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Creative thinking puzzle number 1 - The nine dot problem to help you "think out of the box"Below are nine dots arranged in a set of three rows. Your challenge is to draw four straight lines which go through the middle of all of the dots without taking the pencil off the paper. If you were using a pencil, you must start from any position and draw the lines one after the other without taking your pencil off the page. Each line starts where the last line finishes.
Try this now by quickly drawing nine dots on a piece of paper and have a go with a pencil. Place your pencil somewhere, draw four straight lines without taking your pencil off the page. Each line must start where the last line finished.
No cheating now. Please do not look at the solution until you have one yourself.
Solution to the nine dot puzzle:The picture below will show you a solution to this problem. It rotates through the solution so please wait until it starts with an empty grid of dots.
How did you solve the puzzle?Think back to how you were solving the puzzle. Did you solve it by trial and error or did you think through a strategy? Spend 30 seconds thinking about how you solved it and what changes in your thoughts you needed have to get you there.
The beauty of this nine-dot puzzle is that you literally have to "think out of the box" to solve the puzzle. Your pencil or mouse must go outside the box of the dots to be able to solve it.
The most frequent difficulty people have with this puzzle is that they try to draw all the lines within the dots and they do not initially want to draw lines outside it because:
Lessons to be learned from this puzzle
Look beyond the current definition of the problem.
Investigate the boundaries
Hard work is not the solution
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