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18 September 2011

Mind Games 11: Answers

Answers to questions 30-31

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30. Daft Ditloids

 

12 Signs of the Zodiac; 1 Day at a Time; 3 Blind Mice (See How They Run); 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse; 52 Cards in a Pack; 15 Men on a Dead Man’s Chest; 26 Letters of the Alphabet; 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover; 7 Deadly Sins; 24 Hours in a Day; 11 Players on a Football Team; 20 000 Leagues Under the Sea.

This kind of puzzle (also called a "linguistic equation") was invented by writer Morgan Worthy, who who got the idea while staring at “graffiti someone had written in the form of an obscene formula on a restroom wall.” He described it as an “Aha!” moment, and wrote: “one reason a person enjoys linguistic equations is that the answer hits him or her all at once rather than being solved in an incremental fashion … people often had the answer to an item come to them when they were not consciously thinking about the puzzles, but relaxed, such as in the shower or about to fall asleep.”

The name 'ditloid' comes from the clue 1 DitLoID, which translates as 1 Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (the title of a famous novel by Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn).

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31. All in the eyes

The answer is “panicked”. This question comes from the Reading the Eyes in the Mind Test, designed by well-known psychopathologist Simon Baron-Cohen, which tests your ability to work out other people’s emotions from their expressions.

Most people score between 22 and 30 out of 36 on Baron-Cohen's test. Women score better than men on average, while people with Asperger’s syndrome or high-functioning autism, who often have difficulty reading emotion in others, tend to score lower.

The score may be related to an individual’s capacity for empathy. However, as writer on empathy Roman Krznaric cautions, “I might, for instance, be able to identify that somebody is upset by the expression around their eyes, but this does not mean I necessarily understand anything about why they are upset – I haven’t really stepped into their shoes … Nor does my visual recognition imply that I have made any emotional connection with them or formed any kind of human bond.”

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References:
Baron-Cohen, S. (2003) The Essential Difference.
Baron-Cohen, S. Wheelwright, S. and Hill, J. (2001) The 'Reading the mind in the eyes' test revised version, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 42
Fertuck, E.A. Borderline "Empathy" Revisited: BPD and "Mind in the Eyes".
Krznaric, R. (2010) Reading the Mind in the Eyes.
Worthy, M. (1975) AHA!: A Puzzle Approach to Creative Thinking.

 
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