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# Lateral Thinking MTech_IEM 2012

## Lateral Thinking MTech_IEM 2012

A woman had two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same year. But they were not twins. How could this be so? Answer They were two of a set of triplets (or quadruplets etc.) Six drinking glasses stand in a row, with the first three full of water and the next three empty. By handling and moving only one glass at a time, how can you arrange the six glasses so that no full glass stands next to another full glass, and no empty glass stands next to another empty glass. What is the minimum number of moves to solve this puzzle. Answer The problem can be solved by moving one glass. Simply pick up the middle one of the full glasses, pour the water into the middle one of the empty glasses, and return the glass to its original position. How many faces can you see in the image?

If you put a small coin into an empty wine bottle and replace the cork, how would you get the coin out of the bottle without taking out the cork or breaking the bottle? Answer Push the cork into the bottle, and shake out the coin. Three switches outside a windowless room are connected to three lightbulbs inside the room. How can you determine which switch is connected to which bulb if you are only allowed to enter the room once? Answer Switch on the first switch, leave it for a minute, and then switch it off again. Then switch on the second switch and enter the room. The second switch will be connected to the light that is on, the first switch will be connected to the light with the warm bulb, and the third switch will be connected to the light with the cold bulb. Why is it better to have round manhole covers than square ones? Answer This is logical rather than lateral, but it is a good puzzle which can be solved by lateral thinking techniques. It is supposedly used by a very well-known software company as an interview question for prospective employees. Solution A square manhole cover can be turned and dropped down the diagonal of the manhole. A round manhole cannot be dropped down the manhole. So for safety and practicality, all manhole covers should be round. 3

## Lateral Thinking MTech_IEM 2012

Down in a deep coal mine, a mile or so below the surface of the earth, is there more gravity or less gravity than there is at the entrance to the mine up at ground level? (Assume the Earth has a uniform density, and ignore any centrifugal and centripetal forces). Answer Down a mineshaft, the gravitational effect would be less because some of the earths mass is above you. That mass pulls you up, so it cancels the effect of some of the mass below your feet that pulls you down. l A man holds a rifle horizontally 6 feet above the ground. At the moment he fires it, another bullet is dropped from the same height, 6 feet. Ignoring frictional effects and the curvature of the earth, which bullet hits the ground first? Answer The bullets hit the ground at the same time. The rate at which the moving bullet falls is determined by the force of gravity. This force is vertical and entirely independent of the horizontal velocity of the projectile. Its vertical descent is the same regardless of any horizontal velocity it may have. l Pour hot water into a thick drinking glass and into a thin wine glass. Which glass in more likely to crack? And why? Answer The thick glass is most likely to crack A ball, a disc and a ring, each 5 inches in diameter, sit at the top of an inclined plane. If all three objects start rolling down the incline at the same instant, which one will reach the bottom first? 4

## Lateral Thinking MTech_IEM 2012

(Assume that they all roll efficiently that is, they are perfectly formed and dont wobbleand ignore any effect of air resistance and friction.) Answer The ball will reach the bottom first. Because it has less mass on the outside, and hence less inertia. l The speed of sound in air is about 740 miles per hour. Suppose that a police car is sounding its siren and is driving towards you at 60 miles per hour. At what speed is the sound of the siren approaching you? Answer The speed of sound coming from a police siren is the same whether or not the siren is standing still or moving. l Rupert is sailing a plastic boat in his bathtub. The boat is loaded with nuts, bolts and washers. If Rupert dumps all these items into the water. allowing his boat to float empty, will the water level in the bath rise or fall? Answer The level will fall:the metal in the boat forces the boat to sink lower in the water, displacing water not only for the bolts, but for the air in the hull at water level. if the bolts are allowed to sink, they displace less volume than they did in the boat(try it). l It is generally accepted that matter expands with increasing temperature, and contracts with decreasing temperature. There is one notable exception. Which is it, and why has nature provided for it? Answer Water expands below 3.98C down to 0C Otherwise ice would be heavier than water, with catastrophic consequences. Lakes and oceans would freeze from the bottom up killing all life. How could you make a raw egg float halfway between the surface and the bottom of a glass of water? Answer You float a raw egg by putting salt in the water until the density of the water = that of the egg. l An ice cube is floating in a beaker of water, with the entire system at 0 Centigrade(32F). Just enough heat is applied to melt the ice cube without raising the temperature of the system. What happens to the water level in the beaker? Does it rise, fall, or stay the same? Answer The water level neither rises nor falls: it stays the same. The reason an ice cube floats is because its volume has expanded during crystallisation. Is it correct to say; The herd of sheep is eating hay in the field or The herd of sheep are eating hay in the field? Answer Neither - the collective nown for sheep is a flock of sheep - not a herd of sheep.

## Lateral Thinking MTech_IEM 2012

A Farmer has twelve sheep and decides to put each of them into a separate pen; but to make the pens he has only 12 long hurdles and 6 half length hurdles. How can he do it? Answer The farmer needs to arrange the 12 long hurdles in the shape of a hexagon made of 6 triangles, and then use the six short hurdles to divide each triangle into two.

What occurs once in June, once in July and twice in August? Answer They letter U. You are the treasurer in charge of the Royal mint, which produces a single type coin, the grote. There are ten machines producing grotes, one machine is producing grotes weighing one gram less than they should, each coin should weigh 10 grams. You have a set of broken scales which can be fixed to provide one single weigh of a single amount (no weight changes are allowed). Using the scales once you must identify the single faulty machine. How do you do it? Answer Label the machines 1 thru to 10, take one coin from machine 1, 2 from machine 2 etc. However many grams you are out from you calculated total is the number of the machine producing the substandard coins.