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Problem Solving

Kris Reid
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Joined: Jan 05, 2005
Posts: 247
There is a simple problem called Petals Around the Rose
http://www.borrett.id.au/computing/petals-j.htm

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
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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
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

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.


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Manish Hatwalne
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Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2578

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
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61315
    
  66

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.


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subject: Problem Solving