Help Finding Answers to Brain Teasers
Even the smartest kids sometimes need help finding answers to brain teasers. Especially in gifted programs, teachers love to hand out these frustrating little puzzles. Logic problems, rebuses, lateral thinking problems: all present unique challenges, and even experienced puzzlers sometimes need help. Unfortunately, some brain teasers depend on a graphical element as part of the puzzle, and these puzzles can't be easily solved with a quick Internet search. Never fear, help is available in the form of other people, both in person and online. Find the best places to look for help finding answers to brain teasers, and when help might be just a few feet away.
Help Is All Around
Solving a brain teaser without any outside assistance provides a certain amount of satisfaction. However, this intellectual independence is not always possible. Swallow that pride and look around for people who can help. Coworkers are a good option; tossing around ideas can make for great conversation at lunch or break. Nothing brings people together like solving a problem. Students can look to other students for help, although stumped kids will sometimes refuse to discuss the offending brain teaser, asserting that it is “stupid, anyway” and not worth thinking about. Teachers will occasionally be a help, although most teachers enjoy seeing a student solve problems like this on his or her own or with collaboration from other students.
If none of these real-life groups of people is available or if even they are equally stumped, several places online are available for help. These include brain teaser sites, forums, and some homework help sites.
Allexpert.com is a site that allows users to post specific questions which the site's experts then answer individually. Users can click the “Ask a Question” link at the top of the home page, and are then directed to find an expert in their question's subject. Someone looking for a solution to a brain teaser would click on “Games” in the index of experts, then “Puzzles” and finally “Puzzle Solving.” The user is then taken to a form which asks for the user's first name only and an e-mail address, and then space is provided to type in a subject and the question itself. The user is notified by e-mail when his or her question is answered.
The drawbacks to this site are that the question is directed to a specific expert, so the user has to wait until that expert has time to answer the question. However, that expert will be giving the question individualized attention, and may be more helpful with especially intricate mathematically-based puzzles.
Brainden.com Brain Teasers Forum
Brainden.com features a large collection of brain teasers, jokes, and logic problems. The site also boasts a forum where users can post new brain teasers and ask questions about especially tricky puzzles. New users can view the forums as a guest, but they have to register to start new topics. You can post a puzzle in the appropriately named forum, and others will attempt to solve it, or you can post asking for help with a particular brain teaser. As with all forums, read the forum's guidelines before attempting to post, and be polite. The Internet may be anonymous, but its users are not without feelings!
Scienceforums.net is first a set of forums dedicated to discussing all things science-related. The brain teasers and puzzles forum is a subtopic, and users should make sure to post questions in the appropriate forum. You can't post new threads as a guest, but registration is free and very quick. Some puzzles posted to this forum have quite a few replies, while others have very few. The members of this forum seem to particularly like mathematically-oriented brain teasers, so they may get more replies and more help.
Help Finding Answers to Brain Teasers
It helps to put some effort into solving the puzzle before asking anyone for help. There is no guarantee that the users of any forum will have the answer to a given brain teaser, so it's always a gamble to ask. Sometimes it helps to post the question is several different places or with several different groups of people. Remember that the fun of a brain teaser is in the solving process, and not necessarily in having the answer. Brain teasers train the brain to think flexibly and creatively, and to approach problem-solving in new and different ways. Enjoy the process, and don't ask for help too quickly. The answer to a brain teaser is most satisfying when an individual or group do the mental work needed to find the answer, rather than that answer simply being handed to them.
By Myrrh Hector