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Back by popular demand, here are a few more of John Flanagan’s ingenuity problems from the 1960s. As the instructions say:

Back by popular demand, here are a few more of John Flanagan’s ingenuity problems from the 1960s. As the instructions say:

This is a test of your ability to think of clever and effective ways of doing things. A number of problems are described on the following pages. In the paragraph describing each one, clues are given to show how the problem was actually solved. You are to read the problem description and think of the solution suggested by the clues. If you have the right solution, one of the five choices under the problem will have the same first and last letter as your answer and the same number of missing letter spaces as your answer contains.

A. Removing old paint can be a problem. A common household appliance can be used to do this in the same way as the newer electric paint removers. The appliance is used to soften the old coats of paint with heat, so that the paint can be removed with a putty knife. The appliance is an: 
  1. i _ _ _ _ _ _ d     w _ _ e
  2. a _ _ _ _ _ _ e     d _ _ g
  3. e _ _ _ _ _ _ n     t _ _ g
  4. e _ _ _ _ _ _ c     i _ _ n
  5. o _ _ _ _ _ _ r     p _ _ g
B. The tall sawhorses a painter needed for his inside work would not fit into his panel truck. He found that strapping them to the top of the truck required too much loading time. He solved the problem of getting them to fit into his truck by making new sawhorses with: 
  1. l _ _ _ _ _ g     b _ _ s
  2. r _ _ _ _ _ n     b _ _ s
  3. c _ _ _ _ _ n     p _ _ s
  4. f _ _ _ _ _ g     l _ _ s
  5. r _ _ _ _ _ l     s _ _ s
C. An oil drilling crew drilled a hole 20 feet deep and about 2 feet in diameter at the top. The hole narrowed considerably toward the bottom. A large wooden block fell into it and lodged about threequarters of the way down - too far to reach with hooked poles. The drill could not be operated with this block in the way. The men tried unsuccessfully to reach it with longer poles, and then one of them suggested a simple way to remove the block. His plan called for the use of: 
  1. i _ _ _ e
  2. w _ _ _ r
  3. p _ _ _ s
  4. h _ _ _ s
  5. l _ _ _ e
D. When an adjustable wrench is not available, it is possible to make an emergency adjustable wrench to fit any size nut by putting two square nuts on a long:
  1. m _ _ l
  2. b _ _ t
  3. c _ _ d
  4. h _ _ g
  5. t _ _ k
John Flanagan said that ingenuity “is shown by inventing or discovering a solution to a problem ... in an usually neat, clever, or surprising way”. How would you define it? Do you think there’s a difference between a creative or innovative idea and an ingenious one?

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