Nine points are disposed in a square on the game panel.
You have to connect these 9 points with 4 straight lines (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) that can be drawn in one run
, i.e. without interruption or lifting your pen from the game panel (and without returning).
Remember that you only have 4 straight line segments, and that all the points have to be connected!
Although it may seem incredible at first sight, there is a solution for this problem.
Once you have seen the solution, the fun is over.
So, give it a thorough try before asking for the solution.
I used this teaser (and some others) quite a number of times to illustrate courses about creativity, divergent or lateral thinking and conceptual frames.
Nine times out of ten, students react with a:
- "But you didn't say we could go outside the square"
- "Nobody said you had to stay within the square!"
It illustrates very clearly that self-imposed limitations or following common lines of thinking, can be important obstacles to find a solution.
As it "sells well", the Web offers a lot of information on divergent and lateral thinking. I just would like to mention two references:
- The "authorised" web-site of Edward De Bono the father of the concept of "lateral thinking"
- and a rather old (1979) lecture paper where De Bono explains what it is and how he coined the word
- While you are at it (and although it has nothing to see with this subject) take a closer look at the very interesting web-site where this paper is published: Schumacher UK an organisation that promotes human scale and sustainable systems for social, economic and environmental development