question!!
If no, was it something not remotely Cantonese (such as a hamburger)? YES -- that's exactly it! As a matter of fact, the customer ordered a steak. This is definitely a contributing factor as to why the chef go so angry, but it probably wasn't the main point. Figure out that main point, and this puzzle is solved.
If yes, did they specify "not too spicy" when ordering? Is the dish ordinarily not served spicy? So no to this set of questions.
Alice Black (Tink)
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - 10:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer claim that the steak did not taste as though it had been cooked 'Cantonese style'? because it wasn't tasty enough? and the chef flipped out because steak isn't a Cantonese dish?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - 11:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer claim that the steak did not taste as though it had been cooked 'Cantonese style'? No because it wasn't tasty enough? Yes and the chef flipped out because steak isn't a Cantonese dish? So no to this one.
Alice Black (Tink)
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2006 - 11:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the reason the chef flipped directly related to the comment about the steak not being tasty enough?
Or was it related to why the customer was ordering steak in a Cantonese restaurant in the first place?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 12:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the reason the chef flipped directly related to the comment about the steak not being tasty enough? Yes -- there is one important detail surrounding the circumstances of that comment that needs to be uncovered.
Or was it related to why the customer was ordering steak in a Cantonese restaurant in the first place? No

btw...are you new here? If yes, welcome to the forums. :)
Tony Clark (Astaroth)
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 1:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer complain that his steak was not tender enough?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 1:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer complain that his steak was not tender enough? As has already been established, the customer complained that the steak was not tasty enough. That's all that was said by the customer.
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 6:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the chef and the customer know one another?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Wednesday, March 08, 2006 - 7:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the chef and the customer know one another? No
Christiane Scharf (0815)
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 2:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer order the cook to prepare the steak a certain way? Did he want some complicated marinade? Did he actually give the cook a recipe? Did he want a steak that tasted exactly the same as a steak from a certain other restaurant? Did he want the steak "well-done"?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 7:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer order the cook to prepare the steak a certain way? No Did he want some complicated marinade? No Did he actually give the cook a recipe? No Did he want a steak that tasted exactly the same as a steak from a certain other restaurant? Irrelevant Did he want the steak "well-done"? Good question...my uncle never told me. I'll have to ask him. But it's irrelevant in any case.
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 - 9:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he order it "not too spicy" or "don't over-season it"?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 5:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he order it "not too spicy" or "don't over-season it"? Irrelevant. All you needed to know about the customer's order was that he ordered steak -- not your typical Cantonese fare. What you need right now is to figure out one specific detail about the circumstances of the complaint.

Here's a minor hint in whitetext to help the final push home:

You already know what the customer said: "This steak isn't tasty enough." And he said nothing else that is relevant to the complaint. However, it would also be fair to say that the chef in all liklihood would not be that upset if that was all the customer did. There was something else customer-related about the complaint that drove the chef over the edge.

Good luck!
B. Johnson (Sycorax)
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 8:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer supply the meat himself?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Sunday, March 12, 2006 - 2:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the customer supply the meat himself? No, but good thinking.
Christiane Scharf (0815)
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 9:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are we looking for something the customer did when he ordered his dish? or when he complained about it? or when he was eating it?

Did he bring his own salt and pepper? ketchup? spices?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 4:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are we looking for something the customer did when he ordered his dish? No or when he complained about it? Yope -- hint of a FA here. or when he was eating it? Definitely a FA here!

Did he bring his own salt and pepper? ketchup? spices? No to all.
Christiane Scharf (0815)
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 6:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did he even try a bit of his steak?
Haenlomal (Haenlomal)
Posted on Monday, March 13, 2006 - 8:29 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did he even try a bit of his steak? NO -- Good question!

And that's a wrap!

************ SPOILERS *************

My uncle worked as a waiter in a Cantonese cuisine restaurant. He had plenty of interesting stories and experiences to tell. The following was one of the more colourful that I can recall.

One busy evening, my uncle was serving a table of two. One of his customers asked for a steak. My uncle was quite naturally surprised by this order, given that steak was not on the menu.

He said to the customer: "Sorry, sir, but we do not serve steak at this restaurant."

But the customer was insistent. "I want steak for my dinner."

My uncle decided to give in. "Very well, sir. I shall talk to the chef and see what we can do."

My uncle walked into the kitchen and explained the situation to the chef. The chef was also very surprised, but decided to try his best to accomodate the customer. Soon enough, the steak was done, and my uncle served it to the customer.

However, another unexpected problem occurred. Without even touching the steak, the customer said, "This steak is not tasty enough."

My uncle was amazed. "But sir...you haven't even touched your steak!"

The customer insisted, "It's not tasty enough."

So my uncle took the steak back to the kitchen and explained the situation to the chef. The chef was livid. "The idiot didn't even touch the steak!"

"I know, but that's what he said!"

The chef muttered to himself: "Not tasty enough, huh? Very well. I will make the steak tastier!" He took the steak off the plate, hurled it on the floor, planted one foot down on it, and proceeded to mop a small section of the kitchen floor with the steak. He then replaced the steak on the plate.

"Serve the steak to the customer and see if he still has any more complaints."

My uncle was a bit appalled by what he saw, but did as he was instructed. The customer sliced off the small chunk of the steak, ate it, and then nodded his head. "It's tasty enough now. Thank you."

Thanks to all those who played, and a bonus point to everyone who stayed behind for that extra bit of detail about the customer not even tasting the steak. May none of you run into angry chefs -- for they could do far more than spit in your food!

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