You’re walking along with a male friend minding your own little businesses when the two of you pass a woman. Being a man you instinctively notice her but instead of remarking that she looks brainy or well turned out what you tell your friend instead is that her mother-in-law and your mother-in-law are, in some order, mother and daughter. Your friend immediately thinks that one easy way this could be possible would be if the woman is your daughter-in-law. His reasoning is that in that case your wife is the daughter of your mother-in-law.
The next time you go out walking with that same male friend again just to shoot the breeze together for a bit of bonding or whatever, you find he’s come up with two more solutions. Who knows, maybe a walk would do you some good too.
The analogies problem seems to have generated a lot of interest, a whole lot lesser right answers and, as I can already see, a huge lot more of flak I’m going to have to face in the near future. But first a few clarifications. Larks : Exaltation :: Flamingos : ? can be either FLAMBOYANCE or STAND but the first is preferred here because of the EXALTATION word used for larks. Also, Muffle : Sound :: Assuage : ? should be GRIEF but we’ll accept FEELINGS.
A total of 73 people attempted with a stunning variety of wrong answers which in some remote parallel Earth in the quantum multiverse I suppose would still make some kind of sense to some sort of inter-dimensional entities but not so far as this best of all possible worlds is concerned where you and I still shuffle about in mortal coils at present. Nobody got all correct so my wager that he or she could take over my family, bank balance and grave remains untouched (damn it!). For the record the correct answers are:
Muffle : Sound :: Assuage : ? (Grief); Extrasensory Perception : Zener Cards :: Colour Blindness : ? (Ishihara Plates); Coffee: Chicory :: Leaf : ? (Root); Hardness : Mohs :: Diamond : ? (Water); Touch : Sense :: Hunger : (Drive); Newspapers : Bylines :: Films ? (Credits); Black : Yellow :: Melancholic : ? (Choleric); Lava : Volcano :: Steam : ? (Geyser);
Larks : Exaltation :: Flamingos : ? (Flamboyance/Stand); Lenin : Pseudonymous :: Leningrad (eponymous); Paleo- : Neo- :: 59 : ? (60); God : Theology :: Why, If God Exists, There Is Evil : ? (Theodicy); Is : Ought :: Ontology : ? (Ethics); Wide : Narrow :: Brachy- : ? (Dolicho-); Henry Newman : Abominable Snowman :: Kenneth Arnold : ? (Flying Saucer); Computer programming : Ada Lovelace :: Spread-spectrum Transmission : (Hedy Lamarr); Burr : Velcro :: Angina : ? (Viagra); DNA Model : Crick :: Evolution : ? (Wallace); Pants : Side Stripes :: Socks : ? (Clocks); Robert Rauschenberg : Erased de Kooning Drawing :: John Cage : ? (4’ 33”).
Two further explanations are needed for a couple of items no one got even close to nailing. DNA Model : Crick :: Evolution : ? should be WALLACE because it was Alfred Russel Wallace who also independently conceived the theory of evolution through natural selection and his paper on the subject was jointly published with Charles Darwin’s in 1858. So it’s like Watson and Crick and Darwin and Wallace. The other one is Hardness : Mohs :: Diamond : ? should be WATER. That’s because the scale of transparency of a diamond (as Mohs is a scale of hardness) is measured in units of “water” as in “a diamond of the first water/ second water/ third water, etc”, depending on how much of the gem becomes invisible when immersed in water.But if I now hear you gnashing your teeth and wailing like a banshee saying that “carat” is also correct, then take a half point for it and stop sobbing.
Among the people who got 10 to 14 correct are: Hema Parthasarath, firstname.lastname@example.org and Esme Sunder, email@example.com. Other higher toppers are: Charanjit Singh Pardesi, firstname.lastname@example.org (15), Saifuddin S F Khomosi,
Dubai, (16) and Dhruv Narayan, email@example.com (17).
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So after all their famous frolicking, including falling, fumbling and tumbling down hillsides, Jack and Jill finally grew up and got hitched. They wanted four kids with an exact mix of sexes. Assuming the chances are equal, what’s more likely: two girls and two boys or three of one and one of the other?
Sharma is a scriptwriter and former editor of Science Today magazine.