Simple Games about Individual Creativity

The aim of these simple games and exercises is to show how apparently impossible or absurd problems may be discussed and solved by making evalutations and analysis in a way that is not usually taken in consideration in classical problem-solving. They are not intended to rate the most clever or intelligent individual, but solely to give some suggestion about how to recognize limits and inefficiencies of "conventional" thinking.

Game 1

This famous quiz game has been developed by Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and will help you understand better your style of thinking. The questions are not difficult: try to think for a while before reading the solutions.

  1. How do you put a giraffe in the fridge?
  2. Correct answer: Open the fridge, put the giraffe inside, close the fridge. This question checks if you tend to make simple things complicated.

  3. How do you put an elephant in the fridge?
  4. Wrong answer: Open the fridge, put the elephant inside, close the fridge.
    Correct answer: Open the fridge, remove the giraffe, put the elephant inside, close the fridge. This question checks your ability to consider implications from your previous actions.

  5. The Lion King organized a moot for the animals: all the animals are present but one. Which one?
  6. Correct answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the fridge. This checks your memory.
    Even though you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you will answer the next one for sure.

  7. You have to cross a river, but it is populated by alligators. What are you going to do?
  8. Correct answer: You swim across the river because all the alligators are attending the moot. This question checks if you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Andersen Consulting Worldwide, 90% of the managers who undertook the test failed all the answers, on the contrary many children under 6 answered some questions correctly. Andersen Consulting says this is the proof that many top managers have the same brain as a 4-years old child!

Game 2

Link the 9 dots with 4 straight lines without ever taking the pen off the paper.

Game 3

Moving 2 matches from the following figure you will obtain 4 squares. One of these squares must be larger than the other 3.

Game 4

There are 10 socks for each of the following colour: blue, green, red, yellow and white. There are 50 socks in all. If they are placed randomly in the drawer (i.e., not in pairs or any other grouping) and you have been blindfolded, which is the minimum number of socks that you have to pick up from the drawer in order to be sure you have at least 2 socks of the same colour?

In the previous situation, how many socks you have to pick up in order to be sure you have at least 2 socks of different colours?

Game 5

Take a look at the following picture. There is a man holding a log of wood in his hand. What happens to the log when the man opens his hand?

Correct answer: It depends on where the man is:
If the man is standing on the ground...

The log will FALL DOWN due to gravity.
If the man is under water...

The log will FLOAT to surface because its specific weight is lower than water.
If the man is in space...

The log will NOT MOVE because it is not subject to any force.

The most common answer is that the log will fall down on the ground: this is actually suitable for most situations. This test shows how easy it is to give the most obvious answer and thus ignore possible alternatives.

Now we propose a series of questions about apparently unsolvable or absurd situations. For each of them there is at least one logical solution, but many more are allowed.

Game 6

You stand outside a room which is thoroughly sealed and insulated. Externally, in front of you, there are three switches: only one of these turns the light on inside the room, while the other two do not work.

You must discover which is the working switch. You may make as many attempts as you want with the external switches, but you may enter the room only once to check your supposition. What would you do?

Game 7

A man lives at the 10th floor of a building. Every day he takes the lift to go down on the ground floor in order to go working or shopping. When he comes back, he takes the lift up to the 7th floor and then climbs the stairs to reach his flat on the 10th floor. This man hates walking and climbing the stairs, but then why is he doing this?


Game 8

A man enters a pub and asks the barman a glass of water. The barman draws a gun and points it at the man. The man thanks the barman and gets out.


Game 9

A man dies and goes to Heaven. There are thousands of other people there. Everybody is wholly naked and seems to be apparently 21 years old. The man looks around to see if he recognizes someone. He sees a couple and understands immediately they are Adam and Eve. How did he recognize them?