Driving You Dotty Part One |

What has this got to do with lateral thinking, well think a little outside the box and I will show you.

The second day was a more sober affair, or at least a mildly hung over affair, looking at how to become more creative in our jobs. Building schedules isn't something you would immediately associate with creativity, but learning how to think through, and possibly around problems is an important skill.

One of the topics of the day was lateral thinking, learning ways of finding a solution to a problem without tackling the problem straight on; that is your challenge for today thinking outside the box as it were.

I am going to relate to you a puzzle and give you the chance to solve it, then in your moment of triumph I am going to make the puzzle more challenging, several times. The task is to further improve your thinking skills to get better at the puzzle.

Lateral Thinking |

**Driving You Dotty - Part One**

For this puzzle you will need a piece of A4 paper and a pen or pencil. If you want to be neat a pair of compasses or a coin to draw around will help.

You need to draw a circle, about two centimetres in diameter in the centre of your page. You can then add eight more circles, the same size around it to form a square. Each circle should be about three centimetres apart.

Nine Dots |

You will revisiting this document a lot, so you might like to photocopy it a few times. Alternatively go over the circles in marker pen and then continue the puzzle in pencil, allowing you to erase your mistakes.

We will start then with a very simple puzzle. You must draw four lines on the diagram. The lines must be perfectly straight, as if drawn by a ruler. Between them the four lines must contact every one of the nine circles.

This shouldn't take you long, but make sure to draw out the answer, as the puzzles get harder you may want to revisit previous correct answers.

OK, so that was simple, there were very limited restrictions on what you could do, and you probably found more than one solution. Some of you may even have solved it in three lines and think you are a step ahead. However there are a couple of problems with that route.

Firstly, I specified four lines, so if you only drew three you didn't find a correct solution. Secondly, in the next step of the puzzle I am not going to reduce the number of lines you get to solve it with. Instead I have a different restriction for you.

Lateral Thinking |

**Driving You Dotty - Part Two**

Return to your blank diagram and start again. The first part of the puzzle remains the same.

You must draw four lines on the diagram.

The lines must be perfectly straight, as if drawn by a ruler.

Between them the four lines must contact every one of the nine circles.

**No circle should be crossed by more than one line.**

Lateral Thinking |

**Driving You Dotty - Part Three**

Return to your blank diagram and start again.

You must draw

**five**lines on the diagram.

The lines must be perfectly straight, as if drawn by a ruler.

Between them the five lines must contact every one of the nine circles.

No circle should be crossed by more than one line.

**You may not lift your pen from the paper.**

Lateral Thinking |

**Driving You Dotty - Part Four**

Return to your blank diagram and start again.

You must draw

**four**lines on the diagram.

The lines must be perfectly straight, as if drawn by a ruler.

Between them the four lines must contact every one of the nine circles.

You may not lift your pen from the paper.

Take some time to think about a solution to the puzzle, and make sure it meets all the restrictions. Well practiced puzzlers might want to consider whether there are alternate solutions.

Next time we will be applying further restrictions to the puzzle and paring down your options until you will be truly thinking outside the box.

Until then, keep puzzling.

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