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Lateral Puzzles » Solved Lateral Thinking Puzzles » Solved Puzzles - Feb 2005 » [Bodo] "Eenie, meenie, chili-beanie..." « Previous Next »

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Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 12:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The smiling man handed the little girl a stick, and after a minute or two she exclaimed "It's broken!" even though the stick was whole and not visibly broken in any way.
Arjun (Jun)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 12:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it broken internally? Did it appear broken? Only to her? To everyone? Was he a magician? More people involved? How many?
Damien Sullivan (Docd)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 1:00 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was she referring to the stick when she said "It's broken"?

By stick do you mean a small piece of wood?
Or a small rod made of some other material?
Stick of gum ?
Something else?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 2:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Arjun (Jun) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 12:51 am:

Was it broken internally? No. Did it appear broken? No. Only to her? Yope. To everyone? No. Was he a magician? No--did you get the title reference? Or was that merely a good lateral thought? More people involved? Not really (you may argue this at the end of the puzzle, though). How many? Based on my previous answer I'm going to estimate very few. :O

====================================================================
By Damien Sullivan (Docd) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 01:00 am:

Was she referring to the stick when she said "It's broken"? Yes.

By stick do you mean a small piece of wood? Possibly.
Or a small rod made of some other material? Also possible (more likely, even).
Stick of gum ? No.
Something else? No, pretty much a stick or stick-like object.
Hannah Kinghern (Kdoc)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 4:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Tim :)


was it broken in the sense that it didn't work? did the little girl expect the stick to do something? to make something happen? did she think it was a magic wand?

did she misunderstand something? had she been told something relevant about the stick? something about its properties? its abilities?
was she expecting something to change? something to appear? something to disappear?

did she say anything relevant after being given the stick? before?

is there a better name for this piece of wood than a 'stick'?

could this be a real life situation? anything fantastical involved? any imaginary beings?

relevant why the man was smiling? did he have benign intentions? was he being friendly to the girl? relevant what their relationship was? family? friend? stranger?

is his occupation relevant?

would this puzzle work if she was an adult? if he were a child?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 4:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Hannah Kinghern (Kdoc) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 04:24 pm:

Hi Tim :) Well hello there, Ms. Hannah :O

was it broken in the sense that it didn't work? Yope. did the little girl expect the stick to do something? Yope. to make something happen? Yes. did she think it was a magic wand? No.

did she misunderstand something? Yes. had she been told something relevant about the stick? No. something about its properties? No. its abilities? No.
was she expecting something to change? Yope. something to appear? Yopish. something to disappear? No.

did she say anything relevant after being given the stick? Only as stated. before? Yes.

is there a better name for this piece of wood than a 'stick'? Yes (although it's also called a stick sometimes and it needn't be wood).

could this be a real life situation? It is, I believe, a true story. anything fantastical involved? No. any imaginary beings? No.

relevant why the man was smiling? Yes. did he have benign intentions? Very much so. was he being friendly to the girl? Yes. relevant what their relationship was? Not really. family? friend? stranger? Could be any of these.

is his occupation relevant? Yes.

would this puzzle work if she was an adult? if he were a child? Possible but extremely unlikely--the best answer would be no.

Good questions as usual from Ms. Hannah.
Hannah Kinghern (Kdoc)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 6:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

was she expecting the stick itself to change in some way? was she expecting it to make a sound? or a sound to come in some way as a result of using the stick?
was she expecting it to change the environment about her in some way? the weather?

did the name of the stick lead her to believe something about it? something erroneous?

did she ask the man if she could look at it? use it? try and make something happen with it?

is he smiling because it is cute that she thinks the stick will work in this way?

is he a policeman? is it a truncheon? a 'night stick'? does she think it will make it night if she uses it?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 7:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Hannah Kinghern (Kdoc) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 06:04 pm:

was she expecting the stick itself to change in some way? No. was she expecting it to make a sound? See next answer... or a sound to come in some way as a result of using the stick? Yes.
was she expecting it to change the environment about her in some way? Yope (per above answers). the weather? No.

did the name of the stick lead her to believe something about it? something erroneous? No to these.

did she ask the man if she could look at it? use it? try and make something happen with it? No to these too.

is he smiling because it is cute that she thinks the stick will work in this way? Exactly.

is he a policeman? is it a truncheon? a 'night stick'? does she think it will make it night if she uses it? No to these.
Ed Mason (Logician)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 7:55 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does the stick belong to the man as part of his job? Is his job relevant? Is his age relevant? Before she takes the stick, how many lines of dialogue does she have with the man? The man have with the girl? Who initiates the preceding conversation?
Does the encouter begin with the girl saying to the man, 'What is that?'? 'Who are you?'? 'What are you doing?'?

Are the two people in a public place? Private home? Other private premises? If either of the last two, who does the home/premises belong to: the man? the girl's parents? a third party?

Has she seen a stick make a similar sound before? (which had been added by special effect?)

Should we try and find out exactly what sound the girl expected the stick to make?

Did the girl do anything to the stick whilst holding it?
miroac (Miroac)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 8:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the "stick" a flute or recorder or similar instument? Did she say it was broken because she didn't know how to play it or played it wrong?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 8:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Ed Mason (Logician) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 07:55 pm:

Does the stick belong to the man as part of his job? Well, technically the stick he gave her was a gift, but it's the same kind of thing he uses for his job, yes. Is his job relevant? Yes. Is his age relevant? No. Before she takes the stick, how many lines of dialogue does she have with the man? Nothing relevant. The man have with the girl? A few, if any. Who initiates the preceding conversation? The preceding conversation was not between the two of them.
Does the encouter begin with the girl saying to the man, 'What is that?'? No. 'Who are you?'? No.'What are you doing?'? No.

Are the two people in a public place? I'm not sure. Private home? I think this, but I'm not sure. Other private premises? Ditto. If either of the last two, who does the home/premises belong to: the man? the girl's parents? This would be the most likely. a third party?

Has she seen a stick make a similar sound before? Yope. (which had been added by special effect?) No.

Should we try and find out exactly what sound the girl expected the stick to make? Well, it's part of the answer.

Did the girl do anything to the stick whilst holding it? Yes.
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 8:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By miroac (Miroac) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 08:20 pm:

Is the "stick" a flute or recorder or similar instument? No. Did she say it was broken because she didn't know how to play it or played it wrong? No.
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 11:11 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the man a conducter?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 11:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Dref (Dref) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 11:11 pm:

Is the man a conducter? Yes! Very good Fred--want to finish it up?
Dref (Dref)
Posted on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 11:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I assume the child expected music to just play when she waved the baton like it does for the conducter?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 12:13 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

By Dref (Dref) on Saturday, February 12, 2005 - 11:43 pm:

I assume the child expected music to just play when she waved the baton like it does for the conducter?

***** SPOILER *****

The little girl had been to a concert and told her parents afterwards how much she admired the "magic stick" the man had that made such nice music when he waved it in the air. They told him about it and he got her a baton, which he presented to her. She was thrilled and immediately began waving it vigorously, but when no sound came forth she made the lament in the puzzle statement.

This was recounted to me as a first-hand story by one of my college conductors, or at least that's how I remember it.
Simon Downham (Beroean)
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 12:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Right, that's the very last time I ever read a puzzle through without checking to see if the spoiler has been posted first!

By the way - good puzzle!
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 1:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know what you mean--and thanks.
Hannah Kinghern (Kdoc)
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 11:22 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good puzzle Tim - sorry to miss the end of it
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 1:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you, Hannah--it did go a bit quicker than I had hoped--that's probably your fault for asking all those good questions early on. :O
Lynne (Lynne)
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 4:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That was an excellent puzzle and, to my mind, truly lateral. Children think literally, but we adults have to think laterally to get back into their minds! :)
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 4:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you, too, Lynne--I had a hard time coming up with a statement, but it's one of those stories that makes me smile even when I'm not in a smiley mood, so I figured I should share it.
Arjun (Jun)
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 6:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


Nice puzzle Tim.
Was he a magician? No--did you get the title reference?
Mostly no. Just figured the 'stick' had to be of some specific kind :)
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 6:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Arjun--and you were right, it was of a specific kind, but if I'd said "The smiling conductor handed the little girl his baton..." it wouldn't've been much of a puzzle. :O

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