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**justlookingforthemoment****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-05-26
- Posts: 2,161

For Christmas I received quite a large book of 'Classic Lateral Thinking Puzzles' (from my Uncle and Aunty ). It contains many different conundrums, all which seem to not have enough information to be able to solve them. I've read through a few and almost all of them seem to have multiple answers - then on checking the back of the book, the answer seems either really far-fetched or extremely simple. I'll post some here and see if you can solve them.

I found this first one to be one of the 'better' ones - that is, not *quite* as silly an answer.

**Shoe Shop Shuffle**

'In a small town there are four shoe shops of about the same size, each carrying more of less the same line in shoes. Yet, one shop loses three times as many shoes to theft as each of the other shops. Why?'

Each puzzle also has clues... so if you get stuck, I'll post them.

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**ganesh****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-06-28
- Posts: 25,062

Shop # 3 : Because it is a multiple of 3

(I know thats a stupid answer, but I couldn't think of any better).

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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**Zach****Member**- Registered: 2005-03-23
- Posts: 2,075

All depends on the position of the shops in conjunction with all the other shops.

Boy let me tell you what:

I bet you didn't know it, but I'm a fiddle player too.

And if you'd care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

It is in the center so it's the most closest to all the thiefs?

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
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just, can you post more of ths stuff?

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**mathsyperson****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-22
- Posts: 4,900

Zach wrote:

All depends on the position of the shops in conjunction with all the other shops.

I would agree. If one shop loses 3 times as many as all the other shops, then it is losing half of the total shoes lost.

So, I would guess that that shop was on its own, but the other three were next to each other.

Shop

Shop [Rest of town] Theft-prone shop

Shop

Why did the vector cross the road?

It wanted to be normal.

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**justlookingforthemoment****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-05-26
- Posts: 2,161

Okay. There are three clues.

Clue 1: The shop that suffers the heaviest thefts is not in a worse part of town or in an environment that is more popular with criminals.

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**darthradius****Member**- Registered: 2005-11-28
- Posts: 97

???Employee theft problem???

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

-Bertrand Russell

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**justlookingforthemoment****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-05-26
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Ahhh... no. Yell out if when/if you want clues, but they're probably not very helpful.

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

Well the suffering shop may be the easiest for tiefting?

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

Or, wait a minute. It may be because it's *closed* more time than others?

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**mathsyperson****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-22
- Posts: 4,900

If I had that book, I'd be quite annoyed if I looked at the back and saw this as the answer, but here's another possibility:

None of the shops get any shoes stolen from them. 3x0 = 0

Why did the vector cross the road?

It wanted to be normal.

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**siva.eas****Member**- Registered: 2005-09-17
- Posts: 166

Maybe three different bunch of thieves steal the three different shop shops but they all meet at the fourth shoe shop so that they could go home together. So in the fourth shop all three of them steals, resulting in a theft level that is three times as more.

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

I think mathsy is right... again!

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**justlookingforthemoment****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-05-26
- Posts: 2,161

Well, mathsy, that does sound like something that would come from this book...

But you'll have to keep trying.

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**Ricky****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-12-04
- Posts: 3,791

Mr. Theft just likes to buy a lot of shoes from that one store.

Please give the other two clues.

"In the real world, this would be a problem. But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist. So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,685

Something to do with left/right ?

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**justlookingforthemoment****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-05-26
- Posts: 2,161

To Rod: ...

Clue 2: The four shops have similar staffing, lighting and security arrangements.

Clue 3: The shop that suffers the heaviest thefts does something different with its shoes.

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,685

It is the shoes they leave out for you to try on ... they are opposite to the other shops!

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

The suffering shop's shoes are armoured?

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**siva.eas****Member**- Registered: 2005-09-17
- Posts: 166

The shop with the most theft leaves out left shoes, while all other shops leaves out right shoes.

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
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And why the thieves will need left shoes?

O, I understand now. The thieves need left and right shoe, they will thief a right shoe form one of the other shops and they must steal the left shoe form the last.

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**siva.eas****Member**- Registered: 2005-09-17
- Posts: 166

Yup

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**krassi_holmz****Real Member**- Registered: 2005-12-02
- Posts: 1,905

Then they may preshell them to the shops!!!

IPBLE: Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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**ganesh****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-06-28
- Posts: 25,062

Yes, siva.eas has given the most appropriate solution. Excellent!

It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge - Enrico Fermi.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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