Situation Puzzle 8

The situation:

The truck driver should have been paying attention, but he didn’t. The bridge was old, and the clearance not all that great. Half way through the underpass,he was stuck. Going forward, even in low gear did not work. Neither did trying reverse.

The job looked like a complex one with a lot of welding equipment in order to remove the top of the cab. A long backup was already starting. The driver was on his phone explaining what had happened, when a motorist in the lane behind get the truck unstuck. How did he do it?

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Situation Puzzles are ones in which the poser sets forth a, well, situation that on the surface does not make sense or has a mystery about it. These descriptions usually are enigmatic enough that one cannot merely ponder for a while and then blurt out the answer as what is going on.

Instead, the solver gets to ask the poser questions to bring more clarity to the situation. These can only be ones answered by either Yes, No, or Immaterial. The last answer is used when either a Yes or No contributes nothing to the correct conclusion. Good questions help define the direction of inquiry. For example, “Is it important that we learn the vocation of the woman?”

This brief description does not give this puzzle type the accolades it deserves. It works best with a group of solvers rather than only one, all contributing to finding the solution. A warm feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie results when everything makes sense. In my experience after a frustrating hour or so that it might have taken to solve the puzzle, someone in the crowd will say, “Let’s do another.”

When I was much younger, I enjoyed working with others on situation puzzles and started collecting them. Recently, I came across my collection. The quality of these puzzles vary. Some were as simple as:
The police burst into the room. Fred and Marsha were dead on the floor surrounded by broken glass and water. Tom sat unperturbed on the couch, but he was not even questioned. Why not?

Others are more intriguing. Most are macabre – dealing with death by unusual means.
Anyway, I have decided to start posting the best of my collection here on my blog. One every week.

If you want to see the answer to this week’s puzzle, click on the button below. That will take you to another webpage from which you can download the solution.

I am not looking for comments to this and other posts of the same type that reveal what the answers are. If you email me one, I merely will not post it. On the other hand I would be delighted to receive comments on how a session of playing the game went.

Some in my collection are popular enough that you may recollect their solutions yourself or they might show up on another site. By whatever means you get involved, my intent is to have you try the puzzles on your friends and get the same enjoyment out of it that I did.

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5 thoughts on “Situation Puzzle 8

  1. I had seen this in a Reader’s Digest Book from the 60’s. Here’s another from the same book. A boy goes by bike to his friends house, there’s a dog asleep on a long chain, attached to a tree, in an open area. He lays down his bike and knocks on the door. No one is home. The dog wakes up and runs to him. The dog isn’t friendly and is barking. The boy can’t get to his bike because of the dog. How does the boy deal with the dog to get his bike ?

    See below.

    He walks slowly around the tree, and just away from the dog, and scrolls the chain around the tree, to shorten the chain. He keeps dooing this until the chain is short enough so he can get to his bike.

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