Lateral Thinking Puzzles

Okay, so this book that I’ve drafted has challenges in it.

That’s good, right? A plot needs conflict.

Yeah, well the challenges for my two main characters are more complicated than that. Every year, the two have to pass a test. Sometime the test is easy. Sometimes the test is fun. But sometimes, the test is a nightmare. Being buried alive. Walking through fire. Doing the impossible.

And if they don’t pass, then someone dies.

The hardest part is that each situation had to push the characters to the max–make them think outside the box. So where did I come up with these challenges? Honestly, I started looking at Lateral Thinking Problems (you know the type: one person lies the other tells the truth, how do you know which tells the truth). I had a book (LOVED these as a teenager), but of course I couldn’t find it when I needed it. So I did a google, and found tons of great problems. After warping them entirely to fit the situations, I had the scenarios I needed!

But here’s the thing: I might need a few more AND I AM OUT OF IDEAS! So what is your favorite Lateral Thinking Puzzle? Or what real-life challenges have you faced that you thought would be impossible?

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12 replies on “Lateral Thinking Puzzles”

  1. I have no lateral thinking puzzles for you, but loved this line: “And if they don’t pass, then someone dies.” Sounds like finals week. 😀

  2. What comes to mind is the episode of Sabrina when she kisses Harvey and he turns into a frog. Then she has to go through all of those trials to get him back.

  3. I like the puzzles where you have to figure out clues that relate to the seasons, or elements. For example think of the 5th element where they had to activate the different stations with the element they represented. You can get tricky by making it hard to find the right element (hard to find anything to strike a fire, lots of sand but no rocks, etc). Anyway, hope that helps!

  4. Joel: Wow, that’s such great feedback. I watched The 5th Element ages ago, and I honestly can’t remember it. Maybe I’ll have to check it out again and see what they do. Because this sounds awesome.

    Leisha: Lol! I hope you figured out what was for dinner! Seriously, that seems to be the constant puzzle at my house, as well.

    Shallee: Oh thank you!!

  5. Wow, great idea, Chersti! I’m impressed with how you solved YOUR problem of needing to come up with more solutions. I’ll be thinking about these ideas all day!

  6. Lol – I went to Markus Zusak’s signing ages ago, and he said something along the lines of ‘every solution I come up with often creates a dozen more problems.” And that’s how I feel with this book. But it’s just so fun to solve the problems! And eventually I’ll figure out solutions for everything, right?? 🙂

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