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Monday, April 04, 2005

MindTrap Monday
Cleaning up a bit this weekend and ran across an annoyingly favorite game of mine -- MindTrap. The pencil is missing and only a few score sheets remain, but all the cards are still there in full aggravating glory.

MindTrap drove me NUTS.
The game was like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had decided to abandon writing his tales of Sherlock Holmes and concentrate on math story problems instead.

Given the way my brain works, I thought I'd be good at the game.
I wanted to be good at the game.
I was not good at the game.

Here's what I mean -- read sample question below:

Professor Bumble was going on a lecture circuit for several
months and he asked his friend, Hardy Pyle, to watch for a certain letter he was expecting.

The problem Hardy faced was that Bumble had a mailslot and forgot to leave him a house key. Hardy sent Bumble a letter to inform him of his dilemma. Bumble immediately sent a key to his house by return mail.

This being the case, why wouldn't Hardy be able to honour Bumble's request?

Think on that moment and then highlight the text below for the answer. I colored it white so it wouldn't be revealed, but if you select it with your mouse it will become visible.

The key would have been delivered though Bumble's mailslot and Hardy would have the same problem as before.
Do you see any flaw in the answer?
More than one?
Here's my problem with their "answer" (highlight for the reveal):

---- start ---

1. The clue says Bumble sent it to "his" house. Given the context, couldn't we interpret "his" to mean Hardy's house?

2. If Bumble knew the situation (and didn't have Hardy's address to send the key to "his" house) wouldn't the next idea be to send the key in a package too large for the mailslot? Mailing it in a box would allow Bumble to send the key to his own home address and still avoid it being deposited in the mailslot.

3. Hardy isn't so smart either -- why not block the slot so no additional letters could be deposited? How about leaving a note for the postal carrier or something?

---- end ---

The answers caused more arguments than the questions

Now you know why I stuck that cursed box in the bottom of the closet to begin with! It's the devil's game I tell you!

I don't think they even sell MindTrap as a game anymore (at least I couldn't find it on Amazon) -- probably caused too many fights! However, for the masochists among you, the puzzles ARE available in a couple books:

Tricky Mindtrap Puzzles: Challenge the Way You Think & See

Lateral Mindtrap Puzzles: Challenge the Way You Think & See

Both are written by a guy calling himself Detective Shadow. Yeah, you better hide your identity you aggravating sonofa...


Anonymous Chris Herbert; said...

Question was: This being the case, why wouldn't Hardy be able to honour Bumble's request?

Better Answer: Because Professor Bumble is an idiot. After reading Hardy's letter he should have in fact sent the key to "Hardy's address" and not his own.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Don The Idea Guy; said...

That's kind of my point -- we know Bumble is an idiot, because his name IS "Bumble" (as in, Bumbling Idiot), but the question doesn't actually SAY he sent it to HIS home address. He could have sent it to Hardy's.

6:18 AM  

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