Mental Floss 1








Time for a lateral thinking challenge!

Often it’s beneficial to temporarily remove our thoughts from the day-to-day grind and give our brains some brief respite. Like teeth, the brain requires a bit of flossing every now and then. Every time we challenge out minds we build our grey matter’s agility and it’s capacity to create new connections, arrive at new ideas and solve problems. Thinking exercises aid in that process because the more we practice our thinking, the better our thinking becomes.

With this in mind we are going to start a weekly Mental Floss. A weekly post to provide fun thinking challenges and the opportunity to take some time out to “practice thinking”. The aim is to not only help us to think differently, but to have a bit of fun doing so.

Answers to each week’s challenge will appear the following week along with a new challenge to think about.

Now, to start I’d like to give you one of my favorites. One that many who have attended our innovation sessions will probably know the answer to ….

There is a cabin on the top of a mountain. Inside the cabin are four dead people. All of the cabin doors are locked from the inside. What might have happened?




Good luck!

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About the Author

Frank Connolly is the Principal of “Think Quick”, a business that adds value through thinking differently. His work history covers all sectors and includes initiatives that have yielded bottom line benefit in the 10’s of millions of dollars.

Current clients range from Exxon-Mobil to Government Depts within Australia to Global NGO’s.

Much of his working life has been split between Australia, the South Pacific and Asia where he has trained and facilitated Lateral Thinking techniques, and been acknowledged by Edward de Bono as one of the foremost practitioners of the de Bono thinking methods worldwide.

Frank believes strongly that if we can improve the way we think, the actions that follow also improve.

Comments (10)

  1. Bruce :

    Frank. Is the cabin made of wood, steel or aluminium? How many doors does it have? And, Is the mountain under water? 🙂

  2. Frank Connolly :

    Bruce, I can see your devious mind ticking away behind the words. It is not underwater …

  3. Sue :

    Here’s one for you Frank:

    A man lives on the 15th floor in an apartment. Every day he goes to work, then comes back at night and hops in the elevator to get to his room.

    However if he is on his own he presses the button for the 15th floor then takes the stairs the rest of the way.

    Although if someone else is with him he goes to the 25th floor.

    Why does he do this?

  4. James De Vere :

    City slickers fear the woods, so, fearing some roaming, “Freddie,” they locked themselves in the expired together simply of normal causes I.e. They all died of perfectly natural causes.

  5. Frank Connolly :

    Great question Sue and I will include this going forward!

  6. Frank Connolly :

    Those dang city slickers!

  7. Jacinta :

    Hi Frank, Sorry to spoil all the fun but the cabin is the cabin of a plane that has crashed into the mountain. ☺

  8. James De Vere :

    His life is in this beautiful building for he is the caretaker. It’s his job escorting everyone to the main area which, in this building, is on the 25th floor. If he is by himself he need not worry although he chooses some excercise by often taking the stairs.

  9. Frank Connolly :

    Not sure it’s the right answer De Vere the Younger, but a beautiful and touching response anyway! It made me think of Peter Sellars in “Being there”.

  10. James De Vere :

    Hello Frank. Thanks for the reply. I was looking forward to answering the vehicle on the ocean floor. Alas, comments closed. My answer would be, “They had not the means, technology and will, yet, for retrieving the vehicle.” By the way I am uber-keen & really grateful for your challenges. Thank you, Frank. ? James


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