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The Man in the Elevator


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The Man in the Elevator - Back to the Logic Puzzles

A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator - or if it was raining that day - he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?

(This is probably the best known and most celebrated of all lateral thinking logic puzzles. It is a true classic. Although there are many possible solutions which fit the initial conditions, only the canonical answer is truly satisfying.)

The Man in the Elevator - solution

The man is a of short stature. He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella.

He is carrying an umbrella...

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a problem has not one solution or rather choices.. even if the man is a dwarf he has many choices to overcome his inability to access the top key... so such puzzles has no other value than the funny side we attach to it..........

Edited by pkmrr
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The Man in the Elevator - Back to the Logic Puzzles

A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator - or if it was raining that day - he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?

(This is probably the best known and most celebrated of all lateral thinking logic puzzles. It is a true classic. Although there are many possible solutions which fit the initial conditions, only the canonical answer is truly satisfying.)

The Man in the Elevator - solution

The man is a of short stature. He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella.

yes, I have heard this before when I was perhaps about 12 or 13 years old and it is quite a problem. And the answer we were given was that he was a short man and used his umbrella and the help of other people to press the button for the 10th floor. Otherwise, he would just press the highest button he can reach and climb up the rest..

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  • 2 weeks later...
:lol: That was funny -_-
yeah heard a loadsa times...jus cos tat guy is a PIGMY!!while he goes down he has jus tp press t zero button in t elevator tat is at t bottom of all t buttons..but while cumin bk if he s all alone he cant press tat tenth floor button..its at a greater height than his..on rainy day he has an umbrella to do tat n wen other ppl r wit 'm in t elevator they help tis li'l fella....
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;) you must be a lawyer

Actually, this isn't logical reasoning, this is lateral reasoning.

Lateral reasoning is when you use factors that are outside the initial problem to solve it.

Just saying that there's a difference, Lateral reasoning is obviously more useful in the real world than Logical reasoning because it offers more solutions and also allows to choose different solutions.

For example : I owe a friend 5 euros, but I've only got one euro in my pocket. How can I repay him?

Using logical reasoning there is no solution, but with lateral thinking there are loads of solutions.

- "Let me get to an ATM.'

- "I'll pay you tomorrow, I got some cash at home."

- "Let me get you a drink next time we go out and call it quits?"

- RUN! (I don't like that guy anyway.)

Also in lateral reason there is no right or wrong answer, whereas usually in logical reasoning there is only on correct answer (sometimes a few more, but these are generally just rearrangements of the correct answer.)

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this is a very easy riddle im surprised no1 has answered it (as far as i know).. since he is a midget he cannot reach all the buttons, heres an explanation: when he is gonig down in the morning, he presses the lobby button (even he can reach that) if it is raining or there is someone in the elevator, he can use his umbrella (because if it were raining he would have an umbralla) or ask the person with him to push the 10th floor button, on days it doesnt rain he can only reatch the 7th floor button because he has no umbrella (or nobody is in the elevator with ihm) therefore he has to walk 3 filghts of stairs.....very good riddle even if i did break it in like 5 seconds.......i dont understand why the man isnt smart enough to buy a floor on a lower floor though

Edited by ralph b
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i just read the solution

but can't he just take a stick with him everyday so that he can push the button

but still good puzzle man :) keep it up

Edited by Talha
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all the elevators Ive been it was two columnsthus he could reach eight

Some elevators look like this:

10 11

8 9

6 7

4 5

2 3

L 1 (or M)

But, I agree, this question is better put by having him go to the 8th floor (or another even floor). It's more consistent with more elevators. To the person who thinks elevator buttons usually have the lower numbers at the top: not so, at least in the U.S. While occasionally older elevators have this setup, it's very very unusual.

Edited by sunshipballoons
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The Man in the Elevator - Back to the Logic Puzzles

A man lives on the tenth floor of a building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator - or if it was raining that day - he goes back to his floor directly. Otherwise, he goes to the seventh floor and walks up three flights of stairs to his apartment. Can you explain why?

(This is probably the best known and most celebrated of all lateral thinking logic puzzles. It is a true classic. Although there are many possible solutions which fit the initial conditions, only the canonical answer is truly satisfying.)

The Man in the Elevator - solution

The man is a of short stature. He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella.

The man was short. On rainey days he could push the buttons with his ummbreala or ask someone else to. Other than that he has to hit one of the lower buttons and walk up the stairs.

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Another fully satisfactory answer to the problem is that the elevator simply does not go to the 10th floor, but maxes out at the 7th. There is no mention that the man goes to the lobby in the morning directly from his floor, and rain is merely a ploy in this answer. It is another "truly satisfying" answer.

In addition, the given answer acknowledges the man's intelligence in his ability to use tools, yet deliberately dumbs him down to be unable to plan for the daily button challenge. If the man was reliant upon an umbrella, would it not be reasonable to assume that he would always bring a tool to press the button? Such as a retractable pointer of sorts?

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