PITS ! – PERSEUS INGENUITY TEST SCORE
Barry R. Clarke
Current high score : 39/64 by D.G.
This test is the PITS and consists of 20 questions (a score) designed to measure synthetic power, that is, the ability to unify seemingly diverse information. Although the test questions were conceived in the English language, few clues are based on double meanings of English words and only a basic knowledge of English is required. In fact, some clues are biased towards other languages and cultures. The marks (M) for each question (Q) are shown below to a total of 64. These are awarded according to how well the proposed solution encompasses the given information (some of which might be given implicitly by the context). For this reason, full explanations of all clues must be supplied. The picture questions (3, 4, 15-18) work on the basis of visual clues, each of which denote the same solution. For example, a picture depicting a pair of human hands (clock hands), a 120 degrees angle (angle between clock hands), an infinity sign (an 8 on its side), and a picture of the prime minister (PM) could have the solution "8pm". Proposed solutions will be scored entirely on their own merit and marks can be gained for answers that only unify some of the clues. Reference works are permitted, as is the use of internet search engines. In fact, the ingenious use of these forms part of the test!
The test is free to everyone and e-mails containing answers are to be sent to puzzledbarry@yahoo.co.uk . The marking will be carried out within 10 days of reception and the resulting raw score and grade will be returned by e-mail. The raw marks will be publicised without identifying candidates. It is respectfully requested that no part of the test is to be published elsewhere without prior permission of the copyright owner. Okay, time to sit down, relax and wait for inspiration!
Q
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
M
2
2
2
2
2
3
4
2
3
3
3
3
4
3
6
4
4
4
2
6
Grade
you tried!
average
good
very good
excellent
genius
superhuman!
Mark
0<M
8<M
16<M
24<M
32<M
40<M
48<M
© 2003 Barry R. Clarke
1.
How can the letters (right) be rearranged into an English word without moving any of them on the paper?
2.
What property do the first four letters have in common (that the second four do not have) and what similar property do the second four letters have in common (that the first four do not have)?
   
BCDE
 
AMTU
The next two questions are musical and biological, respectively. Each contains a number of clues that must be correctly interpreted. In each case, state what is being depicted and give a full explanation for your conclusion.
3.
4.
5.
You live in a shared house with four others and keep a packet of cornflakes on a shelf in the kitchen. One day, you notice that the contents are disappearing and it is not you who is eating them. Without restricting access to the cornflakes and with the minimum of conflict, suggest a course of action that might stop the thief from eating them.
     
6.
One day, you enter your room in the shared house and find a small plastic bottle of cola upside down in your waste bin. You take it out and notice it is nearly empty. You buy this brand so it is possible it was you who put it there but you are not sure. A housemate could be entering your room while you are out. Suggest a simple method of confirming that intrusions are occurring without the culprit being aware of your suspicion.
7.
You still live in the shared house. You are trying to avoid your difficult ex-partner who is still interested in you and with whom you have no communication. Every evening, you go out for a drink to a different wine bar and you always tell your housemates where you are going. For the last five days, your ex-partner has been turning up at the same venue as you, even though it is a different one every evening. You suspect that one of your four housemates, who seldom communicate with each other, has been revealing your plans to your ex-partner. Working alone, how can you discover who it is, without anyone being aware of your suspicion? How could your method go wrong?
   
8.
The picture (right) shows a bow and arrow, a prince, a throne, a mouse, a mountain, a tree, and a horseshoe. From birth you have been prohibited from studying any work by Shakespeare. Rearrange the pictures in a line to make a play by him.  
 
9. Some people thought that the old English chemistry teacher had been at the school since it was built. One day, a pupil asked him his age and rather than reveal it directly, he wrote the numbers below on the board. If the chemistry teacher could look back on a long life, how old is he?
 
 
10.23.99.39.52.28.7
 
10.
By studying the face and the initials of the man pictured below, suggest why his name is O. Redondo. It should help if you know that he lives in Panama.  
 
11.
There was once an old head librarian who was close to retirement. The library where he worked was located on a street called The Way in a town called Wisdom and had 81 shelves packed with books of knowledge. Readers would often joke that the first 37 shelves one could get to, but the last 44 one had to aspire to! Although his library was well-stocked, the old man had no possessions in his home apart from a wooden chair, a table and a bed. He simply did not want any. In fact, he was a solitary man who spent all his time in quiet contemplation about the best way to live one's life. On the day of his retirement, just as he was leaving the library for the last time, he gave the finished manuscript of the book of poetry he had been writing to the security guard and asked him to see that it was published. The old man was never seen again but his book was published all round the world. How old was the librarian when he retired?  
 
12.
Emma Turner, an English mathematics teacher was once teaching her class, average age eleven and a half, when she wrote the following on the board "The right has the right, the left is left". What basic arithmetic calculation was she referring to?  
 
13.
A family was sitting at the breakfast table eating medium size boiled eggs for breakfast. Suddenly, one of the children picked up his boiled egg and dropped it in the fish tank leaving it resting on the glass bottom. However, these were no ordinary fish, these were young marine piranhas! The tank measured 1m long, 0.5m wide and 60cm deep with a depth of water of 50 cm. There was a length of free pipe next to the tank having length 70 cm and internal diameter 5cm. Causing the least possible stress to the fish, how can the egg be removed from the tank?  
 
14.
  In the game of hangman, player A sets the word puzzle and player B must try to solve it. First, player A draws dashes to indicate the positions of missing letters in the puzzle (below). Player B then makes a guess at a letter and if it is right, it is inserted wherever it appears in the puzzle. If it is wrong, one line of the hangman's gib is drawn (16 in total) and the incorrect letter is written below it . In one game (left), three letters have been correctly guessed and 15 have been wrong so that 15 lines of the gib and hanged man have been drawn. Given that player B is hanged on his next guess, what letter does he choose and what person's name is the best solution to the puzzle (below)?  
 
 
_ _ B _ _ _
 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ O _ N _
The next four questions depict events from history, two from over a thousand years ago and two from the twentieth century, though not necessarily in the order given. Each picture has a number of hidden clues that must be correctly interpreted. In each case, state what the event depicted is and give as many reasons as possible for your conclusion..
15.
16.
 
   
17.
18.
 
   
19.
What do the following have in common and why?  
 
 

6th September

 
1st October
4th October
3rd June
20.
There was once a man who came upon a river 5 feet 6 inches deep and 14 feet wide. The near bank was vertical and 30 inches above the water level while the far side was also vertical but only 6 inches above the water. The man was carrying two wooden ladders, each 6 feet 3 inches long and nine inches wide, and some thin but strong rope four feet long. Each ladder had eight equally spaced rungs, each outermost rung being 6 inches in from the end of the ladder. Apparently, he managed to cross the river without getting wet, using no additional material. He even continued his journey on the other bank with both ladders and the rope intact. Given that the man once appeared in the Olympic Games, give precise details how he did it?  
 
END OF PITS