Crack me, if you can

Crack me, if you can

Published: Thu 24 Nov 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 25 Nov 2016, 1:00 AM

One of the so-called psychological tests of creativity and lateral thinking involves what's known as a remote association test. Here, what you have to do is try to link up two words that (seemingly) have nothing to do with one another with a third word that associates them together. Like MAKER and POINT have the word MATCH that fits in with both - as in MATCHMAKER and MATCHPOINT. Similarly, you can do it with three words also - as in RIGHT, CARBON and CAT, which pair up with COPY to make COPYRIGHT, CARBONCOPY and COPYCAT.
So, here are 10 more of the same kind of threesomes for your own lonesomes to solve. (1) Fence, modern, master; (2) Wise, work, tower; (3) Cry, front, ship; (4) Line, fruit, drunk; (5) Child, scan, wash; (6) End, line, lock; (7) Mother, after, rate; (8) Lounge, hour, napkin; (9) Artist, hatch, route; (10) Pet, bottom, folk.

(The problem was: "In a key scene in the film MacKenna's Gold, a lengthening shadow at sunrise points to a particular location. This, of course, is rubbish because, as the sun rises, shadows shorten, not lengthen. However, is there any situation in which they can lengthen?" - MS)

I think the only time this can happen is if the sun is below the level of a long pillar. For example, if the pillar is on a very high cliff when the sun rises, its shadow will be very small. As the sun moves up, the shadow increases in length and the maximum length will be reached when the sun is level with the pillar. After that, the length of the shadow will start decreasing.
- Dhruv Narayan, (Not necessarily, DN; try it with a torch sometime. - MS)
I guess any object leaning towards the east would have a lengthening shadow as the sun goes up.
- Pravin Pramanick,  

(The second problem was: "What colour is hidden in the following sentence: 'One dancer I see is out of step'?" - MS)

CERISE (a light, clear, red colour) is the colour hidden in the following sentence: 'One danCER I SEe is out of step.'
- Surya Narayanan Krishna Moorthy,

If allowed to unscramble, then the following colours are hidden in the sentence: (1) Red; (2) Rose; (3) Sepia; (4) Tan.
- Alifya Taher,

(And the third one was: "To get a peeled, hard-boiled egg into a bottle, just drop a burning taper in and the vacuum created by the loss of oxygen sucks the egg in. But the O2 loss is compensated by the production of CO2 and water vapour. So, what sucks the egg in?" - MS)

The heat generated by the fire expands the air. When the egg is placed on the bottle, the fire goes out, and the air inside cools and becomes denser. This causes a decrease in pressure inside the bottle. The pressure outside the bottle is larger than the pressure inside, causing the egg to be sucked in.
- Saifuddin S F Khomosi,

When you set the egg on the bottle, the air pressure inside matched the pressure outside. When you dropped in the burning taper, it caused the air inside to heat up, expand, push the egg aside and escape. When the flame went out, the remaining air in the bottle cooled down. Cool air takes up less space, exerting less pressure inside the bottle. The result was an unbalanced force - the force of the air pushing on the egg from outside the bottle was greater than the force of the air pushing up on it from inside the bottle.
- Abirami Sundari,

1. Okay, so you've managed to get that peeled hardboiled egg into a wide-ish necked bottle. How do you get it out now without breaking the bottle? Two solutions are preferable.
2. Still on eggs, how do you get an unpeeled hardboiled egg into a similarly necked bottle without breaking the shell? (Bonus trick question: how would you get the contents of a normal egg out without breaking the shell?)

(Mukul can be reached at

More news from WKND
Telling stories that 'stick'


Telling stories that 'stick'

Everyone knows that oral and written traditions of storytelling are the most effective ways to pass on values. The modern marketplace is no different