Thursday, 22 July 2010

Gold or Cotton - Which is heavier ?

There are a set of puzzles called lateral thinking puzzles. While some of us find it rather annoying, a lot many of us find it challenging and interesting. What separates lateral puzzles from a normal puzzle is that lateral puzzles makes you think.

Naturally, answers to such puzzles can be either complicate or very naïve depending on the nature of the person who is trying to solve it.

Almost all lateral puzzles are mostly stories which are incomplete and needs the person to fill up the storyline with his or her imagination and creativity. At times, an out of box thinker will find it easier to solve these.

Which would you say is heavier, a pound of cotton or a pound of gold?

Technically, you would say that they should both weigh the same as a pound of cotton and a pound of gold are both one and the same, as a pound is an unit of weight. You might also argue that a pound of gold will drop faster than a pound of cotton in the atmosphere but will fall at the same speed if placed in vacuum.

The solution to the above puzzle is that a pound of cotton outweighs a pound of gold because there are two different types of “pounds” that are used for measuring the weight of cotton and gold. While cotton is weighed using the avoirdupois pound that consists of 16 ounces, gold is weighed using the troy pound. Troy pound is used for measuring precious metals and consists of only 12 ounces (373 gms)

Feel free to post those puzzles to which you are searching for a solution. Alternately, don’t hesitate to post puzzles, which you feel is a twister and want to puzzle-slug with others.

So long, and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Solving fun puzzles

Many people find solving fun puzzles as a way to relax, and take a break from the pressures of work. With lateral puzzles all you need is an active mind.

Most of you must have heard about the below mentioned lateral puzzle. It used to be one of the commonly asked interview questions at Microsoft. I don’t know whether they have changed the format now, but it still is a nice puzzle. It is about a bear. It may still be in the list of interview questions as not many (I guess) people have heard about it…

Okay, here goes…

If a bear proceeds to walk one mile south, then makes a turn to his left and further proceeds to walks another one mile towards the east, and then he turns once again to the left and proceeds to walks one mile towards the north and finds out that he has arrived at its original position, what is the color of this bear?

Uh oh! I was thinking of a triangle, but instead they asked about the color.

Okay, it is clear from the onset of this lateral puzzle that we are at the north poles and that it is evident that the bear is a polar bear, and which would obviously be white in color. Besides, there are no bears at the South Pole. So that answers our question.

Now, taking this a step further, one can argue that anyone who is positioned at the North Pole and who is walking the same path will reach its original starting position. So, the question was just extended to confuse the person being interviewed.

Let me have your comments…..