Coming Out of Left Field

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lateral thinking puzzle: "The Dream"

Every so often on Easily Addictive, I post a lateral thinking puzzle, and I thought it might be fun to post one here too. If it gets responses, I'll post more.

For those who have never done a lateral thinking puzzler before, here's how it works:

-- Read the situation, which more often than not is a mini-mystery.
-- Ask a question (use the handy comments feature) that can be answered in one of three ways -- yes, no or irrelevant.
-- Based on my answer, ask another question, and another, until you arrive at an explanation for the mystery.

This puzzle is called "The Dream," and it comes from Paul Sloane's Lateral Thinking Puzzles:

The boss of a storage warehouse had just arrived at work when one of his employees burst into his office. The man explained that while asleep the previous night he had dreamed that one of the stored boxes contained a bomb that would explode at two p.m., causing a terrible fire. The boss was skeptical, but agreed to investigate. After a search, a bomb was found in the area foreseen in the man's dream. The police were called, the bomb defused, and a tragedy averted. Afterwards, the boss thanked the employee sincerely and then fired him.

The sacked man had not planted the bomb, and his prophetic dream had saved the warehouse from destruction. Yet the manager was right to fire him. How could that be so?


Because he was the night watchman (or some other night shift worker) and had been sleeping during his shift.

Yes, that's it! Hmmm, I see I'll have to post harder ones if I'm going to stump JP.

Sorry, I was so excited that I got it I had to post.

I'm not always that good at the lateral thinking puzzles, really.

In any case, it was a lot of fun. :) Thanks.

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