How Sharp Is Your Mind?

A friend of mine asked me how I would design Bill Gates’ kitchen, and I replied, “With windows!” How would you do it? Here’s another puzzler: Jojo was a man who he thought he was Asero. If Gary Bee’s son is Jojo’s son’s father, what relationship is Jojo to Gary Bee? Intelligence is more than just the accumulation of facts; it’s also about logic and common sense. This is why exams and interviews for job applicants – especially for managerial positions – are oriented towards spatial sequences, real-life situationers and other questions that test the candidates’ critical thinking skills, like the following: Questions 1) How are M&M’s candies – milk chocolate ellipsoids with perfectly smooth colored sugared coating marked with a white m – made, untouched by human hands? 2) Katherine, Rafael, Miguel and Scarlet are managers of different firms, and they’re playing tong-its with this arrangement: Rafael sits across BPI; Katherine sits at the right of WG&A; Scarlet sits across from Miguel; PAL sits to the left of SM; and a guy sits of Miguel’s right. To what companies are they connected? 3) In Jar A there’s 1 amoeba, and in Jar B there are two amoebas. An amoeba can reproduce itself it 3 minutes, and it takes 3 hours to fill Jar B. How long before Jar A is filled? 4) While strolling is SM Manila, Vic Vargas saw his friend – a test pilot who had just finished an around-the –world flight and had just gotten married – for the first time in 5 years. With the pilot is a 2-year old girl. Vic asked her name and the pilot replied, “Same as her mother.” Vic said, “Hello Josephine!” How did Vic knew her name if he never saw the wedding announcement? 5) Paul, Simon and Garfunkel live next door to each other with Simon in the middle apartment. They work as an editor for NewsbreakOnline, a segment producer for The Probe, and a deejay for W-Rock (“The Heart of Lite-Rock!”) but not necessarily in that order. The deejay walks Garfunkel’s dog Fulgoso on weekends. The segment producer taps on Paul’s wall when the latter’s stereo is too loud. What career does each man have? Answers 1) Mars Inc. make M&M’s by casting chocolates on moulds, then putting them on a rotating drum (to prevent congealing) where they’re sprayed with sugary liquids (which harden to become the shell and coating) – and the now solid candies are put in a conveyor belt to be imprinted. The question is used by Microsoft HRD but you don’t really have to know the exact recipe. William Poundstone, in his How Would You Move Mount Fuji ? (Little, Brown & Co.), explains, “The point is to see if the candidate gives a convincing answer – and avoids saying something stupid.” 2) Rafael is SM; Katherine is BPI; Miguel is PAL and Scarlet is WG&A. “This question challenges your skill at organizing information and making logical inference,” says Karl Albrecht, PH.D., author of Brain Power and the developer of “The Thinker’s Test from where this question was adapted. 3) 3 hours and 3 minutes. Once the amoeba has reproduced itself (3 minutes), Jar A is at the same point which Jar B started – the only difference it is 3 minutes behind. Source: James F. Fixx’s Games for the Superintelligent (Doubleday). 4) The test pilot’s name was Josephine. Dr. Abbie F. Salny, in his The Mensa Genius Quiz-A-Day Book (Addison Wesley), asks, “Did you assume that the pilot was male?” 5) Paul is the deejay, Simon is the segment producer, and Garfunkel is the editor. “The trick to successful problem-solving is to assemble all relevant information – every fact and clue – and evaluate each possible combination thereof,” write Karen Billings and Alice Kaseberg Schwandt, in their Ms. Magazine article, from which this question was based. (Note: The Jojo question is adapted from a Mensa exam and Jojo is the son of Gary Bee.)
Photo courtesy of HarryCutting.com

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