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Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Post Number: 1084
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 1:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Brian is standing before a sign. It provides a simple instruction. A few centimetres away is another sign providing the exact opposite instruction. How come?
Yojimbo (Yojimbo)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 1:40 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

emailed
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 1:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

emailed Incorrect, but an amusing situation.
Yojimbo (Yojimbo)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 1:53 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are the signs in a public place, for anyone to view? Were they erected by a municipality, or a business? Or other?
Do they indicate how to use something, but contradict [oppositely]? How to do something? That something is permitted, and also forbidden?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 2:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are the signs in a public place, for anyone to view? yes Were they erected by a municipality, or a business? Or other? other
Do they indicate how to use something, but contradict [oppositely]? yes How to do something? no That something is permitted, and also forbidden? no
Yojimbo (Yojimbo)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 2:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were the signs posted by an individual? Posted on private property? Public property?
Hand-lettered? Painted? High-quality?
On wood? Metal? Plastic? Glass?
Were they posted by the same person or entity?
Location relevant [i.e., surroundings]?
Do they indicate how to use an appliance? Another type of machine?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 2:58 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Were the signs posted by an individual? yes, on behalf of a group Posted on private property? Public property? this
Hand-lettered? yes Painted? no High-quality? no
On wood? Metal? Plastic? Glass? the sign was on wood, but was not made of wood
Were they posted by the same person or entity? yes
Location relevant [i.e., surroundings]? explore this
Do they indicate how to use an appliance? no Another type of machine? yes, going by a broad definition of machine
Yojimbo (Yojimbo)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 3:33 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is this a real-life situation?
Was the sign-poster aware of the opposite nature of the signs? Was it intended? Do they make sense, although opposite?
Were they posted at a park?
Anything to do with operating bicycles, such as on one side of a foot-path or roadway?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 3:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is this a real-life situation? Yes, Brian = me. This could happen in any country
Was the sign-poster aware of the opposite nature of the signs? yes Was it intended? yes Do they make sense, although opposite? yes
Were they posted at a park? no
Anything to do with operating bicycles, such as on one side of a foot-path or roadway? no
Yojimbo (Yojimbo)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 3:45 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The "machine" :
Moving parts?
Electric? Internal combustion? Human-powered?
[our local euphemism for that is "peanut-butter powered"]
Is it stationary? Does it have wheels?
Does the relevant group solicit donations? Are they devoted to what they perceive to be the public interest?
Are they a local group, or perhaps a chapter of a wider organization? If so, regional? National? International?
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 9:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the first instruction refer to this particular few centimeter space between two signs? Were the signs one after the other? One next to the other? Were both signs on wood? Was the instruction written on the signs? Pictured with drawings? Relevant?
Psydkik (Psydkik)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 12:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Men" and "Women" signs on neighbouring toilet facilities?

"Entrance" and "Exit" signs on nearby doors?

"Keep Left" sign on the left side of an obstruction, and "Keep Right" sign on the right side of an obstruction?

"Up" sign on the up escalator or the button to call a lift; "Down" sign on the down escalator or the button to call a lift?

"Closed" sign on a card in a shop window; on the reverse of the sign, "Open"?

"Go down this channel because you have nothing to declare" sign next to a "Go down this channel because you have something to declare"?
Lynne (Lynne)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 12:41 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I always find the road sign indicating that oncoming traffic has right of way to be confusing, because it says exactly the same in the other direction.
Psydkik (Psydkik)
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Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 1:19 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It shouldn't say the same in the other direction! In the UK, at least, the side that has priority should have a rectangular blue sign (ie information sign) saying you have priority, with a big white arrow on it in your direction, informing you that you have priority over oncoming traffic. And the side that doesn't have priority should have a round white sign with a red border (ie an instruction sign), and a big black arrow pointing in the other direction, instructing you to give way to oncoming traffic.

There was one occasion my Dad almost crashed into someone over a narrow bridge because the council put the blue one, upside down, at one end, and the round one, upside down, at the other end - so both signs at the wrong ends, but turned upside down so that the arrows were correct but the colours of the signs were still wrong. So Dad saw the blue rectangular sign and knew that was informing him of his right of way, so drove over the bridge; from the other side, a guy looked at the arrows, saw them showing him the right of way, and also drove over the bridge. They met bumper-to-bumper in the middle, and the council got an angry phone-call from my Dad the next day ;-)
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 8:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yojimbo:

he "machine" :
Moving parts? yes
Electric? Internal combustion? no to both Human-powered? yes
[our local euphemism for that is "peanut-butter powered"] If the machine is peanut-butter powered, what happens if it jams?
Is it stationary? most of the time Does it have wheels? no, although some iterations do
Does the relevant group solicit donations? yes, but that's not what they're doing with the sign Are they devoted to what they perceive to be the public interest? yes
Are they a local group, or perhaps a chapter of a wider organization? this If so, regional? National? International? this

Redwine:

Do the first instruction refer to this particular few centimeter space between two signs? yes Were the signs one after the other? more this... One next to the other? ...than this Were both signs on wood? yes Was the instruction written on the signs? yes Pictured with drawings? no Relevant? only by virtue of excluding a possible alternative solution

Psydkik:
"Men" and "Women" signs on neighbouring toilet facilities? No, the instruction is more explicit

"Entrance" and "Exit" signs on nearby doors? no, see above

"Keep Left" sign on the left side of an obstruction, and "Keep Right" sign on the right side of an obstruction? this is so very OTRT

"Up" sign on the up escalator or the button to call a lift; "Down" sign on the down escalator or the button to call a lift? no - the definition of 'sign' and 'instruction' are a little more conventional in this puzzle

"Closed" sign on a card in a shop window; on the reverse of the sign, "Open"? no

"Go down this channel because you have nothing to declare" sign next to a "Go down this channel because you have something to declare"? No - the instruction is unconditional

Some nice alternative solutions, though. This is why I try to be as explicit as I can with my puzzle statements, even though that usually greatly reduces the puzzle's life expectancy
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the second instruction relevant only when one disobeys the first one? Are the signs hanged on something? On a building? On a relevant "machine"?
Do the first instruction refer only to this particular few centimeter space between two signs? Does it indicate that something, like smoking, is allowed only in this particular space?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 7:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the second instruction relevant only when one disobeys the first one? no Are the signs hanged on something? they're more 'stuck' to something On a building? inside one On a relevant "machine"? yes
Do the first instruction refer only to this particular few centimeter space between two signs? yope Does it indicate that something, like smoking, is allowed only in this particular space? no
Psydkik (Psydkik)
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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 1:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the signs actually involve the words 'Left' and 'Right'? Or symbols meaning the same thing?

Is the instruction telling a human to move? To press something? To avoid something?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 1:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the signs actually involve the words 'Left' and 'Right'? yes Or symbols meaning the same thing? no

Is the instruction telling a human to move? to move something To press something? not like a button to avoid something? only by implication
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 12:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it "turn left" and "turn right" on the spices grinder, when turning left grinds salt and turning right grinds pepper?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2013 - 7:15 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is it "turn left" and "turn right" on the spices grinder, when turning left grinds salt and turning right grinds pepper? no
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 2:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the signs involve more words than just "left" and "right"?
Is the "machine" common in household? Is it a kitchen machine? Is the machine unique? Is the machine private? public?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 7:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the signs involve more words than just "left" and "right"? yes
Is the "machine" common in household? very Is it a kitchen machine? sometimes Is the machine unique? far from it Is the machine private? public? it exists commonly in both spheres
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Monday, December 02, 2013 - 2:57 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does the "machine" emit light? noise? smell?
Does the "machine" make coffee?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Monday, December 02, 2013 - 7:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Does the "machine" emit light? no, but it can let light in noise? smell? no to both
Does the "machine" make coffee? no
Yojimbo (Yojimbo)
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Posted on Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - 4:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the signs read something like, "for ____, xxxxx left" & "for ditto, xxxxx right" - - ?
with xxxxx standing in for an as-yet-undetermined action
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - 7:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Do the signs read something like, "for ____, xxxxx left" & "for ditto, xxxxx right" - - ?
with xxxxx standing in for an as-yet-undetermined action no
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - 10:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it physically possible to follow both instructions, one after another? If yes, would the machine then be back in its starting arrangement/position? Would the user of the machine be back in his/her starting position? Does the machine give product? Can one person operate the machine?
Does person usually do some action between following first and second instruction? Does the second instruction concern mainly putting the machine back to its starting arrangement/position after having used it?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was it physically possible to follow both instructions, yes one after another? and yes If yes, would the machine then be back in its starting arrangement/position? yes, after each time the instruction was followed Would the user of the machine be back in his/her starting position? yes Does the machine give product? no Can one person operate the machine? yes, this is typically the case
Does person usually do some action between following first and second instruction? they could have done any number of actions Does the second instruction concern mainly putting the machine back to its starting arrangement/position after having used it? yope
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 1:12 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Could someone follow the first instruction and not follow the second? Could someone follow the second instruction without following the first?
Does the machine return by itself to its starting arrangement after any action is done to it?

I was thinking about doors, windows, shutters etc, but cannot imagine these with wheels...
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 8:07 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Could someone follow the first instruction and not follow the second? yes, this is possible Could someone follow the second instruction without following the first? yes, but not starting from Brian's position
Does the machine return by itself to its starting arrangement after any action is done to it? yes, if used in the correct (and intuitive) way

I was thinking about doors it's a door, windows, shutters etc, but cannot imagine these with wheels... I was thinking of sliding and folding doors; apologies if this has made you stuck for some time - it was a bit of an off-hand response
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 8:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are the signs: "push" and "pull"? Do the signs concern how to operate the doorknob or door handle?

No need to apologise, that's a lesson for me to post my guesses :-)
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 8:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are the signs: "push" and "pull"? No Do the signs concern how to operate the doorknob or door handle? no
Redwine (Redwine)
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Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was Brian outside (entering)? Inside (exiting)?
Do "left" and "right" on the signs refer to the door? To the person? To something else? Do the signs have something to do with letting exiting people go first?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Thursday, December 05, 2013 - 11:16 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Was Brian outside no (entering)? yes, initially Inside yes, throughout (exiting)? yes, later
Do "left" and "right" on the signs refer to the door? yes To the person? To something else? no Do the signs have something to do with letting exiting people go first? no
Biograd (Biograd)
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Posted on Friday, December 06, 2013 - 4:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are the two signs on opposite sides of the wall in which the door is (and "centimeters away from each other" because that's the thickness of the wall)? Does one say "Door opens left" and the other "Door opens right", referring to which way the door slides or swings?
Wizardofnz (Wizardofnz)
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Posted on Sunday, December 08, 2013 - 8:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are the two signs on opposite sides of the wall in which the door is (and "centimeters away from each other" because that's the thickness of the wall)? yes! Does one say "Door opens left" and the other "Door opens right", referring to which way the door slides or swings? That's essentially why the instructions are opposite. I don't think it's worthwhile agonising over the specific instruction, so it's time for the

***** SPOILER *****

Brian is standing beside a pair of double doors. A sign in front of him says, 'Please use the LEFT-hand door.' A sign on the opposite side of the door, centimetres away, says, 'Please use the RIGHT-hand door', referring, of course, to the same door each time.


Good work Biograd and Redwine. I was concerned initially that there were too many acceptable alternate solutions to the statement as it stood, and my concerns were proved well-founded again and again over the course of this puzzle. I'll have to try harder next time.

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