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In 1961, a group of men varnished a shark. Why?

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Archive through June 05, 2005Martin Schwenk22 6-05-05  10:55 am
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Torgeir Apeland (Abc)
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 8:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the shark mainly used for decorative purposes?
Is anything written on the shark before? after? the varnishing job?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 - 1:21 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the shark mainly used for decorative purposes? yes
Is anything written on the shark before? after? the varnishing job? no
Torgeir Apeland (Abc)
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 6:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the shark usually situated in its owner's private quarters?
At his business premises?
Is it usually seen by anyone but the owner (and his immediate family)?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 9:06 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the shark usually situated in its owner's private quarters?
At his business premises? In his office
Is it usually seen by anyone but the owner (and his immediate family)? by everyone coming into his office
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 11:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

*** RECAP ***

This is almost done anyway, but here we go.

In 1961, a group of men varnished a shark. Why?

The shark is a stuffed one, there's nothing special about it (though it is probably a small specimen). It is on display in the office of the mens boss.

The men used ordinary car varnish, they painted the shark to match a car. The shark however still looks blueish gray like before.

This involves a hoax, though not a prank. The paint job hoax is supposed to work even under close inspection.

Not relevant are things that look like sharks or things having something to do with the word "shark". The year also isn't terribly relevant.
Einar Berg (Grainbeer)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 12:18 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don´t know quite how to attack this puzzle...
Let´s start with some easy pieces:


Was the display of that shark a very natural thing to have in the boss´ office? Is this business marine related? Shipping? Hunting? Scientific? Relevant? Or on the other hand a car manufacturing industry? A car sale business? Was this thing resembling some sort of logo or car branding symbol? German make of car? American? British? French? Italian? Relevant?
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 5:21 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A hoax, but not a prank...

As I use those two words, a prank is primarily done to make the victim look or feel foolish or uncomfortable, or to inconvienence them in some way (like gluing their phone receiver to the cradle, or filling their kitchen with balloons.) When a prank succeeds, the victim knows that they'd been pranked.

A hoax's primary purpose is to make the victim believe something that isn't true. It may or may not also make them look foolish, but that isn't important; what's important is that they believe it, at least momentarily. (Piltdown Man was a hoax--the whole purpose was to fool other scientists, just to fool them.) When a hoax succeeds, the victim may never know that they've been victimised.

Did the varnishers expect that their boss would think that it was a different shark than the one he originally had? Had they told him about some sort of treatment that would restore the color to his old, faded shark?

Is that the distinction you're using?
Torgeir Apeland (Abc)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 6:23 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So, the men take the shark, varnish it, and put it back where it was, right?
Does the manager notice the change once he comes back into his office?
Is the varnishing part of a camouflage plot of some kind?
Does anything relevant happen between the putting-back-in-the-office of the shark, and the manager arriving at the office?
Does anything relevant happen after the manager arrives at the office?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 3:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the display of that shark a very natural thing to have in the boss´ office? not really Is this business marine related? no Shipping? no Hunting? no Scientific? no Relevant? the business is relevant, it has nothing to do with sharks though Or on the other hand a car manufacturing industry? Yes! A car sale business? Was this thing resembling some sort of logo or car branding symbol? no German make of car? American? this, but pretty irrelevant British? French? Italian? Relevant?


A hoax, but not a prank... The victim is not aware he is fooled. The men don't do it for fun or to let someone look stupid, but for a practical reason.

Did the varnishers expect that their boss would think that it was a different shark than the one he originally had? NO! Had they told him about some sort of treatment that would restore the color to his old, faded shark? totally not


So, the men take the shark, varnish it, and put it back where it was, right? yes
Does the manager notice the change once he comes back into his office? NO!!!
Is the varnishing part of a camouflage plot of some kind? uh, no
Does anything relevant happen between the putting-back-in-the-office of the shark, and the manager arriving at the office? no
Does anything relevant happen after the manager arrives at the office? yes. there's a certain situation when he takes a closer look at the shark. Find out why and you are done. Promised :)
Lewis Zeiters (Lzeiters)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 6:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he notice it when a (client? co-worker? other person?) made a comment about the shark?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 8:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

did he notice it when a (client? co-worker? other person?) made a comment about the shark? he did not notice it at all. Noone made a comment about the shark.
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 10:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were they covering up some kind of damage to the shark? Graffiti? Paint?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 11:47 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were they covering up some kind of damage to the shark? Graffiti? Paint? no, the shark was in perfect shape before the paint job. And apart from being painted, after the paint job as well.
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the manager colorblind?

Does the shark even look different than it did?

Are they displaying their painting/restoration skills?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 8:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the manager colorblind? no

Does the shark even look different than it did? only very slightly. which is the whole point of this puzzle

Are they displaying their painting/restoration skills? well, actually they are, but not the way you think.
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 9:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Then, were they displaying (proving?) their skill at color matching? or paint mixing? to the boss? Maybe to get him to give them raises?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 6:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Then, were they displaying (proving?) their skill at color matching? YES! or paint mixing? to the boss? YES! Maybe to get him to give them raises? YES!

Keep in mind though, the boss didn't notice the paint job - how come?
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 7:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They were that good at mixing paint colors to match?
He never noticed that they had painted the shark because the color match was so perfect?
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 7:17 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So did they have to tell him that they had painted the shark, and after they did, he took a close look at it, and still couldn't tell where the paint job ended and the unpainted bits started?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 11:03 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

They were that good at mixing paint colors to match? yes
He never noticed that they had painted the shark because the color match was so perfect? yes, but there's more to it

By Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab) on Saturday, June 18, 2005 - 07:17 pm:

So did they have to tell him that they had painted the shark, and after they did, he took a close look at it, and still couldn't tell where the paint job ended and the unpainted bits started? they never told him.
Torgeir Apeland (Abc)
Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 7:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the boss ever find out about the varnishing?
The boss did take a closer look at the shark, right?
Would he have done so even if the shark had not been painted?
Did he notice any change in the shark?
If so, did he put it down to reasons other than paint?
Tommy Petersson (Tommyp)
Posted on Sunday, June 19, 2005 - 7:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was the boss colour-blind? :)
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 9:50 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did the boss ever find out about the varnishing? no
The boss did take a closer look at the shark, right? yes
Would he have done so even if the shark had not been painted? yes
Did he notice any change in the shark? no
If so, did he put it down to reasons other than paint?


Was the boss colour-blind? :) no :O
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 4:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did they tell him that they had painted something in his office the same colour as it was before, and challenged him to find out what it was, and he promised to give them all raises if he couldn't figure it out?
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 6:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does this have anything to do with the Pantone Color Matching System? That was developed right around 1961 or '62, I think.
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 8:22 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did they tell him that they had painted something in his office the same colour as it was before, and challenged him to find out what it was, and he promised to give them all raises if he couldn't figure it out? no, but a nice idea.


Does this have anything to do with the Pantone Color Matching System? That was developed right around 1961 or '62, I think. You do know more than I do :) It has nothing to do with that.
(Stuccosalt)
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did they get raises?
Did they get fired?
Did their jobs continue unaltered following the sharnishing (to coin a phrase)?
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 4:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does this have anything to do with the Pantone Color Matching System? That was developed right around 1961 or '62, I think. You do know more than I do It has nothing to do with that. Ok. I worked in a silk-screening shop for a while. Pantone is a system of numbered swatches of colors and mix formulas. You use to match the color you want, then mix your pigments according to the formula. So instead of going back and forth about, "Royal blue. No, a little bit more purple than that. No, a little bit less green...." you simply say "Pantone #486. OK." and both the client and the printer are sure they're talking about the same color.)

Did they want him to notice the paint job?
Tim A. Dowd (Bodo)
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 2:45 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Holy trompe l'oeil, Batman...

Had they painted anything else in the room?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 9:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Did they get raises? yes
Did they get fired? no
Did their jobs continue unaltered following the sharnishing (to coin a phrase)? yes, save their raise. I like the phrase btw :)

"Pantone #486" Thanks for the information, but it still isn't relevant. Sorry.
Did they want him to notice the paint job? no

Had they painted anything else in the room? not in the room, but...
Barbara Johannessen Bailey (Rabrab)
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 2:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had they painted anything else in the room? not in the room, but... Had they also painted a car at the same time? perhaps one that was out on the showroom floor? or maybe the boss's own car?
John Morahan (Wunderland)
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 2:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aha..... so the boss had challenged them to paint a car to match the shark, and they couldn't get it quite right, so they painted the shark too?
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 4:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Had they painted anything else in the room? not in the room, but... Had they also painted a car at the same time? perhaps one that was out on the showroom floor? or maybe the boss's own car? see below

Aha..... so the boss had challenged them to paint a car to match the shark, and they couldn't get it quite right, so they painted the shark too? bingo - we have a winner :)
Martin Schwenk (Trickymartin)
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - 4:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

***** SPOILER *****

In 1961, a group of men varnished a shark. Why?

The men work as varnishers for General Motors. Their boss challanged them to varnish a car so that it not only matches the stuffed sharked hanging in his office in color, but also in color gradient.

Whenever they thought they had succeeded, they presented the boss a painted sheet metal (as sample). He would then hold it close to the shark to check if the colors match. They soon managed to match the base colors, but never got the gradients quite right.

So one day, the men also varnished the shark. This time, when the boss checked the colors, they were a perfect match - so the men got their raises.

Supposedly a true story... Thanks for participating!

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