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Problem Solving

Kris Reid
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2005
Posts: 247
There is a simple problem called Petals Around the Rose

It is a very abstract solution and my little pea brain had a great deal of trouble solving it. One guy at work solved it in about 30seconds. I took me 4 attempts and over and hour.

How do you guys solve abstract puzzles? Is there a methodology?
Alan Wanwierd
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 30, 2004
Posts: 624
I'm a practical kind of guy and after a couple of thoughts (that were not far off the mark - but wrong). I did what any good efficient troubleshooter does:

Hit Google - to see if the answer is out there...

Needless to say 30 seconds later I now fully understand the game.

(Who said using tools was illegal?)
[ August 04, 2005: Message edited by: Adrian Wallace ]
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

This puzzle was the topic of a thread in our Programming Diversions forum recently.

I think the point of this puzzle is that there is no methodology -- it's a "think outside the box" kind of puzzle. But for general problem solving, you might want to have a look at How to Solve It, by G. Polya. It's a wonderful little book which analyzes the various kinds of problems you might solve in mathematics and related fields.

[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2591

Hey, I solved it myself in about 15 mins!
Guess I am little dumb!!!

Nah, I always knew I can think out of the box. LOL!!!

- Manish
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 63838

I'm usually not very good at these, but figured it out after 5 or 6 throws. What's interesting is that even though I knew better, I couldn't keep my mind from trying to apply some overly-analytical solution.

[Asking smart questions] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Problem Solving
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