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Treebeard's Stumper Answer
18 Apr 97

Is it possible to connect A to A, B to B, and C to C without crossing lines or going outside the frame? If you can't get it, leave it alone for a day and try again.

Yes it is possible to connect the boxes without crossing lines. This stumper is based on the real problem of connecting electronic components on printed circuit boards. IBM researcher and author Clifford Pickover sent this puzzle to 450 scientists, and about 20% responded that it was impossible. DMS students did better! Sydney had the fastest time at school, under 1 minute. Others got it by the end of class with a sudden *AHA* It took me a full day. Is it significant that we sometimes see the answer after a long time? Is there any correlation with gender, age, IQ, artistic ability, etc.? Lots of questions!

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Marc Kummel /